Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cactus and Cedars of Texas

We have all heard of the Cedars of Lebanon but there are so many cedars in Texas and I never knew that before.   They are different from the cedars in Tennessee.   My friend, Eve, in Dripping Springs, said many people are allergic to the odor of the cedars that grow here.  It is on the weather news along with Oak, Mold and other plants that bring suffering to allergic eyes.   

Saturday morning we had a pleasant drive from Leander to Lampasas.  It was only an hour’s drive and there was little traffic.  It was a cool, cloudy morning with drizzle and fog but pleasant enough.  We parked in the church parking lot in Lampasas and settled in for a few days. 
Our life is simple on the road.  We have become accustomed to putting things away to travel.  I have a system of bungee-cording certain things, closet doors, drawers and things that might move or open if we hit a bump in the road.  We had a lot of mishaps the first year we traveled.  We made a check list of what each of us were to do to prepare to move.  Now, we are experienced travelers and it all comes naturally and preparing to leave occurs much swifter than before.   It is still a lot of work and we are both tired when we settle down again in a new location.  I guess that means we are using all the energy we have for our age.  We certainly don’t have the ability to do as much as we did (even a few years ago).  Ron said it doesn’t matter where we go, it’s always home when we get parked again.  We are like the turtle.  Our shell goes with us. 

Cooking is simple all the time but when the power amps are low, I don’t use the microwave or toaster oven as much.  When we have 50 amps, we can do everything at once without worrying about the circuit shutting off.  We try to eat healthy, with low-fat breakfasts, lunch and dinner.  It is easy when we prepare our own meals but with so many inviting us out to eat or having meals at the churches, we make up for what calories we may have saved during the week.   I seldom bake any more.  I don’t do casseroles either because for just the two of us, we end up with too many leftovers.   We steam vegetables, bake potatoes or eat salads.  I’ve found more and more lunch meats without hormones or nitrates.  Ron eats a lot of fish and I keep hormone-free chicken breasts on hand for quick meals. 
On Sunday we decided to travel south about 20 miles to visit at Burnett for the morning service.   The drive was interesting with fields (literally fields) of cactus growing along the roadsides.  The cedar trees and cactus were everywhere for miles and miles.  I have yet to see tumbleweeds but guess we haven’t gone west enough to find the flat land without cedar or mesquite trees growing. 
We were delighted to see a congregation of over 200 members with a large percentage being children or young people.  Before service began, the building was buzzing with the sound of children’s voices.   We enjoyed a good lesson by the youth minister.  The pulpit minister had gone to Japan to accompany one of his daughters back home from a teaching position.   The congregation was friendly to us and we felt comfortable there.  The women were dressed nicely.  Most men had on jeans, plaid shirts, wide western belts and some wore cowboy boots.  It was definitely a Texas church.  But, it was not the Cowboy Church.   We see those buildings all around but do not know what kind of church it is or what they do there.

We attended a class at Lampasas on Sunday night.  They have small groups meeting in homes on Sunday night, which is common among many churches here.  The group at the building was made up of older people (our age!).  Ron will speak to a group on Tuesday night at Lampasas.
We were awakened about 2 a.m. Sunday morning with the next cold front blowing in.  And, it was blizzard force winds.  The RV has canvas over the sliders that move out to give us extra room inside while we are parked.  When the wind comes, these canvas covers flap and make a horrible noise.  Sometimes, we move the sliders in to sleep in a small space so these covers are not exposed to the wind.  The RV rocks in strong winds and it’s impossible to sleep.   The strong wind blew all day at 40-50 mph on Sunday, so when we went outside the wind was so strong our hair blew all over our head.   The cold front also brought very cold temperatures.  It was very cold this morning and will be in the 20’s tonight.   It was 54 inside but we only kept a little heater on low all night.  The gas furnace makes so much noise, we don’t like it at night.  It’s most unusual for this time of the year for the fronts to dip so far south with temperatures this cold.  RV’s are not insulated nor designed for cold weather.  Ron does all he can to provide warmth inside by covering the windows around the front, but it still gets very cold inside unless we run the furnace full-force.  Winter is surely almost over for this year so we’ll survive a few more cold nights and days.
Wednesday we will move up to Hamilton, TX.   It is a short drive.  I think Ron just confirmed an appointment in Palestine so we are probably completely scheduled until we return to Lewisville.
Ron completed our tax returns tonight and he is very happy to have finished that task.  With our regular computer work, things like this have to be worked into the schedule.  My load has not been too busy lately, but most days I do work until about 4 p.m. 
At night, I crochet baby blankets.  In the past, I left some at the church in Lewisville to give to expectant mothers at baby showers.  I gave some to Leigh Ann to give for gifts.  In recent months, I have mailed seven to friends’ grandbabies.  I have one more to mail soon.

I’m keeping the ones that I like the least to use for packing around medical supplies going to China.  They can be given to little babies next winter that they treat at the hospital.  I began crocheting baby blankets two years ago so we could give every baby at the cleft lip/cleft palate medical mission a blanket.  I’ve kept up the hobby because it gives me something to do at night and when we are traveling.  I love to see how they come out when I finish one.   They are not expensive to make and it makes a good gift.  The other benefit is that my thumb joints do not hurt as much with arthritis as they did years ago.  I contribute my typing and crocheting as therapy for my hands. 
We can pick up TV stations only when we are in larger cities or at least close to a large city.  We don’t want to spend money on satellite so we get whatever the antennae picks up.  If I can get a PBS channel and one of the networks, I’m happy so I can get news and weather (maybe a cooking, nature or musical show on PBS).

I can’t say that there are a lot of things interesting enough to report, but I like to post about our simple life and travels just for the fun of writing and remembering what we’ve been doing.  It’s mostly for me, but if anyone enjoys knowing where we are and what we are doing, this is a simple narrative of our lives.
Every day I end with a prayer of thanksgiving for our many blessings.  We are blessed and I must remember that although many others have luxuries and life easier than we have it, we still have far more than we need.   Having safe travels and good health is a bonus.   God is good and I know HE loves us as we continue to try to do His will.  God be with my readers.

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