Sunday 01 We went to Union Park United Methodist Church for Worship. Tom was the liturgist for the first service. Nathan, Beth and the kids had broken camp and left by the time we returned to Cutty’s Des Moines Camping Resort. We spent the afternoon with John and Dawn. It was a very laid back relaxing day.
Monday 02 It was lightly raining as we got ready to pull the Excel out of Cutty’s campground. The slideout didn’t want to come in so we called Travis. He and Dennis came and helped get it in. We finally got on the road sometime around 9:30.
We stopped in a rest stop in northern Missouri and saw another couple pulling a smallish travel trailer. We found ourselves following them for mile after mile. Eventually, I told Ella that we were going to need to pull off at the next exit for gasoline. So, I chuckled to myself when I saw the travel trailer pulling off just ahead of us. We followed them into a Casey’s. Of course we got to talk with the other couple this time. They were Kenneth and Phyllis from Independence Iowa. He asked where I was headed and I said, “Liberty Hill, Texas.” When I asked Kenneth where they were headed he replied, “Dallas. Where are you stopping for the night?” I said that we’d most likely stop at a Walmart somewhere along the line. He said that they were headed for Nevada, Missouri and a RV park called Osage Prairie.
At one time, our Iowa family was planning to follow us south as far as southern Missouri or northern Kansas. One of my friends had suggested Osage Prairie as a good place where we could all camp together. As it turned out, none of the family could make the trip with us and yet we ended up camping there anyway.
We arrived at the RV park about an hour ahead of K & P. We found out that they’d had a flat on their truck and a highway patrolman stopped and changed the tire for them. Once we were all settled in, they asked if we wanted to go with them to Buzz’s for supper. We did.
Tuesday 03 We were up and on the road before K&P were out and about so we didn’t get to say goodbye to them. We drove through constant mist and occasional rain all the way through Missouri, Oklahoma, and into Texas.
We thought we had set our GPS to take us out and away from Dallas. However, we ended up following it right through downtown Dallas during rush hour and in the rain. There were also several accidents which had the lanes closed in places. It took over two hours to get through there.
Although we were driving in fairly heavy rain, it wasn’t a big problem until we got to Temple. They have been rebuilding I35 through Temple for at least four years now. With the lane closures and lack of lane markings, it can be challenging enough. However, add in the rain, night, and pulling a 35 foot fifth wheel and it was a white knuckle drive.
Around 9;30 p.m. we pulled into the Cross Tracks Church parking lot. There was a meeting going on in the fellowship hall, so we went in and said hello to folks and let them know that we were parked out there. And shortly thereafter we were asleep.
Being parked in the Church parking lot made it very easy for us to be the first ones to arrive for Grandies*.
However, before Grandies we went to Sonic for breakfast and then stopped at Dollar General to look for a 30 amp automotive fuse that was needed for the slideout motor. They had none so we went to Winkley’s Hardware who also had none. From there we went to an Auto Parts store where we were able to purchase the needed fuse.
Once a month Grandies has a party to recognize birthdays and anniversaries. Well this was the day. Some of them seem to be having a contest to find the hottest pepper cheese and bring it to share with the rest of us. I enjoy the cheeses more than I should, I think. Plus this time they brought jalapeno cornbread crackers that hat quite a zing also.
After Grandies we took the Excel to the Stocktank RV Park and put it on a temporary site. The site that was reserved for us was still occupied by someone who was supposed to have moved before we arrived. She was months behind in her site rent and had “trash” all around the site. The landlord gave her an ultimatum to leave or be towed away by the police.
We weren’t really setup for preparing a meal at the RV so we went to Jardin Corinas for lunch. We have become that old couple that orders one meal and shares it. Not only did we share it, we had to ask for a to go box.
We made it to the once a month Choir party. Choir practice is every Wednesday evening. Ella sings alto and I sing the low bass parts. However, Ella’s jaw was still bothering her. (Remember the fall that left her black and blue?)
Thursday 05 As we were leaving the Stocktank, we noticed that some of the trash had been moved from the site that would soon be ours. We donated a wheel chair to Cross Tracks Church and took three or four trash bags full of clothing to Operation Liberty Hill**. By then it was time to go to the Over The Hill Gang*** for games and lunch. It was nice to reconnect with friends that we hadn’t seen in about five months.
Friday 06 was another day to reconnect. This time with the folks at the Leander Senior Center. We were surprised at how few people there were in attendance. Jerry and Gloria played Mexican Train with us as did Marvin (he played Ella’s hand she went to the bathroom). Lunch was hamburgers … add your own toppings. We also picked up some cookies and donuts holes. I was hoping that there would be bread, as we are nearly out.
I had called in a prescription to the Walmart pharmacy so we stopped and picked up a very few groceries. However the doctor had not called in a new prescription yet. So no medications for me.
Saturday 07 This was the morning when we moved the Excel onto our site for the rest of the winter. The only hiccup in the move was that there was a bicycle race/ride on the highway. I waited until there was a break in bike traffic and then pulled onto the road for less than a block long drive. As I signaled for a left turn, someone in a pickup passed us on the left in a no passing zone. I thank God that I checked my mirror before beginning the turn.
After getting the Excel situated and hooked to water and electric we attempted to get the slideout out. I had first replaced the 30 amp fuse that had blown back in Iowa. The slideout started out but then would go no further, even with me pushing on it. I went to our neighbor, Tim, and asked to borrow some muscle power. With the two of us pushing while Ella held the “out” button, it extended like it is supposed to. It is nice to have good neighbors. We will try to BE good neighbors also.
While I was getting the stabilizing jacks down and the awning out, our neighbor to the west came over. She remembered me from last year when I had helped her put up “pop up awning”. Unfortunately, the wind came along later and left it all twisted and unusable.
Being Saturday, we drove the 30 miles to Round Rock High School so that we could watch grandson Tate play flag football. He is fast and has a lot of natural ability. However, the thing that impresses me the most is, he gives it his all every time. If he is carrying the ball, never once does he look back. If he his chasing the ball carrier, he doesn’t quit then either. It is all “eyes on the prize.”
Once the game was over we then went to Adam and Leigha’s for the afternoon. Ella did a couple loads of laundry while we visited with them. We spoke of many things, of cabbages and kings. Both of them have new jobs since we saw them last (5 months). In the evening Leigha and Adam made tacos for supper. Before it was full on dark, we left for the 30+ mile drive home. It was dark when we arrived home.
Sunday 08 We attended Cross Tracks Church for worship and Sunday School. We really missed these people and this place while we were in Iowa. I had a little special surprise. Wade Burleigh, one of the Santas that I had met at Santa University, was in the congregation. He had been attending the festival for the International Sculpture Garden in Liberty Hill yesterday. He saw one of our members wearing his t-shirt with the Cross Tracks Church logo and asked when the services were.
Before we left for church, I had started some ribs in the crock pot. They weren’t quite done when we returned so we played a couple rounds of board games. By then the ribs were ready.
After lunch we moved the table, chairs, and recliners and vacuumed beneath.
Then it was nap time.
After a short nap I decided to get the TV set up. First I had to change batteries in the remote. Then I ran a search for channels. It located 13 about half of which are Spanish speaking
Monday 09 Columbus Day (also called Indigenous People Day in Austin). The only thing on our calendar for the day was a 1:30 appointment with the dermatologist. We slept in … a little. I went out and set up the patio area by putting down some indoor/outdoor carpet. I then put out a table and camp chairs. Once breakfast was ready, we sat outside to eat.
Later Ella brought to Fast Track game outside also, We played games until nearly eleven. That was when I moved inside to work on this blog.
While we were playing, te dermatologist office called to say out appointment was rescheduled until the 13th of November. That meant that we had no reason to leave home at all.
*Grandies is a service organization that meets every Wednesday in the Church’s fellowship hall. The group is comprised of “old folks” who are (mostly) grandparents. Hence the name Grandies. We have a card ministry where we send birthday, anniversary, missing you, hope you get better, sorry for your loss, and other types of cards to church members and others. We also donate money and merchandise to the local schools for the care of the homeless children there. We support **Operation Liberty Hill by donation and service. We have a Sack Lunch program during the summer because some children rely on the school lunch program for what may be their only meal of the day. The Sack Lunch kicks in while school is in recess for the summer.
**Operation Liberty Hill is a Thrift Store and Food Pantry.
***Over The Hill Gang is a member funded senior center in Liberty Hill, Texas.