Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday April 29, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Our friends Dan and Karen came in last night for the rally and we spend some time with them, sitting outside and chatting until it got too cold for comfort. We made arrangements to go to the Golden Egg restaurant tomorrow morning for breakfast. This morning, in spite of being from Michigan which is also in the Eastern time zone, they forgot to reset their clocks and were running a bit late this morning. It was no big deal and we all had a good laugh about it before going to eat a delish breakfast. We have eaten here several times before and it is one of our favorites. We returned home and then went to run some errands for the rally. 

Look at what I found on the back of the trailer. We are raising a robin, whose mother built a nest on the ladder on the back of the trailer.

Here's Momma! She flew across the street to watch me as I took pictures of the nest.

The nest that she built on the ladder. She built it pretty quickly because it wasn't here the other day.

The tiny blue egg. It's hard to believe that this tiny egg will produce a beautiful robin. 

So long.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday April 28, 2013-Elkhart Campground

It's been a few days since I've posted and I thought this was a good day to get caught up. We've been busy visiting with friends at the Heartland factory and working an in-house RV show for our friend and owner of RV Capitol, Rob Reid on Friday and Saturday. There was a city-wide show at the RV Museum but Rob decided to have his own show at his other location, the Elkhart RV Center. We worked for him about 6 hours on Friday and 5 hours on Saturday but there wasn't much traffic there. I did meet a couple from Massachusetts that had just ordered a new Bighorn. They are very interested in joining the Owners club and coming to some rallies. I hope they follow through on this and join us somewhere on the road.

It's very cool to meet people again, and I am planning to see some other blogger friends later this summer. I hope it works out. Of course I'll let you know about it when it happens.

The weather has gotten better. It's not getting below or close to freezing overnight and yesterday was a great day with clear skies and 70 degree temps. It rained early this morning and turned cooler but it's supposed to clear off and warm up this week. Of course, next Saturday it's supposed to rain again for the rally. Here's hoping that the forecast is wrong-again!

So long.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday April 24, 2013-Elkhart Campground

Notice I skipped right over yesterday? It's because we didn't leave home all day because of the weather. It rained all day and since we didn't have anything planned to do or anywhere to go that wouldn't wait a day or two, so we just stayed in.

We had made an appointment to meet with Rob Reid from RV Capitol this morning, so although it was very cold (35 degrees Brrr...) we went to his store and had a very good meeting with him, making plans for the rally. When we went out to leave it was SNOWING!! We then went to Martin Marketing to talk to Janice about the rally and when we left there it was snowing even harder and it seemed to be sticking to my windshield. Not wanting to be on the road in snow- hey I'm a southern boy and not accustomed to driving in snow- so we came back home. It continued to snow for awhile and the temp never rose, so we just stayed inside and watched the weather. The snow finally stopped but we were out of the mood to get out again- it was still COLD.

The sun finally came out about 4:30 but it was too late to get out and do anything else today, so I worked on our water line. We had a very low flow inside, so I went out to investigate. I had a good flow through the hose into the trailer but I found some rust at the screen into the trailer. I washed it out and flushed the lines out at the kitchen sink and in the bathroom. The sites where we are are located in the back of the park and probably haven't been used in a few months and needed a good flushing before hooking up. We now have good water flow and all is well again.

So long.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday April 22, 2013-Elkhart Campground

It was still cold (37*) this morning, but not below freezing which was a welcome change. It didn't stay cold for very long and soon it was a very nice day. Now THIS is why we come to the midwest!

We went over to see Rob Reid, owner of RV Capitol and the supporting dealer for our rally next weekend. When we got there, he told us that he has an open house this weekend and asked us to work it with him, and we told him yes. We worked another show for him a couple of years ago, and since he is sponsoring the rally, it's the least we can do for him. He was too busy to sit down with us today but we made plans to return on Wednesday and will get things done then.

We needed to go grocery shopping and I wanted to get the TV antenna working, so we started out for the grocery store. Along the way, I spotted a Dish Network van and pulled in and spoke to the technician. He gave me his supervisor's name and phone number and said for me to call him to make an appointment. I still had a few things to try before I used my "phone a friend". I got some electrical contact spray cleaner and then decided to try a new antenna cable as a last resort. When I got home, the spray didn't help but the cable did the trick and I soon had satellite TV again. Now to get set up with the local channels! After three more calls to Dish Network and being insulted again... I finally got hooked up with a "super tech" (his words) and he actually got it done. Now I'm a happy boy, the weather is great and I have good TV again.

This afternoon I put out the mat and set up our porch to complete the assembly of the campsite. Now just waiting on friends to arrive. Rally On!!

So long.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday April 21, 2013-Elkhart Campground

It was very cold here this morning, 24 degrees! Yikes, will winter never leave? Lucky I left the gray water valves open so we could drip the bathroom and kitchen to keep from freezing up. The fireplace ran all night and we finally turned it off and used the little portable heater that we brought. I had complained about lugging it along, but it paid for itself this morning.

We used the cold weather as an excuse to stay inside where we are warm. The only thing I did today was work on the satellite dish. I took it apart and checked all of the connections which were all tight. When I had the done off, I hooked the cables back up and the dish pointed at the birds in the sky, so I know it's working. I posted my problem on the Heartland Owners forum and have a couple of suggestions to try. We'll see how that works out...

In the afternoon, Stella took our clothes to the laundry here in the park. While she was there, I checked on Facebook and discovered that a couple, Harry and Jessica were parked on the other side of the park. I have been following their blog for awhile as they sold their house and went full timing. I went over and met them and learned that they are on their way to South Dakota to get their drivers licenses and to establish their residency there and would only be here overnight. They plan to return on their way back in a week or so, and we are planning to spend some time together then.

My pre-rally work starts tomorrow.

So long.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday April 20, 2013-Moving day- Terre Haute KOA to Elkhart Campground

With the time change to the eastern time zone, our sleep hours were somewhat confused this morning. We were up with coffee down by 8 o'clock and I went out to get to work. I chatted last night with Ken Baker, whose wife is working here at Terre Haute, so I went to the office to talk to her for a bit before I got busy. Ken is delivering RV's and had stopped by their home before returning to Elkhart to pick up another load, so Cory and I had something to talk about. They own a Bighorn trailer and have started on their long-time adventures in their trailer.

Since there wasn't much to do at home, we were pulling out before 9 and were almost to Indianapolis before we made our one and only pit stop. I know that truck stop food isn't nutritionally good for us, but it's tasty and CHEAP!! It filled us up and we were good to go.

The last time we went through Indy, the highway was under construction and we missed the turn for the loop around town. The GPS saved us and took us down Hwy. 31, the road to South Bend and Elkhart, and right beside Lucas Oil Stadium, but we got on the loop and missed seeing the stadium this trip. We made it into Elkhart about 3 and before you know it, we were set up and ready to rally! Well, it will be a week or so before our friends start to arrive for the rally, but we're ready when they get here.

Everything went well with the setup except the satellite dish. I have a good view of the sky, checked with the phone app for the location of the birds, the dish has power, but it just won't lock in on the satellite.

I want to vent and rant for just a minute about people on cell phones and texting while driving. Twice while on this trip I have seen drivers being distracted. One lady, who was texting,  and in my right hand lane, took an exit to another highway, which we were also on. When she realized what she had done, she dropped back behind me and cut across behind me to continue on the highway that we had been on. Wow! The second was even more scary. We were crossing a large bridge-without the trailer this time- when a pickup truck driver was talking on his cell phone. He drifted closer and closer and did in fact hit my mirror with his mirror. Of course, I let him hear my train horn and he moved right back over. I slowed down to let him go by but I noticed that he never put the phone down. He didn't even react in surprise when I blew the horn at him. I guess it was a very important call...
Thats all for now.

So long.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday April 19, 2013-Moving day-Dardenne Prairie MO to Terre Haute IN KOA

We stayed home all day yesterday because it rained and stormed all day and there were tornadoes forecast for the area, so we stayed in and watched the weather. I was not able to get the satellite dish to lock in because of the trees surrounding Sam's property but we got a dozen or so channels over the air antenna with a great picture, so we had some television to watch. 

We woke to very cold temperatures again this morning. Winter has returned to the midwest! We began to load up about 8 this morning after drinking coffee with Sam one last time.  Things went back in place very quickly and we were ready to back down his long driveway about 9. It took me several tries and I thought I had stuck the trailer in the soft mud one time, but I made it and we were backed out into the street and on our way. 

While we were loading up, I was working on my items outside and guess what? It began to snow on me! Snow had not been forecast but it was coming down! The snow was very light and it wasn't cold enough for it to stick, but it was plenty cold! It remained cold after we got on the road and we made a rest stop just after we entered Illinois, and it started to snow again! Wow, snowed on in two different states on the same day!

Tramp is ready to go! He sits up on the console and watches out for me. When he lays in his bed in the back seat and hears the turn signal go on and the truck begins to slow down, he jumps up to watch where we are going and why I am stopping.

We saw lots of high water along the highway. I guess all the snow melt and the recent rains have filled the rivers and streams. These photos were taken somewhere between the Missouri River and the Mississippi.

We arrived at the Terre Haute KOA about 1:15 our time but 2:15 their time since we're in the Eastern Time Zone. We'll get all the clocks reset since we'll be in Indiana for the next couple of months. At least it's not snowing!

So long.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday April 17, 2013-Sam Weibel's house-Dardenne Prairie MO

I have been looking forward to finally meeting Sam and his wife Donna for a long time. He is a fellow blogger and a retired police officer too, so we have a lot in common.

 It was raining when we arrived at Sam's place in Dardenne Prairie MO so we didn't try to park the trailer on the pad he has built to hold his own trailer or friends that stop to visit. You can see the water standing near the grass, which would have meant that I would have had to stand in it while working on the back side of the trailer.

He has a looooong drive up to his house. He has about 2 acres here and until just a few years ago, farms surrounded his property and he lived "out in the country". Then urban sprawl caught up to him and the farms sold out to developers, so now there are subdivisions all around.

The first place we went to was the Anheuser Busch brewery in St Louis. This is one of the oldest breweries in the United States and has been meticulously maintained. This building was built in 1892!  The plant was very clean and the tour was well run.

The first place we visited was the Clydesdale stables. These are gorgeous horses and we have enjoyed seeing them a couple of years ago in Hidalgo TX in the Rio Grande Valley.

They have several old wagons that were used to deliver cases of beer many years ago.Of course, the Budweiser Dalmation was a big attraction. He was very friendly and greeted each visitor with a sniff and a rub.

The famous Budweiser sign atop one of the original building. We were told that the sign was recently replaced with an LED light sign at a cost of $2.5 million. Wow!!

Here are just a few of the bottles of beer that were produced today. They gave us figures of how much they can produce and it is amazing! They showed us the beer beechwood aging barrels that hold 3600 barrels of beer and there are at least 5 of them! THAT  would give you more than one hangover!

From the brewery we went to the Transportation Museum. They had about 12 vehicles on display, ranging from an original Stanley Steamer to this cutie, probably one of the best looking cars ever produced, a 1957 Chevrolet. This convertible has been beautifully maintained and restored and on display here. I was told that they change out the cars monthly, so there is no telling what may be displayed if you visit.

From the car museum, we went over to the train section. This has a special meaning for Sam, whose grandfather was a railroader.

Large and small locomotives. 

The world's largest tank car. See below for more information.

This is a Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotives and tender car. It is one of 25 built, the world's largest successful steam locomotive ever built with a total weight of over 600 tons. It is over 132 feet long, carries 600 tons of coal and 25,000 gallons of water.

This 1939 General Motors engine was built using four diesel units to prove the efficiency of diesel power over steam.

One of the attendants allowed us to enter one of the dining/sleeper cars. Here is the tiny bathroom with a shower. Makes my trailer look like a mansion!

Here is the bedroom. There was an upper bunk that could be let down for another bed. It must have been meant for a long ride, note the dresser for clothing.

This fellow shows you how much room there was between the sink and couch. I believe that this was an observation car where people would have ridden during the day, before retiring to their bedroom.

This thing looks like an 18 wheeler! 

This one reminded me of the Monopoly tokens.

We returned home and rested for a bit before going out to eat at JJ's Restaurant in O'Fallon where Donna works. We had a great meal and Donna treated us! Certainly didn't expect that! This has been a fun stop and we appreciate Sam and Donna's hospitality. She will soon retire and they will begin their own retirement adventures. We wish them luck and hope they have as much fun as we have.

So long.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday April 16, 2013-Moving day-Springfield KOA to Sam and Donna's house. Dardenne Prairie MO

I'm starting this entry early in the morning so this part is still in Springfield MO/

First of all, I feel very bad about the events in Boston and wish everyone that was killed or injured in this incident receives God's blessing. I also feel for the law enforcement professionals that are working on this investigation and hope that they can locate and bring the person/people that are responsible for this act to justice.

I woke very early, as is usual for me, and by the time I had gone to the bathroom, Cassie had taken over my "warm spot" and was not moving, so I went to my chair and started catching up on the overnight updates. I was soon back asleep, which is also normal for me. I woke when I heard what I thought was the coffee pot gurgling, but quickly realized that it was raining. It continued to rain for awhile, and it knocked me right back out.

Cool weather has returned to our world! I checked the thermometer and it was 50 when I came into the living room and seemed to get colder. Sure enough, it is 46 right now at 7AM. I checked the forecast and see that we will have cool temps, even down into the 30's for the next week or so. We'll see....

Okay I'm back... It rained on us most of the way to St Louis and the temperature remained at 45. It had stopped by the time we arrived, about 2 o'clock. After a difficult back-into his driveway, we are set. We had a bit of trouble getting water to the trailer but it finally worked out and we have water and electricity.

It was very nice to finally meet Sam, who is also a retired Police Officer. Actually, Sam was the Chief of Police before he retired. I'm sure that we'll have some stories to swap before our stay here is done.

Sam fixed us a delicious pizza for supper and Donna made some amazing gooey butter cookies. We had a very nice visit with them but I was tired and came home to rest up. Sam said he will take us to the Anheuser-Busch brewery and if there is time, to the St Louis arch. We are looking forward to a good time here with our friends Sam and Donna.

So long

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday April 15, 2013-Moving day-Choctaw KOA to Springfield/Route 66 KOA, Springfield MO

I was up and outside working on packing up about 7:30 this morning and it paid off! Things went back into place very well and we pulled out about 9:30. I thought it was pretty good time because we hadn't made any preparations last night.

We made good time down the highway and except for the terrible roads on US-69, our trip went off without any problems. I was really surprised that nothing fell off or bounced out of place inside the trailer because of the bad roads.

We pulled into the Springfield KOA about 3:45. This park is inhabited by a lot of long-term people and it shows. The place is run down looking and we had to change sites because the first one was too short, even though Stella had told them our length. It will be all right for an overnight stop but not much more.

We should be at Sam and Donna's place in Dardenne Prairie by mid afternoon tomorrow. Looking forward to it!

So long.

Oklahoma Chapter Rally, Wednesday April 10 through Sunday April 14, 2013-Choctaw KOA

Wednesday and Thursday, many of the rally-goers arrived and got set up. This is a great park and only about four years old. The concrete sites are a bit narrow, but not bad, and the grass is very soft and pretty. They have low shrubs between the sites with large enough openings to allow for satellite dishes and other utility items that trailers need.

 Here is our site, #43. The patio is misplaced for a rig of our size and it would be even worse for a shorter trailer. We are situated at the hookups, water, sewer and electric but as you can see, some distance from the patio. Its really not a big deal and a short walk to the benches, covered by a metal awning that is permanently attached.

This is the main office for the park which included a small waiting area for the casino shuttles, a park store, game rooms and of course, a very nice rally/meeting hall.

Remember, it IS a Choctaw Indian Nation park. I'm not sure if this is one of the Choctaw Indian chiefs or just a wooden sculpture of an Indian, but it's very nice.

There was a good turnout for this rally. We are the fifth unit down and you can see the wide grassy area in front of us. There were two nice doggie parks directly across from us and our pups enjoyed romping there.

There was a very nice fireplace on one end of the rally hall. We could have used this the first couple of days here  but we didn't have access until today.

This is the rest of the rally hall. AS you can see, there are plenty of tables and chairs for us to use. I think the smaller round tables and stools got more use during the week, but this place is first class all the way.

We ate a lot (I'm talking A LOT!!) at the casino where they have four restaurants including one large buffet but what's a rally without a potluck? Larry and Donna did a great job of planning and executing this rally and the activities and games all went off without a hitch. Good job guys!

Although I didn't take any photos of the kitchen, it was superb, with industrial grade appliances and fixtures and they furnished all kitchen utensils and hardware, large coffee makers and coffee and just about anything one could want to serve large groups of people.

After eating, we all sat around chatting. Larry took advantage if the hall for games and it was also useful for anyone that wanted to play cards or dominoes.

Here are our friends Dan and Karen from Michigan and Bob and Pat, who are full timers from Texas. Dan and Karen have invited us to their home later this summer and we plan to take advantage of their offer. Bob (TxBobcat on the forums) has been a member of the south Texas chapter and are one of the original couples in the group.

Here are Rex and Stacy, Oklahoma chapter members and club members Monty and Judy who are from Idaho. They stopped by the rally on their way from the Rio Grande Valley on their further travels. The local state chapter rallies are open to any Heartland Owners Club member at no cost. Just one of the benefits of being a member of the club. Buy yourself a Heartland, join the club and you can come along and enjoy the fun.

This was a very trouble-free rally with no one breaking anything or have any accidents. There are still about 8 of us here and most will be leaving on Monday. We will be heading to Missouri and our friends Sam and Donna's place in Dardenne Prairie where we'll stay for a few days. It will be great to finally meet them on our way to Elkhart Indiana. We'll be hosting an Indiana chapter rally in hope of reigniting the chapter and finding a chapter leader. We plan to stay in Elkhart until the huge national rally in June. The fun is just beginning!

So long.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday April 9, 2013-Choctaw Casino KOA

Man, it's been windy here in Oklahoma! I didn't sleep well and woke much earlier than usual but still got a little nap in my recliner. This park is nice with full amenities and hook-ups but the Internet connection is bad. I dropped the connection several times and finally switched over to our own MIFI card.

I have been wanting to get our tires checked, so this morning we went over to Sherman to the Discount Tire store for a tire rotation and checkup of the tires. I noticed some uneven tire wear on the outside dually tires but learned that this is normal. We ended up replacing the two worn tires with new Michelin tires, so now we're ready for the summer trip.

We came back home and took care of some chores around here. Stella went over and washed our dirty clothes while I stayed here and kept the dogs and the trailer safe and secure. I went down to Dan and Karen's trailer and had some coffee with them and we made some tentative plans for going to the casino to eat.

More rally-goers should arrive tomorrow and things should become busier for us. We are looking forward to it.

So long.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday April 8, 2013-Moving day-Lake Conroe KOA to Choctaw Casino KOA, Durant OK

We woke to very cloudy and overcast skies this morning. It looked like rain all morning but none was forecast for today.We pulled out about 9:30 and made good time to the freeway. Traffic was pretty light and it was a pleasant day for a drive. We made it to Sam's Barbecue right about noon, and when walking in we noticed our new friends, Terry and June's truck in the parking lot. We soon found them, or rather, Terry found us and invited us to eat with them. We happily accepted and we got a chance to visit with them one on one.

After finishing our lunch, we continued on and continued to make good time. I did some experimentations with my truck and got my highway mpg up to 12.8! Wow, I am very happy with this number and will continue to test my theory and will share with you.

We pulled into the park about 4:30. Arriving right behind us was Mike and Peg.They had left Montgomery after we did but had passed us as we had lunch. We actually caught up to them in a rest area just before we crossed the state line into Oklahoma. I saw them leaving as we were arriving, but then they took the scenic route and we actually beat them here.

We got set up very quickly but man is it breezy here! I expected rain but it never came. I talked to my friend Bill on the way up and he said that there was a threat of severe weather from Dallas up into Kansas but it never came. Later in the week it is supposed to rain and be pretty bad, but I don't want any tornadoes. We'll see what happens.

So long.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rally Days-Thursday April 4 thru Sunday April 7, 2013-Lake Conroe KOA

We have had a great time at the South Texas Chapter rally in Montgomery. Some of our friends arrived on Thursday and we went out to eat at Vernon's Barbecue. This was just the first of many meals out, including a new idea that Chapter Leaders Tom and Marti came up with along with Vicki from the Ron Hoover RV dealership for a breakfast that the store furnished for us. Vicki got a menu from the IHOP restaurant and we all wrote down our orders and she called them in so the food was ready for us when we got there. They pulled it off perfectly and as soon as they took our drink orders, the food started coming out.

We had our usual rally potluck Saturday night and as usual, it was great. We were then entertained by Terry and his wife June, who had a good repertoire of love songs. It was a good way to end the last full night of the rally. Tom and Marti scored again!

Sunday morning, Tom made coffee and Marti drove into Montgomery to pick up some donuts for us. A group of us drank coffee and ate donuts for awhile when Tom and I went out and installed a light bar that I had won at the Gillette rally last summer. When I won it, I didn't really look at it and thought it was just another rope light and not the one pictured below. It went up pretty easily and now it looks AWESOME! It not only changes colors, it blinks at different speeds, it flashes or holds a steady color. Thanks to Jim B. for getting the door prizes for the rally and for Tom who did most of the work in installing it. I helped him but he is much better at it than I am.

About six rigs stayed over until Monday when we will also leave. We all went out to eat some Mexican food, which I had requested because we will be out of state all summer in the midwest where good Mexican food is unheard of. We go to Oklahoma next and I'm not sure about them either. After a delicious lunch at Fajita Jacks, we returned home to rest up. 

We all got together at Terry and June's place to chat, and while there we saw Dan and his wife Ann ride by on the bicycles and about 10-15 minutes later saw an ambulance drive into the park. We later found out that Ann had fallen and broken her leg just above her ankle. Bummer! 

It was a great rally but the weekend ended on a sour note.

So long.

Wednesday April Moving Day-Paradise Lake Resort to Lake Conroe KOA

It rained most of the night and was still raining when we got up. Again, we only have a short distance to drive today- about 130 miles- so we don't need to be in a big hurry to leave. We are the only "daily" resident, so there wasn't much chance of someone needing to get into our space, so that was a good thing too. I finally put a poncho on and went out and started to do my work. The rain had slacked some but it was still cool and a bit windy so the poncho felt pretty good.

We pulled out about 10:30 and before we got to Lufkin the rain had stopped. We only made one stop at a nice little rest area south of Diboll. This is one of the new ones, and we admired the woodsy metal sculptures inside the building. I also liked the fact that we had to park a little way from the building, so we got a nice walk to stretch our legs.

When we pulled into the KOA we soon learned that they had closed the office for lunch. I've never seen an RV park actually close down for lunch. Sometimes they close to go out in the park. At any rate, we waited about 30 minutes and the lady came back from lunch and we got checked in. The escort person who would normally have taken us to our site hadn't come back from lunch but we've been to this park several times before so we didn't have any trouble finding our site or getting into it. It didn't take long before we were all set up and ready to rally! By the way, the satellite dish had no trouble finding and locking in on the bird in the sky.

Soon after getting set up, Dan came by to tell me that Ruth Ann had made coffee and had some cookies for an afternoon snack, so we went over there for awhile. I took some of Stella's fresh fire crackers and we had a nice afternoon break with the others that were already here.

We came back home and it wasn't long before the rain had caught up with us. Not only that but the cold weather followed, and although it didn't get really cold, it was cool and with the rain it was pretty miserable outside. A good afternoon to stay inside by the fireplace.

Tomorrow should be the arrival of more of our friends and we'll be looking forward to that.

So long.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday April 2, 2013-Paradise Lake Resort

We spent all day today in Center, visiting my aunt Janie. We had a very nice day chatting and visiting, mostly about my family and my early years. It was a very enjoyable day for me. I have used Janie as my personal historian for a long time and I'm lucky to have her and her outstanding memory of my family.

Since I don't want to bore you with my boyhood in Galveston, I'll tell you about this area.  Center was originally called White Cottage with the post office established in 1848. Shelbyville was the county seat of this county, Shelby county. One of the State Representatives introduced a bill, which passed, into the legislature that the county seats should all be in the geographical center of the counties, and in Shelby county, that would be White Cottage. A vote was held in Shelby county with the results being to move the county seat, however the people of Shelbyville organized to resist the move. One night in 1866, a group of men led by the County Clerk came in the middle of the night to move the records. The town changed its name to Center, to reflect the requisite location and a post office opened there in 1866.

The original county courthouse burned to the ground in 1882. The county decided to build a new courthouse and jail on land donated by a local resident, who demanded that a four acre town square be established with the new courthouse as its centerpiece. The builders issued a bond to erect the building for $26,725 and it was completed in 1885 and it still stands. Talk about not built like that any more...

So long.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monday April 1, 2013-Paradise Lake Resort

It has been cool in the morning the last couple of days, but I just get up and turn the fireplace on to take the chill off, and then when the sun comes up, it begins to warm up and we turn it off. Just about perfect weather!

I want to tell you about the satellite dish and what it has done since we got here. When we left Terrell, a fellow stopped by and asked me about the Carryout antenna that I use. I bragged about how easy it is to get set up and how I love the HD signal we get. I told you on Saturday's post that I had trouble getting connected to the signal and had hooked up to the park cable. When we returned from Tyler yesterday, I worked on the dish again, moving it all around the site. It would connect to one satellite but when it changed to another, it lost the signal. HD signal requires 3 satellites to access all the channels, so something was preventing the change and I couldn't figure out what it was. I finally took the Carryout off the tripod and set it up on my folding table, to get some more height and possibly go over the top of some nearby trees. It continued to do the same thing, hook up with a good signal strength and then lose it when it changed. By then it was well after dark and played on the computer for the rest of the evening   and just turned the television off and we later went to bed. When I woke this morning, I turned the television on, as usual, and lo and behold, it came on! I can't take any credit for it, but it works perfect now. Even getting local channels from Dallas. Of course, I'll have to change my locals to Houston when we move on Wednesday.

We didn't do a lot today, I cleaned up some of the bugs from the front of the trailer and generally piddled around outside, enjoying the warm day. Stella cleaned up inside. We made plans to go to Center tomorrow to see Janie and Gail. Should be another good day, visiting with my family. If I can find some pretty dogwood trees or azaleas, I'll take some pictures to show you tomorrow.

So long.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sunday March 31, 2013-Paradise Lake RV Park

We hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday. We certainly did! We drove over to Tyler this morning to go to church with my Aunt Janie and her daughter Linda at the Green Acres Baptist Church. This is a huge church but we have been here several times before and we enjoy the services there. It began raining just about the time we got into Tyler, but it had slacked off by the time we got to the church.

Along the way between Nacogdoches and Tyler, we went through two towns with unusual names, Reklaw and Sacul. Both towns are very old settlements and both are named for the early settlers or donors of the land for the towns. Unfortunately, there were already towns named Walker and Lucas, so they merely reversed the spelling and Reklaw and Sacul, and as Paul Harvey used to say,"That is the rest of the story".

We went to Linda and Doug's home for a lunch of brisket with all the fixins' and it was DELISH! We had a great time visiting with the family,and incidentally, for the last time in this house. Doug and Linda just sold their house and will be looking for another to move to. In today's economy, they are very lucky. We wish them good luck in searching for another house.

It was good to see Cathy, the widow of my cousin George (Butch) Willingham. Butch had always been a very religious man, and when he retired, he decided to go to the Middle East to spread the word of Christianity and while there, he suffered a fatal heart attack. He told us of his plans last Easter when we came to visit, and died during the summer while we were out of state.

We had a great time visiting with the family and hope you got to spend some time with your family.

So long.