Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Alvarado to Richardson

Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Richardson, TX

It's been a busy 2 days and I need to catch up.

I tried to download this photo a couple of days ago to illustrate the stunning lack of ambiance (compared to state parks, for instance) at the campground of Motor Home Specialists   But, as I said before, the price is sure right.
Alvarado's "campground"
First thing Monday morning, Art the technician zipped over on the golf carts they use extensively here because the lot is so huge (as are many of their RVs).  He was pleased to hear his ice trick worked.  I had noticed a few days earlier that I had wires and a flap of something hanging down from the rear undercarriage, and Monday Art fixed it by replacing the pad that keeps the sewage tank from freezing in cold weather (ghastly thought).  He also picked out a new sewage hose for me and answered all the dumb questions I'd thought up over the weekend.  Nice guy.

Then I settled with the Service Department (all under warranty except the new sewage hose).  I then went and bought an extended warranty that is supposed to cover almost anything for the next 6 years.  I don't usually do extended warranties, but this one looked worth the money. 

I bought gas in Alvarado ($2.07/gal) and by then it wasn't far off noon so high time to skip town.

I got to David and Anna's easily - a surprise that Monday morning Dallas traffic would cooperate so well - and they set to work to take care of me.  Which, by then, was needed.  They let the dogs run around their yard and wiped the mud off them afterwards.  They fed me real food and offered a shower and washing machine.  They helped me make a list of all the things I needed to do (like new tennis shoes) and gave me my forwarded mail.  Too bad they only live here.

Tuesday, they drove me all over town (well, it seemed that way because Richardson is now so huge and spread out).  To the bank to put my will in the safe deposit box and check to be sure the house sale money had been deposited.  To the storage unit to drop off the last of the stuff I want to hang onto from Momma's house.  To Sears to get me some new shoes.  To Anna's former employer to buy some latex gloves to wear when dumping the sewage using my new hose.  To Lowe's to get something David could use to fix the screen door Dexter wrecked, and a tub to hold the (used) sewage hose (which, I'm told, everybody has), and a smaller tub to hold the water hose.  To Target to get something to hold the broom in one place so it won't fall on the floor noisily when I go over a bump (scaring Gracie), and a clock to hang on a wall because I'm having trouble functioning without at least one clock in this place.  And in between all that, we came back to the house so I could walk the dogs and feed the critters, and we had some great Mexican food at Cafe Milagro.

When we got back to their house, Anna helped me move the RV close enough to their house that we could run extension cords - the power cord attached to the RV + my extension cord + their extension cord just barely was long enough.  And Anna dredged out a couple of orange cones to protect the connection in the road.  They filled my windshield washer fluid, which had been totally empty - never filled, I think.  And in the evening, David figured out what I was doing wrong when trying to download photos from my camera, and he and Anna fed me supper, and we watched NCIS - my first time in more than a month.

Today, they have more plans for doing things for me.  Amazingly generous people.

Tomorrow's March 1, which means I have only a month to get up to New York.  I know that sounds easy, except I'm still getting used to all kinds of little things - inside ones like how to use the windshield washer and outside ones like where the front and rear of the RV are and where the mirrors extend to and how tightly it can turn - just all kinds of things that aren't like driving Momma's Honda Civic.  And I need to find places to stay along the way.  Texas was easy because I've spent so many years here.  I'm not at all familiar with Georgia or South Carolina or up the east coast - I mean as far as parks and campgrounds go.  It's something else to learn about.

I'm sure that by the time I get to New York, this will all have become routine.  But routines always have a beginning, which is usually awkward.  That starts tomorrow.  Always something to look forward to.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


Sunday, 25 February 2018
Alvarado, TX

Here at the "#1 Volume Sales Dealer in the World," they believe in an extensive use of light to deter criminality.  Their entire property is so well lit that I could almost read by the amount of light that came into my RV during the night.  Even if I had more light-reducing coverings on the windows, I still have 5 skylights that would be pretty tough to cover.  

I now know why I've been sleeping so well this last week: state park campgrounds aren't heavily lighted.  In fact, they're pretty dark.  Apparently this matters to me when I'm sleeping.  Oh well, it's free here.  And not permanent.

So today, more lessons.  I ran into a little problem when I went to dump the blackwater tank as instructed: my dumping hose broke, spilling sewage all over the ground, and me, incidentally.  I fought my way upstream and shut off the flow - but what a mess!  I decided to just throw away my jeans and tennies and socks, rather than try to hold and then transport them to a laundromat.  And I've never had much luck washing tennis shoes anyway.  And I didn't want reminders of the trauma of dealing with so much sewage. 

It's not that I'd generated that much but instead all that ice and water Art had dumped in to clean it out.  The ice melted.  There was a LOT of liquid.  Ghastly.

And after I'd cleaned up me and the mess on the ground, I still had to dump what was left in the tank but didn't have a hose to do it, mine having been done for.  So I went to one of the other RVs here in the "campground" and knocked on the door and told the nice man, "It's a long story but I need to ask to borrow your sewage line."  He said, "What?"  But he was very nice, especially considering I'd woken him up from a nap, he said, and he got dressed and came and disconnected his hose, and after a bit came over to check on me.  And gave me more advice based on his experience, which was very helpful and kind of him.

Everybody I've met at the various campgrounds has been kind and helpful and encouraging.

Anyway, I finally got my tanks dumped.  And now the sensors read properly, which is what Art had been hoping for.  Yea!  I'm staying the extra night anyway because I have some more questions to ask Art or whoever shows up tomorrow to follow up.

And in the meantime, I actually did get a tremendous amount of sorting done.  Tossed a whole bunch of stuff.  And noticed someone else has been doing the same.  The dumpster here was nearly empty yesterday and is now 2/3 full.  And it was definitely not all me.  I'm not done yet but I'm close, which is good.

So I'll wait until I can see a service person tomorrow and then head on over to the Dallas area to see my brother and sister-in-law.  Now I have to buy new tennies.  But I got those at Sears anyway.


Saturday, 24 February 2018
MHSRV, Alvarado, TX

When I left Cleburne State Park this morning, there were still patches of thick fog and low clouds and rain, so much that I missed getting a photo of Cedar Lake, which is what the park is built next to. A pretty lake and pretty area.

A sign at the park said the lake and the road were built by the CCC in the 1930s. It’s a decent sized lake, and there’s apparently fish in it, because the dumpsters have signs that say don’t put fish in them. It’s really a nice park and must be very popular during the summer. Lots of large cedars, that smell nice. And despite the lousy weather, I was sorry we couldn’t stay longer. As we were leaving, 3 deer ran from the road and then waited until we’d gone by and went back. Us city girls don’t see deer often enough.

The folks here at Motor Home Specialists ( in Alvarado where I bought my RV were, as usual, friendly and helpful and accommodating. Art in the Service Department fixed the leak under my sink almost instantly, finding the disconnected water hose and connecting it. Now I have water to my kitchen faucet! He also checked to be sure I didn’t do any damage to my power cord when I drove off while it was still plugged in back in Buescher State Park.

(Warning: this paragraph may cause queasiness.) What he had a little trouble with, though, was figuring out why the sensors to my water and blackwater and greywater tanks didn’t seem to be registering accurately. He said maybe gunk had clogged the sensors in the blackwater tank and he showed me this trick of dumping a bucket of ice down the toilet while flushing, and part way through dumping a dose of enzyme cleaner in, and then more ice and flushing. And then he told me to drive around on rough roads for a while to let it all slosh around (though he thought I’d be limited on the roughness aspect because of the critters), and then let it set overnight. Then drain tomorrow morning and, if it’s not raining, to leave the cap off the tank for a day to let it dry out. And then on Monday he’d come to see if the sensors had started working. If not, he’d try Plan B, which is more expensive and involved.

So now I’m spending the next 2 nights in what they call the campground. No ambiance at all but full hookups and zero cost and access to whatever Alvarado has to offer. So I splurged at the grocery store and bought a rotisserie chicken and some oatmeal cookies.

Now I have what I’ve claimed to be wanting, which is enough time to sort through all these boxes and bags I stuffed into the storage area when I left the house. Some of it’s throwaway and some of it goes in the rented storage unit and some of it's donatable - and I’m not sure what else is in there. It’s like those “go fishing” things at school carnivals – you never know what you’ll pull out. That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow. That and dumping the remains of the ice out of my tank. Sundays are a day of rest and gladness, right?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cleburne State Park

Friday, 23 February 2018
Cleburne State Park

What a day.

After waiting an extra hour and a half this morning for the rain to lighten up so I could walk the dogs without drowning – it was really pouring – and fighting my way through the construction and usual traffic Austin seems to have these days, I finally got to Momma’s house. Got the last of the stuff cleared out.

Stopped at the gas station – prices were 15¢ a gallon cheaper in Beeville than at my usually inexpensive Austin station.

Stopped at the Goodwill to donate the last of the donatable items.

Stopped at the pet store to replace the collar Dexter tore up. Walked the dogs.

Went over to the title company and eventually found 2 parking places together where I could fit the RV.

Met our realtor, who bought me lunch.

Went to the title company and signed the paperwork that would irrevocably transfer that wonderful house out of our family after more than 70 years. Cried. They offered Kleenex and sympathy.

Walked the dogs again and hit the road. That was at 2:30.

I guess because it was a Friday the traffic on the northbound highway never let up. Usually it thins out after leaving the major population areas, but not today. And then there was the perpetually-under-construction area around Belton/Temple. I’m pretty sure there was construction in that area when I went to college in 1967, and I don’t think it’s ever not been under construction. Does anybody know whose brother-in-law got that eternal contract?

By the time I turned off the interstate onto a state road, fog had set in. In places, it was only about ¼ mile visibility. That slowed me right down, but I hated to hold up the traffic behind me who were probably local people who didn’t want to be slowed down, so I did the best I could. It wasn’t the road, just the fog. Which turned into low clouds with rain in them. In some places it was both.

I did learn another lesson, though, which is to keep the camera up front when I’m driving. I stopped at a traffic light in Hillsboro and got a perfect view of their lovely courthouse out my driver’s side window. I could have gotten a great picture if I’d had my camera.

I went the 30 miles or so to Cleburne and couldn’t find any of the highway signs I expected. Stopped at a gas station and the combined clientele gave me good instructions to the campground. When I asked them about how much farther, they said oh, it’s a ways. Which made me brace myself for another 30 miles or so. But from the gas station it was only 12 more miles.

The campground seems to be a really nice one, and it’s nearly empty. Of course, it’s February and it’s cold and rainy. I had my pick of all 16 of the sites in this section. When I stopped, plugged us in to the electricity and started walking the dogs, there must have been hundreds of birds singing nearby. It was a cacophony. And after about 10 minutes it turned off like a spigot. I don’t know – maybe it was bedtime.

It really is a nice campground and I’m sorry we can’t stay an extra day. But I need to present my RV at the dealer in Alvarado by as close to 9:00 as possible, so too bad, not happening.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

McKinney Falls

Thursday, 22 February 2018
McKinney Falls State Park, Austin, TX

I hadn’t thought about this until I lived in Alaska, but what’s called a subsistence lifestyle is very time consuming. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to stay warm, dry, and fed. Realizing this gave me a new appreciation for what life must have been like for the early American Natives and the westward-ho pioneers.

It often takes longer to do basic tasks than I expect it will. Which puts me way behind on the non-basic tasks I’ve been wanting to do.

For example, I was too frazzled to write yesterday, or to do much of anything once I’d finally gotten us settled in our camping spot here at McKinney Falls. The drive from Corpus Christi was one long fight with a very strong and squirrely wind. It didn’t seem to matter which direction the road was taking us,  the wind still shoved us so much I still had to hang on to the steering wheel to keep us on the road. That meant the 75 mph speed limit was irrelevant – I couldn’t go any faster than 55 without risking losing control. Crazy wind. Which meant that I went 20 mph slower than I’d expected, and our trip lasted a great deal longer.

Nice scenery, though. Flat southern Texas giving way to some hills and trees. Nice little towns. I don’t remember ever noticing a small town named Berclair between Beeville and Goliad, but it must once have been special – some very fancy houses along the main street.

I was stunned to see the Bee County Courthouse.  Can you see all the gilt?

Bee County Courthouse
Courthouse detail

Today I was doing some make-up from what I couldn’t do a week ago when I left town.

I stopped to get help from my friend and computer blog expert Janice Friesen. I first learned about Janice’s service from a newspaper article that said she was helping someone set up a blog. It occurred to me that a blog was the way to deal with all the friends and relatives who said send me an email now and then to say what you’re doing. Her service is called "I'm Not A Geek" ” and she’s not. But she does know how to figure out how to do things on a computer, and she can teach anybody else how to do it, too. I know because she taught me to, which means anybody could learn. This blog is entirely thanks to her.

Then I took the critters to the vet, which is something I’d intended to do last week but ran out of time for. I’ve been going to Hyde Park Animal Clinic for the last 10 years, and could only get in because my mom was a client and had taken my cat in once when I was visiting. The clinic stopped accepting new human clients ages ago – they had plenty of business with the ones they already had. Good people.

Then I went to my mom’s house intending to finish cleaning it out, since I hadn’t been able to finish last week. It’s still not done. I’ll have to go by early tomorrow morning. Silly me, I spent part of the afternoon using the running water that I don’t have: I washed the dishes (!) and washed the clothes and washed me, all of which left less time than I expected. It was after 4:00 when we left. But most of what I have to do tomorrow is figure out where to stash things while toting them to Goodwill, which is doable. The buyers are taking their final walk-through around 10 before they sign closing papers, so I can get over and out of there before that.

Then I have a few more errands – replacing Dexter’s collar he split in two while charging at another dog (is there really intelligent life on this planet?) - and so forth. Closing for me is at 1:00, and then I high-tail it out of town to make it to Cleburne State Park, south of Fort Worth. That’s only down the road from the MHSRV place that’s going to fix my little problems on Saturday. I’ll relax after all that.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Starting Out

Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Lake Corpus Christi State Park

It took me a surprising amount of time this morning to locate a place who would repair the RV under warranty.

I learned that Texas is the only state in the Union to have a law designating exactly which RV dealers can make repairs on RVs. In essence, I have to either go back to the dealer where I bought it or I can go to one of the few repair places that Thor (the manufacturer) has a repair contract with.

What finally made the choice for me was timing and logistics. A place in Buda was able to take it if I’d leave it there for 4-6 weeks. Because I’m living in it, they weren’t really an option. The dealer, MHSRV, could do it but I had to get special dispensation from somebody because I’m living in it, which meant revamping the schedules of their repair folks. But they’ve worked me in beginning this coming Saturday, and for however many days it takes after that (remembering they’re closed on Sunday) to get the job done. A nuisance because I want to get on the road, but that faucet is a much greater nuisance.

It rained off and on today but was otherwise pleasant. I got some organizing done and some relaxing done.

I hope you can enlarge these photos.  The one on the left tries to show two clumps of palm trees that I'm guessing planted themselves.  I keep forgetting how nearly tropical this area is.  Lots of little yellow flowers.  Very pretty.

The second is 5 wading birds that my best guess says are immature Little Blue Herons.  That's based on the dark tips to their wings I saw when they flew.  I tried to get a picture of that but missed.  The very foreground is the picnic table at my site.  This looks out to the main lake in the background.  

Very nice campground except for the MASSIVE number of ant beds.  I also saw what I'm pretty sure was a cormorant and a dowitcher, but I didn't have my binoculars with me so can't be sure.  The bird book says they're likely here, so I may be right.

Monday, 19 February 2018, Presidents’ Day, my sister’s birthday
Lake Corpus Christi State Park, Mathis TX (near Corpus)

I wish I’d remembered when I was at the grocery store that today was the birthday of my sister Louise.  In her memory, I like to have her favorite dinner – pork chops with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and peas.  Of course, since I have a small dishwashing problem it’s probably just as well I forgot.   I’ll postpone the dinner until I can get the kitchen faucet fixed.

Thank goodness for making reservations.  This campground had a “full” sign on it and I wouldn’t have gotten in without the reservation.   I got here just barely early enough to snag the last good site, next to a small inlet of water off the main lake: I’m watching an egret feeding on the other side as are several scaup. I haven’t seen scaup in 20 years but I was so incessantly drilled in the duckies by my birdwatcher husband that I knew them instantly.  Hey – we take our accomplishments where we can find them. I’ll try to get photos of them tomorrow to post.

So, another day of experiences.

I got the propane tank filled for the first time.   The guy who did it was very conscientious and insisted I get all living beings out of the RV before he would fill the tank.  That went over real well with the cats.   I took their crate outside and set it up and then took them out one at a time and stuck them in it.  The wind was blowing pretty seriously by then, so they turned their backs to it and hunched over and endured.  Stoically.   I mean, they didn’t holler at me.  I took the dogs for a walk, which made them happy.

The drive from last night’s campground was interesting.  Signs of the hurricane everywhere.  New fences in every other yard.  Debris piled by the road near houses.  Shredded highway department signs.   Signs on businesses saying “still open.”   At one point traffic was routed into one lane only because heavy equipment was filling the median with debris.   And this was no ordinary median.  I don’t know why it was built this way - it must have been several hundred feet wide, and the debris stretched for almost a mile (I clocked it) and it covered 2/3 of the median.  And that was by no means all of it.  I wonder what will happen with it.  I wanted to stop and get a photo but because we were all scrunched up together, there was no shoulder to stop on.

There was also a high wind warning today, and the crosswinds were a force to be reckoned with.  Certainly by me, the novice RV driver.  (I learned from the weather report tonight that they'd gusted up to 40 mph.)  The posted speed limit of 75 mph was utterly irrelevant – I went no higher than 55 mph because even at that speed it was hard to hold it in my lane.   And mine isn’t even particularly large.  In fact, one of the park rangers commented the other day on how mine would be fine in a park area marked “low clearance” but said some of the RVs she saw were higher than her building.

Dexter, my 2½ year old lab mix, has decided to adjust to RV living by being as exuberant as he can.   Exhibit A: he completely shredded my screen door this morning.  Since I’m now near the coast and the weather is substantially warmer than back up in the Austin area, it was so warm today I finally dredged out the bag of my summer clothes to find some shorts and tank tops.  The weather guy said it was up to 85° here. Trust me, I ain’t complaining.

Among the wonderful things I’ve discovered so far have been the stars. The lights of Austin have made all but Orion nearly invisible there.   Most nights I’ve been out this week have been overcast, but there’ve been several where I could see all of them.  I haven’t seen the Big Dipper in 10 years. It was so nice – like meeting an old friend. I could see all the stars in Orion  - not just his belt - and so many many others. Tonight looks like it’ll be clear, so I’m looking forward to a show again.

I just watched a heron fly across the lake and land near my off-shoot. So peaceful. I’m starting to sleep much better.

Sunday, 18 February 2018
Hidden Oaks RV Resort, near Rockport TX

I learned several valuable lessons today.  First, do a walk around the RV before driving off.  Had I done that, though, I wouldn't have learned lesson #2: if I drive off without remembering to unplug the electric cord, no irretrievable damage is done.  This time.  I may not be so lucky if there's a second time.

Lesson #3: when they told me at the RV dealership that I'd need to get a longer sewage hose than came with the RV, they were right.  It was only just b-a-r-e-l-y long enough to stretch to the dump spot.  But it worked.  Yea!  My first time to empty the tanks.  Let's also hear it for vinyl gloves left over from when I was taking care of my mom!

And lumped in with that lesson is the subsidiary lesson that I also need to get a short hose: the owner's manual says I'm supposed to use a water hose to run water through the sewage hose after dumping and to leave some water in the bottom of the sewage tank.  The only hose they gave me originally is a drinking water hose, and the spigot by the dump site says clearly the water there is not for drinking.  I don't need a lesson to know not to mix my hoses.

Lesson #4: if I know about where I want to go, it's a really good idea to make a reservation.  I'd focused my attention and energy on getting the 5 of us to Goose Island State Park near Rockport.  And we made it just fine.  Except the ranger told me that all their campsites are still closed from hurricane damage.  Ditto for Mustang Island State Park by Corpus Christi.  The ranger suggested Hidden Oaks just a couple miles down the road.

Lesson #5: try not to get so tired before stopping for the day that I can't adapt to surprises.  I'd only driven for 3 hours or so, but I'm still not used to driving the RV and it's wearing.  By the time the ranger gave me the bad news, I was too tired to want to hunt for anything else.  

This place is very pleasant with many who appear to be permanent residents.  Their monthly rates are quite reasonable, but their daily rate ($35) is half again the $20 I paid at Buescher.  I just can't afford that

Speaking of which, I realize I haven't done justice to Buescher State Park.  In the woods on a small lake they keep stocked with fish, not too much obvious damage from the terrible fire a few years ago.  Very comfortable, well maintained, pleasant and helpful staff.  

Lots and lots of  birds - the woods are full of their singing.  I'm guessing it was a Red-shouldered Hawk that sat on the ground where we got a good look until we got closer than he wanted.

I stopped at the ranger station to ask what I was seeing: some things that looked like vines climbing the trees when they were thin but grew to be as huge as tree trunks.  They said it was grapevine.  I grew up with grapevine and don't remember ever seeing anything like this.

Grapevine and oak trees

Having learned Lesson #4, I've made a reservation for Lake Corpus Christi State Park for tomorrow.  I still need to get my kitchen faucet fixed, and now I know I need some RV supplies, so I don't want to go too far down the road without doing some regrouping.  If it's a nice place, I'll stay till I leave for Austin.

Saturday, 17 February 2018
Buescher State Park, Smithville, TX

I had intended to leave today and go to the coast, but when I got up this morning, I realized I was still pooped from the day before.  I decided another night here in Smithville was just the ticket and it has been.  I did almost nothing all day – read a book, watched a video. It certainly pares down my options when there’s no wi-fi signal.  All of these will get posted at once, when I get somewhere else.  Wait – news flash – I now have a signal on my little hot spot! I’ll try to get these posted before I lose it.

In the meantime, and continuing my chronicle, we come to the dish saga. Not wanting to live through another flood like yesterday’s but still needing to wash the dishes – actually, needing it more since I'd added to the pile – I had a sudden flash of inspiration when I realized I also needed a shower. Nearly ran the park out of hot water, which I wouldn’t have thought I would, since they must be geared for several people to shower at the same time – there are 2 stalls in the women’s room, surely 2 in the men’s room. Oh well, a lukewarm finish didn’t hurt my feelings and everything got clean.

I've decided to skip Galveston and go to Rockport instead.  I want to be back in Austin on Wednesday to clean the house before the Thursday closing, so I only have 3 more nights and I'd rather stay in one place for that time.  I'm afraid to push myself too much so early in this experiment - especially when there's no need.  I decided on Rockport because it was one of the places that was hit hard by the hurricane, and they're asking for tourists to come and spend money.  So I'm saving up my grocery shopping for whatever's available in Rockport.

Friday, 16 February 2018
Buescher State Park, Smithville, TX

I started pretty early to try to wrest some kind of order out of the chaos I’d wrought when I just crammed stuff in yesterday. By 9:00 AM I was well underway with the organizing, which is when a park ranger stopped off to remind me to go pay for my previous night’s lodging. I think I looked and sounded a little frazzled, because he offered to drive me down to the office to register and then drive me back. Very sweet of him and very much appreciated.

By the time the ranger stopped by, I'd already figured out I needed another night here, just to have more time to organize.  I ended up spending at least 4 hours unpacking, stowing, sorting, trying to figure out what I had and where I’d put stuff I need right now, and so on. I stopped to walk the dogs and again to eat lunch, but by early afternoon I was pooped. That’s when the fun started.

I decided I’d actually wash the dishes – reasonable concept but not one I’d tried before. I learned fairly quickly that there’s an extremely loose connection between the incoming water hose and the kitchen faucet, and that when I turn on the faucet, I flood the 3 drawers underneath the sink. And all the contents of those drawers. And the floor. All over the floor.

While I was playing these games, the weather changed from really quite warm and sunny and pleasant to definitely cooler and windy and suggesting rain to come. The change meant I had a much harder time drying out the underneath-the-sink area. I couldn’t reach much of what had to be dried out, for starters. I set up a small fan in the bottom drawer, aimed at the cabinet interior, but the cooler, damper atmosphere slowed things way down.

And this being a Friday afternoon, any place I could go for repairs – the Camping World in Buda, for instance – would probably not have mechanics working on weekends.  The dishwashing plan came to a screeching halt.

So after walking the dogs, I took the evening off to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. What a happy movie – and all about the problems of starting over and taking a chance on the future. Definitely the encouragement I needed about then.

Thursday, 15 February 2018
Buescher State Park, Smithville, TX

I spent the day moving out of the house and into the RV, and there was much more to do than I thought there’d be. I had underestimated all the piles of things I’d set aside to decide about later – and “later” came today. Except I didn’t decide. I just boxed or bagged up everything and stuffed it into the RV somewhere to be decided about "later."  

And after I did that, I still had to move in all the things I use every day – the coffee-making stuff and salt and pepper and knives and forks, the bathroom stuff and pajamas, and so forth. “And so forth” included a lot of stuff. I realized as I was packing some of this stuff up that I wouldn’t want to keep it but didn’t want to take the time to figure it out today. The result is that the poor RV is just crammed with things I actually intend to donate to Goodwill and such. But I wanted to get out and get on the road.

I’m not really on the road because I have to go back to Austin next week to close on the house, but I wanted a second dry run and this seems to be it. So today was awkward and a lot of work that was probably unnecessary. And when I got to the state park, I couldn’t find anything because everything was jumbled together in separate bags and boxes. But I got at least some consolidating done, and called it good for one day. The critters were hungry and so was I.

I’d intended to take them all to the vet for a final checkup before we left but abandoned that idea when I remembered we’ll be coming back through town next week and decided to factor in the time for a visit then. And then I saved a little more time by remembering I was coming back through town and I could just plan to factor in time to do a final cleanup of the house then. Without those two decisions, I’d never have left town today.

It’s too bad there’s a cold front coming through tomorrow because it can be somewhat colder here in Smithville than in Austin, and Austin is predicted to be a bit chilly. My dogs seem to want to put down some roots somewhere so I’d be inclined to stay here at least another night, except for the predicted temperature.

I’m planning to go down to Galveston State Park after this, for slightly warmer weather and for the beach. I don’t have a cell phone signal at this campsite, but I have to go to the ranger station in the morning to pay for staying tonight so I can likely pick up a signal there.