I admit that touring a water tower struck me as possibly the weirdest of Ben’s wishes. A water tower?? Huh?? But apparently to a nine year old that was fascinating, we just had no idea how we could make that happen. Water towers tend to be surrounded by locked fences, and we weren’t sure that they routinely host field trips! So you can imagine our surprise when we were contacted by Jennifer at the Mustang Special Utility District and she was offering Ben a tour!
We drove out one afternoon to check out the office and the kids saw how the water levels are reported for each tower to the central office. They had lots of questions and were fascinated by the map. I think J, our five year old, wins for most entertaining inquiries! They also gave the kids some really fun goodies – I snitched one of those flashlights for my doula bag, and the cooler bags and cups are being used constantly. (Who knew utility districts had such fun swag, right?? Frisbies??) Then we drove down the road to the water tower itself – and it was huge, and I tried to NOT think about the fact that we were standing inside a water tower under this massive amount of water. The kids had lots more questions and they thought the echoing tower was way too much fun and Ben learned lots about how it all works.
Jennifer & the Mustang folks had learned about us through the Denton Record Chronicle article in February and they invited the paper to come back out for a follow up story. Though I admit we were really surprised to see the kids made the front page again! Both stories were really sweet & well done and we’re always happy to share Ben’s amazing story. He’s a pretty fantastic kid, and he’s grateful that so many people have been helping make his wishes come true – however funny and random they may be! Thank you to John and David for the great article and you can read it here, see some more photos, and read J’s funny questions about the towers. Thank you to Jennifer for providing all of these photos in the gallery, and thank you to all the folks at Mustang SUD!
It was really tall!
Now she’s staring up INSIDE the tower.
They were talking to each other through the long tubes.
Asking lots of questions.
Miss Livy being her usually cute self.
He was so excited by the experience!
It’s been a busy couple weeks. We had an insane hail storm one day and after it passed we took the kids to their adaptive PE program at UNT. While there the second wave of the storm hit along with the tornado warning and funnel clouds near campus – complete with loud sirens and us spending half an hour in the tornado shelter with six very anxious kids and about 100 university guys all crowded into the men’s locker room. It was an adventure! Unfortunately our car and roof didn’t enjoy the storm, and later that night a THIRD wave of huge hail hit. Quite the day (still working on getting the car and roof repaired.)
When we woke up in the morning there was a series of emails from my father sharing the news that my grandmother had been taken to the hospital with some concerns (she had surgery last month but was back at her assisted care center.) I saw there were several more emails and my stomach sank as I read through them, including that she had been admitted to the ICU, put on oxygen, and the last message shared that she had passed away just before 3am. She turned 91 at the end of March so she was elderly, but it just seemed to come very quickly! We called my dad that morning to find out plans for her funeral service, talked with my sister and Kit’s work, and within a few hours we were packing and getting ready to leave the next morning to take 10 kids and 3 adults from Texas to Minnesota. All while being swarmed by roofing contractors wanting to pressure us to sign and have them fix our roof.
Early, early the next morning we headed out to drive the 9 hours to Kansas to meet up with my parents and stay a couple days then to do the 6 hour drive the rest of the way to Minnesota. We stayed a couple days there seeing extended family, as I had not been to Minnesota in over 20 years! The kids had a really fun time exploring the farms and behaved (for the most part) really well through the funeral service and burial and the constant changing schedule. I’ll have pictures of that to come, along with a few adventures we’ve already had since!