Day 74 Continued…
Saturday, December 21, 2019 – At 11:55, we pulled out and headed north towards Stephen F. Austin State Park – check out at Texas parks is 12:00. Today is Winter Solstice. We are so glad to see this day arrive. Being on the road and enjoying outdoor time, we miss the daylight time. Days will now be getting longer! Woo hoo!
On our way, we passed lots of farmland and I did some searching to find a church. We preferred one we could attend tomorrow as well as Christmas Eve, and that had a website – a simple requirement. I finally found one that fit the bill.
We arrived, set up camp and headed out on a walk – well, Lucas was on his bike. We found a trail for hikers and bikers so followed it. Lucas is doing pretty good on one training wheel. This park is FULL of Spanish Moss!
Before the sun set, we did a little drive around the little town of Sealy and past the church we planned to attend in the morning. I’m a huge fan of Christmas lights!
Did I mention I was homesick?
Sunday, December 22, 2019 – I woke up feeling more homesick than when I went to sleep. We ate a quick breakfast and headed to church at LifeBridge Community Church, Sealy, TX. During the greeting time, the couple in front of us, Jeannie and Al, welcomed us warmly and asked about our travels. Jeannie mentioned that the summer after 8th grade, her and her parents spent 3 months traveling around the USA and a bit of Canada. After the service, we chatted more and exchanged phone numbers. We also met a full-time RV couple who has an American Sign Language ministry.
As we were pulling out of the church, Al called and asked if we would like to meet for lunch. We gladly accepted the invitation and spent over 2 hours connecting with him and Jeanine over Mexican food. It felt so good to be seen and know by others. It truly was a gift from God letting us know we weren’t invisible in this big world. Jeannie and Al felt like family. They even invited us to their vacation property where they would be going after Christmas. In the end, they picked up the tab for lunch. What a special time we shared. Just want we needed.
Community is what I miss the most being on the road. I knew our family was blessed by an amazing community of friends in VA and that it was going to be difficult to be away from them, but I had no idea how difficult. Yes, we meet many people on the road but there is no true connection. It’s kind of a lonely venture. Not complaining, just want you to know that it’s not always easy. 🙂
After dropping the mens off at home, I headed out to Walmart to grab groceries for the week.
Monday, December 23, 2019 – After breakfast, Lucas and I mixed a small batch of Sugar Cookies. I mean, we HAD to have a few Christmas Cookies. I thought I had packed my cookie cutters, but apparently not. Thankfully, the favor at Amanda & Jason’s wedding was a cookie cutter in the shape of Texas! Perfect for our Texas Christmas!
Matthew had started cleaning the RV with a waterless solution. I went to work cleaning the windows. We haven’t cleaned the exterior since getting on the road. It was fun to have clean windows in our “house”. While we were cleaning the RV, I put Lucas to work cleaning his bike. We were able to do about 3/4 of the rig before darkness fell.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 – Christmas Eve! I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that we have to change campgrounds on Christmas Day! The availability in the state parks this time of year is tough. I wasn’t aware that it was such a popular time to camp. Last week I called the State Park call center and a kind gentleman assisted me with several reservations getting us through New Years Day. Unfortunately, this park was already full for Christmas Day so we will have to move tomorrow.
After watching Milo and Otis for the first time, Lucas and I took a long bike ride. We started by chasing Matthew on his run but he soon got away from us. We rode at least 2 miles. I’m surprised this little guy can keep going. This remaining training wheel is starting to bend. Not sure how much longer it will be in tack.
I prepped some of our Christmas Dinner meal to save on time since we will be traveling. After a big brunch, we headed to the laundromat. Matthew dropped us off and went to wash the truck. Nothing like doing laundry on Christmas Eve. Well, I’ve probably done it at home but it feels strange on the road.
We returned home, quickly changed clothes and headed to Christmas Eve Service. The church was hosting a fellowship time ahead of the service. We were able to enjoy a vast selection of Christmas cookies and I a glass of Egg Nog (I’m the only one that likes it in this bunch so it was perfect). We met a family that was stationed in Virginia for a period of time while in the military. Our friends, Al and Jeannie, thought of different people we could connect with. I loved it.
The service was perfect and beautiful. Wonderful music and the Christmas story shared throughout the evening, ending with candlelight. Just what our hearts needed.
After service, we were introduced to someone who grew up in western NY near where my family is from. Al and Jeanine were so sweet to think of different people we could connect with. We said farewell to our new found friends and hoped we would meet up with them in the next week or so.
The homesickness is still there but I’m more at peace with it.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019 – It’s Christmas Day! We expected Lucas to be up early but of all mornings, he slept in until 7:20! Matthew and I were awake around 6:30 just waiting for him to wake up. 🙂 Once awake, he was full speed ahead!! We had the stocking for him with a few random items – toothbrush, socks & dollar store items as well as a lego set. The lego set (Lego City Space Mars Research Shuttle) was requested while we were visiting the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL so I knew he would be happy with it. His reaction didn’t disappoint. (Thanks Magnolia Table for the brown paper bag to wrap the present in.)
After presents and hot chocolate, we made our traditional waffles before packing up camp and hitting the road. We have about a 2 hour drive to our next spot – McKinney Falls State Park.