We were in a bit of a rush after leaving Natural Bridge Caverns. We still had to get to San Antonio and check into our hotel before visiting some of Mama's cousins at their home. They had invited us for a Mexican dinner and swimming at 5:30, but we were running a bit late.
Around 6:00, we pulled up to their Spanish-style house. It's very unique; I wish I had thought to take a picture. I think the front door was like a huge piece of textured, amber-colored glass, with a wood frame around the edges. Off to the right was an enclosed courtyard with a lot of Spanish tile accents. The inside of the house was really pretty. It was very spacious and had ceramic tile floors. The backyard had a pool with a diving board and a cabana.
C. E. (Mama's first cousin) and his wife Mary have lived there for over 30 years. (When I first saw C. E., I was struck by how much he looked like my grandfather, his uncle.) Their daughter Katherine and two of her children, Jack (now 7) and Willie (4 months), were there to meet us. (Their son Keith - one of my Facebook friends - is a missionary dentist in Liberia. He and his wife have two daughters and an adopted son from Liberia.) C. E.'s sister Margie and her husband Marshall were there, too.
After greetings and introductions, we snacked on some chips and salsa, then the boys headed out to the pool with Jack, who swims like a fish! Caleb was really impressed with Jack's swimming skills - cannonballs, dives, etc. He braved the water in his floaties and eventually got comfortable enough to venture into the deep end of the pool. Jacob jumped into the shallow water with his floaties on, went under and came back up, then proceeded to get out of the pool for the rest of the evening. He spent all his time sitting on the side, splashing anyone within reach. He wasn't thrilled about getting splashed back.
Supper was great! There were two kinds of salad, Spanish rice, beans, and an enchilada casserole. For dessert, there were some of the best brownies I've ever eaten. Margie told us she used a box mix and added Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Yum! Oh, and there was some homemade orange sherbet, which was also really good. We ate entirely too much!
We sat around the table and visited until Katherine and her boys left. Then Lindsay and I went into the pool with Caleb. We took turns splashing Jacob (who was firmly perched on the side of the pool) and getting splashed back. We had "noodle wars" with the pool noodles, blowing water at each other (and at Jacob) through them. The boys were impressed that Lindsay and I could dive off the diving board and swim underwater. We stayed in the pool until nearly 9:00, then changed into dry clothes for the drive back to the hotel.
C. E. had hurt his back earlier on a deep-sea fishing expedition and was going into the hospital the next morning to have some sort of procedure done. There were some problems and he ended up not having the surgery until that afternoon. A few days later, he was still in a lot of pain. Mama called me Thursday evening to let me know that he had been taken back to the hospital because his organs were shutting down. They did a bone marrow test and confirmed that his cancer had returned after five years of remission. It was all through his body. He was put on morphine to ease the pain while his family gathered. Keith and his family got in Saturday night. C. E. died early this afternoon. They said he didn't know Keith was there, but I have a feeling he did.