While in Beaumont we were able to visit friends and family for a couple of weeks and were able to watch my sister walk for her double Master's Degrees, an MBA and an MSA (Masters of Science in Nursing Administration.) That brings her to a total of four degrees and we're very proud of her.
Mom, Keili, & Dad
Happy has healed from the wounds we found him with having only a couple of small scars to show for it. He's growing like a weed. Nay Nay has taken Happy under his tail and is teaching him the ropes of being an RV cat. They've become best friends and play and snooze together.
We haven't been good little bloggers lately so I figured I'd throw a quick update out there. I'm sure that once things calm down a bit we'll get back to updating on a regular basis.
We've been in SE Texas for a couple of weeks now visiting family and friends, getting teeth drilled on, setting up classrooms, doing tax returns, and generally staying very busy. Tomorrow I get to replace the shocks on the Jeep and (hopefully) repair the rear air conditioner on the motorhome and the day after I'll be doing drivetrain work on the Jeep (open both differentials for service and change man. transmission oil.)
The kitten, now named Happy Nibbler, has become one of the family and is growing every day. We'll post pics of the visit and kitten as soon as we catch up on uploading them from the camera. We'll be leaving for Baton Rouge, LA on the 27th or 28th of the month and then on to Florida!
When we visit home in Austin, TX we love to stay at McKinney Falls State Park. The campsites are shady and there are enough trees to give you a secluded feeling even with all your curtains open. They have two great swimming lakes each with a waterfall. It can get pretty darn hot in the summer; it was about a hundred degrees every day in August! But at $16 a day (with a state park pass) for water and electric, shade, and a beautiful view it's a pretty good deal. The best part is that it's only 10 minutes from downtown Austin so it's incredibly convenient when you want to shop or meet friends for dinner! It was a great home base to see all our friends who we've been away from for almost a year!
So this morning we hear a helicopter orbiting around the state park that we're at near Austin. We stayed at this park on and off for a couple of months before Melissa's last day of work. I had gotten used to the police helicopters using the park for practice since it is only a mile as the crow flies from Austin Bergstrom Int'l Airport and is off of the approach and departure paths. I tuned it out.
Melissa went outside to do some morning yoga. A few minutes later she comes back in and says, "A police car just came crashing through the woods down a trail." About the same time the helicopter comes back over and is much lower and going much slower than I'd ever seen them fly before - the trees next to our motorhome were whipping around in the rotor wash. Hrm. This is probably a really realistic drill.
About 30 minutes later someone knocks on the door. It's a TPWD (Texas Parks & Wildlife) Game Warden. He says that there's a fugitive in the park, about 30 years old, medium build, short hair, brown eyes and hair. Well crap, seeing as I match that description fairly well I'm not going to be able to walk outside today without being questioned at gunpoint multiple times (if you've ever been in the middle of a good old fashioned Texas manhunt, you'll understand.) The Warden says that the fugitive went on a string of burglaries and car thefts overnight and to keep our car & motorhome locked. He went on to say that if we leave the park our car will be searched and that the park is now officially closed so we will not be able to get back in until after the fugitive is caught. Will do, except that the motorhome lock broke while we were in Abilene. I fixed the lock and Melissa went out for groceries - she texted to say that the entrance to the park was a zoo with cops and media. Since this park is the "training park" for TPWD and their state headquarters is only 1/4 mile away, every Game Warden on Earth had descended on the park along with county, state, and local police and SWAT. They had guns, and more guns, and four wheelers, and dogs, and trucks, cars, SUV's, and OHV's of every description and size, and guns (if you've ever been in the middle of a good old fashioned Texas manhunt, you'll understand.)
I was having a busy day at work, so I got back to work and tuned it all out.
Melissa came home a couple of hours later and said it was even more of a circus outside. A little while later another Warden knocks on the door and asks to search our motorhome. Melissa said, "Sure, but be quiet, my husband's working." :) He searched through the motorhome, gave her the OK sign, tipped his hat and walked out.
About 30 minutes later another Warden came by to let us know that they had flushed the fugitive out of the park and caught him. The park was open again. That was just about the time I finished with my work for the day. I feel like I missed all the fun. Here's the guy's mug shot.