Just a Little Trip

Trip Start Apr 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Where I stayed
Pedernales Falls State Park

Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, May 29, 2010

My last blog ended with us backtracking to Greenville to be with mom who had been admitted to the hospital for a severe kidney infection and stone.  Pick up here.....

May 25, 2010 –
Pedernales Falls

Mother’s hospital stay ended up being a full week and then
she went home with intravenous antibiotics administered by home health care and
my wonderful sister who went to mom’s house twice a day to connect and
disconnect her.  Thank you, Shirley, for
your devoted care.  Wendell & I
returned home the day after mom’s release from the hospital with assurances
from Shirley and my brother, Jesse, that we were no longer needed. 

We arrived home just in time for me to head to New Braunfels
to pick up voting equipment and supplies for the county’s special
election.  I had already lined up poll
workers but gave everyone a call to confirm. 
The turnout on the 8th was very light but the day was still
long.  Wendell came late in the day to
vote and help me get everything back to the county.  After checking in, we to a nearby restaurant,
Pat’s, for a delicious “home-style” dinner of chicken fried steak and hamburger
steak.  Yummy!  

We spent the next few weeks catching up on small
projects/chores around the house and attending various functions including a
ribbon-cutting ceremony for my beloved CRRC (Community Resource &
Recreation Center) of Canyon Lake’s recently renovated facility.  The turnout was fabulous and it was exciting
so see so many old friends.  It was also
an emotional experience for those of us on the original board of directors to
finally see some of our “visions” coming true. 
Nicest of all was the much appreciated central air-conditioning! I’m
sure it could be attributed to the crowd staying on to enjoy the music and

But the call of the road was getting to us so we sat down to
view the calendar and find a few days for an outing.  We discovered the week prior to the Memorial
Day weekend was open and it happened to coincide with our 28th
wedding anniversary on the 28th of May.  We didn’t want to venture too far from home
and we were able to get reservations at Pedernales Falls State Park, only a few
miles east of Johnson City and less than an hour from home.  This would allow us to take our dog, Nitchie,
with us for a few days and take her back home on Friday before we go out to
celebrate our anniversary.

We traveled yesterday in light rain showers but it had
mostly stopped by the time we arrived at the park.  By the time we set up and had a bite of
lunch, the sun was warming things up nicely. 
We chose to relax with our books and puzzles and spent a leisurely
afternoon…….doing NOTHING.  We brought
some of the delicious halibut that our friends from Alaska, Bill & Lois
Ulich, had given us and Wendell did an excellent job of preparing it on the
grill.  I made a huge bowl of coleslaw
with homemade dressing and topped the meal off with homemade French fries.

This morning by 6:30 AM, the trailer was so light we could
no longer sleep so Wendell crawled out of bed to turn on the coffeepot and put
Nitchie out on her cable.  After a few
cups of our famous “Pool Coffee” (our kids and my mom have to add water to tone
it down), we were sufficiently awake and ready for bacon and pancakes.  I will tell you that we have tried various recipes
for pancakes but none can match the commercial brand of “Pioneer Complete” and
the ones today were no exception (Wendell adds they gotta be fried in bacon
grease).  While it was still relatively
cool (only 80 degrees at 9 AM), we decided to take one of the trails, the
Trammel Crossing, down to the
river, and as is inevitable, we had to climb back up.  Nitchie enjoyed
the excursion, especially since she could be allowed off leash as there were no
other hikers on the trail.  Wendell &
I both enjoyed the shady benches at the amphitheater about half-way back up.

The remainder of the day was spent leisurely….with Wendell
listening to his radio and/or reading and me mostly playing Scrabble on the
computer.  I play against the computer
“Expert” only because the other levels exchange letters so often they seldom
play a decent word.  My wins are
infrequent and some of the words I’d love to have a dictionary on hand to
verify, but it’s better than the other levels. 
We made a short trip to the park headquarters to call voicemail and our
friends, George & Peggy Baran. 
George had surgery on Tuesday to replace a joint in his big toe with a
piece of bone from his hip.  We didn’t
get through to them but left messages and pray that everything is going well.

Wendell and I both spent some time reading a handout that
our Bible study teacher had given us in preparation for our upcoming study of
Revelation.  The handout discusses the
history and differences of the various “millennial” beliefs….Amillennial,
Postmillenial, and Premillenial.  Despite
the fact that Allan, our teacher, told us it was written in understandable language, both of us are
rolling our eyes and have lots of questions. 

Our campsite is nicely shaded from the late afternoon sun so
we spent some time outdoors, and if the flies had vacated the premises, the
time would have been wonderful.  Chicken
wings had been marinating in the fridge all afternoon and, grilled, they went well
with our corn-on-the-cob and salad.    After dinner, we took a stroll around the
campground loop with Nitchie, who makes frequent stops to check out all the
other doggie spots.  We returned to our
site and sat out to watch the bright, full moon rise in the night sky……keeping
an eye out for lightening bugs.  This was
one of those nights when you wouldn’t have minded sleeping outside….but a soft
bed bodes better for brittle bones!

May 27, 2010 – The

Before retiring last night, we made up our minds to get an
early start and head to the river to avoid both crowds and the intense heat of
the afternoon sun. Wendell prepared a yummy breakfast of sausage, eggs and
hashbrowns, and while he took Nitchie for a walk, I wiggled into my swimsuit
for the first time this season. Good news! 
It still fits. 

We drove to the swimming area parking lot, put Nitchie on
her leash, and walked the quarter mile down the hill to the rushing river.  There was only one other person there when we
arrived so we had ample shady spots to cable Nitchie.  However, once Wendell & I got in the
water, she surprised us by walking out to join us.  Now, mind you, she didn’t venture very far
but enough to get quite wet and then Wendell assisted her by unhooking her
leash and guiding her out to a smooth spot where the current was not too
bad.  It was lots of fun navigating between
the rocks and trying to stay out of the hard current.  Wendell found a nice “sitting” rock deep
under the water to feel refreshing and I wandered a little further to a spot
where the water was rushing over the rocks so strongly that it felt like the
jets in a spa.  If I’d had an umbrella
and a pitcher of margaritas, I could have stayed all day.  However, after about an hour in the sun, we
both agreed it was time to go.  Besides, as we were getting out, a snake swam by.  Time to leave for sure!  Wendell
said he sure was glad he had purchased an “elevator” ticket.  A joke! 
Nitchie took the lead and we ascended the 92 steps up the hill.  Yes, I was a little winded and my heart was
beating at a pretty good clip, but at least I can say I’ve had my exercise for

We spent the warmer part of the day once again enjoying our books.  Wendell finished reading Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg, and if you haven’t read it, we both
highly recommend it.  It is a great
non-fiction read about the impact the conflict in the Middle East has on our
lives…present and future.  Rosenberg has
written several fiction novels that are a bit “spooky” in their correlation to
some of the things that have happened in our country, i.e.  9-1-1, even though the events in the books
occurred prior to the actual situations. 
Check him out on the web; he’s been interviewed by just about every
network show host out there.

After Wendell finished Epicenter,
he started reading To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee.  Several weeks ago, we
went to New Braunfels for a Sunday matinee performance of this marvelous
fictional work by the Circle Arts Theater cast. 
With Wendell’s hearing problem, he had some difficulty understanding all
of the play. In the back of his mind, he thinks he may have seen the movie on
television but cannot ever remember actually reading the book. 

As evening approached, the skies became more overcast and
there was a pleasant breeze so we decided it might be a good time to explore
the falls area.  This section of the park
is closed to swimming, wading and toobing but there is a nice overlook and trails
down to the river.  We didn’t venture all
the way down but sat on the ledge of the overlook enjoying the sights and
sounds of the powerful water surge.  From
our experience earlier in the day of trying to navigate our bodies in the
river’s current, we could only imagine the power behind the water cascading
over the falls and rushing through the water eroded canyon. Some young people
from Austin joined us; one of the young men was just commissioned in the Coast
Guard and the other just finished his studies at St. Edwards College to become
a forensic scientist.  Yep, he’s gonna be
a CSI.  They had a lovely male dog with
them and Nitchie felt the need to inspect him
Needless to say there was a lot of sniffing going on.

We returned to camp to prepare hamburgers for our
dinner.  It was pretty late by the time
we finished but we still managed a short stroll before retiring.  Wendell’s leg was beginning to give him a bit
of a problem so he returned to camp while Nitchie and I headed down a trail
under the light of the full moon.  We
encountered several clusters of lightening bugs and I’m wondering if it’s
possible to get a picture of them with my camera.  I do believe you’d have to be pretty fast on
the shutter but, hey, film’s cheap when you’re using a digital camera.

May 28, 2010 – Happy
Anniversary & Happy Birthday

Today is Friday, the 28th, and it is also our 28th
wedding anniversary.  We got married on a
Friday at a small church – Chapel in the Wildwood – in Upland, California with
Jack and Judy Bostick as our witnesses. 
Several years later, Wendell attended the wedding of our friends, Peter
& Nancy Sidoruk, at the same chapel and the minister remembered him.  Wendell didn’t neglect to let him know that
he had managed to hang on to me….so far.

Today is also the first birthday of my great-niece, Kaylee
Swank, so “Happy Birthday, Kaylee”.  For
those of you who followed our blog on last year’s trip to Alaska, you will
remember that we went to Dallas, actually Plano, to visit Kaylee who was still
in the hospital as we headed north.  My
niece had been carrying twins, but sadly, Kaylee’s little brother did not
survive.  It was a difficult time for our
family but it is such a joy to see this beautiful little girl growing and
thriving.  Her mom puts pictures on
Facebook every few days so we get to see her all the time.

Doing NOTHING is today’s agenda.  Some folks think you have to have something
planned every minute of a trip but “down” time is the best time.  We sat outside this morning, drinking our
coffee, and reading our books while the air was still nice and cool.  Later, we came inside and made biscuits and
gravy for breakfast.  It had been quite a
while since I made any biscuits but they turned out great and Wendell’s gravy
was wonderful.  Later, Wendell listened
to his programs on the radio and I worked on the computer until time for us to
head to Spring Branch.  One of our
reasons for coming to this park was that it was only a short distance from our
home and we could take Nitchie back in order for us to go out to dinner and
celebrate our 28th.   We drove
home, dumped the dog, showered and dressed for dinner, then drove to Blanco to
eat at the Uptown Blanco Restaurant.  We’ve been there on several occasions and
have never been disappointed.  I ordered
the Chili Corn Crepes filled with crab, avocado and mango with a southwest
chili sauce and Wendell had the prime rib. 
The bottle of wine, Grayson Cellars 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, with its
fruity bouquet and smoky oak flavoring went well with both entrees.  The food and service are excellent so if
you’re driving through Blanco, be sure to stop and tell Bonnie we sent you.

We returned to the campground for one more night, arriving
quite late under a moonless sky. The clouds which had been keeping the
temperatures down continued through the night but carried no rain.  The Memorial Day weekend will be blessed with
good weather and, due to recent rains, lots of water for boaters, skiers, and
toobers.  When we think of Memorial Day,
we often relate it to the end of school for the kids and the beginning of the
summer season.  Let’s also remember what
Memorial Day is truly about and honor those who have served our nation so
valiantly.  Proudly display your flag!  We’ll be heading home tomorrow and will be
putting ours out, too. 

We hope you have enjoyed this short excursion to Pedernales
Falls State Park.  Where are we going
next?  Who knows where or when but I’ll
certainly blog the trip and hope you’ll come along.  Till then…..Happy Trails to you until we meet
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Vernell on

Excellent! I love it that you two are making so many memories together. thanks for including me.

My flag is flying (or will be when it gets daylight).

Hugs for both

Mona Durham on

Dear Donna and Wendell,
Donna, you need to write a novel as your writing is superior. I bet you made straight A's in all of your English classes and on all of your compositions.
I felt like I was on that trip with you and now I am hungry just thinking about pancakes and biscuits and gravey.

I am a little behind in reading my e-mails but wanted to let you all know that I really enjoy reading about your adventures.

As for Allan's bible study easy summary of the topics discussed--I read those things at least four times and am still trying to REMEMBER the differences. I have pre-millineal down but forget the others! You and Wendell are NOT ALONE, dear heart.

Guess this includes my comments. Keep us on your list when you make your next journey to places beyond.

Love, Mona

PS: Congrats on your 28th. Dan and I celebrated our 35th on March 22 but will really celebrate with our family on our Hawaii Cruise this July.

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