Magnolia – Texas

October 16, 2010

“Oh,” Debbie exclaimed, “the boys want to eat Big Blackie this week.”

But let me back up …

I spent only 20 hours in New Orleans because I wanted to get to Houston by Friday night, so I could make a soccer game on Saturday morning. And a baseball game.

Alex, 6 years old, had the soccer game. Christopher, 4 years old, had the T-Ball game.

Alex and Christopher are the children to Michael and Debbie.

Michael and I have been the closest of friends since 4th grade, and I’ve known Debbie since just after college. They now live in the rural, wooded town of Magnolia, about an hour northwest of Houston.

Alex and Christopher are wonderful boys:

Alex gives orders. Christopher takes liberties.

Alex is focused. Christopher is everywhere.

Alex is sensitive. Christopher is resilient.

Alex makes you think. Christopher makes you smile.

They are both very, very sweet.

And they have it good. Their huge backyard is filled with homemade attractions:

  • a climbing wall
  • a treehouse with a zip line
  • a sand pile
  • an old boat on a platform
  • an archery target
  • a tight rope
  • a trampoline (not homemade)
  • a great dog, Birch (also not homemade)

I told Michael that he’s created a Club Med for boys.

But, during the week that I was there, all that Club Med stuff took a back seat to the new lacrosse set that Michael brought home. That, and the additional iPad which was now in the house.

Oh, and the boys also played my game – currently known as Dungeon Dash.

I’m sure Debbie had mixed feeling about letting them play. Debbie was college friends with my brother John, and Mike (and Sara), and Eric and Jeff. And so she witnessed John, Mike, Eric, and Jeff playing Dungeons & Dragons far more than they probably should have. Certainly more than they studied. (At least that’s the impression I have from all the stories.) My brother’s dwarf was named Slash, and in every game since then, including Dungeon Dash, that’s been his preferred name.

Debbie had never told her boys about any of this. I’m sure she did not want to encourage such behavior. But for my sake, she let them play Dungeon Dash.

When Debbie asked Alex what he wanted his account name to be, he said, with no hesitation …


After recovering from the shock, I asked him why. He said that he was going to slash stuff with his sword. He had no idea about the inglorious history of the name.

And so, even though only a couple dozen Dungeon Dash accounts had been created, we were forced to tell Alex that Slash was already taken and that he needed to pick a different name.

So he instead chose the name “Mish.”

I didn’t ask why.

It was now Christopher’s turn. Inspired by his older brother’s choice of Slash, but not having quite the vocabulary, he said that he wanted his name to be “Hit.”

Debbie decided they could both share an account, so we created one account named:

“Hit or Mish.”

Such is life.

During my stay in Magnolia, I worked on Dungeon Dash, helped Debbie a bit in the kitchen (where she always has something brewing … or baking, soaking, fermenting, etc.), played Lacrosse with the boys, ate Debbie’s tasty and healthy meals (including eggs from the chickens in the backyard), and talked at night with Michael about any number of things.

I also went to a soccer practice, a T-Ball practice, and a yoga practice. I was as spectator for the first two, and a participant for the third.

Debbie has been a Following Alex follower since the beginning, and, before I had even arrived, she had already picked out the yoga studio for me. It was a Bikram class in a very nice studio. Debbie dropped me off, ran errands with the boys, then we all had lunch together. Definitely the most enjoyable yoga excursion of my trip.

Which just leaves one thing …

One night, while I was on the couch talking with Michael and Debbie, Debbie interjected, “Oh, the boys want to eat Big Blackie this week, while Uncle Alex is here.”

“Huh?” I said.

They explained that when they got their chicks (they were sent in the mail, by the way), many of them were roosters – more than they needed. So after they were full grown, Michael slaughtered some of the roosters, to be eaten later. The biggest was a black broiler that the boys had named Big Blackie.

“That’s totally going in my blog,” I said.

And so it has.

My nighttime arrival

Alex at goal

Christopher covering first

Michael, Debbie, and Kettle looking for scraps

The gang at the sand pile

Christopher landing a big one

iPad heads

Happy Family

3 Responses to “Magnolia – Texas”

  1. Debbie Says:

    That is probably the best, most complimentary and most accurate description of the boys I can imagine. Perfect!

    We miss you! Come back!!

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