Florence, TX – November 29th, 2016 to January 8th, 2017

Well shortly after leaving Galveston, wasn’t even to Texas City, I started getting cars honking at me and waving for me to slow down. I looked in my rear view mirror to see huge sheets of plastic flying off the side of my trailer.

The coroplast under most of the trailer blew off in the high winds today. With all the other small things that have happened with the trailer this was frustrating. I didn’t want to drive all the way back to Oklahoma with the exposed under carriage. I called the dealer in Oklahoma and they got me in touch with a local dealership to get it replaced. I setup an appointment for the beginning of January. (I later had to go to another dealership because the first one told me they would need the trailer for a month)

This was after the accident last month. I ended up not getting the front end of the truck repaired. I ordered the mirror parts I needed directly from GM and on Amazon. Not sure there is anything you can’t find on Amazon.

The place my mom found me to camp was the Country Oasis RV Park. This park has been open for about a 100 days when I showed up. The other places I would have stayed were all booked up for the winter. The people running it are extremely friendly. The biggest issue I had with the park is that the sewer dumps were uphill and 35 feet from where my tank valves were. But for $400/month plus electricity I didn’t complain. Just bought the sewer solution. This masticates the solids and pushes everything up hill. Worked out really well and I figured there were other places I could use it. The sewer dumps aren’t always going to be well situated.

The other thing about this park being so new is that they didn’t have a propane refill station. So I first started going to Pinnacle Propane. Which was $15/20 lbs. Well the second time I went there they couldn’t fill that day. So I had to go down the road to Liberty Hill and P & R Propane. Here it was a couple of bucks cheaper and it was about the same distance. But with it being winter the temperature did get down to freezing a couple of times.

I woke up one morning and the water hose was frozen. Fortunately nothing broke. I ended up going to Home Depot and getting a heat gun so that I could thaw things out. I also then ordered a CAMCO insulated electric water hose.  I’ve had plenty of time to test it now and am not sure that the heated hose really makes much difference. When it gets cold now I just fill up the internal tank and live off that for the few days the temperature is below freezing.

Fortunately, being near my parents allowed for mail and Amazon packages to be delivered quickly. I think the month of December I almost had a package arrive daily. It was great to be so near my parents for 3 months. Part of the reason I choose to go the travel trailer route was so that I could spend more time with my family. Whether it’s Colorado, Oklahoma, or Texas. I tried to at least go by my parents once a day. And they took pity on me and fed me dinner. I’m fortunate to have their support and love during this transition.

I’ve been lucky that I’ve spent every Christmas with my parents. Also, my mom’s birthday is Christmas Eve. Only time I remember missing that was when Ticketmaster was doing Red Cross fundraiser on Christmas Eve and I had to stay at the call center to make sure the computers didn’t crash. Drove overnight to be there Christmas morning to open presents. Presents are always opened on Christmas day. My grandparents always made sure that mom got to celebrate her birthday.

Christmas is a very special time. I’ve tried to go out of my way find special presents for my family. Not always easy since sometimes I don’t get to spend time with everyone to know what their interests are anymore. I also sorta of do this because I’m horrible about remembering birthdays through the year. My way to make up for that. Plus I enjoy doing it. Tis the season of giving after all.

But it’s not all about presents. There’s baking.

I love making Cookie Press cookies. Well that and Fudge.

Then there’s Family.

This little girls loves S’mores.

Then there are Christmas Lights. Harlien Family Christmas lights. This house is decorated to the hilt as a fundraiser for the Make a Wish foundation.

All of these things make each and every Christmas special. But I realize that things may not always be this way. So I am enjoying them while I can.

There were just a few other things I did during this time. First I drove by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house. It was about a half hour away. All the tips I received said to not walk onto the property. This is Texas after all.

I went and saw Slim Cessna down on Red River at Stubbs for the 5th time overall and the 3rd time in Austin.

Not sure why I’ve seen them so many times in Austin. The term I’ve heard used to describe SSAC is Cow Punk. It is very much what you’d imagine an old style church revival to be. Such a rush everytime I’ve seen them.

I found the Dahlia Cafe in Liberty Hill which has a wonderful breakfast and looks like a fun place to hang out in the spring during the evening.

One of the strange things I’ve seen in Austin every year is people go and decorate random trees along the side of the road.

From what I’ve read people do this to remember those family members who have passed.

Oh and I solved this puzzle a couple of times.

My Grandpa Scott and Herb Sheldon always had puzzles laying around the house. So whenever I visited I tried to solve them.

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