Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Anniversary Adventure Weekend

This past Saturday I was scheduled to have a book signing at a lovely little place in Eagle Lake, Texas called the Vineyard II.
Since hubby's and my anniversary was Friday, we decided to make it an anniversary weekend. However, anniversary weekend quickly turned into adventure weekend.

Friday morning, the day we were to leave, we not only awoke to rain, my sister-in-law sent us news that one of the roads we take to the ranch was closed due to flooding and we'd have to find a different route. Okay, no impossible, just a little inconvenience.

During the four-hour trip, we had rain off and on, but nothing too bad. And we were thrilled when we checked the TxDot website later and saw that the road that had been closed was now open. Woo-hoo!

Our excitement was short-lived, though when the storms descended on areas that had been spared the previous day. By the time we arrived at the ranch, the skies had opened. Lighting and thunder flashed and boomed all around us.

We had parked in the barn and, shortly after I shot this video, we made a mad dash for camp house.
From the porch, we watched our island slowly disappear.

Roughly 4 inches of rain in 2 hours. That coupled with all the rain south central Texas has had in recent weeks and the water rose quickly.
When the rain finally stopped, we went out to explore.

Remember that island?
Our little pond was coming out of it's banks. Where this video starts is the actual pond, but the water was flowing over the spillway so hard you can't tell where one leaves off and the other begins.

By the time we were ready to go meet family for dinner, our front gate looked more like a lake.
When the water is higher than the boots, you either leave the gate open or ditch the boots all together and roll up your britches.
By the time we returned from dinner, the Colorado River was coming out of its banks.
And when we got back to the camp, the area just inside the gate that is normal all sand, now looked more like high tide.
Yes, there's a road under there.
Thank goodness were in a very tall, 4-wheel drive pickup or we would have never made it.

The heavy rains do bring out the best in nature.
And the worst. (a closer look)

But without fail, God always does something really cool after the storm.
By the next day, the sun was shining and the waters had receded ever so slightly as we made our way to Eagle Lake.
I had cheese and crackers and patriotic M&Ms for those who joined us.
As well as a door prize.
And the ladies group from the Lutheran Church made things extra fun.
I hope they had as good a time as I did.

On our way home Sunday, we stopped in tiny Ellinger, Texas for kolaches just as their Memorial Day Parade was coming to an end.
There were antique cars, beauty queens and cowboys on horseback.
And, of course, veterans riding in the back of a military vehicle.
(I was a second or two too late for my best shot.)

Overall, it was fun weekend. Relaxing yet challenging, fun and memorable.
Definitely one for the record books.

So how was your Memorial Day Weekend?


  1. Oh, scary! My friends in Houston have really struggled with the flooding.

    And mammatus clouds are my favorite!

    1. So that's what they're called! I knew there was a special name for those kind of clouds. Thank, MJ.

      Yes, Houston usually gets slammed. The bayous just can't handle that much water.

  2. What a mix of emotions.... flooding and the peace of a hometown parade.... Mindy, thank you for the great photos!

    Ours was full of farm planting, cute kids, our annual Memorial Day parade in our hometown, planting the gravesite garden for Dave's family, prayer and grilling. A few thunderstorms gave me time for snuggling little kids on the porch swings and talking about electrons and magnetics and attraction... And of course, ever-present mosquitoes!!! :)

    We did catch minnows, crabs and a turtle and a couple of frogs to put in the pond. The little kids were happiest ever.

    1. Ruthy, I wish we would have know about the parade. If so, we would have been there sooner. It was just the next town over.

      Sounds like you had a busy and blessed weekend. Did the kids help plant? I know those little ones love Grammy's science lessons.

  3. Ohhhh....I could have done without the worst of nature photo. Shudder. What extreme weather!!! Great pic of you in the mirror -- that's one artistic shot! And weren't you in a drought this time last year? Nothing like a little adventure to make life exciting!

    Oh -- and I just finished Falling for the Hometown Hero last night. Awesome story!!!!!! I really need to visit Ouray but I fear I'll be disappointed if I don't run into all your characters during the visit. LOL

    1. Yeah, hubby was pretty proud of that pic. The worst of the drought was in 2011. Horrible. I'd much rather have floods.

      Kav, I'm so glad you liked the story. Did you cry at all? There's one scene that gets me everytime. I cried when I brainstormed it with hubby, cried when I wrote it, cried during edits.

      I'm laughing over your comments about Ouray. If you'll let me know when you plan to be there, I'll try to arrange it so my characters will be there. ;)

    2. Lump in throat page 179 -- sniffles by 184 -- tears by 189 :-) And happy tears at the end.

  4. Sounds like you had a fun adventure! Texas sure gets cloud busters when it rains.

    I remember when we lived in West Texas, and our neighborhood had no storm sewers - it didn't rain often enough to justify the expense of putting them in. But the streets were built to handle the run-off and channel the water into a near-by creek. So when we got those cloud busters, our street was a river...for about twenty minutes. Then the flood waters were gone and things dried up quickly.

    And our Memorial Day weekend was quiet. My oldest son was born on Memorial Day, so we always celebrate his birthday on the weekend. And them hubby worked on the holiday, along with a couple of the adult kids...and since my deadline is TOMORROW, I worked, too.

    So it was quiet. Very quiet. :)

    1. My daughter faced the same thing when she lived in Lubbock, Jan. No drainage system.

      This area is used to rain, but they've just had so much that any additional can't soak in. Thursday into Friday, Brenham (you know, the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream) got 16 inches, while 30 miles away, the ranch got only a half an inch. Of course, that changed Friday afternoon. I'm just glad we didn't get 16 inches. 4 was plenty, thank you.

      So was the boy actually born on Memorial Day or does it just fall that way every 7 years?

    2. It was Memorial Day the year he was born, but yes, every seven years. But it's usually during that weekend. This year it was on Saturday.

  5. That's a lot of water. Wowza!

    I..um..cleaned house yesterday. I know. It's a nasty job, but you have to do it twice a year whether you like it or not...right?

    1. Ugh! Don't remind me about house cleaning, Tina. Today is hubby's last day of work (yay!) and we're having a retirement party for him Saturday, so guess what I'll be doing all week?

  6. MINDY!!! I'm looking at you standing in all that water and all I can think is SNAKES!!!! Seriously, girl. I remember reading a story about the snakes in the bayou during a hurricane. *shudder*

    Glad the booksigning was dry. :)

    1. LOL! Yeah, I volunteered to wade out there, but the second time I did it I looked at hubby and said, "If I see a snake, I won't be doing this again." Luckily, I did not. I kind of prayed my way through each and every time.

  7. Wow, what a ton of rain!! I'm glad you have that 4-wheel drive!

    Love the book signing setup! How fun. :)

  8. BTW, those copperheads are all too familiar in Georgia.

    1. We always have to watch out for them. I've had far too many up-close and personal encounters.