It was a busy winter in Texas. Most of our time was filled with work, but we also had some time to relax and visit with friends and family. Reinvesting ourselves in the lives of those we love in Texas is always a blessing and we miss them greatly as we travel. It is good to see friends on a regular basis (especially each week at church) and know the details of the joys and share in the struggles and pains of life. We are encouraged by good news and hurt with them when difficulties arise. This year there was an abundance of both - joy and sorry. Not sure how much our Texas friends know how close we hold them to our hearts and pray for their welfare. It is hard to leave each Spring.
Almost every weekend while in Texas, we ate BBQ Brisket. We would either explore a new place or try an old favorite. It was all good eats, and it was difficult to choose a favorite. It is difficult to get good smoked brisket outside of Texas so nine months out of the year we live with a void.
Winter is also the time of Science Fair. Each winter we return to Austin to see family, escape extreme cold, and work for the Science Fair. It has become a permanent temporary job and while we are exhausted by the time we leave, we really enjoy it. In this photo, published by the Austin Statesman, you can see Susan walking by Derrick (in the red shirt) during Senior judging.
Occasionally Trey is asked to present seminars at various RV Shows. This year he traveled to Boston and Denver to present. At the Boston Show his presentation was preceeded by a wild animal presentation.
He was the only presenter in Denver, but he did get to meet a few superheroes.
Before leaving Austin we got together with Trey's family for his dad's birthday. I don't know why we don't take pictures when we visit family. I guess there just too many things to talk about and we forget. Still, I would have loved to have a photo of Trey's parents and his sister and brother-in-law sitting around the table. Next time.
When we left Austin, we drove to Bellville to spend some time with Susan's mom (again, too much to talk about and no pictures!). We ran errands, made plans, and just sat and talked a bit. It was a good visit and we enjoyed our time with her.
Friday afternoon we drove to Brenham to meet up with Raymond and Janet who were passing through on their way to Boston. Raymond is participating in the Boston Marathon this year so they are driving/training/driving/training as they travel. I know their schedule is exhausting and we are thankful that they made a little time to detour to see us (the temptation of Whataburger also helped!) Even though Janet and I correspond regularly, it was wonderful to see them in person. A hug from a friend is always a good thing!
Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
We had a few errands to run and a little time to kill so Saturday morning we walked to the post office and explored the car show (1970s and older) on the town square. We hadn't had much time to site-see since last November so it was a good distraction and a little healthy exercise.
As we walked home from the car show, a 5K was just finishing up at the RV park where we were staying. You can see our RV at the finish line! (yes, sometimes we remember to pull out the camera phone!)
Susan's brother and his family drove in for lunch Saturday and we had burgers at our favorite burger joint (really a biker bar) and caught up a little. Later that evening, Susan's aunt and cousin drove in for a visit. It is always good to see family and share with those you have known since childhood.
We left Bellville and drove to Perry GA, with a quick overnight outside of Mobile, AL. We were at an RV rally in Perry for about a week. Between winter work, family visits, hours on the road, and rally work, we were exhausted. We departed Perry and drove a few miles south to Perry, FL for a couple of weeks recuperation and shifting gears.
We saw a sign that said "Touch a Truck" and decided to drive to the park Saturday to see what it was. All kinds of heavy work equipment was on display. Electric utility vehicles, air boats, school buses, fire trucks, road work equipment, garbage trucks, big tow trucks... pretty much a young boy's delight! It was a delight for us, too. We talked to several folks who explained their jobs, trucks and how they worked. With the recent events in Austin, we talked to the bomb squad guys a little and got an idea of what work life looked like to them. We noticed that their 85 lb bomb attire had no gloves. Everything is (somewhat) protected except their hands. You can't work on a bomb with gloves on! And if something went wrong gloves would not help.
Having spent the last eight winters working for the electric utility in Austin it was fun to talk to the bucket truck lineman Electrician. When we were discussing the fiberglass boom he told us that when they tested this brand new truck on delivery, it failed the arc test. This brand new truck failed to insulate the bucket from the ground. Reordering a faulty part fixed the problem, but what a dangerous job that is!
We saw many other pieces of large machinery and a demonstration of what happens in a roll-over when you don't wear a seatbelt.
We took a detour to Florida for one reason only. That should happen this weekend. Most of you can probably figure it out. More on that later.