Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Vacation in January!!

I know it’s been a while since I have updated our blog, but the blog is primarily to record our travels and adventures and there just hasn’t been that much blog worthy to write about this past month.  We did enjoy a wonderful Christmas season with family.

I got to go to Lucy's school Christmas party!

Lucy talking to Santa about her list.
Lucy and Aiden making reindeer balls! Are they a little OCD???
Me and Amy getting ready for the big Christmas fish fry party!

All the Koether guys working hard on the fish fry!

Getting ready to eat!

Lucy lost a tooth and is soooo excited!!!  I mean, the tooth fairy and Santa Claus!

Making those Christmas cookies!

Went to Christmas Eve service at the Sweeny UMC.

OMG!  Are those Santa's footprints?

We spent the New Years weekend camping with our friends Donna and Greg at Brackenridge Park on Lake Texana. It got really, really cold and windy. We found plenty to keep entertained and as usual, started the New Year off with a really great traditional meal!  Ron and I did a hike at the park and found a dime. Didn't think much of it until my friend Alfredo told me that the number 10 symbolizes a circle, so a dime might indicate coming full circle. Also that someone or something is trying to get your attention. Guidance or validation that you're on the right path. Ancestors, spirits or deceased loved ones want you to know they're looking out for you.  So - I'll take all of that!
Black eye peas, mustard greens, bbq and cornbread. Yummy!
I am happy to report that Ron is doing good with his shoulder surgery experience. He did start physical therapy within a week of surgery. This experience is so different from his other shoulder surgery. He is now out of the sling and doing pretty good.

Things at Brazos Bend have been going along pretty good. The way it works at the state park is that between both of us we are to put in a minimum of 25 hours per week. I have been able to do this pretty by signing up for shifts at headquarters doing fee collection. I also do a lot of trail walking and have the opportunity to visit with park guests and then there is map folding, not necessarily a favorite, but with the bad weather we kept having it was something I could do in the evening while we watched tv.  I will miss walking in the park. So many birds and lots of nature to enjoy here.
It's fun to be a fee collector!  I like to greet our park guests!
Snowy egret

Vermillion Flycatcher

Before leaving the park, the kids and grandkids came out to celebrate our eldest daughter Liz's 37th birthday!  It was a fun send off!
Lucy is a natural party planner. She did good on the decorations.

Making sure everyone wears a birthday hat!

James riding Aiden's bike. He thinks he's still a youngster!

Here's our birthday girl Liz enjoying enchiladas, rice and awesome beans!

Grandkids are the best!

Happy birthday Liz!!!!

We planned a short vacation between leaving Brazos Bend and arriving back at Stonewall TX for our volunteer job at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. They have a new requirement for us – a PIV card. So we needed to visit one of the “shared” locations to get more fingerprints done and have our picture ID taken. Sounds easy. Well, there are just a few locations in this great state of ours to get that done. College Station was the closest but alas they had no openings for 2 people until mid-February. That wouldn’t work as we needed before then. But Lufkin had an opening January 16!  So we decided to hit the road a little earlier and visit Lufkin and east Texas.  It just so happens that on that very day the area received some of the worst record breaking cold with snow and ice in history. The office was closed. It ended up working out as when they reopened the next day we gave them our sad story and she accommodated us. The museums and other activities we planned to do here though remained closed due to the weather. Oh well…… Here’s a picture of the pond iced over at our campsite. And our neighbor was in a rig just like ours – twins!
Looks like twin Dutch Star motorhomes!!
We don't get to experience many iced over ponds down here.

We also received news of our beloved Aunt Lucy passing away at age 97. We will be rearranging our schedule to go back home for her memorial next Saturday.
Took this picture right before Christmas with her.

Amy and Aunt Lucy

We continued on down the road to Carthage. The main attraction here was the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. It did not disappoint!  It’s a $10 entrance fee but well worth it.

At the entrance

These are just a few of their displays.
The town also boasts of two other must see attractions. The first is the Footprints in the Sand Monument.  It is a 14’ tall bronze sculpture of Jesus carrying the narrator of the poem. 

The other must see is the Jim Reeves Highway Memorial.  If you are a country music fan, this is a very well kept memorial to “Gentleman” Jim Reeves. His wife Mary and dog Cheyenne are also buried here.  He died in a plane crash in 1964.  He was born near Carthage. One of my favorites of his is “Am I Losing You”. 

Loved the guitar on the sidewalk.

It seems as though his nickname "Gentleman Jim Reeves" really suited him.

Saturday the weather started warming and we had a little cabin fever. We drove over to Martin Lake State Park, about 20 miles from Carthage, to do a little trail walking and get some vitamin D.  This is a nice park on a warm power plant lake. They had a fishing tournament going on and it was packed with fishermen!  The down side to this place is that you will hear the noise from the power plant and the trains.  Saw lots of birds and deer.

So the big news is that the federal government has shut down. We are to arrive at the LBJ park Friday. We have been told that the volunteers are able to stay. Just hoping there won’t be a problem since we aren’t there yet. Praying for a quick resolution!

Stay tuned!


  1. Wow, that's a lot of visiting time. Looks like you had fun!

  2. It was a blast being able to stay through the holidays close to our home base!