27 Feb. Wed: Blue skies smiling at me - nothin but blue skies do I see. Gorgeous day. We walked to the fitness center wearing jackets in anticipation of cool weather since the water in the lake is whipped to a frenzy of white caps; but instead, it was quite warm. The FC felt very hot while we were working out; the attendant was miffed when asked to turn the A/C down. Stopping at the Caddy Shack for dinner we ran into Jim and Cindy who sneakily paid the bill. Thank you J and C! Nice day; good workout, lovely dinner.
26 Feb, Tues: It is windy in North Texas with a temp of 55 degrees noontime when ET (Energetic Traveler) phoned home. After buying jacket only Frogg Toggs at WalMart for a mere $30.00, he drove to Cabela's but they had no pants or jackets in stock. It is cold on that bike today. On a motorcycle the real feel temp is about 20 degrees colder. BRRRR! It gets warmer closer to HOME.
The traveler returned by 8PM cold and dirty from the dust of the back roads caked on his face announcing we will shop for a new AeroFlow windshield; this one does not block the wind or rain.
25 Feb, Mon: Ron is amusing cousin Dorothy while enjoying a lovely visit with our 96 year old cousin. She is a delightful conversationalist - and quite an amazing woman. After retiring as one of the first female CPA's in TX, she returned to school and became a famous award winning watercolorist. Her work is published in Italy, France and shown in many galleries.
24 Feb, Sun: Cynthia's morning assignment is to write a funny story about losing her cell phone (a week ago) so Ron can send it to VZ or Reader's Digest Funny Stories. "Cynthia's Cell Story... Will it Sell?" That is all she wrote because the lake views were more compelling.
23 Feb, Sat: 12 year old Zoe and her Grandmother had a super spa day: nails and pedicures, side by side, provided an amusing comparison of legs and feet. Zoe's long legs stretch way down to size 9.5 feet; Cynthia is a short self from the get go. The marks on the back of Zoe's laundry room door proved Zoe has grown two inches taller than Grandmother. The twos of them and son Paul had a memory maker lunch. C returned home in time to catch up on news with Lauren, a senior at TX A and M. Ron rode northbound to deliver three loaves of C's Italian bread to cousin Dorothy in Denton, TX.
Imagine!!! another anniversary :) We haven't had an anniversary since Valentine's Day! Ron proposed on this day in 2010, on bended knee in an Irmo, SC restaurant. In honor of that special day, here is a reprint of our song, plus you can listen to Tom Baust singing it by clicking on this link: http://colonialswedes.org/music/
Tony Rubio wrote this special song for us sung by Tom Baust during the wedding ceremony and at the reception:
We’ve Traveled Through Time
A very long time ago
Before this world was known
The spirits of two lovers
Were destined to travel alone
Until they found each other
Until they found their home
And the name they carried
The day they married
And the love they’re giving
Through the life they’re living
Are all part of their story
All for the glory
We’ve arrived at this moment
With a new life to share
We’ve traveled through time
To find ourselves here
And now we walk the trails
And travel the roads
Guided by His peace
Everywhere we go
And though the world is changing, and the seasons, passing
Our love’s remaining a love everlasting
And the name we carried, the day we married
Love we’ve been given through this life we’re living
Are all part of a story, all for His glory
Through the seasons of change
And this world we’ve discovered
We’ve traveled through time
To find each other
Through these hundreds of years that I’ve waited for you
Apple trees still blossom in the spring,
And the Old Swedes church bells still ring
But now there’s something new
Now, there’s you
We’ve arrived at this moment
With a new love to share
We’ve traveled through time
To find ourselves here
Ron made fabulous egg white veggie omelets with asparagus tips, mushrooms, etc. before the morning Show and Tell time on the 60" TV set he bought for his computer monitor; he uses Google Earth as the backdrop for multiple Windows on the screen. This morning's presentation was Google Earth zooming into the volcano crater at Lake Tahoe surrounded by gigantic lava flow that covered many states. Ron said, 'If this ever erupts again, it will be the end of civilization." Great show - tough timing.
22 Feb: Fri: Today was Ron's first clergy spouse luncheon. He impressed all of Cynthia's colleagues, especially those who are close friends. One said she thought we were like two peas in a pod. Ron said, "Yes, we both peed in the same pot." On a sadder note, One of her colleagues was recently diagnosed with AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia) that Scott, Cynthia's son, did not survive. Many discoveries have been made in intervening fifteen years, there is always hope.
Christmas decor is being packed; the lake house is being listed with her son Jon. Anyone interested in a nice house on Lake Conroe? Here is a link
http://www.trulia.com/homes/Texas/Montgomery/sold/23811056-13506-Northshore-Dr-Montgomery-TX-77356#photo-4 It has not sold during the 18 months it has been listed; but - the market has turned around with headlines in the Houston Chronicle noting a scarcity of homes for sale. Also - Exxon's Global headquarters is relocating about 30 minutes from here - 80,000 employees moving in to the neighborhood.
21 Feb: Thurs: We stopped for breakfast with Merry S - the sweetest, dearest friend. Then - onto the lake house only to discover the new phone (Galaxy sIII was delivered yesterday by FEDEX and cannot be delivered again today. After dinner at Pappadeaux we waited for the FE driver to return from her route with the package - took it immediately to VZ to get activated. The 60 inch TV was delivered while absent. It is perfect for a computer monitor with Google Earth running in the background. If we had the cell phone camera this is where Merry's picture would be placed.
20 Feb. Wed: Packed early we departed heading into rain by the time we reached El Campo's motorcycle shop. They had the Gerbing's extra small heated pants liners that are a better fit for Cynthia so now she has the small size and the extra small size to choose between. HAAAA! This is too funny. They did not have Frogg Toggs in a size large or X Large to fit Ron except a large woman's in PURPLE! Haaaa! Off we drove - in the mist until a lot of rain poured down forcing us to stop for the night at Brookshire (ONE hour from the lake house). Imagine - just imagine what a great photo we could have taken of Ron in purple Frogg Toggs to go right here! IF we had the cell phone camera.
19 Feb. Tues: Today's ride was an experiment in what Cynthia should wear - heated gear or TourMaster? She wore both but did not turn on the heat to Seadrift. The heated gear was placed into the top case for the journey to Port Aransas for lunch because the high was 79 degrees. She was ready to leave all of the gear in the cases and Ride Like Ron from Port Aransas back to Port Lavaca except it got cold once again.
18 Feb. Mon: Ride Ride Ride! Wind Wind Wind! Drove south to Port O'Connor, then towards Seadrift and back to Port Lavaca.
17 Feb. Sun: An observation about South Texas - everyone is brown except for strange looking white birds with MN and IA license plates. The motel and gas station managers are East Indian. The restaurant managers are oriental serving Tex-Mex, Asian, Cajun, Iowan or Minnesotan foodstuffs. The world is flat: if it were not for the RV parks one could see all the way to Brownsville. It rained. We worked and slept.
16 Feb, Sat: Too much time has passed without exercise. After breakfast at the Skillet: Aha! There is a lighthouse, bird sanctuary and beach walk - so we read in the nice brochure. Walking across the street from the hotel to the RV park, we saw a nice white sand box with about ten umbrellas or bathing beauties. Nice little boardwalk through a wetland area about a quarter mile long. Continuing on we saw a model of a light house a block away. Hmmm. Could this be the beach, the mile beach walk and the lighthouse? After a half hour walk to a gas station we learned, yes, indeed! Those were the famous landmarks and the beach walk. Hmmm. The brochure was nicely done. Dinner tonight was good - Bayside Seafood.
15 Feb, Fri: First stop was Verizon; the sweet clerk reinstated the service on the cell phone and attempted to call several times with no success; but this time the phone did ring. Service was again placed on suspension. We learned our options for a new phone with 26 days remaining before an upgrade was available; we drove all the way back to the rest area searching for the phone, talking to the janitorial staff before realizing the hopelessness of the situation. AUUUGGHHH By evening we were in Port Lavaca at a new Holiday Inn overlooking a bay with a seafood bar and grill next door.
14 Feb. Thurs: Happy Valentine's Day. May your champagne bubble, may the glowing embers of love embrace you, and may your hearts be filled with contentment. Departure happened about noon. Fortunately, Corpus is a short 4 hour drive at the max even with our many rest area pit stops. Unfortunately, Cynthia lost her Droid cell phone at the rest area close to Victoria. An hour later we learned of the loss, tried to call the cell phone but someone had shut it off so the call went directly to vox mail. Immediately we phoned Verizon so they could place a temporary suspension on the phone. Checked into the Hilton Garden Inn at Corpus; nice dinner at the Water Street Grill to celebrate Valentine's Day.
13 Feb. Wed. Gorgeous but cool day; the sunshine on the lake dazzles like diamonds. We thought we were ready to take off at noon today but that did not happen. The house is scrubbed down, gear is packed; 4 miles RT exercise. Computer work on the Wrangel Years continues winding down to getting that critical index into Dropbox yet tonight. Walter and Pam's pictures of motorcycling in Australia are awesome.
12 Feb. Tues. One year and ten months anniversary deserved some champagne! Work work work! Jim Z is lined up with a rent scan laptop to complete transcriptions of family group sheets that slipped past Austin who will be going to the seminary tomorrow to begin training Jim. We have about 1000 pages left to transcribe. Packages are arriving daily with goodies like more compression bags, mesh bags with clips, the right plug for the Gerbing's heated gear to plug into the BMW; an inflatable pillow to be used for the knees while sleeping; AND SHIRTS! Yes! New shirts for Ron. A summer weight and a winter weight thermal tech from the Motorcycle Superstore to replace the old blue shirt and the yellow one that are beyond repair, finally going to the shirt grave yard in Ron's storage locker in IL or framed for Little Carol Anne to hang on her bedroom wall. The new shirts are under layer gear made of a soft knit that hugs the body, rises high on the neck but not a turtleneck with wicking, black and very good-looking All of this with new tennis shoes, too. Keep your eyes peeled for an extra light weight one piece rain suit that does not take up bulk in the top case. The best goodie is the new water proof luggage that holds all of Cynthia's TourMaster gear and Gerbing's heated clothing plus the helmet. Thanks to Carmen and Larry Miller for this marvelous gift from A&S BMW Parts store purchased with a gift certificate they gave us for the wedding. Thanks to Walt and Pam for their wedding gift certificate that helped to purchase the bike cover. We walked to the fitness center and worked out for 45 minutes: 4 Miles followed by dinner at Caddy Shack and home again home again jiggity jig.
11 Feb., Mon: UPS store, Wally World for printer ink, Apple Store for one hour training at 12 noon, run to recycling; back to Apple store for an hour training at four PM and to Pappadeaux for dinner.
10 Feb., Sun: Worship at Grace Church was very nice. We walked in the door JUST in the NICK of time and out just as it poured down rain. Ron wore HOLY socks. We worked all afternoon and into the evening.
9 Feb. Sat: Yes! The tree is still up: I (CFB) love Christmas; we should celebrate Christmas as long as possible. Besides, according to the liturgical calendar today is Transfiguration Sunday marking the transition from the Sundays of Christmas and the beginning of the Lenten Season Ash Wednesday. Ron knows I love the lights; so he arises early to turn the lights on so I can see them when I get out of bed. He is very funny. Did you know that? He thought I was sound asleep when he got up to make coffee. I opened the door from the bedroom and walked quietly through the living room (open to the kitchen) and into the rear kitchen entrance, into the kitchen within four feet of where he was focused reclaiming the trash for recycling. Standing RIGHT ACROSS from him, I picked up a banana from the counter, turned and retraced my steps to the bedroom. He puzzled over the bedroom door ajar, but he thought it had not completely closed when he left the bedroom. Tip-toeing in he thought I was asleep so he quietly closed the door and left. My stomach HURT trying not to laugh out loud.
The first of many compression bags arrived today; stuff gets rolled air tight. Everything I can carry for a year is in that one little bag. Here is the deal: give away tees, shorts and undies, then shop in Wal-Mart for new ones.
8 Feb, Fri: Cynthia had a spa day after exercise. After gulping down biotin, Collagen, Vit. D her nails are strong enough they needed to go to 'the salon." Ron is making progress on the index; one tiny step at a time. The Gerbing's heated pant liners arrived. This is Cynthia wearing the heated under-layer with the four layer TourMaster gear on top: 1.) Quilted down inner liner 2.) Rain Liner 3.) Body Armor liner 4.) Outer abrasion protection jacket - all four zipped together with the heated gear under-layer weigh more than she does. We need a picture of Cynthia trying to get that leg UP and OVER the bike for Cheryl Shofner. She can waddle well! Wish you could see the lovely pastel colors in the evening sky; but they don't show up well with the droid camera.
|FAT ALIEN CHRISTMAS ARRIVAL|
|Lovely soft pastel palette in the evening sunset. Taken from inside the living room window|
7 Feb, Thurs: After a walk to the fitness center, lunch at Caddy Shack, we rode the bike to Wild West Honda to pick up the long-awaited bag liners that are form-fitted to the bag like a very lightweight suitcase. Pretty cool. Onward to Hempstead to pick up the thermostat control for the heated gear. Jon and Barb met us at the Yacht Club for dinner; C ate the entire six ounce filet while Ron enjoyed Mahi Mahi.
6 Feb, Wed: Ron makes the yummiest omelets. The day was spent eating, working, working out, and eating and working until midnight.
5 Feb, Tues: Arising early, Cynthia boogied to the Lexus dealer to have the drivers side front sensor replaced that went ballistic in fog or rain; it was covered by warranty. The rear sensor has the same issue; looks like someone hit the rear tail light and the sensor, surprising us since it does not appear to be damaged. The service department cannot explain why the rear hatch opens up in the middle of the night when there is heavy fog or humidity. What a surprise to see that hatch open in the morning with all of our stuff exposed.
Ron is pleased that one more step of the index formatting was accomplished today. We had a late lunch at Caddy Shack followed by a walk to the fitness center (3 miles RT) with 35 minute workout inside. Thanks to Walter and Jim we now have spent a fortune on gear to hold our gear.
4 Feb, Mon: We are quite pleased to be so much smarter in only four days. In three hours we were home, ate, unpacked and worked while waiting for the new liners to arrive Thursday. We will re-pack only ONE pair of slacks, two pairs of socks and wear lightweight tennis shoes. No clothes needed under the body armor - just a base layer. Forget cute. Forget changing into dress clothes. We will NOT carry the cases into the hotel rooms. We will not wear a money belt AND three fanny pacs. Once our gear arrives, we will take another short trip to see how much smarter we may yet become.
3 Feb, Sun: It is always fun to see our 96 year old cousin who is one amazing woman. Her artwork, in nine French books of art and poetry, graces the walls floor to ceiling of her interesting ranch house. She holds the title to being one of the top watercolorists in Texas. Enjoyed the day, but, by two PM we packed and departed for dinner at Pappadeaux - arriving in Waco, TX by 7 PM to spend the night at the Hilton Garden Inn where we were given a coupon for free appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages.
2 Feb, Sat: Breakfast at I-Hop's in College Station, dinner at Pappadeaux near Ft. Worth, arrival at cousin Dorothy's with homemade bread and the two riders are a lot smarter as well as exhausted. In bed by nine we slept the clock around.
1 Feb, Fri: We raced. We packed, unpacked, re-packed and packed some more. By noon Cynthia sent a panicked email to Walter and Pam motorcycling in New Zealand and Jim and Joni in Maryland: "We don't have enough space for our gear, " accompanied by the photo of the three pieces of luggage that will carry all of our belongings for one year. Off we rode on our shakedown cruise to Denton, Texas, getting only one hour from the lake house to spend the night at a hotel in Bryan, TX. After moving all three cases into the hotel room, Ron said, "We need bag liners. This won't work." Walt wrote back to Cynthia, "We have to talk!" Jim phoned with good suggestions. Cynthia whipped out the IPad and ordered BMW saddlebag and top case liners, plus the tank bag and a chrome top case carrier rack, helmet locks for the license plate holder and a new knit turtleneck to replace Ron's hole-y blue shirt. Back to the closet go the heavier hiking shoes, forget wearing jeans under the tour master body armor because of bulk. Ron smiled a lot at Walt's advice, "If it rains, you don't need anything but a good raincoat."