Thursday, March 6, 2014

INTERMISSION - Back to Texas

On Saturday, January 25th, we left Gautier and started our trek back to Texas.

Unfortunately, we encountered a weather-related flaw in our plan.  Due to the “winter vortex” that swept down from the arctic, southern Louisiana experienced some rare ice and snow.  This caused Interstate 10 to be completely closed, which caused serious traffic delays near Baton Rouge.  It took us about six hours to drive only 150 miles.  I have no idea how I was so lucky, but during that time no one in the car had to use the bathroom!  Unbelievable!

(Sidenote:  This winter has been TERRIBLE for the majority of this country!  We sure picked a bad winter to go RV’ing!)

Because of the traffic issue, we didn’t make it all the way into San Antonio on Saturday.  We ended up staying the night at a campground in Beaumont, Texas, and then headed into San Antonio on Sunday morning.

How serendipitous it was to cross the border into Texas again!  Back to the land of Whataburger hamburgers, HEB grocery stores, extra-large pick-up trucks (“Cowboy Cadillacs”), and cheap gasoline!  And I always chuckle when we cross into Texas and see the signage that says, “El Paso – 855 miles” (or something like that – I know it’s more than 800 miles) right next to the sign on the other side of the highway that says, “Welcome to Texas, Home of Whataburger”.  

We like to play the mom-invented car game called “The Pick-Up Game”.  In this game, we count the number of “normal” oncoming cars in between each oncoming pick-up truck.  The goal is to see how high we can count.  In Texas, our average is TWO!  When we were in, say, Boston, we could count as high as 30 or 40. We still haven’t EVER counted higher than nine here in Texas. There’s really no place like Texas!

We spent about a month in San Antonio resting from our “eastern trip.”  We took time to visit with friends, do some maintenance on the vehicles, refill asthma medications, etc.  Nothing terribly exciting, truthfully.  We did take time to meet with our property manager to start the process of reclaiming our rental property as our residence.  It’s going to take a while, but the bottom line is that we COULD end up back in the house as early as this summer, or it might not happen until December.  We’ll just have to wait and see what the tenants decide.

In the meantime, and on a more personal note, we have completed birthday season!  My eldest boys had their 18th birthday while we were in Orlando, and my two middle boys turned 16 and 14 since arriving in San Antonio.  Sometimes I can’t believe that my babies have turned this old already.  How can it be possible that I am the mother of legal adults?  Am I really getting that old?  (Don’t answer that!)  It really seems like only yesterday that I was a busy mother with four year old twins, a two year old, and a new baby.  Those were good times!  BUSY, but good times nonetheless!  And now look at them – oh my! Also, Steve celebrated his birthday, thus ending birthday season for us.

 In other news, we have been officially informed of college acceptances!  One of the boys will be attending LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, hoping to major in mechanical engineering.  The other will be attending Cedarville University near Dayton, Ohio, hoping to major in English with a concentration in creative writing.  It’s so odd for me to consider, but they are about to leave my (very little 396 square feet) nest!  Life will be so different without those two around.

On a terribly tragic note, one of my homeschooling friends lost her son suddenly during our last week in San Antonio.  I am relieved that we were in town so we could pay our last respects.  The four older boys and I attended the funeral, and it was just so heartbreaking.  Their boy was an inspiration to all of us, as he was such a kind, gentle soul.  He will be missed by all of us.

We left San Antonio on the last day of February, heading west.  We will travel throughout the western United States for a few months before ending our year of traveling once and for all.  Westward, Ho!