Well, here we are still tucked away along the U.S. border while storms rage with record cold temperatures, and snow flies over a huge part of our nation. The end of February seems to be the start of spring here. The trees that aren’t palms are budding and flowering. Thought I’d share that so you can believe spring is coming your way before long. We are starting to see new types of birds as they begin to migrate again.
As work campers Jim was asked to host the open house at Retama Village three days a week. That is a housing development next door that is an over fifty-five community with RV ports attached to the homes. He enjoyed meeting and visiting with all the people who stopped by.
His job covered our twenty-four hour work week so I was free to enjoy the craft rooms where the people go to sew, quilt, make jewelry, and carve wood. There are even lockers to store our sewing machines and craft items. Next to that is a woodshop. Guys (and gals) are busy building, sawing and turning on lathes all sorts of beautiful projects.
We have found you can stay busy as long as your energy holds out. There are local tours planned, weekly concerts with talent from Branson and Nashville, different kinds of exercise classes, and games going on continually.
Last Saturday was the dog parade. The pets were dressed up and the local shelter brought dogs looking for homes. The event made enough money to send $700 to the animal shelter. Cute!
We went to Fort Worth for Christmas so some of the guys who are part of Alamo RecVeh church stepped up to help with sound. They have done such a good job Jim felt he was finished with that job too. We enjoy visiting different churches and have found some great ones in this area. The one we chose to call home is Palm Valley Church in Mission. We find it very special.
People were talking about a RV Park called Bibleville that has Christian concerts every Saturday. Retired pastors stay there and minister in some of the other RV Parks. They also have all sorts of other ministry outreaches to the area and Mexico. No one is idle there.
Anyway, we had to check it out and were excited to see the place packed for the concerts. You have to get there more than an hour early to have good seats. Our second time going we joined two other couples early and were able to sit together on the second row. Then we had a wonderful surprise. Dino, the Christian pianist out of Branson came to do the pre-concert before the Allen Family sang. There I was right in front of his piano which he still plays breathtakingly beautifully.
I’m going to try to dump a quick list of some of the things we have done this last four months. We’ve taken two trips to Progresso, Mexico just for fun with other couples. We went to Reynosa, Mexico to Children’s Heaven International with a small group to see the children’s school, homes, have lunch with them, and share a bunch of hugs. There are so many beautiful children everywhere we go.
We’ve taken several day trips to Padre Island. I love to walk on the beach. We received free tickets to take a boat out on the bay to see dolphins. They were everywhere. We saw at least fifty, maybe more. So fun.
Learning pickle ball was a priority for our time here and we’ve been able to use the court here in the park. Sometimes the Texas wind makes it a whole different game. We also found indoor courts and people play every morning so we are challenged to learn even more.
Riding our bikes on the trails all around us has also been fun. We rode through the Bird Sanctuary, which is right across the road, one day and saw over twenty green jays. They are so beautiful.
Jim was with a group down by the Rio Grande and a Mexican fisherman proudly held up a Gar he had caught that was as big as him. Later, we noticed Gar on the menu of some Mexican restaurants. The grocery stores fish department even sells it for about $5.00 a pound. I found this so curious as I remembered the ugly Gar that almost jumped in our boat at Lake of the Ozarks one time. Yuck!
Of course, we’ve tried a lot of good restaurants. Our favorite is the Republic of the Rio Grande in McAllen. Each time we go we try something different and it has all been exceptional. If you go leave room for the house dessert, an almond taco, (that isn’t on the menu) or the banana bread pudding. The pictures should convince you.
The question that always comes up about staying in this area is about the border. The Rio Grande runs along this property. We took a pontoon boat ride on the river one afternoon. They say this is the sixteenth safest place to live in the nation. I assume that is because of the number of Border patrols, police, County sheriffs and probably others that are present all the time.
From where we are parked we watch security people drive by in cars, ATVs, and hummers, and on horses. Airplanes and helicopters are overhead daily. There are also military grade cameras that can see everything going on along the river and miles away. So the people cross and quickly get picked up (anyway in this area).
I was surprised to learn a large percent of the people crossing are not from Mexico. They say the Mexican people can get day passes to come over and shop and they just don’t go back. So those sneaking across are from the Spanish speaking countries further south. We were also told by the border patrol they have 15,000 Chinese people cross annually. Jim isn’t concerned about the whole situation but I find it unsettling. If they ever take all the security away there may be a stampede.
Anyway, we’ve met lots of great people. We always enjoy the Canadians that come south too. And now it’s time to think of moving on. However, the weed eater guy came by and a rock hit the window on the driver’s side so we are on hold until we get the replacement. Oh well, more time for fun in Mission while we wait.
Traveling… oops. Staying blessed USA