Sunday, May 20, 2012

Going Home Day

It's going home day.  I'm always sad on going home day.  Until we get about halfway home, then I perk up and can hardly wait to see friends, family, my house, the horses...  A part of me would love to sell the sticks and bricks, and live in the 5er full time, but, honestly, I think we have the best of both worlds right now.

As usual on going home day, Cowboy is rushing me to get everything put up and ready to ride this morning.  The night before, he always says we're not going to get in a hurry.  But, about mid morning, when he sees the time flying by, he starts getting antsy.

So here's the highlights of the last few days, bullet style:

* We moved from Lake Pointe RV Resort at Canyon Lake to Pecan Park RV Park in San Marcos.
*We came here because the two grandgirls were competing in the All-State Music Competition at Texas State University in San Marcos.  They did great! The oldest got an "Outstanding" award (the highest ranking possible) and the youngest got "Superior" (the next highest ranking).  I'm a proud Grammy.  And they have promised me a private concert as soon as we get home!
*Tim played golf at Landa Park in New Braunfels, which left me most of a day to amuse myself. After a wild shopping spree at the dollar store, I drove a couple of miles to the old town of Gruene, and walked around the neat old buildings.  This is one of the many bed and breakfasts there.

Then, drove back to Landa Park.  It is so beautiful.  It was still too hot to walk around much, so I rode the miniature train!  

Then, I took my walk through the park.  Such a magical place.  Even on a weekday, there were families at almost every picnic table, enjoying  the shade and the beauty.  The river is gorgeous, but I was really fascinated with this ancient tree.  It's so old and so heavey, they had to prop it up with brick pillars!  They say the Native Americans used to bend young trees to the ground to show the tribe following behind which way to go.

Back at the golf course (the prettiest course I've ever seen) waiting for Cowboy, I got a couple more pretty good pics.

Until this fella showed up.  Does he look innocent to you?  Yeah, he did to me, too.  Until I realized he was eyeing my toes like I ogle the dessert table at my favorite restaurant!  Two seconds after I snapped this photo, he attacked!  I had to run to the pickup for safety! 

Oops...Time to go!  Cowboy just came back in, dismayed to see me still typing away.  And I didn't even get to the part about him killing the RATTLESNAKE RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR DOOR!!! yesterday. 

One more stop on the way home to see a glass blowing demonstration with the kids.  And maybe a stop for lunch.  And one or two (or six!) potty breaks.  Then we'll be home. 

Oh, dear, I never know how to end these things.  See ya later?  So long for now?  'Til next time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wimberly & Fredericksburg

Have I mentioned that I love the Texas Hill Country?  When we were young and broke, this was about as far as we could get away on our (very) limited budget, and then only for a couple of nights.  What a luxury to be able to stay for a week or more and explore to our heart's content!  I love retirement!  I love our 5th wheel! 

We spent the last couple of days wandering through Wimberly and Fredericksburg.  Still great little towns, but I couldn't help feeling nostalgic for the way they used to be, nearly 40 years ago when we first discovered them.  In fact, I was so put off by the heavy, LOUD, traffic in Fredericksburg, I didn't even think to take any pics.  It's still a cool town, lots of great old buildings, a fascinating history, and cool shops.  Just very loud with all the traffic.  Charlie didn't like it at all.

So here's some photos.  Hope they don't take too long to load.

Scenic drive between Wimberly and Blanco, called "The Devil's Backbone"

Wimberly Welcoming Committee?

I don't know when my Cowboy posed for this sculpture!  But I wish I could buy it. 
That horse is not at all like Vanita, though.

I think my friend Susan and I ate at this restaurant 21 years ago when we took a weekend Girl's Getaway trip.  It was brand new back then.  Now it looks like it's been there 100 years.

Beautiful creek/river in Wimberly.  There was a cabin for rent right beside this spot.  Heaven.

Guess that's enough photos for now.  We're off to New Braunfels today...Tim to play golf, me to shop and find a place to get my walking done for the day.  Did I mention that I love retirement?!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Evening Walk

Just a few pics from our evening walk yesterday.  This one was actually taken from the steps of our fifth wheel.  The deer come down to the lake every evening.

Canyon Lake - It's so much prettier than my little point & shoot camera can convey!

The wildflowers are fading fast, but we still found a few.  This is a Longheaded Cone Flower, also called a Mexican Hat or Thimbleflower.  I'm trying to learn the names of the flowers.  Anyone know a good I-phone app for that?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Canyon Lake

Charlie - Staking out his territory on MY pillow!

Why is it always so hard to leave our hometown?  We've had this little trip planned for weeks, but the past week of preparation was a circus!  Cowboy got an unexpected driving job for one day.  Yay for the extra income, but boo for the lost day.  I had unexpected and unplanned for doctor's visits.  (Nothing serious, just annoying), I never did get caught up on church library work, and Friday night was our first Vacation Bible School Meeting.  Every year I say I'm not going to take on a major job in VBS, but every year I am begged, wheedled and flattered into more that I intended!

Life is just too good, and I can't seem to turn down any opportunity to spend time with family and friends when I really should be cleaning the sticks and bricks, and packing the home on wheels.

So this week I also -
- starting a morning walking routine with my son and daughter
- spent time with my grandgirls (never an inconvenience, always a joy!)
- spent a day shopping with my best friend
- went to brunch with the "church ladies"
- had an unexpected visit from my brother and sister-in-law, who I don't see near often enough

But, in spite of all that, we finally left Small Town, Texas around 11:30 yesterday morning and arrived at SMALLLER Town, Texas around 5:00.  We are staying at Canyon Lake until Friday, then we will move to San Marcos, where we will meet our daughter and her family.  The grandgirls are playing in a statewide piano competition there on Saturday, and we wanted to be there to cheer them on.  Even though the actual competition is only in front of the judges.  Even parents can't watch.  Makes the kids too nervous, I guess.

Well, off to the usual first day trip to Wal-Mart now.  As soon as I get Charlie off the bed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Families, Festivals and a Funeral

The photo has nothing at all to do with this post, I just like it.  It's Cowboy on the annual trail ride between Weatherford and Mineral Wells.

We’re heading out on another short (about 10 days) trip in a few days, but in the mean time, here’s some random thoughts.

My Daddy had 2 brothers, Mama had one brother.  I have one brother.

Then I married the Cowboy.

Cowboy has 4 brothers.  His Daddy had 7 brothers and sisters. His Mama had 17 brothers and sisters. That’s not a typo.  Seventeen.  And we’re not talking divorces, with half and steps.  That’s one daddy and one very tired mama. I guess, being good Pentecostals back then, they couldn’t dance, or even play cards, so….

Anyway. The first family get-together I attended with the Cowboy after we got engaged, was a Christmas with his dad’s family. They had to rent the National Guard Armory Building.  It was the only building in town large enough to hold all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Culture shock.

I’ve been thinking about all of this because of the funeral we attended yesterday.  Cowboy’s cousin was only 43.  In such a large family, it’s difficult to be close to every cousin, and this was one of the ones that we really didn’t know that well.  But we sort of watched him grow up from a distance.  We marveled at family get-togethers at how the kids had grown.  We heard about his ups and downs through the family grape-vine.  We love and admire his mom, a thoughtful, caring, strong Christian lady.

But, ya’ll…he was only 43.  And at times like these, I always wonder…how do non-Believers cope with death?  I am so thankful for my Savior for many reasons.  Yesterday, I was thankful, knowing that one young man has shed his pain-wracked human body, and is free from all earthly cares and worries, enjoying life abundant in Heaven.
It was great seeing family yesterday.  I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in Small Town, Texas, funerals are huge social event.  There’s food, there’s family, there’s reminiscing.  True stories that sound like tall tales.  Lots of laughter, mingled with the tears. 

I have no good segue here, so I’ll just plunge right into the festival portion of this rambling tale.  Saturday our little church hosted our annual Gospel Grass Festival.  That’s gospel music with a blue grass beat.  Awesome.  Twelve solid hours of music, ten in the morning until ten at night. For free. No charge. Even if you think you don't like blue grass, I gotta tell ya... if you are anywhere near Parker County next year, ya gotta come!  It starts with a hearty country breakfast…free, to anyone who wants it.  There are activities for the kids, those huge air filled bounce houses and slides…absolutely free.  The only thing that cost is food for the rest of the day.  And there’s nothing much better than good Baptist cooking! 

Our little church is one of the many reasons it is so hard for us to leave home.  But there’s a whole country out there waiting to be explored.  We are so thankful for the chance to travel and see America.  It’s something we’ve dreamed of for forty years, finally coming true. 

But we are also thankful for the ties that bind us here…friends, family and church.  It’s good to know we have a place to come home to.