2012 - 2017 Travel Map - Now in the Bad Lands National Park, South Dakota

Step Father Hanging in there - Back to Elsa Texas for the winter

November 18 - 28, 2014   

We are now officially back to our normal routine, knock on wood! After staying in Indiana with my stepfather Leon for 4 days it seemed he had stabilized so we didn’t need to be there any longer.  Well, it seemed that we were right about Leon stabilizing, a week after we left he is now going to dinner in a wheel chair.  We will be here in the Rio Grande Valley at Natures Resort for the next 5 months.


Our site at natures resort for the next 5 months.

On the 19th Wednesday we met with Leon’s wife’s daughter Kathy for lunch at Cracker Barrel in Crawfordsville.   We had not really ever had any time with her to discuss how things are going with Leon and Barbara.  We had a good conversation over lunch so much so that I didn’t even taste or know when I had finished eating.  Kathy lives close by so she does most of the coordination of care for both Leon and her mother Barbara.  We discussed their current and future care and as well as their final wishes.  I felt better after our meeting and I think that Kathy did too.

The only other thing we did really for the time we were in Crawfordsville IN other than to visit with Leon and Barbara each day was to visit with the Grandkids.  It was also pretty cold while we were there with temperatures ranging from 35 to 9 degrees.  

On one of my exercise walks around Crawfordsville IN. I took some history pictures.  This is the entrance to the General Lew Wallace Study.  He wrote the book Ben Hur.



This was the hospital I was born in.  It has been closed since the early 1980s.  
It is real creepy now. 

I remember walking through those doors to visit someone in the 1970s.



The old Monon Hotel.  It is not a hotel anymore but it was when I was a kid.  
The Monon was the RR that came through here then.

The Amtrak station that is here now.  There are only two trains a day now, one goes west and the other East.  You can't make a round trip to anywhere in one day.

Our typical day was to do our morning routine of exercise and internet then visit with Leon and Barbara for a couple of hours and then visit with the grandkids in the evening after school.


Bailey playing with one of the 3 cats.

Livy using a string/can phone to talk to Savannah. 

Savannah getting the call fro Livy 10 feet away.

My son Tony cooked his special bacon wrapped stuffed pork roast.

By Thursday the 20th we decided to cut our time short in Crawfordsville by a couple of days and leave on Friday morning.  We had planned to stay until Sunday the 23rd but it looked like Leon was stable and maybe improving. Thanksgiving was just around the corner and we wanted to get back before that so we just decided to leave after saying my goodbyes to Leon on Thursday afternoon.  Leon was awake when we left and said to have a safe trip back.  It really was interesting that he said that because we didn’t say we were going back, he just seemed to sense it I guess.  It was a little emotional for me as I feel that is the last time I will see him alive.  I’m really not good with goodbyes with anybody, just don’t like saying it.

We had decided to leave soon after the grandkids were off to school on Friday morning the 21st.  However, my brother had called the night before and was going to come to see us while we were there.  I called him on Friday morning and we made a plan to meet for lunch on our way out of Indiana at the junction of US231 and I70 near Greencastle IN.  We met up with Roger and our sister Diana at a small truck stop there and had a nice lunch and conversation.  After about an hour and a half we said our goodbyes and we were off on our way south west to Texas.

We made it to Marion Ohio 240 miles from Crawfordsville our first day. Then on Saturday we got all the way to just south of Houston TX for another 800 miles travel.  Now we only had 300 miles to go to reach our destination at Natures Resort on Sunday the 23rd.  

On our way back in Texarkana we stopped for lunch at this cool BBQ place.  The food comes from the truck and the seating area is in a converted gas station.


We arrived at Natures around 3pm, unpacked, made a little something to eat and went to bed. Almost 1,400 miles driving and all of the emotion of the last week had taken its toll.

On Monday the 24th we went to the new Walmart here in Elsa Texas.  It was being built when we left in April and is now complete.  It really is nice to have a super Walmart only 3 miles away now.  We needed to basically fill our pantry and fridge for our long stay here for the winter.  Also while we were getting the food we defrosted the freezer before we filled it up.  We weren’t trying to be inconspicuous but we weren’t going out of our way to say hello to anyone yet.  We just wanted to settle in some and distance ourselves from the events of the past week a little.

Tuesday the 25th we spent most of our time setting up around the RV and some inside for a longer stay.  So, now on Wednesday the 26th we officially started into our winter life here by attending the Wednesday Happy Hour at Sandy’s Bar.  It really is sort of a block party at a makeshift stand up bar outside.  Everyone meets up there at 4pm and we all stay until it gets cold or we all have had enough for the evening.

Thursday the 27th Thanksgiving we went on a bike ride with a couple (Bruce and Mary Sue) here at resort.  We went to a close town park in Edinburg and rode just 6 miles.  After we got back, we made a carrot casserole to take to the Thanksgiving feast at the clubhouse.  The resort furnished the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.  Then anyone who wanted to brought sides and desserts.  There was an enormous amount of food!  We started eating at around 4pm and by 8pm Patty and I were in bed.  We were zonked out!



Friday the 28th I played golf making up the 4th in a foursome from the resort.  We played the number 2 rated course here in the valley, Tierra Santa in Weslaco TX about 10 miles south of here.  It was my first time playing this course but I managed to play my now usual 106 score.  Before we went full time RVing I was hitting around the 100 mark.  I am hoping to get my score back down to just under 100.  While I was golfing, Patty went into Edinburg shopping with one of the wives of a resident who I golfed with.  We both got back about dark.


One of the prettier holes here.  The grass is sort of a brown green color. The Greens are real brown and look like a cork board and they are also real fast.

Sunday the 30th the last day of November we went to the unofficial nude beach on South Padre Island.  We went with 2 other couples from the resort.  We ended up going just over 12 miles up the coast on the beach to get to our spot on the beach.  Those 12 miles are on wet sand and is not accessible during high tide.  There are just 2 entrances to this area about a mile apart at the southern end of the beach. So you do need to watch the tides to know when to leave. There isn’t much or any cell service out there either.  It turned out to be a pretty nice day weather wise and with the great friends we were with we had a great time!


Crossing the causeway from Port Isabel to South Padre Island.

Driving north on the sand to a secluded spot.

A blue Heron waiting for some food.

I got too close and it flew off.

A group of Pelicans flew over us a few times.  This time I had my camera ready.



Like last year while we were sitting for the winter, the posts will be a little slower coming.  I try to do one a week to let all know how we are doing and any new news about our exploits. 

Next week we are planning to visit Progresso Mexico for the first time this season.  The weather is to get cool (high 60s) on Tuesday so we may try to get over there then.  Other than Tuesday though, the weather is to stay in the low 80s in the daytime and lows in the upper 50s at night.  Yea, it’s  nice!

Stay Tuned!

1 comments:

Debbie McCormack said...

Looks like you had a nice time with family. We'll be at the Padre Islands in March, so I'll be watching your posts for fun things to do!