Well, actually today we’re sitting still except for the rocking of the bus. When we got to Van Horn, TX last evening, LeRoy looked up the forecast for today and saw strong winds out of the west with gusts to 60 mph, broadside to us on our intended route. As I’ve said before, when you’re driving a billboard, that’s a LOT of wind. Needless to say, the wise decision seemed to be to stay another day in Van Horn!
Let me back up just a little bit. The week before we left Kansas, we were privileged to host friends from Army days at our property near Sedgwick. Sharon and Eldon Orrell attended the same little church we did in Killeen, TX when we were all young and broke soldier families. Some months we couldn’t have put together a whole meal together without them just before payday. Their kids are about the age of ours and we stepped right back into that relationship with them, even though we haven’t seen them a dozen times since the late 1960s. They were on their way from Barnes, KS to winter in Florida, by way of Hesperia, CA! Their son and his family were eager to see them and Eldon’s sister in Florida will just have to wait. I got a picture of their rig but can’t find the picture of them. I guess that shows what I think is important!
We’ve enjoyed our time in Texas. Our first night’s stop was in Burkburnett to see a friend who cared for my mother before she passed away. Peggy and Mike Renfro became Texans last summer, moving from Montrose, CO. LeRoy walked her down the aisle at their wedding, so we feel a proprietary interest in their relationship.
Our time with our soldier son, Robert, was exciting because just before we left Kansas, he called to tell us that he and Shelly Oldham were engaged and will be getting married in January! We love Shelly and are glad to see him so happy. Other not so exciting news was that he was to have his shoulder scoped on Wednesday to see what was causing him so many problems. We are thankful they didn’t find any major issues and were able to do the necessary cleanup to put him on the road to recovery. We might not have had as much time with the two of them as we would have liked but we will be back in San Angelo to attend their wedding January 30!
While he was recovering, LeRoy and I took in the historic downtown of San Angelo. The general store is a really cool place and I could spend lots more time there than we did. Besides, they have samples. What’s not to like??
One of the unique aspects of San Angelo is the collection of painted sheep spread all over town. They were originally done in the early 2000s, I think, and serve as a noticeable way for the local art community to leave their unique mark. The “sheep” are fiberglass and were a white blank canvas for artists. They range from very tame, like this one
to somewhat busier and more colorful.
You can even take a self-guided tour around the city to see them all, but we didn’t do that.
We did drive through the historic fort that is the reason for San Angelo’s existence. Founded in 1867 as a frontier outpost to protect early West Texas settlers, it was called Fort Concho. The town literally grew up around the fort, and now the fort is one of its primary tourist attraction. Seventeen buildings on the fort grounds have been restored and five have been reconstructed, giving the visitors an authentic feel for the frontier days of the mid-1880s. Ft. Concho made me think of Ft. Larned in Kansas, although the construction materials are typical of the area in which each is built. You could almost see the soldiers on the parade grounds that these buildings faced.
When we go to visit Robert, we always have good food. He takes us to his favorite places and we are never disappointed or hungry! We didn’t visit the Concho Pearl, a place not far from his house, because he had new places to show us, but we have eaten there in the past.
The very first person we planned to visit on our very first trip as full timers is Rotha Cloyd in Midland. Her husband was LeRoy’s best friend in high school and we met Rotha at their wedding in 1968. We always try to get to see Rotha when we are anywhere close because long standing friendships add such richness to our lives! But along the way, we’ve made new friends because of them. Last winter Rotha’s close friends Jerry and Kathie Stanaford were in Tucson for Jerry to have a heart pump surgically implanted and we took a home cooked Christmas dinner to Kathie at the hospital. I went back another day and met Jerry after he was feeling human again. We had looked forward to eating with all three of them Sunday afternoon but Jerry hasn’t been feeling well, so he didn’t come. The restaurant (Mexican, of course) was fairly dark and I didn’t get pictures but we had a wonderful visit and look forward to seeing Stanafords in Tucson in December when he comes for a checkup. Rotha is just getting over two surgeries, so we’re praying for a quick recovery.
Keep us in prayer tomorrow as we battle (lesser, we hope) winds on the way to Truth or Consequences, NM, home to LeRoy’s cousin Raymond and the Riverbend Hot Springs.