Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clear Lake and Galveston Area of Texas

Our daughter, Joy, showed us the area around Clear Lake and Galveston that received massive damage during Hurricane Ike in September. RV’s are parked in Sea Brook as temporary homes for many of the residents who were flooded from the thirteen-foot high waves during the storm surge. The house that Joy lives in only had windows broken, fence damage and pool equipment broken when a neighbor’s tree fell on the property. Homes on the beach weren’t so fortunate. The Dairy Queen even had a sail boat float to the front of the building.

Although the historical buildings along the Strand are still standing, they are without electric power two months after the disaster. We saw generators and huge temporary sewers used by workers who are cleaning up the flooded area. The traffic lights are not working but there wasn’t traffic since the shops are closed. Further inland, you see windows that are boarded up and tarps on some roofs but most people are living life much as before the hurricane.

We boarded the free ferryboat to Crystal Beach, where there wasn’t much left. We saw boats in trees, piles of debris, and areas where houses used to be. These pictures show some of the devastation.

On a happier note, the fifteen-minute ferry ride was delightful. Terry, Joy and I loved watching the porpoises dance in syncopation and convort in the waves. Unfortunately they moved so fast that it was difficult to photograph them. The gray pelican was more accommodating. I was amazed at their wingspan.

In Kemah, some of the restaurants are beginning to open. We had a delicious meal at the Salt Grass restaurant before returning to the campground on Lake Conroe.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Terry's Birthday

Terry was so surprised when he saw the desert for the Brunch in the Castaway’s RV Clubhouse – a chocolate Birthday cake topped with a yellow ducky wearing a Texas cowboy hat. He made a comment years ago that he never had a yellow ducky so I bought him one. Since storage in an RV is at a premium, it was placed in a closet and then given to a grandchild.

Terry asked about it again this year so I bought him a new rubber ducky when we were at Wall Drug Store in South Dakota and waited to give it to him as a topping for his cake. I said that it is a reminder for Terry to have fun this year. Hope you have fun too.

To see a photo more clearly, double click on the photo.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grandson Jake

Our grandson, Jake, spent two delightful week-ends with us.

We took a half-day trip to Davy Crockett National Forest where Jake is standing in the tall pines.

Back home in the RV, we showed Jake pictures of the places and animals that we have seen this year.

Jake tried on the reenactment outfit that Terry wore in Indiana at the Missessinewa reenactment of the War of 1812 trip. (Terry took the trip while us women were at the Texas wedding.)

The football pictures are of the Livingston Junior High Football game. Jake is # 92. This picture shows how the Livingston Jr. High Football team has it all- players, extra players, cheerleaders, and the hospital in the background. They won the game 13-6!

Darlene's Costumes

We arrived in Livingston just in time to learn that the Escapees were having A Halloween costume party. With little time to create a costume, I dressed in black pants and sweater and wore my black cape and Terry’s tricorn hat. My sign said “ Icky Body Crane.” I wanted Terry to wear two shirts with one covering his head and go as the “Headless Horseman” but he refused to dress up. A couple wore regular shirts and jeans but each wore a sign that read, “ I’m a Keet.” Yes, they were a pair-of-keets. A witch rode her broom. A bosomy woman wore eyes that had slits like a cats and said that a vampire had gotten her. Other costumes were of pumpkins and cowboys and cowgirls. Yes, this is Texas.

I find it so much fun to wear costumes that I joined the Red Bonnets of Texas. I not only wore a red hat but also red shoes. We were whistled at when we crossed the road to eat lunch at “Out to Lunch”. What fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dinosaur Park

The next day, we toured the historical buildings in Glen Rose and ate at a small restaurant. We saw footprints in Dinosaur Park. It was weird to think of southern Texas as being under water and dinosaurs wandering around in the same space that we were now walking.

Second Trip to Texas

Can you believe that I went from Iowa to Texas to Iowa and returned to Texas and attended two weddings in thirteen days? We did not bring a camera to the elegant wedding of my niece Megan so I don’t have photos of it. . The wedding was held in the Botanical Center in Des Moines with the reception in the Marriott hotel. The attendants were chic in their black dresses. The sports minded couple joked about his allegiance to the Chicago Cubs and hers to the St. Louis Cardinals.

We met our Escapee friends, Jerry and Joanne Pomeroy at a Corps of Engineers park near Benbrook, Texas. From our hilltop campsite we could see the skyline of Fort Worth. On Wednesday, we wandered among the brass longhorns in a park in Dallas and visited the grassy knoll where President Kennedy was shot. The somber presentation of that awful day was vividly portrayed in the museum on the sixth floor of the Book Exchange Building where Oswald stood. As Joan and I stood looking out the window, we heard the eerie sounds of sirens below us.
We met Terry’s cousins, Bill and Joanne Miller at the Red Lobster restaurant. We told stories and laughed so much that some octogenarians seated near us wanted to join the fun. Don asked if we were part of a comedy club. Joan said that we didn’t have a home but lived in our RV’s and met on the road while the other couple was Terry’s cousins who were still working. His astonished expression made Joanne laugh while the rest of us joined in. Don said we could remember them by thinking of Don Juan. He was Don while his wife is Wanda. I’m not sure if Don believed us when I introduced the others as Billy, Terry, Jerry and Joan and Joanne. He asked if we knew who the sixth President of the US was. We answered Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, Madison and John Quincy Adams but were not sure what order they were in. Don gave Joan and me a gold John Q. Adams one-dollar coin. We might be homeless but now we had money.

We were having so much fun telling stories that we didn’t want the evening to end. When we returned to Jerry’s truck after stopping for ice cream, Joan said, “ We‘re in trouble. The curfew at the Corps of Engineer Park is ten o clock .” Sure enough, we were locked out! The guys jumped the fence and walked the mile or so uphill to our campsite and returned with our car to pick up us women and load up the camera s and laptop and jackets and stuff. When the guys returned the next morning to retrieve the truck, Terry told the attendant that he felt like a teenager who had missed his curfew. The attendant asked, “ Did you bring a note from your mother?”

The Trip to Texas

Sorry that I ‘m late with getting these blogs on the Internet. When we went to Texas and set up the satellite, Terry found that the modem was no longer working. It took weeks to get a new modem. I’m fortunate that I have a husband who can diagnose computer problems, explain what we need to fix the problem, order the part, and then fixes it. Thank you, Terry!

I had a delightful trip to Texas and back to Iowa with my lovely daughter and two beautiful granddaughters to Ann’s wedding. (See previous blog.) You would think that there were problems with four women and one bathroom but no one complained. We had fun swimming in the pool, relaxing in hot tub, climbing on the rocks that overlook the Fourche River, and shopping at Cracker Barrel and at the Precious Moments place in Carthage, Missouri. Amanda caught the bouquet from the bride and was thinking about her wedding in 2009. I learned that Kari loved her teddy bear named George which her boyfriend Brad gave her. The weather was perfect. The only bad thing that happened was that I gave my cold to my daughter Karol.