We met a couple of interesting couples this week. The first is Sam and Barbara who are in their early 80s. We met them at the welcome home dance Monday night the 12th. I really had some great and interesting conversations with Sam. Sam is just 2 years younger than our fathers. He was in the service for 4 years during the Korean era of the 50’s. Like a lot of guys of that generation he was not a graduate engineer but was promoted as one where he worked. Sam learned communications electronics during his stay in the military and then went to work for Collins Radio which was later purchased by Rockwell International. He worked on all of the communications systems on the Mercury and Apollo spacecraft as well as the lunar lander. What a great career. I just love talking to people like him.
Sam and his wife retired when he was 55 just like we did. They bought a house boat and traveled all around the gulf and California coast areas. Now they have a motor home that they use to winter hear in South Texas. They also have a newer house boat on the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi that they live on in the summer. They also, a few times a year, take the house boat a few miles out to some sand bars and islands for fun. I want to be just like them when I grow up!
We met another couple, Barry and Peggy who are new here last year. They are from a small town in southern Ohio. Last year, they decided to get out of the cold during the winter so they came here last March for just a few days and loved it.
They came back this past summer and purchased an annual lot membership and then had it concreted over. They also just ordered a new park model to put on the lot. Nature's Resort doesn’t allow you own the land, but you do own all of the improvements like concrete work or buildings you place on the land. You just need to keep paying the annual rent on the lot or sell the improvements to someone who wants to pay the annual rent. The rent here is very low at $2200 – 3,000 per year depending on the size of the lot. You also only have electric for a utility expense.
Barry and Peggy are a very nice and interesting couple. This past Saturday their new park model came into the park. It's a 60 X 16 foot unit. That is on the large size for a park model. However, there are units up to 70 X 18 foot. I went over and watched their new house get installed on there lot with them. They are a pretty happy couple right now. We even had the local resort photographer take pictures for the resort news letter.
|The transport truck putting the park model in place.|
|Barry on the left and Peggy to the right, the new owners|
On Thursday the 16th we went with a biking group to tour the old (Viejo) Hidalgo irrigation pump house in Hidalgo TX. After the tour we took a 5 mile bike tour along the USA/Mexican border. The old pump house was closed in the early 80s and replaced with electric motors and new pumps further upstream. The pump house was originally steam powered with wood and then converted to natural gas. Then the pump house was converted to diesel and natural gas engines to turn the water pumps. The pump house took water from the Rio Grande River and sent it to the valley within a 30 mile radius from the pump house.
The bike ride was nothing spectacular but was interesting riding along the border fence. We even had 2 border patrolmen ride past us on their bikes as they patrolled the fence.
|One of the 3 old steam boilers. These date to the turn of the century. Originally these were wood fired. When they were decommissioned they were using natural gas.|
|Cool old gas pump in the museum.|
|A very large model train system in the museum.|
|One of the pumps.|
|The bike path and an entrance gate in the USA/Mexican border fence.|
|Riding along the border fence. Note the border patrol truck up ahead.|
|Mexican ladders to climb the fence the border patrol had gathered.|
|A canal from the Rio Grande River to feed the irrigation pumps. In the distance where the flags are is the border crossing into Mexico.|
Friday the 17th I went back for my follow-up with the doctor who took the cyst out of my ear lobe. It was uneventful, a good thing. He took out the stitches and discussed the pathology report with me. Well, not much to discuss, the cyst wasn’t cancerous just as he had thought.
Now we have settled into sort of a routine here. Internet surfing in the early mornings before it gets warm. Then we usually walk the grounds for 2.5 miles. After the walk, it’s time for chores and a shower. Chores can be fixing the RV/truck, washing clothes, or even going into town for stuff.
By noon we are at the pool with me waiting for water volley ball at 2 pm. After water volleyball it’s wine o’clock and time to prepare dinner and watch the news. Then, depending on the night, we play darts, sing karaoke, go to a dance, go to a happy hour night, sit around the group camp fire, or WII bowling. Also, Thursdays are when the resort sponsors bike rides in the area which we participate in.
|This was very interesting cloud formation just ahead of a cold front coming into the area. It looked just like a mountain in the background|
|This resort resident has a homemade chopper trike. Very cool! He carries this on a trailer behind his 5th wheel.|
That’s it from here in sunny warm south Texas!