Thus far in our story, we’ve reached the end of Texas at South Padre Island (sans Honda Fit), had a great meal, took a memorable picture of McGregor, our official cat, as he gazed into the sunset over Laguna Madre, and went to bed, secure in the knowledge that we could stay put for two nights while we caught our breath.
Fear not! I won’t bludgeon you with a day-by-day, blow-by-blow, crisis-by-crisis, meal-by-meal account of our experiences on the Island and its environs. Nan has recapped many of them already in her post, and I’ll endeavor to hit the high and low points as well from my perspective. But first, a few words about expectation vs. reality.
We’re both old enough to be aware of the gulf between expectation and reality, but we’d like to think we’re working toward a string of days where our agenda looks something like:
- Get up when we feel like it.
- Drink a cup of coffee while we’re sitting outside the Edmund, appreciating whatever panorama we’re parked in front of that day.
- Have a leisurely breakfast, either hand crafted in the well appointed and fully functional kitchen of the Edmund or lovingly prepared for us in some obscure but trendy little bistro, perhaps with convivial company.
- Drive the Toad (RV-speak for our towed vehicle) to pick up whatever material items we’re in need of, perhaps cup hooks—we’re trying to emulate the Shaker ideal of orderliness by hanging our clutter from the walls in order to maximize available floor space.
- Have a delicious lunch, either hand crafted in the well appointed and fully functional kitchen of the Edmund or lovingly prepared for us in some obscure but trendy little bistro, perhaps with convivial company.
- Engage in some sort of uplifting and stimulating activity, such as Zen meditation, Yoga for Old People With Bad Ankles, Tandem Haiku, Mahjong, book discussion groups, napping, cooking classes. . . .
- Have a delicious dinner, either hand crafted in the well appointed and fully functional kitchen of the Edmund or lovingly prepared for us in some obscure but trendy… you get the picture.
- Drink a digestif and smoke a fine cigar (me) while we’re sitting outside the Edmund, watching the sun set over whatever panorama we’re parked in front of that day.
- Relax in the Edmund reading inspirational books (Nan) or Space Operas (me), writing scintillating blog entries, and (me again) getting on with finishing That Dang Novel while McGregor snores gently in the cat donut under my footrest.
- Stepping outside one last time to look at the star filled night sky, free of light pollution because we’re so far removed from the hurly-burly of civilization.
- Falling asleep under just the right number of blankets in just the right amount of humidity.
I’m happy to report that all of these activities have come to pass at least once since we arrived at South Padre Island, some many times. There have been some deviations from the plan, however. For instance:
- Discovering that the flood pouring out of the basement compartments has at least four contributing factors, only two of which have been rectified; and therefore, moving stuff in and out of the basement almost every day for several weeks while attempting to use fans to dry the carpet.
- Watching two burly Tejanos rip the guts out of our refrigerator to replace the leaking cooling unit – cost; approximately 2,500 times the package of cup hooks I bought at Walmart.
- Coming back from Walmart (and Sears and Sutherlands building supplies and Ace Hardware and NAPA) with many expensive and unfamiliar devices which we’ve had to learn to operate.
- Disconnecting every one of the twenty-something coaxial cable connectors in the Edmund and plugging each one into the back of the TV to see if it’s the one carrying the cable signal, and still needing to run the cable coming from the ground in through a window and plugging it directly into the TV because none of them worked.
- Discovering that on very windy days, some parts of Texas get up and move to other parts of Texas, leaving a layer of grit over everything in their path and infusing mechanical parts with a fine powder.
Still, all in all, the good has outweighed the bad so far. We still feel privileged to explore this lifestyle.