Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday in Ashdown

I have mixed emotions about Sundays on the road.  On the one hand, I miss everyone back home.  I know and love the people there, and I know that they know and love me.  I know how everything works.  I know the songs we usually sing.  I know when to stand up and when to sit down.  I know our pastor, and I know I can trust him to preach the Word, straight from the Bible.  It's just..., well, it's just comfortable.

Going to a new church can be a little scary.  Especially for an introverted, socially awkward person like me.  But it's also exciting.  Will the people walk right past us like we're invisible, or will they rush to greet us and make us feel welcome?  Will the preacher rant and rave about his own not-so-scriptural ideas?  Or will we be blessed with a fresh insight into God's Word?  More often than not, visiting a new church is a wonderful experience, but believe me, we have run across some crazy stuff!

Since Millwood Landing is one of the RV Resorts where we can stay at no charge (because of our membership in Ocean Canyon), we come here often enough to have a church we call "our church" when we are here.

We attended Sunday School and the morning service today, and felt like we fit right in.  
Pastor Butch Riddle grew up in Texas.  He remembered us from our previous visits, 
and made us feel so welcome.  More importantly, 
he preached a very solid, thought-provoking sermon.  

After church, we had lunch at a restaurant we'd been to before.  (There's only 8 or 10 restaurants in Ashdown.  We've tried most of them at least once.)  This is one of our favorites.  The food is pretty good, but my favorite thing about it is the name - 
Jim's Place (but Carol runs it).  
Isn't that great!  There's got to be a great story behind it, don't you think?  
Next time we're there, I'm going to ask about it!

The rest of the day was spent napping and watching tv and...well, that's about it!  I have no idea what we will do tomorrow.  The main reason Tim likes to come here is because of the golf course on the property, but most of it is literally under water right now.  I like the swimming pool here, and there's water aerobics scheduled for next week.  There's also some craft classes in the activity center.  

One thing I won't be doing is taking Charlie for long walks along the lake.  They tell us several alligators have been spotted here, since all the rain has them on the move.  So I'll be sticking pretty close to the RV all week!  The Cowboy, however, would never let a little thing like an alligator keep him from going fishing!  Although, thankfully, he doesn't plan to put the inflatable boat in the water!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Honey Grove

Here's the photos from Honey Grove, Texas.  Honey Grove calls itself "The Sweetest Town in Texas."  I had to see for myself, so Tim graciously indulged my whim and drove the 15 miles to see what was so sweet.  He hunted for a geocache while Charlie and I walked around the square and took pictures.

According to Wikipedia, David Crockett rode through the area on his way to the Alamo in 1836.  He wrote home about all the honey-filled trees he found, and that's how the town got it's name.  He helped found the town, and told friends he intended to settle here, but then history happened.  

One other interesting factoid I found while searching the 'net is that an episode of the TV series One Tree Hill was filmed in Honey Grove.  The episode was titled "It Gets Worse at Night" if you want to look it up.  I've never watched that series, but I may have to take a look!

But, by far the coolest thing about the town are the many old buildings still surviving.  Here's just a few.

McKenzie United Methodist Church

First Baptist Church of Honey Grove

Honey Grove City Hall.  These brick streets run all the way around the spacious town square.  Love!

Bertha Voyer Memorial Library.
An inscription on the side of the building says 
for the Cultural Advancement 
of the Citizens of 
the Red River Valley"

I have no idea.  

The post office is in the middle of the square.  
Honey Grove is in Fannin County.  
Bonham is the county seat.

First State Bank Building.  
Looks like it is being restored.
The buildings may be a little tired and run down, 
but these streets are perfect!

Another building I couldn't identify.  These days it houses an antique shop.  
I saw at least three antique shops around the square.  
It was too hot to leave Charlie in the car, so we didn't do any browsing.

I haven't seen too many wildflowers this trip, but someone had planted these 
beautiful Passion Flowers along the sidewalk just off the square.  

We left Bonham yesterday morning and drove to Millwood Landing RV Resort, near Ashdown, Arkansas.  So many of the bridges crossing the Red River are closed, we felt blessed that the crossing Tim chose was still open.  So yesterday was pretty routine...just unhooking from our site, driving, then hooking everything back up in the new site.  

We've been here so many times, it's almost like coming home.  We went to our "favorite" nearby restaurant for dinner last night (the only restaurant within 15 miles!) We even have a church in Ashdown that we consider "our" church when we're here.  Not that any of the members there know us.  But we did meet the preacher a couple of years ago, and he's a Fort Worth native, so we somehow feel connected.  

Millwood Lake is totally flooded.  The Millwood State Park, which is right next to the lake is completely under water, except for the office.  And it rained again last night.  We need to drive into Texarkana today, if we can find a bridge that's open.  

This is our constant prayer.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bonham State Park

We had never even heard of this park.  Evidently, no on else has, either.  Small as it is, there were only about 8 campers there, not crowded at all.  Yesterday morning, Tim was the only one on the lake.  Charlie and I walked right past him on our morning walk.  
He said he hadn't caught a thing, not hardly even a nibble on his line.  

Right now, there's water everywhere, but there's still evidence of the recent drought.  
I hate seeing dead trees.  Fortunately, there weren't many.  And they were at the 
opposite end of the park from where we were camped.

This is much better.  This "tree tunnel" on the entrance road to the camp is about half a mile long.  Beautiful.

But wait...there's more!  Lol! 
We drove into Bonham later in the day, and found lots of stuff to do.

Fort Inglish Village - This is a recreation of the fort built by Bailey Inglish (the founder of Bonham) and other settlers, to protect from Indian raids.  The town was founded in 1837, and by 1843 the fort was abandoned because the native Americans had moved further west.

Sam Rayburn Library  -  Sam Rayburn (1882 - 1961) was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham.  He served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 years, the longest tenure in U.S. history.  Completed in 1957, the Classical style building contains many mementos of Rayburn's life and career.  One of the most interesting features is said to be an exact replica of the Speaker's office in Washington.  The furniture was in the national Capitol office from 1907 until 1957, and the massive crystal chandelier hung first in the White House and later in the Capitol.  We didn't go inside...have to save some stuff for when we come this way again!  

Statue of Mr. Rayburn in front of the library.

Sam Rayburn House Museum   -  Now a museum, this home was built by Sam Rayburn in 1916.  Contains the original Rayburn family furnishings.  You can also see Mr. Rayburn's 1947 Cadillac!  This is a National Historic Landmark, a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark 
and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.    

After exploring Bonham, we drove 15 miles east to the tiny town of Honey Grove.  I'll try to get those pics posted later tonight or early tomorrow.

God bless all our friends and family.  These are strange times we live in, but one thing I know, God is still in control!

One more picture of my Cowboy.  Just because!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Starting Out with a BANG...

Well, we didn't actually hear a bang, but we did have a flat, if not a blow-out, just 50 miles from home yesterday.  Bummer.  But thanks to a "Good Samaritan"  with a better jack than the one we carry, the spare was put in place and we were soon back on the road.

First stop - Bonham State Park
What a gem!  Tiny little park, surrounding a tiny little lake...but absolute perfection!  Here's the Visitor Center.  I've talked to 2 of the park employees so far, and they are just so laid back and friendly.  One gentleman worked at Mineral Wells State Park several years ago, and vaguely remembered one of our friends.  So we talked about our love of small towns, and how we avoid Dallas whenever possible.  Nice to find a kindred spirit! 

Group Picnic Pavillion

Paddle Boat Dock

These campsites are vacant.  There are only about 21 water/electric campsites here, and most of them are vacant right now.  It is so peaceful and quiet.  The sites are quite level, and most are shaded.

The view from our site.

Canada Geese

More views of the Visitor Center.

I took more pictures this morning when I walked Charlie, but I haven't transferred them from my phone to the computer yet.  I'm not sure why it's so much easier for me to get outside and move when we are traveling.  Maybe because when I'm home, there's just too much to do in the house?  I'm always thinking I'll get some exercise after I make the bed, or sweep the floors, or whatever.  According to my FitBit, I walked two miles this morning, before breakfast! 

Thinking about lunch now, then after lunch we're going for a drive to see what's in Bonham (just 4 or 5 miles away) and the surrounding area.  We like to pray over each town we stop in.  It seems so peaceful here, I'd love to forget all the problems our dear country is experiencing, but problems are popping up even in the most unexpected places.  There seems to be trouble in small towns as well as in big cities.  I am so thankful that we can take all our problems to our Heavenly Father, and place all our concerns in His hands.  And so, that's what we do.  Because, Praise God, in this country we can still pray!  And He still hears!

God Bless You All!  
More later!