The Heartland Flier left the Oklahoma City train stations Thursday, November 18 at 8:22 headed south. The leg to Ft. Worth wasn't a bad trip, not bad at all.
Then I had over two hours to spend at the station in Ft. Worth, waiting for the Texas Eagle bound for San Antonio and stops before. My stop would be Taylor, Texas, just a bit north of Austin but closer to where Randy, Janelle, and the boys live. That part of the trip took forever. We were over an hour late because we would move along and then slow to maybe 20 or 25 miles per hour. We would stop in the middle of nowhere for a rest (I'm assuming since I never saw anything to stop us). I was soooo tired, and my back screamed in agony by the time my feet were on solid ground again, but all that was worth seeing Janelle waiting for me.
Hugs from Randy and all the boys (Ryan, Colby, Shane) waited at their house. Randy was cooking with some help from his sons.
Ryan kindly gave up his bed for me (oh, such a comfortable bed), and his brother Colby gave his room to Ryan. Colby took the sofa. Everyone had a place to sleep, and I did.
A side note: Austin is unbelievably difficult to travel. However, that's another story.
Friday, everyone but Shane left for school. The team wouldn't be released until late since the coaches kept them occupied with food and a movie. During the afternoon, Shane and I visited. He wasn't well, but I'm glad we had our time together. That night, Colby came to visit me after everyone had adjourned for bed. I had a chance to spend one on one time with him, too. With everything going on, and his back giving him fits, Ryan and I didn't get to visit much.
Now to the important event: the football game. The game was set on a neutral field, McGreagor High School, about half way back to Ft. Worth. The opposing team was from Dallas.
Ryan, number 51, played center on offense and defensive tackle, unless his back caused him to take a break. Above he, with the team, prepare to fun through the banner before the game began.
Hyde Park scored first, shocked the other team (so arrogant they thought they had the game won by showing up). For nearly two quarters, HP Panthers stopped the Parish Panthers. Then some dirty playing began. I'm proud of the team Randy helps coach did not return the deliberate battering they received. I also watched some of the most unsportsmanlike conduct by a coach I remember ever seeing. The Parish coach would walk out on the field without calling a timeout. He did the same thing many times with no consequences, action that should be a penalty, action that the officials never penalized until the last 3 seconds of the game.
But, back to the game.
The wind was horrible and the sun in our faces. Taking pictures was difficult, but I did get a few good ones. The photo above is the kickoff.
Ryan prepares to hike the ball. This shot is from a distance. The one below closer.
Colby's injury sidelined him all season, and will keep him from playing any sport this school year. However, he kept up with the action from the sideline.
Ryan, when playing on the defensive side of the ball, made some good plays. One time he tackled the Parish ball carrier and knocked the ball loose, resulting in Hyde Park recovering the fumble. He also took a "beating" many times.
The shot above is blurry, but 75 had a hand on Ryan's face mask.
Hyde Park played hard three quarters, but the one where they didn't, Parish drew ahead. Hyde Park fought back, but the final score was Parish 21 and Hyde Park 12.
Of course in the playoffs, the loser goes home, and the winner goes on. However, I got to watch Ryan play his last high school football game.
I hated to leave Monday morning, and apparently the train didn't want to either. It was 45 minutes behind schedule when we left Taylor going north. We arrived in Ft. Worth about an hour and a half late. Thankfully, I had a three hour layover that was shortened.
Once on the train to Oklahoma City, we sped along. The Heartland Flier pulled into the OKC station nearly fifteen minutes early. No one complained. I entered my house about 10:30 last night after an enjoyable trip, but glad to be home.