Busy January at Eastgate….

January has been a very busy month.  It has been also a very cold month.  Usually we only have a few cold days that reach maybe in the 40s but mostly 50s, 60s, and 70,s.  This year it has been very cold.  Several times it reached into the low 30,s for several days.  We’ve lost many of our flowers.  We had a good frost that killed many.  They say its been the worst in many years.20180211_054906.jpg

We did a tour to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen.  We have done this before, but I feel it is such an important part of Harlingen to share every year.  This is a private academy that can house up to 200 students. The cost is $20,000 a semester.  An average student will spend only 2 years here because of the cost for the parents.  Those who attend all the grades will almost be guaranteed entrance to a top college in the nation.  The curriculum is military style with a focus on academics.  Sports are also offered but no vocational courses.


Marching to the Cafeteria

They have a very strict daily plan for the students.  They have a daily dress code and march in units.   They live in barracks and have a counselor family also living in each housing unit to watch over them and take care of their needs.  It is a very impressive place.  We boarded their bus, toured the grounds including the gymnasium, weight room,  library, rec center,  auditorium and and finally the cafeteria.  We ate, watched the kids march in formation and then they bussed us back to the Iwo Jima Museum parking lot.  It is the home of the Original Iwo Jima Memorial.  20180122_125212.jpg

It is the cast that made the Iwo Jima Memorial that sits in Washington DC. at Arlington Cemetery.  It is such an honor that it was installed in Harlingen.  It is across the street from the Academy and the back drop for the Academy’s Dress Parades.  They also have a wonderful Museum on the grounds.  It is also the burial site of Corporal Harlon Block, who was one of the flag raisers who’s picture was captured that fateful day.  He was killed in action several days later.  He was from Weslaco which is only about 10 miles from Harlingen.

Our next event was going to the Border Patrol for a Informational Presentation.   The Canadians had to have papers filled out 2 weeks prior to the date.  They said they use to take people back to the housing areas, but not any more.   We were taken to a large room where they hold their meetings etc.  20180125_111638.jpg

At the front of the room were 4 empty chairs.  They were in Memorial to 4 of the Officers from Harlingen that have been killed.  Their name is engraved and also notice the tree on the side holding a pair of empty boots, a gun holster and a hat.  Very moving.


They held a slide show and gave us so much factional information.  The hot spot of the Rio Grande Valley is in McAllen.  The amount of family’s, men, women and children that have crossed over is astounding.   They are coming to the Park on March 4 to give their talk again.  Their was so much info and facts.  So many people had wanted to come, and the limit was 30, so I decided to have them come and give the same presentation.   Hopefully I can retain some of the facts to pass on.  It was interesting though, the highest quarter for illegal’s was the quarter just before Trumps election.  They thought they wouldn’t get over after he was in office.


Entrance to Hotel….Concrete tree stumps.  Schlitterbahn has a very rustic appereance.

Next we had the Winterfest Concert in South Padre Island at Schlitterbahn Indoor Water Park.  I sold tickets for this event which qualified Rich and I free entrance.  They also had a 3 day special for a Dinner Show the nite before, Winterfest, and then a Matinee Dinner performance the following day.  All in all, 3 nites at the hotel.  Many went, but Rich and I chose to spend the just 1 nite.  The Dinner Show that nite was “Mirage, Visions of Fleetwood Mac”.  They were based out of L.A.  They were very good.  The next day was the Winterfest.  Live music on stage started at 10 am and continued till 5 pm.  We were also given a Shrimp or Fish Basket from the Shrimp Haus.


We seen some great performances.  Many people from all over the Valley came to enjoy the entertainment.20180131_103735.jpg

Here is some of our Eastgate group.   I can see about 12 here….It was hard to get everyone.  We were so scattered around.  Total I believe , just from our park was about 24 people.  As we were watching the musical groups, we seen a zip line out of the corner of our eyes.  We walked over and the line was getting longer.  Only $5….Wow….Sure I’ll go.  Many of the people from our park were in line.  I found a partner, Laura from our park.  Rich came over also and went with Gaylon.  It is a zip line that 2 of you sit in 2 seats and are strapped in.  It is called the Soaring Eagle…Soaring-Eagle-Zip-Line-Mooresville-Indiana-6-of-7-1024x683

No place for your feet, just hanging freely.  So the only thing keeping you in is the seat belt.  As I was in line, our friend Ron asked me if I wanted to use his Go Pro camera…..Wow…Sure…He had a short tripod that wraps around your hand.  So finally my turn.  I was excited but also a little scared.  After you are strapped in, it is pulled backwards quite a ways up to the top of a pole.  You stop for about maybe 5 seconds and then start your descent going 30 miles an hour till you get to the end.  Then the brakes are applied and you stop abruptly.  I describe it as a jet landing on an air craft carrier and it is stopped by the hook.  So finally my turn.  Now I didn’t realize that with the camera on my right hand, I also got into the right side.  I now had no place to hang on to.  I also didn’t realize, my seatbelt was not tight.  Their was a lot of play.  Finally we started going backwards up the line…..zip line 2

We were almost to the top and I was feeling like I was going to fall out…All most at the top, it jerked you about 3 or 4 times.  Each time I thought I was falling. ….. OMG…..But the View from the Top was…..ASTONISHING BEAUTIFUL…The island looked so small.   What a View.  I still had the Go Pro wrapped around my right hand with nothing to hold on to.  I tried panning it around to get it on video.  Then all of a sudden we were falling….faster and faster towards the ground.  We came closer and closer and then I could see the end of the line….The platform where we loaded and at the end of the line????  The I-Beam holding up the zip line.  If it did not stop….It would be a DIRECT HIT to the I-Beam….In those last seconds, all my thoughts were, when the brakes went on, I would fly forward and slip out of the seat belt….So at the last minute…The hand with the camera came down and grabbed the seat…..And we stopped really very easy…..lol..lol…OMG….It was a crazy ride.   Many of you have probably seen the Video, It is on FB on my Time Line….So I got out and Rich was next….Him and Gaylon climbed on board and took the ride.  Now he really enjoyed it and wasn’t scared.  He also made them strap him in tight….So Would I do it Again???    Yes I sure would…..It was AWESOME...Now I will show you my Awful picture…..


….In the corner, you can see the overlay of us at the end near the top of the pole…


The next day I had to get up early.  We had a SegWay Tour back down at Port Isabel.   We ended up with 2 groups because we had 10 people.  We held one at 10 am and then another at 1 pm.  It was an absolutely Beautiful day.20180201_120705.jpg


The temperature was in the low 80’s and hardly any wind, and the water and sky was beautiful shades of blue.  2 more weeks and we will be doing SegWay on the Beach at Padre……20180204_175349.jpg

Next affair was the Super Bowl PartyRich and I are in charge of that.  I have a budget to go by.  Rich cooked around 50 lbs. of pork and pulled it.


We had smokies, shrimp, nachos and cheese, veggies and dip, sausage cheese and crackers and a Keg of beer.  I decorated with balloons from the ceiling in team colors, and made megaphones from construction paper for center pieces.  Everyone also brought a snack to share ….


I had collected 27 door prizes to give away including 2 Director Chairs from the park owner.   They all had a great time…..Most of the beer was gone, and food too…..Everyone was happy.20180209_120500.jpg

Our last event we just had was our Ladies Luncheon with our 2nd Annual Style Show.  Everyone brought a dish for the food table.  Their was so many wonderful homemade dishes.20180209_124311.jpg

The desserts were out of this world.  Everyone filled their plates, and when we were done we still had so much food.  Finally the Style Show portion.  Last year we chose 3 stores that were in different towns.  They were rather elite stores that are a little pricy.  This year, they choose local stores that were more practical in style and price.


The first one was Cato’s.  They had some really nice items for everyday.  The ladies had so much fun doing this….20180209_133346.jpg

The next store is Quelles Boutique down town Harlingen.  The modeled many items that were so inexpensive and yet so unique.  Its really a great store that I need to go and check out.  She carries new as well as gently used.  It sounds very interesting to see.  So that has been my month….So so busy…..soon it will be almost over……April 1 is officially the end of the season when everyone is going or has gone back north….


A Beautiful Day in Port Isabel looking over the Bay to South Padre Island




Tammy & The Kids Visit….Part 2

FB_IMG_1516214053865.jpgWe had a fun day in Progresso Mexico and then headed back over to the US side.  We headed for South Padre Island which is about a 45 minute drive.  Rich and Cameron were in our car leading the way, and us girls in Tammy’s Jeep.  We arrived after dark at our motel and settled in.  Now we had a number of things planed,  but the weather was going to cause us a problem.  Cameron wanted to do a Deep Sea fishing Trip in the Gulf.  We also wanted to take the Port of Brownsville  Tour and see the ship yards where they dismantle the decommissioned Navy ships.  The USS Ranger is their and the USS Independence just arrived last May.  The weather has not been stable at all this season.  The forecast changed from the 70s to the 60s with some rain.  We had tickets lined up for both but they were both cancelled because of the weather.  FB_IMG_1515893032735.jpg

Tammy did manage to take several drives up the beach.  The first one she was very excited to finally drive up to the end of the road.  South Padre Island has only one main road down the middle.  It continues north until it turns into sand.  It passes all the beach access points, the hotels, condos, restaurants and bars.  It also passes a Zip Line area.  They also offer horse rides on the beach.  It is the farthest north facility on the island.  Then it turns into sand a ways up the road.  It gets so windy the road is always blowing over.  The plows regularly have to plow and maintain the road.  As you see it was sputtering rain on her windshield, but that didn’t stop her.  She drove back to Access 6 and entered the beach.  She said she drove a number of miles north.  On the way they passes the horses out for a ride.


It was chilly to be on the beach.  The wind blows in from the ocean constantly.


But I guess if you love horses and the beach, it doesn’t stop you.   It probably was a dream come true for some of those people.  The weather just didn’t cooperate.


Along the way Tammy stopped and they looked for shells.  She actually found some large Conch shells.  They probably had washed up from the storm that had just come in a day before.  Carly brought her fish net and loaded it up with all her special shells she found.  They loved ridding on the beach.  Its such an exhilarating feeling as the wind blows and the sea gulls fly and chirp.  The feeling of peace, tranquility and Freedom.  Mother Nature at her best.


Carly on the upper deck…..It was so Cold and Windy

The next trip we did was the Dolphin Eco Watch.  The boat is a double decker.  It holds quite a few people.  It is around a 2 hour trip in the bay, looking for dolphins.  They also drop a net to the bottom and drag it to catch different types of fish.  It was so cold.  We bundled up in our sweat shirts and jackets and boarded.  The girls had so much fun….Even Tammy.  We seen the dolphins many times just swimming around near us.  They would surface and then go under and come up a ways ahead.  The deck hand had dropped the net and reeled it in.  He had quite a few different variety’s of fish.  He cleaned them out of the net and put them all in a bucket with water.  He took them out 1 by 1 and showed them to the kids and adults.


He actually caught a Sting Ray.  He explained the danger and how to react when near a Sting Ray.  He also showed a Puffer Fish and several others.  Finally he dropped them all back into the bay.  Then they took the boat clear out past the Jetty’s of Padre.  The wind was blowing, the waves were blowing high and splashing against the Jetty Rocks.


It was so beautiful to see all the hotels at a distance and the beaches.  We also seen Dolphins clear out here.   Finally after almost 2 hours we went back to the docks.


Now we were all hungry.  We decided to go to Pier 19.  It is a restaurant out on a dock.  Very cool atmosphere.  Every table is by a window.  It is a long and narrow restaurant as it is built actually on the pier.  We had seen Dolphins near the restaurant when we were on the boat, so decided it would be a great place to eat.


They had some great food.  I had a Hawaiian Burger.  It was awesome.  I can’t wait to go back.   The next day we decided to go to Brownsville to the Gladys Porter Zoo.  It is situated on 31 acres.  The zoo houses about 400 animal species and over 250 tropical and neo-tropical species and subspecies.


We didn’t see to many animals as it was still so cold.  But we sure seen Flamingos.  It is such a beautiful unique zoo.  The animals are all housed in areas that are natural to their habitats.  You don’t see many in cages, as they are all in natural out door settings.  But since is was so cold, I think they were mostly brought into their indoor areas to escape the unusual cold weather.  Just Carly, Tammy and I went here and we had a great time.  We also took another side trip out to Boca Chica Beach.  It is on the south side of Port of Brownsville.  It is a desolate beautiful area just a stones throw from the border.  After a 20 mile drive it dead ends into the beach at the Gulf of Mexico.  Several years ago they anounced that Space X had bought some ground for a new Missile launch area.  It is being built now, but we were told it would take another 2 years before the first launch.  That night ate out at Louies Backyard on the Bay sideTammy and Carly stayed at the hotel as they were tired.


Glen and Kathy from the park came down to spend a nite.  They had spent the afternoon at another Club listening to the singer “Leslie”.  After she was done their, she came to sing at Louies.  We had some good food and fun times.

The next morning, Tammy wanted to go for another drive on the beach.  Rich and I and Cameron stayed in the room.   Awhile later, Tammy called…….”Dad do you have a tow rope in your car?“……lol….Oh no…..They had driven into Access 6 again and drove for miles up the beach as it was low tide.  They had a great time until they came back and tried to get back through the Access area.  In these areas the sand accumulates into drifts.  If not cleaned out regularly with a plow, it is like snow drifts up north.  You simply get stuck and end up bottoming out if you keep trying.  Well that’s what happened.   The other thing was, all this time she thought she was in 4 wheel drive.  Cameron had showed her to put the switch in 4 wheel but neglected to show her the other part of the process.  She was lucky she never got stuck earlier.  Well “Dad” didn’t have a tow rope…….Rich and Cameron drove out their and their was a whole crowd helping her.  She had of course bottomed out trying to get out.  Several vehicles tried pulling her but to no avail.   Finally another Jeep hooked up and pulled her right out.  She was so excited that she never took any pictures.  She was disappointed when she realized others were taking pictures but she didn’t get any.  So another Adventure for her to talk about…..lol….But no pictures.   Later she had to wash the Jeep as she was so full of sand.

Our stay at the island was coming to an end.  We had nice rooms.  Cameron stayed with us in ours so the girls could have their room to them selves.  Our room was obviously quieter.  When you went into Tammy’s room it was a disaster.  Clothes all over, and Carly always had her little toys out on the table playing with them.  She always has to have play time with her little toys.  We had a great Breakfast every morning down in the Lobby.  All the cold cereal, donuts, bagels, and toast as well as eggs, potatoes, waffles and juices.  Anything you could want for breakfast.

We left the Island to go home, but Tammy was still staying another day or two.  We both drove and headed for Brownsville,   77 Flea Mkt.  This turned out to be a beautiful day.  The Flea Mkt is huge.  Rich and Cameron took off and us girls started to slowly make our way through.  The girls had fun, even Cassidy.  We found a cheap stroller to put Carly in.  She would have never walked the whole thing.  20171230_133504.jpg

Cassidy found quite a few things.  Several pairs of slacks, make up brushes, and her best item was a blue tooth speaker with disco lites on wheels.  It was made like a rolling suitcase.  Great for taking to her friends or wherever she wants to go.  Tammy found a rolling suitcase for herself, and many other things and food items.  We were half we through and I was tired.  I mentioned, are you getting tired yet, but…… NO…..she wasn’t…..So we finally did the WHOLE FLEA MARKET.   I don’t think I ever walked the whole thing before…..Now we were very hungry.  We ate at a Chinese Buffet.  Good Food.  So we finally went back to Harlingen and Tammy went back to Padre.  That nite they decided to go fishing by the Causeway.  FB_IMG_1515891798874.jpg

Would you believe Cameron caught a Sting Ray.  It was being chased by a Puffer Fish.


He finally pulled it on the dock.  A Mexican who didn’t speak much English helped Cameron get it off the hook and finally sent it back in.  FB_IMG_1515891839792.jpg

Now that is something you sure can’t catch in Illinois.  More memories were made.  The next morning they decided it was time to leave.  The kids wanted to go home.  They arrived back at our camper around 11:30.  Tammy come flying in and said….”Dad, Dad, take me to Mexico one last time….Please?”  Cameron said ” No, you don’t need to go”…..Tammy looked at Cameron and said….“I’m the mom your the kid…..You can’t tell me what to do”…..Then she looked at Dad and said ” Please Please, I want to go back one more time”.….So of course, Tammy, Cameron and Dad went back to Mexico…..I took Cassidy and Carly and went to Mr Gatti’s.  Its a Pizza Buffet.   It also has Pasta, Mac and Cheese, Baked Potatoes and the fixings and a great Salad Bar.  We went back to the park and I had 2 more things to do with the kids.  My friend Gail Rollo has written a Children’s book.  She is selling it in certain book stores and on Amazon.  She has been doing some book signings also.20171210_124501.jpg

Its a wonderful book of a dream that she had when she was a child.  After all these years, she has written the book and Published it.  Were all so proud of her Accomplishment.


I wanted Gail to sign one for Carly so we stopped at her house.  Gail read the book to her and then signed her very own book.  Carly loved it.  She held the book with 2 hands against her chest when we left.  It was very special to her.


Our next stop was Roberta’s.  Roberta and Ken have 2 Parrots.  Maui is a Beautiful Red and Blue Parrot.  20171231_133908.jpg

Cassidy met her 2 years ago.  At that time Maui was the only one she had.  Since then, Roberta has been given Benny.  His owners had passed away and he desperately need a family.   20171231_134030.jpg

Benny is a beautiful blue and yellow Parrot.  Roberta is so good with birds, animals of any kind and has a wonderful green thumb.  She can grow anything.  So Carly poised for this picture with her doll and they had their matching dresses on, that they bought in Mexico.  Finally Rich, Tammy and Cameron came back around 5.  They drove across this time.  Tammy had to walk almost the whole length of the shopping area that we stick to in Progresso.  She shopped and shopped and made sure she had her Margarita.  She loved it.  20171231_173423.jpg

But now it was time to head out.  I thought they would be to tired to drive, but they wanted to go.  The kids sleep at nite and travel better.  So around 5:30 the left.  I figured they would stop and sleep.  It is a very long drive.  But with Cameron and her driving, they made it straight through in 22 hours.  They pulled into home in Illinois before 4 pm the next afternoon. …. OMG….No way.

It was a great time having Tammy and the kids here.  We didn’t get to do everything we wanted but we did a lot.   We never had a dull moment.  It was so nice after going on 4 years that one of the kids have finally came down and seen where we live in the winter.  Their is so much to offer in the Rio Grande Valley.  It is such a different life style than back home.  Harlingen area has so much to offer.  So much to see and do.  It never gets old.  Much history and many things I’m sure I haven’t discovered yet.  It is a life style that is so unique, and so hard to describe to anyone up north.  It is an area the Winter Texans come back to every year to enjoy the warmth of the weather, the beach, and the culture of the Southern Texans……It is so nice to think, the beach and the ocean are just a short drive away.   

…….We Made So Many Wonderful Memories…..




Tammy and The Kids Were Here for Christmas….Chapter 1

This was the first time any of the kids have been down.  Cameron and Cassidy, the grandkids were down 2 years ago, but this time they all planned on coming down for Christmas.  It was really nice to have them here.  They drove down in Tammy’s  Jeep.  I brought over our little table top tree to the trailer they stayed in.  I put it on the coffee table and decorated with some garland.  I also brought over one of our tomato cage Christmas trees and put in the screen porch.  We wanted it to look festive cause Santa was coming for Carly……She is only 5, of course she believes.   They left on Thursday and stopped in Arkansas at Tammy’s friends, Char, Joy and Pamela.  Then they continued straight through all the way down.  They stopped in Port Mansfield which is about an hour away on Saturday.  They wanted to see the GulfPort Mansfield is right on the Gulf and is a good place to fish.  They bought a fishing license and did a little fishing.


They caught a really cool fish in about a half hour.   Of course they had no choice but to throw it back.  In Port Mansfield their is a herd of deer that roam the town.


They come right up to the car and you can feed them.  They fed them corn curls….They finally arrived Saturday afternoon very tired.  The next day was Christmas Eve DayTammy decided to take Carly over to the Hugh Ramsey Nature Preserve.


It is only a block away.   Every Friday they have guided nature walks or bird walks.  The paths take you all the way down to the Arroyo as they call it.  For us, we call it River…..


Its so full of beautiful cactus’s and beautiful trees.   This area is a major bird watching area.  Rio Grande Valley is on the major bird migration route.  Many of them come up from South America, and this is the first areas of land they come to.  They stop in this area and spend time resting and eating so they can eventually proceed north.  Their are so many bird watchers here in the area.  Many different Nature preserves for the birds and all the wildlife.


Its amazing that their is so much beauty right near our park.  All the different cactus’s and different textures of plants.  Since it was Christmas Eve, they held church services in the hall.  I went up around 5 after services were over and had them set up tables for Christmas Dinner the next day.  Then back home and it was time for supper……By that time they were all sitting around for a late Happy Hour…..It just happens when ever you want it…..lol…Even Cameron joined…..


Rich fired up the grill and we cooked supper and set up 2 tables on the pad next to us that was still empty…..So this is Christmas Eve Texas Style…..No snow…..No Winter coats….No snow shovels…..we did have jackets on as it was getting a little chilly….But the day had been a beautiful day…..So Now it was time for bed for Carly……Santa was coming in the morning……


We went over at 7 in the morning.  Carly was so excited.  Santa managed to find her in Texas…..20171225_073731.jpg

She got some cool toys….If your wondering about Cameron and Cassidy……they are here….lol…but neither one really likes their picture taken…..Cassidy is hooked up to her headphones and phone all the time and doesn’t like to do the things Carly does.  Typical Teen…..Cameron hangs around Grandpa…   After they opened presents, I went up to make sure the Volunteer cooks were doing ok with the hams.   Dinner was at 1pm.  They cooked 7 spiral hams for the residents.  Eveyone brought a dish to pass for our tables.  We also had a table decorating contest….20171225_124219.jpg

This was the winner. What an imagination.  This snowman was cut out of Styrofoam.  Then he had everyone Autograph it….He had it set at the end of the table and then took it down to eat.  20171225_161537.jpg

Now we all know what Christmas Day is….Rich’s Birthday….He had been wanting a Birthday Cake.   About a week before Glen and Kathy, our neighbors, took the picture of his bike down to the grocery store and ordered this cake…..We surprised him and brought it in….


They did a beautiful job.  Rich is now…..’’68”……He is now older than me for 8 months….lol…One of the lady’s in the park played some Christmas Carols and then we cleaned up, did dishes, move tables back and all was done by 3pm…..The rest of the day was a lazy day (another Happy Hour).  So now our plans were, leave in the morning and head for Progresso Mexico.  The weather was still ok, but the forecast wasn’t looking good for the rest of the week.  Tammy had a hotel rented on South Padre Island for the rest of the week.  We also booked a room for 3 days.  So plans were to pack up in the morning and head to Mexico, spend the day and then down to SPI and check in.   We finally left the park by around 11.  We drove two cars to Progresso.  Its only about a half hour or a little more.  We parked on the American side and walked over.


This is the middle of the bridge.  Underneath is the Rio Grande River, which is the dividing line between the US and Mexico.  20171226_125206.jpg

It really isn’t that far to walk.  As soon as you walk off the bridge on the other side, the town of Progresso begins.  When you look over the side, you can see all the women and children begging for money, pennies or quarters.  When you get to the other side where the ground meets the bridge, they are shoving their baseball hats threw the holes asking for money.  20171226_125547.jpg

The kids all were really excited about going over.  Tammy had gotten her passports in the mail, just weeks earlier.   This picture of Cassidy is right at the end of the bridge.  You can see the Mexican government security gates that you have to go through when driving.  We do drive over also sometimes.  They don’t bother you going in to Mexico, but coming back into the US on the US side,  you of course have to show your passports and they ask questions about what you are bring back.  They can be very thorough.  Many times we’ve seen them pull a car over and pull everything out to search.  They use mirrors, cameras and dogs.


Here is a favorite place to take a photo.  This is what you see as you get ready to go through their gates.  So the adventure began.  The kids kept walking past all the sidewalk vendors.  We kept a tight hold on Carly.  Everyone of course was approaching us with their dental cards and everything else for business.  We finally went in a little shop area.  This guy spray paints pictures.  He uses only aerosol cans and little pieces of cardboard.


He painted this picture while we watched.   He only charged $15.  Great souvenir.   Our next stop was a restaurant.  We went to Arturo’s.  Its one of our favorites to eat at.  Very clean and nice.  20171226_140455.jpg

We ordered off the menu and had some drinks.  They don’t care about ages so Cameron had beer or two. … lol. … Cassidy tried her moms Margarita.   Finally we went on.  We looked at the street vendors and the shops.  We went to our favorite Pharmacy and I introduced Tammy to Jasmine,  who also works with the Dentist in the adjoining office.  They are the ones who made my upper plate.  Her sister and husband are the Dentists, and Jasmine is the interpreter.  I believe she also runs the Pharmacy.  Next after a few purchases, we went to their department stores…..


well not really but they are full of pills, souvenir’s, piñata, pots, candy, clothes and anything you can think of.20171226_132455.jpg

Their is so much traditional Mexican clothing and hats for sale.  Cassidy found some cute shoes and Carly found a matching dress for her and her doll.


Finally it was time to head back over to the USProgresso is the only city that is advised to crossover over.  All the others they say to stay out of.  Matamoros by Brownsville use to be a favorite.  They say the Cartel is strong in these border towns and its unsafe.  In Progresso we feel really safe.  As long as you leave late afternoon before dusk, your fine.  So many people go over for dental work and pharmacy.  Some even come to Southern Texas just to go across and get dental work done.  It is a lot of fun their.  Theirs many street bars and singing entertainment all the time.  But of course they are always asking for money and your always approached on the street to buy something from even the smallest of kids.  They learn as soon as they walk, how to beg.  The Winter Texans are a Major source for their income, so they do seem to watch out for us.  They need our business.  Finally after a walk over the bridge and through customs, we were back in our parking lot.  We showed our passports and today was an easy day.  They didn’t even ask what was in our sacks.  I even think I detected a smile…..Now that’s Unusual….

So I got in with the girls and Cameron rode with Grandpa and off to South Padre Island to check into our Hotel………..The Next Chapter…..lol…





Rich Has Been Home a Month…..Time to Catch Up

Rich finally made it home from Illinois, right after Thanksgiving.  Three months of living at Scott and Brandys and driving truck, hauling grain to the elevator, was enough.  He was ready to leave.  The weather had continually deteriorated.  It seemed like it rained almost every week.  Then it would take a day or two for the fields to dry to get the equipment in.  The temperature dropped.  Even time for a winter coat.  It was a very late harvest this year compared to the norm.  We weren’t prepared for that.  But at last, their last day was just before Thanksgiving.   He had Thanksgiving with the kids and finished up a few things and took off.


They all enjoyed having him home I’m sure.  The house was full of all the kids and their familys and some other friends.  Now if you look close in the corner, you’ll see the Christmas tree up already.  It is sitting on top of what was the dog kennel for Chaos…..Carly decorated it for Christmas.



Tammy bought little wooden house kits.  Carly painted and assembled them.  Then they used Christmas drape for the ground, gems, my old Christmas village people and animals and assembled a village.  Then she sprayed snow on the buildings and hung little lights from the top.  It is just adorable.  It is big enough, Carly can actually get in….lol….She loves to do artistic things.  She definitely has a great imagination.


The one thing I don’t miss is the mess of the kitchen…This is what it looked like every holiday after the meal.  Such a mess…..Now its Tammy’s Mess……lol….


But they did have a good time and the kids and Aunt Connie, Uncle Brian, Cousin Ashley, Matt and their 2 little girls, Vivian and Adalyn, and of course Aunt Beth.  They had a house full.


He was also able to enjoy Halloween at the bar.  Scott and Brandy really decorate the bar up good.  They hang all the Ghosts and Goblins  from the ceilings and lights.


It looks really cool.  And Here is some of the patrons on Halloween…..


Yes, they do have fun.  Usually he has Karaoke or a band on Fridays or Holidays.  IMG_20170928_143930003

So Rich was in Illinois about 3 months working the Harvest for Corn and Soy Beans.  He has worked for this farmer now for several years.  He drives the semi after its loaded from the field to the elevator.  The farmer farms around 4,000 acres in corn and soybeans.  The acreage is spread around several counties, some as far as 40 miles away.  So it takes a lot of road time to get the crops to the elavater to the field. When they were at their farthest, they had 3 trucks on the road making rounds.


This is the combine with the bean head on it.  They were combining the soy beans here.



Then the combine dumps into the wagon that is being pulled by a tractor.


Next the tractor and wagon drives up to the truck and trailer which is sitting along side the road.  The tractor then dumps his load into the trailer behind the semi.  When the semi is full, it is driven to the elevator to dump.


Here is McNabb Elevator from the park.  They seem to add another bin every year.  When we first moved to town in 1978 most of these weren’t here.


This was the old office.  It looks so small now being surrounded by the grain bins.  When we first moved to town in 1978, we were just a few houses from here.  This office was then a very busy place.  The truck scales were right were the green Artic Cat boxes are.  It was sold and now artic cat snowmobiles, golf carts, and 4 wheelers are now sold their.


This is the new office that was built a number of years ago.  Theirs nothing like living in a farming community.  In the fall you can hear the dryers running day and nite, drying the crops…..You will find a layer of red corn dust over your vehicles as it flies through the air.  Its on the sidewalks and porch’s and can track in the house.  Yes, nothing like living in town and enjoying the farm life…..


Some of the fields were on the other side of the  Illinois River.  This is a cool shot of the River with the Railroad bridge.  Rich is on I 39 heading north.


One day he seen Tammy and he picked up Carly for a ride back to McNabb.  She loved it.


Rich took this picture of an arial picture hanging in the elevator.  Its a pretty cool picture of McNabb.  The elevator and office are in the foreground.  Main st. looks very short.  You can see Scotts Bar on the corner.  The town actually extends about 2 blocks north in the picture.  That would be to the left.  This is what a town of 350 people look like.


So finally the harvest season was done.  This was a really nice picture Rich took.  He made a nice little nest egg, and he bought a new to us car.  Now i’m living in luxury.


Electric seats and windows and even an automatic transmission.  I don’t have to drive the farmer truck anymore…..lol….It has crank windows, manual seat and manual transmision.  So Their it is.  A Chevy Equinox.  It the grayish one.  It is sleet raining at Scotts house.  Finally Rich was ready to leave.  He decided that he wanted to bring down his custom bike.

Richs custumHe built it a number of years ago.  It is made from scratch, piece by piece. He even molded the fenders to fit.  It took several years to put together due to the cost of course.  It sure doesn’t come cheap.  It has a lot of really cool detail to it.   It has been sitting down in Scotts basement for 3 years now.  So he rented a U-Haul to bring it down.

20171204_091754.jpg  He left on Sat. and arrived Sunday evening.  Its a long way to drive for one person.  He was tired.  Well when he arrived it was warm.  A cold front came in the next day and GUESS WHAT…….IT SNOWED


It was the first time since 2004.  We couldn’t believe it.


When you walked out side, I smelled that old familiar cold crisp smell.  Even after not having snow for 3 winters I realized after 5 minutes, it was enough….lol….

The schools were starting late due to winter warnings…..lol…They were all excited.  The newscasters were loving it.  They kept quoting the history of the last snow falls.  But…..Now the Winter Texans….That’s a different story….We were not happy about it….


This was my drive up to the office.  It actually accumulated on the window and it was still snowing.  The palm trees and all the tropical plants had snow on them….


It was pretty though…But the funniest thing to see was …..People in the Hot Tub….These teens in the tub were from Wisconsin visiting their Grandma Debbie.  Nothing stopped them.  If you notice their was a fog coming off the pool area……Fortunately it didn’t last long.  It melted later that day.  So Rich unloaded the bike, the next day we took the trailer to U-Haul…..He was glad to be back in the warmth…..Well, he had to wait a few more days…..hahaha…..

Now it was only several weeks till Christmas.  Tammy, Cameron, Cassidy and Carly came for Christmas.  We had a lot of fun and was busy every day.  We didn’t get to do everything we wanted because of the weather, but they had fun.  That will be the next blog….

All about Tammy and the kids and us at South Padre Island for Christmas.


Austin is “7” What Happened the Day You Were Born

The day Austin was born was really a quiet day, compared to Mileys birth.  When it came close to the time for Austin to be born, Tina didn’t let Ed do any fun things….lol…No going out to the farm and riding 4 wheelers….Nothing dangerous….Nothing that the guys would do for fun.  She didn’t want a repeat accident like when Miley was born.  The doctors set the date Dec 1 for the C-Section.  This was going to be an easy one compared to Miley.


Tina was having a hard time bending over to put on her shoes…..lol…

The morning of Dec. 1, I went over to their house to take care of Miley.  Ed and Tina were going in to hospital to prepare for the C-Section.  As she was getting ready, we laughed at her cause she could hardly reach her feet to put on her socks.  Finally they left.

Tina and Ed told Miley they were going to the hospital to go get Austin.  Can you imagine what a child thinks.  One day theirs no baby and the next their is.  They see moms belly get big and are told the baby is in their.  Then all of a sudden it’s out????  Its a shame we can’t remember our thoughts as children.


We waited for quite a while at home and then Miley and I went on to Illinois Valley Community Hospital  (IVCH) in Peru.


Tina was all settled in her bed.  Miley climbed in with her.  She was very curious about of this.


“What This Do Mom”

Then she decided to check out the bed and push the buttons.  After she was done playing with the buttons, she crawled back up to her mom.


Then she examined her moms stomach.  She checked out the heart monitor on Tinas stomach.  Tina asked her “Where’s Austin”?  of course Miley pointed to her stomach.


Ed was given his hospital robe as he was going in with Tina.


Finally the time came.  Tammy was their, and her and Miley had went to get a drink.  They came back just in time.  ……Here comes the chariot…..


Miley watched as they transferred her Mom on it.  Tina and Ed told her not to worry.  She would be back with Austin


So on down the hall they went.


Ed didn’t get to go right away.  They wanted to get Tina all ready first and then they would come for him.  So what do you do while waiting…..Even a 2 year old can operate a phone….lol….Finally they came for Ed…..Away he went to the Operating room….


Finally , here he is…..Austin Danallen Bergen…..7′ 13″lb.    20″ long.  He was just a nice size little baby Boy.  Now Austin’s middle name is the combination of both Grandpas.  Ed’s dad is Dan….Rich’s middle name is Allen.  So it has a nice ring to it…..


Miley was really glad to see her little new brother….


I remember those first years, all she wanted to do was pick him up.  She just didn’t understand why she couldn’t just do that…She has always loved her brother.  They really are quite close. IMG_0557

They don’t fight like some siblings do.  After a day or so, they went home.  It was a nice quiet peaceful birth.  All went as expected….The first months all he did is sleep…and eat…He became a butterball.  I remember picking him up in his carrier from the sitters.  It took 2 hands to carry him to the car…..OMG…He became a chunk….Sometimes I even took the carrier out first and then brought him out.



Here’s his 1st Birthday.  He had a big round face and not much neck….But he was a very happy baby. 198679_1924001265315_5443043_nFrom early on, he learned to go fishing with his dad and Grandpa Dolder…..


Always the ham…..He has always been so happy…..smiles all the time….


The older he got the more he thinned out and grew…..He also did what he wanted….If he had to pee, he did.   OMG.  Right in the old flower bed at Easter…..



Love this one….Tina works for the Circuit Court in Putnam County….





Miley 2016

Austin Dexter and Miley


Austin and Miley have always been close.  The’ve taken some great family pictures together. 15107194_10207556031886583_6404340002077889388_n

What a fine young man Austin is becoming…..But just look at those eyes…..Full of Mischief.  You know when he’s smiling at you—–Theirs trouble brewing…….Yes, he’s all BOY…..24174146_10210956730139819_4522011087848789427_n

This is Austin and their new Puppy Dee Dee….He is going to give Tina and Ed a Run for their money…..Well I think he already is.


This is his school picture for 2017-18…..You never know what lurks behind that Smile…..












Another Miracle: Mourning Flowers for Our Beautiful Tree…….

As You all know, our Beautiful Pot Hole Tree lost its life after 12 hours this week.  Its beauty shined brightly during its short life…..It life was feed by the abundance of water in the Pot Hole.  It had reached under the blacktop and the roots had attached to the dirt down below breathing in life……. The cars slowed down during the night as their lites were directed to the shinning beauty of the tree decorated in blue tinsel and tin foil.


Then the powers that be, decided to cut it life short after 12 hours.

  It Crossed over the Rainbow Bridge…..

This morning, what should appear???  Beautiful Mourning Flowers.  Red Roses and little white flowers, growing from the Pot Hole…..This Pot Hole holds the Miracle of Life…..No Matter what they do…..Something else grows…..


Another Miracle of Life……They are blooming in all their glory in Memory of the Beautiful Tree, that lost its life……Do you suppose they will be allowed to live????  They’ve made it over 12 hours already!!!!   They are in between the orange cones!!!!   That is considered safe “Right”???  I think so……..The cars are again slowing done.   Everyone is mourning the Beautiful tree.  They are paying their respects in Memory of the Beautiful Tree that crossed Over the Rainbow Bridge.


Just look at how pretty the Mourning flowers are…..They add such a Beautiful touch to our park.  Where else can you find flowers growing out of Pot Holes…….

Only at Eastgate….



Grow Beautiful Flowers Grow from your Pot Hole………Shine your Beauty across the Rainbow Bridge…..Let your Beauty Shine in Memory of our Beautiful Tree




Our Eastgate Miracle Tree, It Rose From a Pot Hole

This morning I received a phone call,….”Have you been to the office yet”?  “No” I replied.  Why,  “A tree is growing in a pot hole…..OMG…..So I hurried up and took my shower, dressed and took the golf cart up….


Their in the street in the middle of a rain filled pot hole stood a …….TREE…..It was a Miracle Tree.  It was beautiful.  Bright green leaves on all the branches.  It was so “FULL OF LIFE”.


It turned out, it was first seen last evening as it grew out of the pot hole.  Its little roots had made it to the soil below the black top.  All the rain gave it the…… “GIFT OF LIFE”……It had the strength to grow.   It reached over 5 ft.  Taller than me…..lol….The neighbors came out and rejoiced.  They put lights on it.  Then someone added sparkly blue garland.  It was so shiny and beautiful.  20171113_085237.jpg

By morning the Eastgate Grapevine was working fast.  Everyone wanted to see the miracle that had happened.  Someone even added tin foil around some of the branches.  It just shinned and sparked with every car light.  lol.  As I approached the Beautiful Tree, people slowed down to look….They laughed and so enjoyed the pretty tree.  They thought it was a great idea.  They all thought it should stay.  People were driving safely around it, so they wouldn’t harm it.  Nothing had ever slowed the people down before. …. UNTIL NOW….


Some important people came and said it was unsafe……”WHAT”.….How can that be.  Everyone slowed down to admire it.  Its beauty shined with every car light during the nite.  How could it ever be considered unsafe….Is it safer to drive through a Pot Hole when its full of water and you can’t see it ? 20171113_090530.jpg

So the decision was made already that it had to go…..The maintenance guy backed up with his truck full of tree limbs.  He grabbed it and ripped it out of its Pot Hole…..Its Pot Hole of Life…..It started as a little seed the day before and grew to this beautiful tree.  A few of its little leaves lay floating in the Pot Hole as a remembrance of its short life

…..Poor Little Tree….You will be Missed…..


Their it goes.  The poor thing was flung into the back of the truck still decorated with its garland and tin foil.  It will go to its grave with its trinkets to remember the impact it made that day. So this is what replaced our Beautiful tree…..  20171113_090558.jpg

This is considered safe…….Hope everyone sees it.  Below the cone is 2 sunken patio blocks, gravel. mud and water.  But you can’t see them.  If you hit this pot hole with your car, believe me,  …….YOU WILL KNOW…….So beware of the Orange Cone……


So GOOD BYE Beautiful Tree

Thank You for your short life of maybe 12 hours.  But you have no idea how many lives you touched.  The laughter you brought the Park……The LOVE we felt for you and your cause….You fought for life…..But to no avail………PROGRESS…..That’s what LIFE is all about these days……Hopefully your seeds will soon sprout again.  Your beauty will shine again……So at the end of the day…..


This RAINBOW appeared in the evening sky…..some misty tears fell from the sky as you lay in the back of that truck.  We were all so sad cause we miss you, but then we all smiled ….When a Rainbow appeared over Eastgate….. We all know that you will Rise Again…..20171113_084634.jpg


Some where,  Some how,  You will sprout again.  Hopefully not in a Pot Hole next time.  


Halloween at Eastgate….55+ Style…lol..

Last nite we had our first Halloween Party in many years at Eastgate.  One of the residents Paulette and her husband Steve, love Halloween.  Its their favorite holiday.  So we started planning.  Actually Paulette did it all.  And what a Fantastic Party it was.

20171029_140450.jpg She bought a Dragon blow up and named her Hildegard….lol…Hildegard even flapped her wings.  Everyone took their picture by her.  If you notice, Steve even hung gray sheets behind to cover up the walls.  It was so cool.  We played Halloween back ground music.


The first game we played was Apple Bobbing…..We had maybe 4 people who tried this.  I’m sure they were afraid they would lose their teeth…..Tim tried and tried, but couldn’t get one.


Next Nancy tried.  She tried several times and finally she stuck her whole head down in the water and sunk her teeth into it at the bottom.  Ohhhhh My Goodness….so so funny.   She came out dripping….Look how deep the water is….


Now along came Pat, she gently lined up her apple that had a nice stem on it.  She tried several times and finally got it….Hurrrrrayyyy….Finally our Unicorn (Paulette) tried, but to no avail.  She couldn’t either….I think her horn was in the way…..


Next we had Chicken Soup game…..Their was 3 little rubber chickens that fit on your finger like a sling shot.  You shoot it into the soup bucket to win……Its crazy how they made a simple game so funny…..


You now how those dirty ole men talk, all about sticking their finger in the chickens hole???…..I’ll let your imagination work for you……lol…


Then we had a costume contest.  Now unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the winners, as we were trying to figure out who they were through popular vote of hand clapping…..We ended up with 4 ladies and 4 men for the winners.  The Winning lady was Princess Trailer Trash.  She wore a stunning Tiara and a beautiful styled white trash bag……The Winning man was a Blind man who dressed himself…..Totally clashing colors and a huge funny tie, and sun glasses and beach hat……So so funny…..Now the next thing was the Pumpkin Pinata.


It was filled full of Adult Goodies…..little liquor bottles….beads, glow in the dark bracelet’s, and other toys.


Everyone had to go outside.  Steve had strung a rope between 2 Palm Trees.  He constructed the Pinata so it could go up and down and side ways with him pulling it around.  20171028_211449.jpg

You should have heard them all screaming like little kids.  They swung and swung….The Pinata flew…..up and down……from one side….to the other side….at least once they would get a direct hit….. Everyone kept yelling at them….”Swing to the left….No Swing to the right”….They just kept laughing and giggling….


Then candy would start falling out……out came beads….and of course then the little alcohol bottles started tumbling out.  They were like little kids…They were screaming, “OH this is so much fun…I feel like a kid”…..We gave them little lunch bags for their goodies.  They were all over the ground looking for it in the dark.  They were all unruly children.  They wouldn’t even wait till a person was done.  As soon as something would fall out, somebody would dive to the ground to get it.  I really thought someone was going to get hit….



Debbie and Rick, Our Retired Park Managers


Finally the Pinata was over and we all went back in.  During this time everyone was also eating snacks.  We all brought snacks to share.  Their was plenty.  Crackers and dips, finger foods, sausage and crackers, and Veggies.  Paulette supplyed plenty of candy.  Little Smore kits, and little Cotton Candy bags, with a black plastic spider in it.  So much food and candy.  So what to drink?  Well you could by soda,   or just BYOB…..and they did….We do have the wine, beer and alcohol drinkers in the park.  But it is only Social Drinking….It makes them all Happy.…..and that’s they way we like them…..HAPPY….


We also had one other guest with us….Esmeralda, (Paulette) came to do Tarot card Readings…..20171028_201110.jpg

She really became popular.  Everyone wanted their fortune told.  Even Prisoner Ben, as I think he was worried about being sent back to prison….lol..


Then Pat our Flapper girl, was really enjoying it.  But their was one couple that came in cute as can be……FB_IMG_1509316506848.jpg

Our Clowns Marge and Gary…..Now they are the Temporary Park Managers


How cute are they!!!!…..But unfortunately…..Clown Gary was getting himself in trouble…..


I don’t know what he was doing here,   but I think he was assaulting the Prisoner Ben…..You just never know what to expect with these 55+ parks…..Then Later these pictures showed up on Face Book……  The Clowns are in Trouble….The Cops are Here!!!!


What on earth is Happening?????  The cops have Clown Gary spread eagle against the cop car…..Clown Marge looks like she’s saying  “Help, We didn’t do anything”……

Well, it turned out.  We had a break in at the park.  Marge and Gary were dressed for the party when the cops came.  As Temporary Managers, they had to go over to the trailer when the cops came, as the tenant wasn’t there.  Can you imagine what the cops thought when those 2 showed up on a golf cart????…..FB_IMG_1509316424791.jpg

I bet they couldn’t stop laughing….I’m sure they had stories to tell back at the station……Those Old people sure have fun…..Or those Old People,  their all crazy???


Never the less, it was a Great Party,  Lots of Fun, Lots of Prizes, and Lots of Candy……

So That’s How Old People in a 55+ park Celebrate Halloween……HaPpY HaLlOwEeN 2017 





6 Months, Cinemark 10 Career is Over….So How Was It?

Hard to believe I worked at Cinemark 10 for over 6 months.  Last Saturday was my last day.  It is rather bittersweet, I’m glad it is over but at the same time I will miss the job the whole crew and the customers.  20171027_203611.jpg

After awhile, you get to know some of the customers.  Some come every weekend. Some of them spend the whole day seeing several movies.  I have already started doing a few things at the park for this coming Winter season.  Our Halloween Party is this Saturday, so it is time for start focusing back here at the park.


Mariela, one of my trainers.  She also works Concession, and Usher…Excellent worker.

When I first walked in the first day, I didn’t know if I would fit in.  I walked in and seen everyone was so young.  I could be their “Grandma”…..lol…Even the managers were young.  I was going to work the Box Office.  The only other person who was older also worked the Box Office.  She is a P.E teacher.  She only works every other Sunday.  So Becky trained me that day, and I had several other girls with me before I was cut loose on my own.  Now the Box Office itself was pretty nice.


Inside Box Office.  You can see their is 2 monitors for 2 people.  After transaction is finished the tickets print and pop out the metal plate on the counter.

I was just me, and I could even control my own thermostat.  I kept it anywhere from 67-70.  It sounds cold but it wasn’t really, cause all that glass in front of you brought in the heat.  This was the first time I had used a cash register in years.  I had forgotten I had worked at Pizza Hut and Swiss Colony, back in the early 70s.  That would be Pre-Children days as I call it.  I don’t even remember what it was like, but I’m sure it was very manual.  That’s almost 45 years ago.


The one at the theater is all touch screen.  It is really easy to operate.  Just punch the movie, and how many tickets, put in the amount they give you, it tells you how much change to give back and…..Presto…..Out come the tickets.   The only thing I had a problem with was REFUNDS.  Now that I have learned, I really don’t know why it was such a big deal, but it seemed to be difficult.  Its all computerized so you just have to find the right keys.  Finally I learned that too…..When it is slow, they have Box inside and sell tickets at the Concession  Stand.  On weekends it is busier and they move it out to the Box Office.  I only worked in Box.  It was the easiest for me to do.  During the summer, they thought it would be busier so they had Box outside all week.  I worked lots of week day times then.  But now it was back to weekends.


It turned out all these managers and kids were so nice.  They were patient with me and encouraged me to ask questions anytime.  You really had to find a rhythm.  You were also expected to answer the phone.  You were also the switchboard.  So calls went to managers or up to the office.  Most were people calling about the movies.  Most were nice but then their were others.  Some of the dumbest questions ever.  Then I had one that wanted to know what all 10 movies were and all the times the played that day.  Now they can play up to 4 times a day.  Now that one I politely told her I didn’t have time.  Pick one and Ill tell you about that one only.  Meanwhile the people are watching you through the window and staring.  They want to buy their tickets.  I had one lady get upset and complain inside.  I apologized to her because I was on the phone with a customer.  You know what she said????  “Well I’m a customer too”  The phone rang before she even came up to the window.  You really have to bite your tongue and take a deep breath.  Another lady had bought tickets the week before and came in for a refund.  Now it was only $2.92 a ticket.  I told her we couldn’t.  Policy is refunds only before 30 minutes after the movies starts.  She asked for the supervisor.  Of course she was told the same thing.  She took our names down and threatened to call home office……lol…..No Problem…go ahead and do it….


My view from Box….People would spill popcorn and the birds would fly in and eat it right up.  Id had seen as many as 15-20 at a time fighting over popcorn.  

When school started, of course my hours were only weekends because the Box was brought inside to Concession during the week.  So I thought, maybe I could be an Usher.  All they do is stand at Podium, take tickets and direct the people.  Then you clean the theaters after each show.  That shouldn’t be bad should it?……So I was scheduled for a Saturday 2pm-8pm.


Clarissa my Usher Trainer.  She was Excellent at training.  Just a bundle of energy.

So it started off easy enough.  Finally the first theaters started letting out.  We went in and turned on the lights.  She explained you pick up all the big stuff first and then sweep the rest including the spilled popcorn.  I couldn’t believe what pigs people are.  They could have picked up somewhat after themselves but don’t.  Popcorn containers, soda cups, hotdog wrappers, candy, cookie wrappers, 3-d glasses and wrappers.  Plus the soda and popcorn weren’t empty.  Popcorn all over the floor.  They even sneak in things like soda bottles, candy, chips.  Clarissa said they have even found beer.  They have to get their kids booster seats in the hall, but they can’t even put them back.  Another thing she said was, “If you bend over by a seat to pick up something, hold your breath.  You will smell butt“……EEeeeeeeeuuuuu……Yuck…..So I did.  Now do the math, their are 10 theaters that show a movie up to 4 times a day.  That is 40 cleanings.   Ohhhhh Nooooo…..I was so exhausted after 2.  You only have about 10 minutes, sometimes less as they are programed to begin again.  People are now waiting to go in and sit down.


Three of the Ushers, Kay, Dora, and my replacement in Box, Stephanie…..All great girls…

Now that is not all.  You have to clean the restrooms every hour.  Clean the sink area, and check the toilet paper.  Sweep if needed.  Also your responsible for the lobby.  If their is a soda spill, you get the mop and bucket.  If popcorn is spilled, sweep it up.  Then run the little push vac down the carpeted hall and keep that popcorn sweeped up.  People spill it everywhere.


Kay and Mariela in the break room.  It was just repainted and this sofa and a TV added.  Nice…

Next we had to push the 32 gallon garbage cans to the dumpster.  Fortunately they were on wheels.  Always takes 2 people, so that wasn’t bad.  Now every shift has extras to do on the check off list.  Ours were to take 3 of the 32 gallon cans into the back of Concession and clean them.  We pushed them in, took out the bags, put on gloves hosed them down inside, put disinfectant inside and scrubbed with a scrubby pad.  Clarissa was down on her hands and knees half way in the can.  ……OMG……I can’t get down their…..By this time my knees were hurting so so bad.  The twisting and turning constantly was not a good thing.  Then they showed me if I were to work the close shift, what has to be done.  The office is upstairs.  So go up their.  Clean out the garbage from the office and break room.  Get out the vacuum and vac the break room.  Next sweep the stairs.  Go get the mop and bucket and mop all the stairs.  I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to do this job.  I was on the schedule for Monday also.  I figured I would do that and that’s all.  Finally at 8pm I went home.  I could barely climb the stairs in the motorhome.  My feet and knees hurt so bad.  Next day was sunday.  I was better but still sore.  I decided…….NOPE……I’m not even doing Monday…..I don’t have too….I tried, but I can’t, so I won’t…..So what did I write on my paper as to why I couldn’t ?…..”.I’m Too Old”…..Miss Ramos laughed.  They all understood.  At least I tried.  So when you go to the movies…..Please clean up after yourselves……Remember those Ushers work harder than you realize.



Upstairs view down the hall on one side.  These are all the projectors that are running movies.  Everything is run by computer.   No Reels like when we were kids…..


During this 6 months I actually got 2 evaluations…..Now that is a first on a job…..They both turned out excellent.  I got high marks and I also got 2 raises.  I didn’t amount to much, but its the principle of it all.  They do follow through with what they say…..

I also was voted by the managers for Employee of the Month.  Now how cool is that.  I was shocked.  20171022_173000.jpg

I received a $50 Gift Card for this honor….


I also had my name entered on the Employee of the Month plaque that hangs in the Break Room…..  I really felt that was quite an Honor.  It is voted on by the managers.  They really are a nice group of people….


They are all very professional.  They believe in what they are doing.  If your managers have good work ethics, it makes it easier for you to follow also.


Miss Ramos, Senior Manager…..She is so Nice…and Very Good at her Job.  She does NOT back down from a customer when necessary….She is on her way to becoming a General Manager.  She will be a very good one.

Now I’ve never really mentioned the General Manager.  He actually lives here in the park.  That’s actually how I got this job.  He believes in his crew.  I attended a Spring meeting that he had for the employees.  He doesn’t want them to stay and stagnate at Cinemark.  He wants them to learn and continue on in life.  So many skills can be learned at the theater and then applied as you find your niche in life.  Its true.  All the things they learn at Cinemark are really the basic life skills at jobs.  I know many of them will.  He is really an Exceptional General Manager.  A one of a Kind…..


My View on a Rainy Day…..


So it has been a good 6 months.  I’ve done another different job, and succeeded….Its been fun.  Dealing with the public has been a hoot.  I could tell so many stories on the customers.  I really enjoyed getting to know many of them.  So many of them speak broken English.  Their kids order the tickets and interpret.  I’ve also been told on the phone that I shouldn’t be working Box.  They should have a Spanish speaking person…..Well I said, “You got Me”……received_10155225523813594.jpeg

The biggest complaint was the ticket prices.  At one time many years ago, they were $1.  Now the most expensive regular price now is $2.92…..They complain and say, I thought it was a Dollar Theater…..Tell me where your going to by a ticket this cheap.  So many complain.  They also make remarks about the odd price…..They don’t seem to understand theirs tax on things.  20171027_211557.jpg

I decided last week to post the prices and the shows at the park.  Many of the Winter Texans do go.  So now they can see what’s playing and decide which day to go.  They are considered a Discount 2nd run theater.  But if you don’t mind waiting several months you can save a lot of money going to our Cinemark 10 in Harlingen…..


So those of you who are reading this from the theater, It has been a great time getting to meet and know some of you.  You were all a pleasure to work with and I felt so welcome.  You made me feel like one of the crew.  I actually thought about staying, but I knew I couldn’t do that with my duty’s here at the park.  But I will be back.  Maybe Ill come to see a Movie……..Isn’t it a shame, or would you call it “Stupid”.   All that time I could have seen free movies……Did I go????……….lol….NO…..Not even once……..Such a Waste….









Happy 9th Birthday Miley…What was Happening in Your Family The Week You Were Born….

It sure doesn’t seem like 9 years ago that Miley was born, but it was a time none of the family will ever forget.  Now it seems like I say that a lot.


Happy Birthday Miley   Oct. 18, 2017    9 years old today

Miley was Tina and Ed’s first child.  We were all anxiously awaiting her birth.  The Friday before her birth they all went out to Grandma and Grandpa Maulfairs’ farm.  Now they aren’t their grandparents but Ed had become very close to them.  They had a grandson Eds’ age and lots of boys went out their and played with their boy toys at the farm.  Ed was always very protective of them and helped them with choirs.  He lived with them for awhile also.  All the kids would bring out their 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, cars, trucks, anything that they wanted to do, Grandma and Grandpa let them.  They would even tear their vehicles apart in the garage to fix them.  That Friday, one of the boys had bought a new 4-wheeler.  Tina and Ed went out to the farm.  Tina stayed up by the house and visited with Grandma and Grandpa and the boys took off into the fields behind the farm.  The fields were full of freshly harvested soy beans.  Ed took the 4-wheeler for a ride.  He gunned down the field and decided to jump over a few rows.  He went air borne and before he landed, he knew he was in trouble.  He went over a ravine and came down nose first.  He was thrown off.  It was quite a hit from what I hear.  Ed got up and they told him to lay down.  He finally did.  He was hurt pretty bad.  They called the ambulance from the field.  The paramedics came and called the Lifeflight helicopter to come.  I know that Tina finally found out about the accident, because she heard the sirens.  I think they were trying not to let her know at first.  I don’t know if she was taken out to the field before the copter came or not.  They were all worried about the baby, cause Miley was due.

Tina made it down to Peoria to the hospital, and Tammy went with her.  She was worried about Tina going into labor.  Ed was such a mess.  He must have landed on his face and head and rolled.  He was full of blood.  They had put him immediately in a neck brace before the helicopter came.  Both girls stayed through the weekend.  Tina wanted a cot that nite to sleep in Eds room.  She couldn’t find one.  They had them but supposedly all in use I guess.  If you know Tina, she GETS what she wants.  She walked all the floors of the hospital and finally found one.  Of course she had choice words to say to the nurses.  She said as a pregnant women ready to go into labor, that was the least they could do is give her a cot.  The next day she just folded it up and left it in the room.  That night it was GONE…..OMG….Probably might as well set off the atomic bomb.  She was livid with anger.  Finally a call went to the Patient Advocate.  They found one for her.  From that point on, she hid it in the bathroom so nobody would see it walking by.  She was ready for…. “WAR”…. Tammy stayed this whole time thinking she would go into labor in Peoria an hour away from her doctor in Peru.  But she didn’t.


He was such a mess and they never cleaned him up…..Tammy did it…

So finally from Friday nite to Monday, they treated a Fractured C7 Vertebrae, so he needed to keep the neck brace.  A broken jaw.  Surgery which required them to wire his mouth shut for 4 months.  Also 22 broken teeth that he needed extracted. He had to live with them for months until the jaw was finally healed.  1159_1508366839111.jpeg

Broken radius in his arm.  He had surgery and had a plate with 7 screws and 30 staples.  For the next 4 months, he would now need his food pureed so he could drink it through a straw.  It was a really rough 4 months for him.  Ed was released I believe Monday or Tue.  Tina went in on Thur.  They induced her labor.  Now poor Ed,  He was still such a mess.  He still had the same neck collar they had put on him in the soybean field.  His neck still had blood on it.  His arm was in a sling, and his mouth wired shut.  The nurses felt so sorry for him.  When Tina went into labor, their was hardly any mothers to be their.   Finally she was progressing and they put her in a regular labor birthing room.  Tammy and I stayed with her trying to help.  Ed came and went.  Early in the morning it seemed she wasn’t making any more progress.  But she was having hard labor contractions…..That seemed to bring on foul mouth side of her…..lol….she was NOT a Happy Camper….She finally told us to leave her alone.  She wasn’t going to do this anymore.  She was done, she quit….lol….Now we all know that isn’t possible.  Tammy and I didn’t know what to do.  Several more  mothers to be came in. They became very busy. One of the moms was ready to deliver,  so they left us alone with her…..What do you do with a raving pregnant woman who is screaming at you not to touch her????  Finally (it seemed like eternity) the mid wife came back in and checked her.  She said she was going to give her something to sleep and rest.  They decided on a C-Section that would happen a little later.  We felt they just didn’t have time, so they put Tina on Hold……Finally they did do a C-Section and everything then went as normal.  Little Miley was finally born.

Mileys First Christmas

Mileys First Christmas 2008….Ed looks pretty good…lol..

She came into this world on Oct 18 2008……….Happy Birthday Miley…..


Grandma and Grandpa Maulfair loved Miley as their own.  When Austin came along, they were so Happy, Ed got his boy…..Soon after Grandpa started failing and passed.  Several years ago, Grandma passed also.  They sure gave all those kids great memories on the farm.  They loved having the kids their at the farm.

Miley 6 month

She was such a pretty little baby.  Miley has those big brown eyes that are so beautiful.

20171018_204045.jpg Tina enrolled Miley in Gymnastics at a pretty early age.  She has been involved in it for many years now.  She has attended many National Championship Meets.  Her room is full of trophy’s and medals.   Miley 2016

Dexter became a Very Loved Member of the family.  He became almost as another son and brother to Austin and Miley.   He was so loved.

Miley 6 years old

Here she is at 6 years old.  She has such pretty hair.  Its almost always combed and looks so pretty.  Miley 2017 school

So this is Miley this year on her first day of school.  She entered the 3rd. grade.  She growing like a weed.

……Happy Birthday Miley,  Have a Great Party Saturday……