Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On the Road Again



Adios Bandera!

This past month has gone by very quickly and our time is up at the Farm Country RV Park.   We certainly enjoyed our stay while here, meeting several folks from not only Minnesota but also a couple that live near us in  St. Joseph MI.   They return to the park each year and we suspect our paths will cross again.   This RV lifestyle that we are enjoying certainly is a small world.   There is something very special about the RV community…nearly everyone looks out for one another.    As soon as we lifted the hood of an engine…several men were jiffy on the spot to assist in any way they could…  I was very moved at the warm feel we had  as we said “Happy Trails” to many that we didn’t even know names of.   Strange isn’t it, after many  years of city life, I was hard-pressed to know many of my neighbors there. 

We headed out through Kerrville and on into Fredericksburg.  Oh how I wish I could have stopped for a visit.   The community was settled by predominately German folks in the mid 1800’s and naturally the architecture and quaintness of the homes and businesses is right up my alley.    That place will definitely be on my bucket list for a  return visit.    Maybe we will find a nearby park to spend a month in next year.   There is so much to see in the region. 

Highway 16 is two lane State Highway that twists and turns with very few spots that did not have a double yellow line or a shoulder.   I couldn’t take any pictures to share with you , as I was entirely too busy hanging onto the steering  wheel.    It would not take too much to get into real trouble if one was not paying attention to the road.  


Although the Hill Country is just that…(hills),  the type of rock varies a great deal.   The rocks changed quickly from limestone outcroppings, to red rocks and even some marble looking rocks.   As we traveled we wondered why so many of the rancher’s  land was cleared of the Cedar and left in burn piles.    We learned this evening from our current park host that the reason they clear all of the Cedar trees off of their land is due to the fact that they  are such moisture gobblers, and the Oaks have difficulty competing. 

Our resting spot for the next couple of days is a small mom and pop RV park also out in the country near Lampasas, TX.   We have not seen the livestock yet but we understand we are in the company of donkeys, goats, sheep and peacocks.


Summer is returning to the area again.   Tomorrow’s prediction is for a warm 83 degrees. Our internal batteries are thankfully recharged once again.   It feels good for us to be exploring once again.


Thanks for checking up on us.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Enough Said!


I have been dealing with medical frustrations lately and my sister in law was kind enough to lend this to me for the blog.   So very appropriate !   I hope that Sherry and David of “In the direction of our dreams” will see this as well to help them in their current battle with life’s challenges.  


Lately, I have been trying to set up future Neurology appointments for Bob after we get home.   How frustrating!   I have to ask myself just how does one go about providing efficient care as a care giver when the medical community sets up so many roadblocks.    I cannot make an appointment for the Neurologist unless we are given a referral by our primary doctor.   He will not give the referral until he see’s us again and presently the scheduling for the Neurologist already has a backlog of several months.     The Neurologist as well as the primary physician needs medical records from our hospital stay in Nashville, which they have yet to send. (no rush, that was only the 7th of December)  

Now I ask…how do we do it????  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whole lot of nothing going on

Sometimes I think that we wear ourselves out trying to do too much.   I seem to need more downtime lately than Bob does.   I imagine most  is due to the life changing situation that we are currently living.    Today, I drove into Bandera to the City Park that borders the Medina River.   I could have just found a nice sunny spot to watch the river flow.    I am not sure which was lazier, me or the river. 

I usually have the camera with me at all times and today we found a perfect spot for pictures.  I could tell by the bare ground around the area that this tree has seen many many different faces for those special Kodak moments.


It took a little doing to maneuver ourselves into the hollow of the tree, but we made it.


Gee, it looks like we are in pain though doesn’t it?  So, we tried another spot …


A little better, but still no smile…

Oh well there is always another day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Who ever said Texas was flat????

The temperature was flirting with the 70’s mark, the sun was shining, and we were chomping at the bit to go exploring again.
Our neighbors told us to go through Medina to Hwy 337 and enjoy the ride through the hills to Leakey (pronounced Lakey).   The highway was in excellent shape and best of all there was hardly any traffic so intense gawking was enjoyed.  
After the intense rains of this past weekend, the air was fresh and clean allowing things to green up a bit and we even saw the beginning of a few wild flower blossoms.
The highway goes through a pass that is referred to as the Swiss Alps of Texas.   It was breath taking!   I only  wish that my digital camera could capture what the eye is able to see and the incredible sounds of silence.  

Many of the road signs  warned of sharp turns,  with little, if any,  shoulder to use for emergency.
Building that highway must have been accomplished with Donkey’s because  the sides were either straight up  or straight down.   Bob kept saying “Oh Wow”
  It sure was fun driving up and down though.   Along the way, as we were climbing one of the hills, a sign stated that 12 motorcyclists have lost their lives on this highway since 2006.   Use caution!    We saw lots of bikers ignoring the warning and enjoying the hills and turns at a good clip.    This area is soon to be filled with bikers for the Thunder in the Hills bike rally.   I, for one, am happy we could enjoy the peace and quiet  today.
On the other side of the hills, in Leakey, the area  is very popular with cabin and cottage rentals along the Frio River even though the small town  has only a population of 423.   I am certain they are not for the budget minded vacationers though. 
Naturally along the way, I found a few more places that I could just move into and be as happy as a clam.  Do you think that I may have been born 100 years too late with my choice in housing?
Just look at those hills in the background.  Another beautiful day in retirement…..
Thanks for checking up on us.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Alamo and the River walk

We have been taking a vacation from the vacation.   Our entire winter has been enjoyable seeing so many sights and experiencing new things almost everyday since we left Michigan in October.     We never had given any thought to the possibility of spending three days in a nice hotel with all of the bells and whistles.

A friend and his family could not make the flight to San Antonio after prepaying the hotel (which also was not refundable).   Heck, we decided rather than make daytrips  into San Antonio, we would just pack  ourselves up and use this time as a break in the action ourselves.   I am glad we did because it has probably been much easier on the both of us having a place to rest during the day.  

The weather wasn’t very kind with quite cool temperatures and sometimes heavy rain but none the less we  still had a good time touring the Alamo.    The pictures didn’t turn out very well unfortunately due to the weather, but maybe just the fact there is no snow in them and some flowers are in bloom, you may enjoy them anyhow..

I was able to get a quick snap of the Alamo in between downpours…

P1010287You can see the spots on the lens…we were soaking wet all day.


The patina of the limestone in many of the buildings in downtown San Antonio is just beautiful.  It is art to me !


The giant Oak trees and the cactus gardens  on the grounds are artwork  in themselves as well.




By the time we walked along the River walk, it was pouring and we were getting tired.  Bob had not only walked over a mile but he was determined to go up and down steps rather than use the elevators down to the River.

P1010308He must have climbed up and down four flights of steps.  I admire his moxi.P1010292LOOK MA…….NO ….CANE !!!! 


Large Mosaic depicting San Antonio history. 



We could have enjoyed a ride but somehow it would not have been the same…..

another great day in retirement!!!!


afterthought: We found that if folks are coming to San Antonio, rather than paying for expensive parking, day passes on  public transportation can be purchased for 3.75/day.   In our case, being that Bob is  disabled, the handicap hanger qualified us for free parking in the City Lots.   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Walking Shoes and a surprise

Many years ago during the early years of my career the airline that I was working for made an earnest effort at enforcing the dress code to include high heels for our required footwear.   Fortunately, after a few years of policing somewhat unsuccessfully,  they resigned themselves  reluctantly allowing more comfortable, sensible footwear for us airport agents.   


I probably jumped the “dress code Nazi ship” earlier than most of my colleagues and started with the purchase of my first pair of SAS walking shoes.    The shoe is certainly not going to win any awards for fashion design however they are practical, durable and very comfortable.   To make a long story short, I have  since recruited Bob to wear them as well over the past several years. 


Since we are visiting San Antonio and this is where the headquarters and factory is for the  SAS shoe, we paid a visit to the store for a new pair of shoes for each of us.   What a surprise we received.   This is by far the most interesting shoe store we have ever been into.



P1010238P1010200The grounds of the SAS Factory is like stepping back 75 years in time.   There are old classic cars, vintage clothing, antiques, reconstructed service stations like this picture above, old fashioned ice cream shop, very old advertising signs, cobble stone street, as well as an area to watch the stages of shoe making.  





Remember the classic Burma Shave signs…they are here too.








For the first time in years Bob was asking to go shopping just in order to see the sights.


If you are in the San Antonio, TX  area this is a fun stop to add to your list of things to do.


Have a good day, we did ! 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meandering here and there

Growing up as a child I fondly remember the family past time of “going for a ride”.   Mom and Dad would pile us four kids into the back seat and off we would go, with no particular place in mind.   Although today I don’t seem to recall any of those places,  the memory that has remained with me is the total absence of sound when Dad turned off the car.   He and Mom would say to us kids, “just listen”!    Recently, after bumping along the dusty ranch roads,  I find myself turning off the car and totally getting lost in the deafening  sound of silence once again. 
For a while yesterday, it was just Bob and me and the Buffalo.

There is something about this Hill Country that is tugging at my heart strings.   Maybe it is the wide open spaces or the quietness of small town living I am not sure, I do know that it is someplace south of the tension line for us.    
As we veered off onto another country road and yet another small town, Bob’s old eagle eye  spotted classic cars in many backyards and lean-to garages.   We each have our own personal therapy and this is a sampling of Bob’s love.

Clear Creek ~ Comfort
Further on down the path, we stopped at a historical wayside and found this gem.  It was a creative and booming business of it’s time.  
I am not sure but I suspect this was the shop in which the baskets were sold.    I could easily just bring a toothbrush and live here.  My kind of place ! 

A few miles on down the road was a wonderful find Comfort TX,  yet another antiquer’s paradise.   My only wish is that I had found some of these places while my mother was still alive.  She was my best friend especially when it came time to rummage for the antique treasures.  I know she would have loved this area as much as I do.


We found the most enjoyable diner to grab a bite to eat..the 7th Heaven Café.    Wonderful food and the gals that run the café were such a delight to talk with.   There just are not places left that the proprietor sits and visits with their guests.    We arrived as guests and left feeling like family.  How wonderful!
I guess there is no getting around progress, yet somehow the cars of today detract from the experience.    I vote we have parking lots separate from the historical dwellings.

One final spot for the day we found quite interesting.   If the modern conveniences of today’s lifestyle are too much to handle…there are options available.    The Guadalupe River is enjoyed for a price.   Camping at it’s finest!
One final option…goes to show, there is something for everyone.
Yet another great day on the “road trip of a lifetime”