Its Been Awhile!!!!

Have I been Busy????  or Lazy???  Both.….I still haven’t finished writing about our cruise in April.  But right now I’m writing about the bad rains and floods we had here in the Rio Grande Valley several weeks ago.  Down here we seem to get the bad tropical storms or depressions that come in from the gulf.  Around the week of July 19th,  a sub tropical depression came in over the valley.  Rain was predicated,  but I don’t think they expected that much.  That Wed morning I woke up about 4 am to hear a loud noise.  At first I thought the A/C was making a terrible noise.  Oh Crap, another expense.….But after listening I realized it was raining very very hard.  I had to work at the theater that morning at 8:30 am.  I got ready and it was still just pouring outside.  I called the theater and the workers were coming in.  “The theater never closes ya know”, they said.  It was the morning of the Kids Summer Movie Club.  Every Wed at 10am.  So as much as I wanted to stay home, I got out my umbrella and out to the car I went.  We had running water on our street in front but it was not accumulating.  I backed out and just up the street a short ways was the first corner of the park.  20180620_082059.jpg

It is just a little lower that the RV section.  This is were the water began to flood.  Wow. 

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As I looked back, this is our street.  You can see the pickup on the left and the MH on the right.  All the water ran down hill.   As I left the park, I stopped at each street to take a picture of the side street.

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I was amazed to see all this water.  As you can see, it was still raining.  All the side streets in the mobile section were flooded.  Fortunately, it never got high enough to go into trailers.  Most trailers are not only built up higher on their pad and the trailer itself is several feet higher off the ground anyway.  So mainly it was the inconvenience for residents to not be able to get out.  I drove on to the theater.  We had 3 of our 10 theaters saved for the Movie Club.  The kids made up snack packs.  Usually Day Care Centers come with buses of kids.  Finally we had 2 groups come…..Group of 8 and a family of 3…..No Day Care Centers.   So the Movie still goes on…..lol…..Finally around noon, most of us were sent home.  A number of the streets were reported closed but I had no trouble driving the mile or so to get home.  By that time the water was already receding in the park.  It was only in the streets and most of them were drivable by then.  So Eastgate was very lucky.  But the rest of the Valley was not.  It rained off and on for the next several days, while the storm seemed to circle over head.  Finally when all done, Harlingen received 16.75 inches of rain which was the most in the Valley.  That was a whole years supply in a few days.

Harlingen did pretty good but Weslaco and on to Mission received a lot of property damage.  Weslaco downtown and shopping areas as well as residential areas were very damaged.  Many home throughout the valley had several feet of water in them.  Storm centers opened, the boats and rescue vehicles were out.  Our county which is Cameron County and Hidalgo County were declared Disaster Areas.  Red Cross was set up and Fema is now in place.  The reports said we receive just as much or more rain than the Hurricane Dolly brought in 2008.  In our History books of Eastgate, we have a few pictures of Hurricane Dolly.  One of the pictures has a person in a row boat.  Now I believe that would have been possible that morning on our streets.  Now our Next Battle……..

 MOSQUITOS‘……Those dreaded little pesky bugs that bite and thrive in water.  Down here we do have reports of the Zika and West Nile virus.  So that is a worry of people also.  The city’s started spraying right away.  They not only do they spray for the active bugs but also are dropping pods into standing water locations to combat the pre-emerging mosquitos.  Their was standing water for days and some areas a week or two.  Our neighbor across the fence had standing water a week later.  That promotes hatching mosquitos.  You could hardly go outside for several days.  But I think finally that is under control.  Now another problem.   Pot Holes….Our park also was very lucky.  I seems like our roads are intact.  But through out the valley the roads are now falling apart.  The city trucks are out putting up orange cones and filling potholes.   So now Rich and I have a list of weather we have witnessed in Harlingen……1.  Our first Hurricane, August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey.   2.  First snow in the Valley since Dec 2004.  We had a dusting of snow on Dec 6 2017, which they called the Blizzard of 2017.  Police and News Reports cautioned everyone to slow down and drive safely.   Kids were ecstatic.  Now how crazy is that.  3.  Now a major flood which brought a flood comparable to Hurricane Dolly.  

We went back home last month also for 3 weeks.  We had Grandkid graduations, and some other things to do, but I will be finishing the Cruise on the next blog.  Here at the park its been hot and quiet.  Because of all the rain, the grass is now green, and growing.  Here’s some pictures of the beautiful flowers on cactus plants.

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You would never think such a beautiful flower can bloom on a cactus.   These are at some of the homes surrounding our pool.  The close ups are just so pretty.

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So delicate, and the colors so pale and gorgeous.  We’ve also had several holidays now where our flags have been displayed.20180704_082623.jpg

Last season the North Harlingen Rotary Club promoted a new program of sponsoring a flag for $50, in memory of a veteran.  Your subscription would be for a year.  It would be installed and taken down on the certain holidays like Flag Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July etc.  The Rotary would take care of installing it in the morning and taking them down before sunset.  It was so overwhelmingly received, that 21 flags now fly in front of our park, lining our street on Holidays.  20180614_121015.jpg

Everyone is so proud of our Flag, the Veterans who have passed as well as our Veterans who are with us.  Thank You All for everything you have done so we can be …….”FREE”…..Many families have suffered and gave up so much for our Country.  We must never forget this.  Here at Eastgate we are a community of Americans and also Canadians.  We have many Canadian Winter Texans that bought mobiles for their winter home as well as many who may come in their RVs.  We are all family.  The beauty of this flag program is we also had 2 Canadians that subscribed to the flag program in honor of their family member.  Our 19 American Flags, fly in UNITY with 2 of their Canadian Flags….20180704_082420.jpg

 

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4th of July….Adventureland

The 4th was a beautiful weekend.  The temps had cooled down to mid 80’s.  We even brought our sweatshirts several days as the evenings were so cool.  The park was open till 10pm on Fri. Sat. and Sun.  Of course we have Fridays off together now.  We went across the street to Prairie Meadows Casino and Race Track for lunch.

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They had a great buffet with everything one could ever want.  Salad and Dessert bars were to die for.  lol.   Yes all for only $21 for both of us.  You could almost spent that at McDonalds.  After we went up just one floor and checked out the casino.

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Pretty typical of a casino.  All the same machines and tables.  It was decorated very colorful and all the bells were ringing of course.  The one thing I don’t remember was the smell of Cigarettes.  Must be smoke free.  But I still seen the people gambling with their Oxygen tubes hooked up.  Sad isn’t it, that’s all they have to do.  SSI check comes in and off they go to gamble.  We walked to the back and that’s where the big windows were that looked out over the Horse Race Track.

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The water trucks were preparing the track for the weekend races.  Their were lots of outside tables to the right and left of the picture and inside their were all the box seats.  Seems like a lot for just a few minutes of racing.   I guess I just have never appreciated horse racing.

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We left deciding to come back again for the buffet……Excellent….and maybe spending $20 next time gambling.  lol  .  Saturday and Sunday, we of course worked.  Rich is working the Himalaya this week as the Operator this time.  This gives him an enclosed area that has AC.  How nice.  I was up in the Alpine Arcade area.

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These pictures are taken with my old camera, as we cannot take our phones in to work…..Bummer…..The quality of colors inside is ok, but outside in the evening, they are horrible.  This is called Water Gun Fun.  Its a squirt gun game.  I worked this game all day.

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This was my friend Carolina, (pronounced Catalina, like the dressing) who was my reliever during break.  She is from Brazil, and is really a neat person to talk to with her accent.  More about her later.  The prizes are these cute little dragons.

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Another picture of the Arcade area.

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These girls are the Manager and Assist. Manager of Alpine for the nite.  Very nice girls, both still in High School, but very good at what they do.  Jordyn on the left and Morgan on the right.  We can tell what our positions are by the striping on our shirts under the arms.  Ours are a light blue.  Now Morgan’s is more of a medium blue, which designates an Assistant Manager.  Jordyn’s, if you could see hers, has a black insert.  That is for managers.  All areas have the same shirts so it is easy to tell what their position is.  Then by reading their name tag, you can tell what area they are in, Games, Rides, Retail or Foods.  All Company or important people…..lol…are dressed in Black shirts and Kaki colored slacks.

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This is a picture of the Big Wheel…..So much prettier than this.  In this picture the lights blended together, when their were really many different colors….That’s what the ole camera does.  lol.  But it is just beautiful at night.   All the pretty colors of the rides as they go around and round.   The sounds of the different rides and the laughter and voices of the kids.  And theirs always the sound of the train whistle as they start their ride on the rails.  At 9:30 pm Prairie Meadows had a fireworks display, but we couldn’t see anything because of the trees, but we sure could hear it.  Beautiful sounds.  The next night was the 4th of July.  I worked in County Fair.

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I worked the Goblets Game.  This is a game of chance.  You toss a whiffle ball in the rink.  If it falls on white, you lose.  Yellow gets you a small snake. Red is a medium and the center blue is a large.  You can also trade up.  3 small makes a medium, 3 med. makes a large.  Several guys came up and played and played.  You can also buy a bucket of balls with a small prize in it.

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After lots of laughter and money spent,  these guys won and traded up to several large snakes.   Notice the one kid has the snake head on top his head.  They had won many other prizes.  Now I am pretty sure that they had to have spent way over $100 to win all these stuffed animals.  But they sure had a good time winning.

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As the evening progressed I watched the Storm Chaser.  It is so cool to be near it when it goes up.  They leave their shoes and belongings on the ground as they will lose them.

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This is the Storm Chaser as the sun set and darkness came.  Such a beautiful site.

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This camera doesn’t show of the true colors.

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Once it reaches the top, it goes around faster and the swings swing way out.

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Finally it came time for the Parks fireworks.  They were set off on the other side of the park.  We were allowed to walk up a ways to watch.  We could only see the high ones, over the Monster.  They were pretty.

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The beautiful lights of the rides, the music playing in the different areas, and the laughter of the people made it a magical evening with the park closing at 10 pm.  Now that our golf cart  is here, it is so easy to go home.  Rich parks it right at the Security gate.  We meet each other there when the park closes and head home.  That nite the traffic was horrible.  The cops were directing traffic, which was stopped…….and we just drove off through the parking lot and sidewalks and over to the campground……it just takes minutes…..From now on the Park will be open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and on Friday and Saturdays were open till 10 pm.  So our nites are late now.  We work all the Pm shifts.  The park stays open until the last week of Aug.  That week they will close on week days and only be open on weekends till the last of Sept.  As long as we stay till then, we will be paid a bonus money per hour we worked.  So it is worth it staying, especially as we still get free camping.   Its really a nice package deal.  More people are leaving every week, but they have their own issues.  Some depts. have their own problems, some of them can’t take the heat.    If you look at the whole deal, it is really a great seasonal job.  Just imagine if you received a pay check and didn’t have to pay rent or electric.  All we do is buy food.  Meals at the Commissary are cheap also.  Today we had Turkey, Dressing, Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.  All for $2 with your drink.   What a deal.

Stay tuned for my next blog…..We went and met friends last Friday and visited Rieman Gardens in Ames Iowa…..FABULOUS…..