Friday, March 19, 2010

Monday March 15, 2010-Stephen F. Austin SP

We woke this morning to another great weather day here at the park. It is warming up during the day, but is still chilly at night, so a blanket feels good in bed. Stella fixed us some breakfast and the people started coming over for firewood and ice pretty early. The boys, especially Cameron, have been a BIG help to us with the sales. Cam has pretty-much taken it over, and does not even need help taking care of people. Since we don't have to make change, he knows how much a bundle of wood costs, so he's doing it all for me. Thanks buddy!!

We made our early morning (9:00) bathroom checks this morning. Tyler rode over to the day-use area with me on the golf cart to check it. There is so little use of that area, it seldom needs attention other than a good sweep-out. We rode through the park on our way back home.

Today, we need to go pick up our porch and the platform that Ken is building for me at his shop in Manvel. Since it's a duty day here at the park, I let the boys decide who would stay here and who would go with me. Tyler decided that he would stay here with MeMaw and help her and Cameron would ride to Manvel with me. I'm sure that Tyler figured he'd get to spend a lot of his time on the computer, but I think he was mistaken. Stella said they were very busy the whole time we were gone. Cam caught a nice nap on the way down, but we made good time getting to Manvel.

I turned off into the Rodeo Palms subdivision when we got into Manvel. It hasn't changed a bit since I left there, except that every other house is for sale. The people that bought in this subdivision all seemed to use the adjustable rate mortgages to buy and now that they've been there for a few years, the mortgage interest is rising, and the houses go on the market. It's really sad, the way the housing market has gone. It went from anyone that could walk in the door of a finance company would qualify for an A.R.M. and although the house prices were a bit higher, they sold. Now, house prices are much lower, and it is almost impossible to get a loan. Ask me how I know? We have marked our house down by 1/3 and have had a deal to sell it twice, but the loans didn't go through for one reason or another.

We went on over to Ken's place and met him out in his shop. He had told me that everything was ready, so we started putting the new platform into the truck. Well, as it turned out, he had not allowed for the feet on the legs of the platform, so the measurement was off by one inch. We tried it without the feet, but it would have been so tight, we would have had to force it down on the sides of the fuel tank and I didn't want to put any pressure on the tank. I could just see the metal to metal rubbing a hole in the tank and 100 gallons of diesel leaking out. Nope, we decided that Ken will redo the platform and I will pick it up on Wednesday. We have to bring the boys home and will be showing our house to someone that day, so we won't have to make a special trip. The porch looks very nice and he made a few improvements to it for us. We loaded it into the truck and came on back to San Felipe.

Cameron is like his MeMaw in that he has to use the bathroom every thirty minutes or so. It had been about two hours since he had gone, so as soon as we got in the truck, he needed to stop. We stopped at the Valero station since I knew it was the cleanest in town. When we stopped, I noticed a familiar Ford Expedition turning in front of us, and sure enough, it was Ralph Garcia, Chief of Police in Manvel, stopping for coffee. Ralph and I had a nice chat while Cam took care of his business. Although Ralph didn't admit it to me, there have been many problems at the PD since I left. They have had a huge turnover in personnel and things are not going well. No, they didn't have these problems because I left, but I got out just in the nick of time. This is a tale for Wayne Dolcefino or another one of those investigative reporters. Trust me, it's a good one.

Cam and I came on back home and set the porch up. Wow, what a difference it makes! Cassie is happy to come outside now, even eager. She hates the fold out steps because they are too steep for her to feel comfortable going down them. Its good to be home again. We helped to sell some more wood and ice and called it a night.

We built a small fire in our firepit and had a nice time sitting around the fire. The two boys enjoyed it, especially when I added the copper to give the fire color. Both of them had seen it before, but it is still fascinating to watch. We stayed out for about two hours before going back inside. The weather was cool enough to enjoy the fire but not cold enough to make it uncomfortable.

So long

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