Tag Archives: North Texas

Happy Trails, Part 85

I’ve heard it hundreds of times in my life from friends: Autumn is their favorite season of the year.

You won’t hear that from me. We are now entering my favorite season. Spring portends a season of hope. Of renewal. We are coming out of the type of darkness that winter has blanketed over us.

It’s a season of change. This year particularly brings immense change for my wife and me.

Winter in the Texas Panhandle has been a challenge, to be sure. It’s been the driest winter we’ve ever experienced here. We’ve been through 22 winters on the High Plains and none of them has been as tinder dry as the one we’ve just endured.

From what I hear the dryness is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as well. But the coming warmth is going to awaken the dormant grass and assorted flora around here.

This post, though, isn’t really about coming out of the barren and dry winter. It’s about the change that we have initiated.

A big move awaits. It likely will occur soon. We have sold our house. We have moved completely into our recreational vehicle. The roof over our heads is perched on four wheels, which we tow behind a muscular pickup.

Our destination is somewhere in North Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,, near our granddaughter. We have no definite plan lined out just yet, but one is coming into a little sharper focus as we ponder the next big step in our life together.

We won’t sever our ties to Amarillo. We intend to remain highly mobile, even after we resettle in North Texas. We intend to be frequent visitors to the city we’ve called home for 23-plus years.

The spring of 2018 will be unlike any season we’ve ever experienced. Of that I am absolutely certain, although the winter of 1996 was a beaut as well. We took possession of the house we had built in southwest Amarillo the day after the Winter Solstice and had a delightful Christmas opening boxes and rediscovering possessions we had stored away for nearly two years.

That was then. The next season of big change is at hand. It’s my favorite time of the year.

RV travel presents weather-related headache

You are aware by now that my wife and I have moved into our recreational vehicle.

Our house is empty. It’s been dolled up. It’s about to go on the market. We’re now living full-time in our home on wheels.

We returned from a lovely week downstate, settling for a few days in an RV park in Sherman, Texas. We got to visit with our granddaughter, her big brother, our son and daughter-in-law and our daughter-in-law’s parents.

As great a time as we had, we did experience our first significant weather related conundrum. It got cold in North Texas. As in bitter cold, man!

How cold was it? It was so cold we lost our water for two days.

We did what we were supposed to do. We unhooked our fifth wheel from the water source. We had water in our tanks. Then the temperatures plunged, into the low teens, with wind chills taking the temp into single digits.

The water in our RV froze. We got it to trickle some. Then as the temps inched above freezing we tried to turn the spigot outside. No luck. The water source was frozen, too!

Thanks goodness we stayed at an RV park with working restrooms/showers. We were parked only about 50 feet from the park’s facilities.

Here’s some more weirdness for you. We left Sherman on Tuesday. We arrived in Amarillo later that afternoon. I figured we were jumping from the fridge into the deep freeze. It’s generally much colder in Amarillo than it is downstate.

We arrived at our RV park back home. Then we got some good news. The outside temperature hovered around freezing at 4 p.m., then we were told that we had running water at the site reserved for us.

Ahh, yes. There is good karma, right?

We’ve now prepared for the next serious cold snap. No damage done by the loss of water — and for that we are grateful.

Today was a good day, indeed. The Arctic blast that took temperatures on the High Plains to single digits has dissipated. The sun is shining. The ice has melted. The water is flowing.

Life is good … once again. It’ll get cold again. We are ready for it.

Happy Trails, Part 67

Rarely have I looked forward to new years with quite the level of anxiousness that I am looking toward 2018.

My wife and I are retired. You know that already.

We are preparing to relocate. You know that, too.

We have spent the week between Christmas and New Year in North Texas. We’ve played with our granddaughter, visited with our sons, our daughter-in-law, her parents and one of our grandsons. It’s been a glorious holiday.

We’ll return in our now-permanent home, which we are hauling behind our 3/4-ton pickup, back to Amarillo to prepare for the next big challenge in our life together.

Our house is going on the market. We keep hearing from those who say they’re “in the know” that the house will sell quickly. Truth be told, I don’t want to hear that. My interest only lies in the actual sale.

Most of our worldly possessions are stashed away in a storage bin. The rest of it we’ve jammed into our fifth wheel RV. We’ll live in it for as long as it takes to sell the house and then find a suitable dwelling to call “home” nearer to our precious granddaughter.

I’ve already said I’m “anxious” as the new year commences. By that, though, I don’t mean to infer that I am impatient. This RV lifestyle has been quite fun. We do intend to take our time looking for just the right place once we sell the house we’ve owned for 21 years.

The beauty of RV living is that we can take it all with us. We tire of one place? Fine. No sweat. We’ll pack it all up and go … somewhere else.

So it might proceed as we get farther into 2018.

It’s a bit of a leap of faith. However, my faith is strong that we are ready to take it.

Happy Trails, Part 65

SHERMAN, Texas — Our retirement journey has entered a new phase.

It’s in a place they call “North Texas.” Why is that, given that Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle are much farther north than this community about 38 miles north of the reason we intend to move to this part of Texas permanently? I refer, of course, to our lovely granddaughter Emma.

That’s another blog post.

This time I want to comment briefly on our intentions relating to Sherman.

We pulled our fifth wheel here from Amarillo. We’re going to spend a few days here visiting with Emma, her brothers, her parents, and we hope other members of our extended in-law family.

The house we have vacated back in Amarillo is undergoing an extreme interior makeover at the moment. The fellows who are performing that makeover have told us “The house will look so good you won’t want to leave.” Umm. No chance of that, pal.

Among the tasks we’ll complete while visiting North Texas will be to do a little recon of some of the communities scattered between Sherman and the north Dallas suburbs. We have identified some of them already. We now intend to take a closer look at them to see which of them are the most physically attractive, offer the most potential real estate opportunities, provide the most amenities.

Our house in Amarillo will be finished upon our return in a few days.

Then … we hope for the best. And the “best” means we sell the place and then relocate to North Texas to continue our search in earnest for the place where we continue our last, great adventure.