Finally, the cold wet weather that has been pounding much of the US and Canada has gone, and our RGV weather is back to normal, with sunshine, highs in the 70s and 80s, and lows in the 50s and 60s. This also means a return to our busy Winter Texan lifestyle—hoorah!
Al picked me up early Wednesday morning for golf, I haven’t played in almost 10 years! We drove the short distance to Meadow Creek Golf Club, and though my play was terrible, as usual, there were enough good hits to warrant a return another day. Kay continued making (turning) her segmented bowl, and after today, lacks only about another hour of turning before applying the finish. The afternoon found us in the hot tub and pool after an absence of several weeks. We joined a boisterous crowd in the clubhouse for Margarita Hour, though neither of us drink margaritas (700 calories), and returned to the RV to find the satellite television not working; it’s always something! Calls to DishTV did not provide a solution, and we suspect that a motor in the Tailgater satellite dish has gone bad. It’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.
With Jerry and Karen Smith gone, our birding trips have been uncertain. However, Lorna Graham and Ernie Martelle stepped up to the plate and are leading weekly trips. We met in front of Guest Services at 7:30 AM Thursday for the drive to Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco; there were 27 of us. We had a great trip, and saw lots of birds, including a couple of my favorites, an Aninga and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron. During the course of the outing, I met another amateur photographer, Roger Parks, who also happens to be a retired United Methodist minister. We had a great conversation about cameras, lenses, Lightroom, and a photography class he is leading at BPVRV Resort. While I was gone, sweet Kay picked up my bike at the bike shop, so now I don’t feel quite as isolated. Let’s hope the new rear wheel doesn’t pop any spokes. We played bridge in the evening, and both of us had lousy hands and poor fits most of the night.
Not having enough frustration a couple of days ago, I returned to the golf course with Al Crawford Friday morning. The first couple of holes were ugly, with a couple of ball-topping strokes, lost balls, and some really short hits—with woods and long irons; it’s going to take a while. However, there were more good strokes than bad, and except for 4 or 5 holes, it wasn’t a bad game. At least there was some improvement from two days ago. Kay and Bonnie rode bikes for several miles, riding to the Mission Nature Center “Roadrunner” trail and back; no reports of roadrunners on the trail were made. Our weekly Friday evening entertainment was Goldwing Express, currently out of Branson, Missouri. The group consists of an Anglo father, and his three Native American sons (their mother was a full-blooded Creek). A segment of their performance is dedicated to their Indian heritage. Each brother wears his very own Native American headdress representing their mother’s Creek Indian tribe. They played a combination of bluegrass, gospel, and country western music, and the comedy typical of most Branson type shows. This family music show originated in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. They were good last year, but better this year.
I was up early Saturday morning for a bike tour sponsored by BikeMasters, the shop where our recent bike repairs have been made. They sponsor a couple of rides each Saturday morning, including a “Beginning” ride. The store was closed tight and dark at the appointed time, so I drove north and west to explore riding opportunities. Returning about twenty minutes later, I saw several people gathering in the parking lot. Those of you who know me know that stepping into a new situation with new people is not something I like to do at all—that’s Kay’s thing (the social butterfly of the family). Most of the riders were first timers, and the “tour” leader, the bike shop owner, opted for an approximate 20-mile ride. As the oldest rider by well over 10 years, I was concerned about keeping up. We rode north on 10th Street to University, then west on University to Conway, made a U-turn, and returned. The bike lanes were wide, and the surface mostly smooth, making for a great ride. Here are the ride statistics:
Ride Time: 1:36:23
Stopped Time: 15:12
Distance: 21.96 miles
Average: 13.67 mph
Fastest Speed: 20.45 mph
Upon returning to the RV resort, Kay and I joined Al, Sharon, Chuck, and Sue for a trip to the Don Wes Flea Market, the original Farmer’s Market, and lunch at Willie’s. We picked up a pre-ordered awning screen at the flea market, and some fruit and vegetables at the fruit and vegetable stand across the street. Willie’s is known for their humongus baked potatoes, but Kay had ribs and I had brisket. It was good. On the return we stopped at Green Gate Grove for a visit with former neighbors Ken and Sandy from New York, but didn’t have time to see Wayne and Bessie. Back at Bentsen Palm Village, who did we see as we turned into the circle—Wayne and Bessie!
We were astounded at the quality of both instrumentalists and vocalists as Al, Sharon, Kay, and I enjoyed a concert, Sounds & Splendor of Mexico, featuring Mariachi Aztlan and presented by the University of Texas-Pan American. Special guests were the Luz de Luna Dance Company, Christina Lopez, and the McAllen High School Mariachi. All we can say is WOW!