For the past couple weeks we’ve been watching old episodes of Good Eats, which inspired Deron to check out a local butcher and buy some fresh meat to experiment with, which is good because eating out is getting pretty boring – restaurants around here are mostly all BBQ or fried food – not a lot of variety. We’re still getting accustomed to what we can and can’t easily cook on the equipment we have (factoring in which appliances can’t run simultaneously without overloading the electrical system), but we’ve been able to make some pretty good stuff.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, yes, we’re still in Livingston, Texas, and it’s still hot. Shockingly, there have actually been a couple nights where the temp dropped below 75 degrees, and so we slept with the windows open instead of the A/C on. The fresh air is great, but it still feels hot. There’s not a lot to do here, with the heat and humidity so high, so we’re spending some time organizing (and even downsizing more than we already had). If the weather is ever conducive to outdoor activities, we have a fun one lined up… The other day the RV park owner drove Deron down to show him some property he owns in a gated community near the lake; he told us it’s a neat place to hike around (and gave us permission to do so whenever we feel like it) – the pond is even rumored to have alligators!
Since we’re pretty tired of hot, humid Texas, we’ve decided to forgo our plans to visit Corpus Christi and South Padre Island; the weather app shows their weather is just as hot as it is here, with the added benefit of hotter nights – bleh! So instead we’ll head up to the Dallas area to see my cousin and aunt, and then start slowly heading west. We’ve booked reservations from here to Rocky Mountain National Park and are excited to be on the road again, on September 25th!
Between now and then we’re still taking care of business – that’s why we booked an entire month here, after all. Deron passed the written portion of the Class B Exempt license test (yay!) and now has to take the driving test. Unfortunately there are no local appointments available anytime in the foreseeable future, so he snagged an appointment in the east Dallas area while we’ll be there. We set the dogs up with a local vet and started them on heartworm meds (it’s way more prevalent out here so we decided it’s time) and got them vaccinated for kennel cough since we’re boarding them occasionally and visiting lots of dog parks. We’ve finally gotten our direct deposits and automatic payments moved from our California credit union to a nationwide online credit union. All of this helps us establish ourselves as non-Californians so that after this year, California can’t kill us with income tax.
After comparing prices and timeframes between the local RV shop and one in Arizona, we decided to wait until we’re in Arizona to get the leveling system replaced. Deron took the rest of our current leveling legs off so that we can potentially sell them. (We haven’t been able to use the system since we were in Prescott, so they’re useless to us.) We’ll still get the fridge replaced here – it’s scheduled for September 21st and I can’t wait to have a working fridge! Right now we’re making do with a tiny fridge taking up space under the table – that’ll be another thing we’ll soon make available on OfferUp.
On a sad note, we had been planning on spending all of December in San Diego and celebrating Christmas with our family – plus Deron could be a temporary driver at UPS if he wants to, or I could help out in the youth office, or we could go to camp, or we could just do all the Christmas stuff we never got to do because we were both working so much – but we neglected to reserve ourselves a camping spot and now there’s no place available! Hopefully we can figure something out.
Less than two weeks until we take off – woo hoo!! In the meantime, we’re still on the lookout for alligators and armadillos – AND FIREFLIES!! We’ve seen enough lovebugs to last a lifetime, lol.
praise & prayer
While we were praying the other night, Deron mentioned that he’s having a hard time right now because he doesn’t really have anything productive to do – and it was an epiphany for me! Both of us have the gift of helping (Deron’s is much stronger than mine – I’m stronger in administration/ organization), so we were pretty fulfilled in our previous jobs and ministries. And when Deron was available, he was always helping our friends and neighbors with various projects. Now that we’re not employed at all, we’re feeling a lack.
I think we both envisioned getting to know people on our travels, finding out what they needed, and being able to say, “I can help with that.” We heard about RV parks with bulletin board postings of projects people needed done and we thought fulfilling some of those could be a perfect fit for our retired life. However, that hasn’t been the reality, and the lack of “usefulness” has started to wear on us (Deron especially; since I’m mainly in charge of the organization/functionality of the RV interior, I’ve still felt somewhat useful as we continue to reorganize.)
When we were in Prescott for a couple weeks, we chatted with quite a few people, but we were so busy learning the ropes of RV life we didn’t have opportunity to help anyone else. Since then, we haven’t been in any one place for more than a couple days, until now. But there’s literally NO ONE around this park. The place is full of fifth wheels, but the people don’t come out at all.
Please be praying with us that God would show us when and where we’re needed, and that we would recognize the opportunities He puts in front of us – even if they seem minor. And pray that we would realize that our worth does not come from how valuable we are to those around us, but from the fact that we are valuable to Him.
learning curve / random thoughts
- You can’t keep butter at room temperature in Texas in the summer, as room temp is pretty much the same as inside an oven.
- Sidewalks are not a thing here, and neither are driveways – most of the time we just see houses sitting in the middle of grass.
- Donuts ARE a thing here; there are shops all over the place, even in the tiny towns. I guess it makes sense, since Texans apparently love all things fried .
travel teasers – what’s next
Visit w/family in Dallas
The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK
Cross Ministries in Groom, TX
Pike’s Peak, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park