Crossing the ferry to camp at Port Aransas Tropical Island RV park. (first picture).
Campers stayed inside most of the time. They would go walk their dogs and go back inside their trailers. The wind was strong and the temperature too cold to enjoy the outside. We did not get to go walking a single day we were there.
We spent a week at Iron Horse in San Antonio having repairs done on the RV which is a yearly chore. We visited individuals and churches in each of these cities and enjoyed our friendships that bring us to these areas only once a year.
We had a delightful weekend in Hamilton, TX and then arrived in Abilene a week ago. We parked the RV at Abilene State Park for two days and nights but we could not access our internet from the park. We drove about 20 miles to the nearest library to work. We relocated to the back parking lot at Oldham Lane Church of Christ in Abilene and have been here a week on Wednesday. We had a couple of warm days and then the north pole moved south.
Sunday morning we found the car covered in a thick layer of ice. Drizzle had frozen on the mirrors to the point we could not even scape it off. Deicer did not work because the temperature was so cold. An 18 mph wind hit us all day with temperatures dropping throughout the day. There was sleet on the grass and trees but the strong wind blew it off of the highways. We drove about 40 minutes to Merkel, TX and had a wonderful morning and lunch at their museum's BBQ with one of their members. The museum was celebrating Texas's Independence Day. The MC said when he got up he thought it was going to be a disaster fund-raiser but it turned out so well they ran close on having enough food. Sunday night we went to Oakland C of C and returned to the RV to dig in for a winter night.
Ron worked hard to insulate the door and front area where it gets so cold with the large windshield. We brought the slides in because the wind was so strong it was making noise like a freight train coming. We did not have much room but we packed on the cover and went to bed. We set the heat but it must have run all night even on low thermostat settings. We slept warmly and woke up to 11 degrees and 18 mph winds. We cooked little on Monday and worked in cramped quarters but we stayed warm.
This morning it was 22 and now at noon it's in the 50's. What a change a day can make. Everyone says in TX, if you do not like the weather, just wait a day or two and it will change. That is so true! It can be 80 (last Saturday) and 25 (Sunday) the next day. We have proof of it this past weekend. We are still very blessed because most of our nation is still under a deep freeze with much snow and ice today. We are coasting toward warm days the rest of this week.
On Friday, we leave for Lewisville, TX (our home base). We will go to Groesbeck Sunday morning and Garland Sunday night so it will be a long day for us. We will be at Lake Park for almost a month (during the winter, they let campers stay 30 days). We will attend Lewisville C of C a few times but we will travel to report to other congregations around the area by car whenever Ron can get appointments.
Judy Yang, who worked with us for at least four years in Georgia, is coming to the U.S. from Shanghai. She had 5 days free after her business trip so she's flying into Dallas to stay with us. We are very excited to see her. It's been at least three years (maybe 4) since she left to return to Shanghai. Leigh Ann met her for dinner at a restaurant in Shanghai when she went to China in September, 2013.
We did not go all the way to the Rio Grande Valley this year. We are going to have to schedule some churches to get a report every two years. We just cannot make all of the rounds each year. We know many of them will understand and maybe not even care, although some insist that we come every year.
Ron has five times scheduled to speak in Searcy, AR early in April. We will be on our way to Oxford, MS where he will give a weekend leadership seminar to the Chinese congregation on Easter weekend.
We have been well - not even a cold this past year. In December, while in China, we did have a runny nose for several days due to the pollution (we think). Last week, we have our two-year check up in Hamilton but expect our blood test to be O.K.
We were in shock to get the news from Ronald first (and then over our networks) about terrorists attacking people at the train station in Kunming and killing a lot of people and many other were injured. I read that 10 people (including at least one woman) all dressed in black arrived at the ticket counter...one had a bag that he opened that contained all of the long-bladed knives. Each of the 10 got a knife and began slashing people. The police were able to kill four of the attackers and arrested one. The other five got away. I also see headlines on the internet that bombs were set off at an elementary school in Guilin and another one not far from a school in Guangzhou. These are muslin terrorists that live at least 1000 miles toward Tibet. They have been in this region for hundreds of years but usually are not violent. In the past, they have only attacked government facilities but now it seems they are going after crowds of innocent people and maybe even school children. It will affect tourism in China. We have never felt any fear whatsoever in China. No one has guns and no one every threatens us or appears suspicious. They are warning tourist and residents to be aware of their surroundings and report anything that does not seem normal. I guess China security will have to increase now to watch train and bus stations as well as airports and other facilities where a large number of people might be gathered.
I look forward to posting more regularly in the months to come when we are not so pushed for time and I have more internet access. Thanks to friends and family for following our travels and keeping us in prayers.
Some pictures near Corpus Christi
This one is right outside of Corpus Christi, TX