Mixsonian Larry


Leaving On a Jet Plane

Mom and Dad in Austria
Dad and Mom with their grandson Kristopher in front of castle where the movie Sound of Music was filmed.

With the birth of their third grandson, Mom and Dad left on May 1st for Austria.  The trip had been planned for some time.  With Brenda expecting, Mom wanted to be there to help with the new baby. Some things get passed from generation to generation as when Mom raised us three kids, Brenda, David and me, she wrote in her memoirs how much help it was when Grandma Junior and Grandma Mixson helped her when we were babies, now it was her turn.  Mom wrote in her memoirs,

May 1st Morris and I left Gainesville to visit Brenda and Tom and to see our newest grandson, Andrew in Austria. I was so excited, my first trip to Europe. It was so good see Kristopher and I was so impressed how well he could speak German. We took him on a boat trip down the Blue Danube with us. We were going to Vienna, then Tom was going to drive over and pick us up the next day. Well, we got along fine with him interpreting for us and he was only 4 years old. While we were there we took trips to Germany, Switzerland, Vienna, Salzburg and spent 5 days at a missionary conference at Bad Ischl in an old lovely hotel that served us three meals a day. I loved the German cooking and when it was time to go home I didn't want to go.

A week later I received a postcard from Mom saying they arrived in Austria and were having a good time with her grandsons.  At their grandson Kristopher’s suggestion, they ate at a McDonalds in the town of Linz.  I found it amusing that they go to a foreign country and eat at an American hamburger restaurant.

Mom and Dad were not the only ones leaving town. Also on May 1st my sister Beth and her new husband Mark loaded up everything they owned and left Gainesville but not by jet plane but rather in a pickup truck camper that Mark’s father had giving him. Mom wrote in her Austrian trip journal…

We were up by 8 o’clock as Beth and Mark spent the night with us and were anxious to get going. They were on their way to their new home in Seattle, Washington after being married just two weeks ago. (April 18). We said good-by to them about 8:30 and they started out in their 17 year old truck camper, an 8 week old puppy, (a Dalmatian) and towing a motorcycle that Mark couldn’t resist.  They did manage to pack and take along all of their wedding presents, Beth’s hope chest, her hat stand and all sorts of camping gear, and all of their clothes.  It looks like they really do plan to stay out there. I’m worried the truck will break down, but Beth assures me Mark is a good mechanic and he’s able to fix anything that goes wrong.

They were headed to California first then onto Lacy Washington where Mark's sister andgeoduck her husband lived. Mark had been living with his sister before coming to Gainesville and wanted to return to Lacy where he had job lined up diving for Geoducks (pronounced “gooey duck”), the largest burrowing clam in the world which looks like a giant donkey penis.  Yeah, really. The name itself is derived from the local native American word meaning "genitals", referring to the shape of the clam.  They are mostly shipped to China where they are considered quite the delicacy.   An interesting fact about geoducks is that they can live a long time with one recorded living to be 179 years old with many living as long as 140 years.  I find it strange that we harvest and eat animals that are older than ourselves.

On Friday, May 15, Mom wrote in her Austria trip journal, “Our vacation is half over!  At five o’clock this morning we all awakened by the telephone ringing. Tom got up and answered it and it was Larry! He got the time mixed up and thought it as five o’clock in the afternoon!  Tom told him the time and asked him to call back later!” Okay, so they were six hours ahead of my time in Florida, not six hours behind.  I got it right the next time I called on May 21st.  Momo wrote, “We played Uno again today. Oh, we talked to Larry today and found out that Connie hasn’t had her baby yet. He said he bought a new house, in fact it’s not built yet.  Brenda told him all about building their house. It seem funny that here we are in Austria talking to Larry in Florida. It really doesn’t seem like we’re really here!”  Aunt Uncle Cork and Aunt Connie had their first son Joshua after I called later that same day.  I had put a downpayment on a new house that was being built that was half mile from my home on Easy Street but the deal fell though after interest rates soared to over 10%.

Updated: 06-01-2023