From Minnesota to Texas, and Beyond

Yesteryear my sister, Leslie, and her then young family moved from Minnesota to Texas.  My earliest memory of that move was a phone conversation with Les telling me of a morning breakfast some thirty-seven years ago.  “Hi, Les how ya doing?”  With a perfectly normal Minnesota accent I hear, “You would not believe what happened this morning.”  My niece, Angie, after finishing her cereal looked up at Les and said, “I’m fixen to go outside.”   It was hilarious.

With a great deal of fortitude, courage, and the best spirit possible Les fought lung cancer for three years.  There is no good thing about cancer.  Although the frequency of phone calls, and personal visits did increase during our side-by-side eternity journey.   Sitting close to Les on their living room couch she would wake and visit, rest, then wake, and visit some more.  During a wake time I said to Les, “I feel your spirit.”  “I feel yours too.”

Deb found a RV park (Royal Palms RV Resort) four miles from where my brother-in-law, Larry, and my niece Angie live.  It was great being close enough to visit regularly.  Jordan, and Karson are my great nephews.  On a most wonderful Texas blue-sky day Larry drove us to watch Jordan’s baseball game.  Jordan is eleven and pitches sixty-three miles per hour.  This IS NOT, an everyone gets a trophy just for being there league.  This is a serious bunch.  The kids will play as a team for years, and sometimes they travel over fifty miles to reach an assigned field.

Sure I was on a league and played baseball as a kid, we wore “Tee” shirt’s, our team was named the “Tigers.”  We played against the, Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, etc.”  Jordan and Karson’s team had uniforms. For cancer awareness month the, “Mustangs” uniforms sported my sister’s memory.  Very cool.  You heard the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas right.” On our way to the game we were heading to a gas station called Buc-ee’s for lunch.  I’m thinking, “Oh great, a factory made sandwich packed in a plastic box, yum.  Or maybe a hot dog that has been rotating under a heat lamp for about six hours, and a Slurpy.“  I’m only joking, I know Larry wouldn’t do that to us.  All the Buc-ee’s are pretty good sized.  The largest has 122 gas pumps and 83 Bathroom stalls with a 24/7 attendant, 31 cash registers, and 80 soda dispensers.  Our fresh BBQ sandwiches were fantastic, and the New Orleans Garlic –  Gimme Some Heat, beef jerky was not too bad either.  Click here for more Buc-ee’s

The Royal Palms RV Resort is new, and has been open only six weeks.   When we shared with Larry our location, he knew exactly where it was, but had not seen it. The owner also owned a cement company so the roadway and pads were all concrete, very nice. The pool area was well done, but too cold for a swim.  The work crew kept busy transplanting trees from acreage they owned next door.  The long-term plans are too build a water park, and add another seventy-five sites.   Before we set out on this expedition across the states a Baby-boomer concern of ours was, is there going to be enough places to stay?  What we are discovering is a, “Build it, and they will come” experience.  Yeaaaah entrepreneurs!

We found several parks to walk.  Deb hates it when her iphone activity monitor tells her she is walking fewer miles than last week.  She will now carry it with her taking the trash to the dumpster.  It goes something like this,  “Hon, I’m taking the trash out.”  “No, I’ll do it.”


Gophers and Toilets

One evening Deb and I dressed for the cool weather, and started circling the Royal Palms grounds.  As we were getting some miles registered on her phone a guest commented, “I bet your Gophers are happy.”  I knew he was referring to the Minnesota college football team because of the emblem on my knit hat.  “Yeah they sure are.”  We visited for a little while and continued our walk.  Deb had no idea why he said that about gophers, and thinking of the rodent she asked, “Why are the gophers happy?”

A week after warrantee work was completed on our travel trailer, a leak developed around the base of the toilet.  Some web research reveled similar problems others were having with the same model Dometic 300 RV toilet.  I called the company and arranged to have a free replacement sent to Larry’s address in Texas.  Federal, State, and County parks typically do not accept mail, or any kind of deliveries for its guests.

I was actually excited for doing some project work.  There are factory installed crush clamps securing the toilet water feed hose, and I had already Youtubed the process on how to remove them.  I had dug out hand tools, some plumbers tape, a bucket for water, large plastic garbage bags before picking up the UPS delivery.  The scheduled delivery all worked out very well.   The box was undamaged, and away we went back to the trailer.  It was after 4:30, the Dometic customer service department was closed, so only Deb heard my frustration as I viewed the broken Dometic 300 S#300-Z4793088 toilet.


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