On being thankful… tis the season!

As I sit here tonight, I’m struck with awe that I have an Internet connection that is not konking out every 5 minutes!

Seriously, I have many reasons to be thankful. We have a good way to earn extra money to supplement Bob’s retirement income. Especially since I cannot draw my checks for 4 more years. Granted, doing what we do is a grind at times, but it’s still a lot better than  cleaning toilets for a parking spot or minimum wage!

I’m thankful that I was able to meet the love-of-my-life on the Internet in 1997. Think back to that time, dial-up (broadband was not even born yet) was not 56K yet, I believe it was 33.5K (or something like that). Match.com, eHarmony, PlentyOfFish.com, ChristianMingle.com (and about 10 variations thereof), FarmersOnly.com, and the latest trend for seniors, SilverFishing.com did not yet exist. The only way you could fish or surf for a prospective partner was to locate personal ads. Imagine trying to do this without Google or Bing or MSN!

You’d have to know my Bob to appreciate just how miraculous it is that we met at all. You see, he is a very shy & quiet person. Once you get to know him he has a refreshingly unique sense of humor and a cozy, loving nature.

So, back in January of 1997, I decided to try to find the kind of person I was looking for in the Houston area. That’s where I lived back then. So I trolled the online personal ads. I met a couple of frogs in public places, and resolved that if I was going to find my ideal match, I would need to cast a bigger net… so to speak 🙂 I never once doubted I would meet the person I was looking for… I just did not know where… yet…

I included Dallas and San Antonio in my searches. I knew I was looking for an RVer and a boater. He needed to be less than 10 years older than me and be good with kids since I still had my daughter living at home. I also had my first grandchild on the way.

One week I had sent out several inquiries/responses to ads. Out of those I received one reply and I could tell he was not the one.

One week later, I received an email profusely apologizing for taking so long to respond to my inquiry. And who was this weird person (just kidding Honey)?

Bob. Up until this point no names had been mentioned so I had no clue what he was responding to since it had been at least a week prior.

Long story short, we corresponded via email and telephone for two months before we actually met in person.

We agreed to meet at the Cross-Eyed Seagull in Houston at 8:00 pm on an agreed upon night. Well, we were tested from the git-go! Bob was living in Denton, Texas at this time. The night he came down he did so during the worst rain storm I’d seen in a good long time. Remember, we did not have our handy cell phones in 1997. Bob had to periodically pull over to a pay-phone and find out the conditions he was driving into.

Finally, I-45 was flooded so I had to guide him into town using the Hardy Toll Road. At that time it had recently opened up. Our good fortunes were holding.

With all of this inclement weather I figured he would be at least 2-hours late.

To this day I don’t know how he did it, but he arrived with a goofy grin on his face and 5-MINUTES EARLY! The goofy grin was because he was extremely nervous. (And I wasn’t?)

And the rest is history… we got married in March of 1998.

How did I know he was going to be such a good match for me?

Easy… he worked for an RV dealer and he owned a boat. Cha-ching! We had things in common. He was also divorced and the father of two girls and a boy, and I had two boys and a girl. Brady Bunch!

We went on to become full-time RVers in 2008. And today we have 10 grandchildren. 5-boys and 5-girls. Funny how that worked out 🙂

And we are gate guards in South Texas.

We are in good health as are our families. And for all of this, we are thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all 🙂

Till next time,

Vicky

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All quiet on the gate… Whew!

Alas, my prayers are answered… no swine visitors tonight!

After last night’s tense situation with wild pigs just 20-30 feet from our front door, we decided to turn on another light on the light plant. This one shines behind the rig so at night I can see if there are any illegals, snakes, wild pigs, or coyotes lurking about.

I don’t like surprises in the darkness of the night!

Switching gears, I’ve been out and about two days in a row… what a wonderful break. Tuesday I went to the HEB in Pearsall. Yesterday I went to Cotulla and had lunch with my friend Lynette, a fellow gate guard.

It was great to catch up on the last few months in each of our lives. We ended up talking for nearly two hours. That certainly flew by!

After we went our separate ways, I filled water jugs at Lowe’s, picked up a package we had sent to the Ace Hardware store. These people are so nice to provide this service for gate guards. As a full-time RVer and especially out here in the middle of nowhere, I rely on online ordering for so many things. Since many places will not ship to a PO Box, Ace Hardware in Cotulla plays a critical role in helping me get the things I want and need. And they are so cheerful about it!

Today I asked if they had Christmas rope lights. The office girl informed me that they don’t stock them but they can order anything I want and have it delivered to their store.

Now that’s customer service!!!

They are using a very good principle here, if I do something for you, you will feel obligated to do something for me.

Many times when we go to pick up packages, we end up spending money in their store. Today I needed a couple of buckets, a funnel, Christmas lights and a few other things. We always seem to need something they sell at their store.

One thing I’ve noticed is Ace Hardware seems is reinventing themselves. They are a great alternative to Lowe’s and Home Depot. We’ve noticed the customer service is diminishing at these two “big box” stores while Ace is really ramping up their cheerful faces and helpful attitudes.

When we stay at our resort in Canyon Lake, we find excuses to go to the Ace Hardware up there. They are so helpful and have so many things available.

Kudos to Ace… in this time of economic distress, they have their act together and may just survive to better times. (I hope better times are ahead–and soon!)

We just found our GG company is bringing us BBQ turkey tomorrow for Thanksgiving… WooHoo!!!

Big thanks for the thoughtfulness 🙂

Till next time,

Vicky