December 2004               

                       It was a cool morning as we hitched up and said goodbye to Dallas.  The drive south to Houston was uneventful and the weather became warmer and sunnier the closer we got.  It has been several years since we have traveled this section of I-45 and it was interesting to see the changes along the way. 

            We arrived at Shiloh RV Park and got set up.  We met our next door neighbor, Wright Tyree who, with his wife, is also a full timer.  We visited while we were getting set up.

            We drove to Annís (Millieís mom) to see her.  It has been 11 months since the last time we saw her.  We went to dinner at Fryís, one of our favorite places in Houston to eat.  Millie is especially fond of their Baked Potato Soup and was really hungry for it.

            After dinner we returned to Annís and Millieís sister, Mary and husband Frank came over.  We all had a nice evening visiting and catching up. 

            The next week was mostly spent with Doctor and Dental appointments.  Millie got Annís Christmas tree set up and she and Ann decorated it.   Dick did some updating on Annís computer while the ladies did the Christmas decorating at Annís.

            Dick had a meeting in Thursday at Dualco (a small family owned business that he has had as a client for several years).  They are building a new facility and are going to upgrade their computer system.  They will order their system and Dick will get it set up.

            On Friday evening we went to our storage unit to pick up our containers of Christmas decorations.  As we were leaving, Wright was outside and we visited for a few minutes.  He and Sharon had been to the Natural Science Museum in Houston that day and really enjoyed it. 

            Saturday Millie started decorating for Christmas.  Dick was outside and Sharon Tyree came over to introduce herself and let us know that right after we had seen Wright the evening before, he had suffered a heart problem and been hospitalized. 

            In the evening we went to visit Mary and Frank.  Mary had day surgery on Friday and we wanted to see her.  Our niece, Angel, was there helping out and we had a good visit.

            Sunday we attended our home church for services.  After we returned home, Millie went next door to check on Sharon and Wright.  Wright was still hospitalized and was to be transferred to a hospital in Houston on Monday for an Angiogram.  Sharon needed a ride there so Dick will take her.

Sunday afternoon we attended a Christmas party for the members of the Houston Square and Round Dance Association Past Presidents Committee.  It was so good to see many old friends and catch up on everyoneís activities.  We missed last yearís party so we had 2 years to catching up to do.  We visited, sang carols, and had a covered dish dinner and a Christmas ornament exchange. 

Monday Dick drove Sharon to Houston and Millie went with Ann to a Doctor appointment.  Afterwards we worked on our Christmas decorating.  Millie was especially happy to see the quilt she made this summer on the bed.

Monday evening we picked up Wright and Sharon at the hospital and brought them home.  Fortunately Wright had not sustained any damage from his attack and had been released following the Angiogram.  They are a great couple and we enjoyed getting to know them.

Thursday evening Millie and Ann attended the annual Christmas party for the Sewing Guild.  It was a fun evening and again Millie enjoyed seeing old friends and catching up on everyoneís activities.  It was also covered dish, so we had lots of good food.  We also had an ornament exchange and a gift exchange. 

Saturday we picked up Ann and drove to Katy, TX to visit Debbieís family.  They have purchased a home and are getting settled in.  We enjoyed a tour of the house and visiting with Debbie, Russell and Rikki.  Chad was out with friends for the afternoon so we didnít get to see him. 

The service at church on Sunday was presented by the choir and as always was very enjoyable.  It really puts us in the spirit of the season each year. 

We now have a full time couple on the other side of us.  Jack and Ruth Diamond, who have been full time for 9 months.  They had lived in the Houston area over 20 years ago before relocating to Atlanta.  They are going to be in the area for a month also, visiting with their daughter. 

One morning we were watching TV when someone knocked on the door.  Millie looked out the window and saw a face she knew, but couldnít quite put a name to it.  It turned out to be David Croasmun, who with his wife Nancy had been in All Star Resort in Houston at the same time we were.  We had all moved into the park following the sale of our homes and met while doing laundry.  They were 3 spaces down from us now and we made plans to get together one evening and catch up.  They became full time in September of 2003. 

We decided to get together one evening before they leave and catch up on our travels.  One thing we did find out, we had all been in this same park last December and didnít realize it. 

On the 17th we joined Millieís former co-workers at the home of her former boss, Kevin and his wife Monica for a holiday party.  The evening began with appetizers  and drinks.  Kevin lives in an area known for it wonderful holiday lighting and we were treated to a horse drawn wagon ride around the neighborhood to view the lights.  Following that, we carpooled into town for a great dinner at Behanaís.  It was an enjoyable evening of good food and great companionship.  (see pictures)

Dick had an abnormal electrocardiogram when we had our check-ups, so we were referred to a cardiologist for further investigation.  An echogram was done and it still didnít show anything definite, so a heart catherization was recommended.  We scheduled it for a Monday morning. 

At the appointed time we checked into Twelve Oaks Hospital for the procedure.  Fortunately, no major blockages were discovered and by shortly after noon, we were on our way home.  Dick had to restrict his activity for a week following the procedure, which put him behind on setting up the computers for Dualco.   We also had to stay in Richmond longer than anticipated for a follow-up appointment.

It turned cold the week of Christmas and rain was predicted for Christmas Eve.  Early in the afternoon, we spotted a few flakes of snow.  Highly unusual for this area.  We lived here 30 years and only saw snow a few times. 

Jack and Ruth went with us to the candlelight service at the church on Christmas Eve.  It was actually snowing when we left the park.  Large fluffy flakes.  

The service was inspirational, as usual and really put us in the proper spirit for the holiday.  As we left the service, imagine our surprise to see not only snow falling, but a couple of inches on the ground!  This was the first white Christmas in this area in over 100 years.  A real Christmas miracle!  Dick has always said he would like for it to snow on Christmas Eve and melt on Christmas night.  Well, he nearly got his wish.  It melted on Christmas morning.

We went back to the park and got our food and gifts to go to Annís for our family get together.  It was a great evening, as usual, visiting with family and opening gifts.  This year we had 30 there, with 5 generations present.  A lot of the younger generation had never seen snow and were really excited about it.  (see pictures)

            Christmas day we picked up Ann and drove to Debbieís for the afternoon.  We had a great time visiting and munching on snacks and dips.  Then we sat down for a wonderful dinner Debbie and Russell prepared.  It was so nice for Millie not to be in the kitchen cooking as she had always been in the past.  

After dinner we had coffee and some great deserts.  We all had a great family day.

The week between Christmas and New Yearís was spent with Dick working on the computers for Dualco.  Millie and Ann went visiting quilt shops. 

            New Yearís Eve was uneventful for us as usual.  We are not party folks so we stay home and go to bed early.  The new year will arrive whether we are up or not. 


(Be sure to visit the Photo Gallery for more photos.)