Sunday, November 29, 2015

State of Residency

Killeen, TX, our current mailing address, is home to Kathy's mom, Evelyn. For our visit back to Texas, we parked in one of the city's oldest mobile home parks which is now known as Cicada Springs RV Park, a gated RV community. Kathy's mom remembered the area from her youth and Kathy vaguely remembers partying at a friend's mobile home that was once housed there. The current owner is updating all the RV pads and offering long term and short term parking. Affordable and clean, it was an unexpected pleasure in a town we typically see as run down and dirty. 

Going through our closet at Evelyn's house, I located my teacher credentials, should I need them. We both decided we didn't need any of our other clothes even though we wouldn't be returning until the middle of winter. We did get a chance to rotate the jeep's tires and got a windshield installed in our RV. thanks to the 2nd crack it's endured since we bought it. The weather was cold and rainy but it dried out long enough for the installation which was even cheaper than the first one we had installed over a year earlier in Houston.

Frances was under the weather with some kind of bug so we took her to a local vet. We thought maybe she had a urinary tract infection. We left her at the vet almost all day but they still couldn't get enough urine to test. Nearly $200 later, we were given pain pills and antibiotics, although the urinalysis was mostly inconclusive.  We weren't very impressed with the young vet, especially after she misread Frances' blood work and told us she may have diabetes.  We decided it was time to head to Houston for a visit to our favorite vet, Dr. Cooper, at Westbury Animal Hospital.

Much to our dismay, it just so happened that the Houston rodeo was going on the same time we were planning on being Houston.  All of the RV parks in or near town were full so we ended up staying at one of our favorite state parks, Brazos Bend State Park, located about 25 miles south of Houston. The park offers hiking, biking, birding, fishing, an observatory and plenty of alligator watching. We've stayed here before without the dogs because Kathy was afraid the alligators would be right outside our RV door waiting for Frances to join them for dinner. 

We tried to make dentist and doctors appointments while we were in town but had no luck. We took Keila to the vet and Frances came along for emotional support. We discussed all her issues with Dr. Cooper and were told that yes, she's old but that no, it's not time yet.  Keila old and slow, but still healthy. We told Dr. Cooper about Frances' trip to the vet in Killeen and he took her to the back for a quick ultrasound to ensure she didn't have bladder or kidney stones. She was good, too! We took the pups back to the RV and prepared for our gathering with friends at the 59 Diner.

We were happy to see our former neighbors, the Tax family, our bowling teammates, Connie and Sam, Delyce, a former co-worker of Kathy's, and her friend, Bethany, who would soon be starting her own wandering adventure by traveling around the country in a modified van. You can read her blog about single life in a van called Somewhere I Feel Free. Please visit her blog at

We truly enjoyed seeing our friends again. Bethany shares my passion for manatees and suggested Blue Spring State Park in Florida. I can't wait!
As we departed Houston, I made arrangements to meet Gerald, a friend, supporter, and former boss, for lunch. Gerald was my boss while I worked in the Parole Division of the Texas Youth Commission. He has the most integrity of any person I have ever met, consider him a mentor and think of him often. We met at Dickeys BBQ, a chain restaurant.

A few more miles down the road found us staying at the Mission Tejas State Park in Grapeland. This historic area has all kinds of significant site,s including an old farm house and a mission. It's hilly roadway and trails called to Kathy and her mountain bike while I relaxed in a long, hot shower courtesy of the park's clean public restrooms. We rarely use public facilities at the parks and campgrounds we frequent, but these were nice and clean and I could run the hot water as long as I wanted without worrying about running out. We shared the entire campground with one other RV. It was a great quiet place before we reported to our first paying job on the road in northeast Texas.

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