Weather’s been great during the day – high 60s to low 70s. However, temps have really taken a nose dive at night…dipping down into the low 30s a couple of recent nights. We pretty much rely on our heat pumps, space heater and fireplace for heat but when temps go down below about 33 or 34 the heat pumps no longer work and the furnace takes over…well it happened Friday night! Just got too cold and the furnace ran most of the night.
The hitch plate that Michael ordered to go in the back of the new truck arrived on Thursday. On Friday he went to install it and it was more work than expected. It’s basically supposed to fit into the 4 holes in the bed of the truck and then it has 4 levers that lock it in place. After fiddling with it for a bit three of the levers locked into place just fine but the fourth lever just wouldn’t completely close. Michael tried and tried and eventually bent the lever but still it wouldn’t close all the way. He made a quick call to the manufacturer and got a few hints on what the problem might be and the promise to send out a new lever/arm.
On Saturday we picked up some packages at the post office and since we were already out I thought it was a good time for us to go on a little adventure.
We drove south to Asherton (only about 7 miles or so) to find the Asher Richardson House. Asher Richardson was a rancher who founded Asherton, Texas. The home was built in 1911 and is still privately owned by the family. The town of Asherton is a little blip in the road so it’s quite surprising to find such a beautiful old home amidst the little shacks that make up the ‘neighborhood’.
We missed the house the first time we went past and ended up continuing our drive south to Catarina (another 11 miles). As we drove down highway 83 it wasn’t hard to miss the devastation that has hit the oil business. What once must have been a bustling oilfield thoroughfare has now become almost ‘Ghost Townish’. The highway is littered with closed ‘man camps’, empty/closed businesses, equipment stacked in yards…it’s pretty scary actually.
Catarina is a little bit bigger blip in the road than Asherton but not by much. We stopped at a historical marker about the ‘Camino Real’ (Royal Highway) also know as the San Antonio Road and right across the street was ‘The Palms’ – a restaurant, bar, hotel kinda thing. Michael said it reminded him of the ‘Hotel California’ that we visited in Mexico a few years back. It was a very pretty building but I could only think about how much their business must be hurting during this whole oil field mess.
We drove back to Carrizo Springs and headed for Mt. Hope Cemetery. I’d read that Mt. Hope Cemetery is the final resting place to the most Texas Rangers of any cemetery…17 known graves! You know us and cemeteries…and if there’s history involved…we’re there!
Before heading out to hunt down the 17 Rangers graves we enjoyed a light lunch on the tail gate of the truck. We enjoyed our cheese, crackers and sausage in what seemed to be the older Mexican portion of the cemetery. This part of the cemetery must be tended by family members as some graves were quite well taken care of while others….not so much.
When we finished our lunch we moved next door to the other part of the cemetery. This portion must be taken care of by the cemetery or city as it was nicely mown and manicured. This is also where we found the graves of the Texas Rangers. We ended up only finding 16 of the 17 graves. They dated from the 1870s to the 1940s. Being a Texas Ranger must run in families as there were several family names with 2 or 3 family members. Lots of history….and very interesting.
Sunday was our oldest grandson, Alex’s, 4th birthday. We were blessed to be able to video chat with him while he opened his birthday gifts and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. An added benefit was that our daughter in law Kelsea (his Aunt K) and our grandchildren Paityn & Cameron (his cousins) video chatted too so we got to visit with everyone. Unfortunately, our son, Zack, was busy working and couldn’t join us.
Today marks our 15th day in the yard….the longest time we have ever waited for a gate. Previously, the longest we’d waited was 5 days and that was in November 2014. I don’t foresee anything opening up until after the 1st of the year but you just never know. We’ll be ready to go when/if something does open up.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Michael and I!