The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #15
Sunday, February 15, 2009:
Woke late after a short night thanks to Party Girl Pat! On the bright side Donald cooked an incredible breakfast for all the gathered clan. Finally, on Sunday morning, we got to meet Calista! What a cutie she is! At 5 months, she already has quite a personality. Most of the family members were eager to hold her during the day and fuss over her, she was quite a trooper and seemed to enjoy the entire afternoon. She’s laughing and giggling, rolling over, about to sit up on her own and she’s a very good eater. She loves sweet potatoes!
It was great to see Josh, Cindy and Chris. Last time I saw them was at Chris’ college graduation in San Luis Obispo a few years back. It was good to catch up with them on all their activities.
As the day progressed, the rest of the family arrived and of course, in Crowe fashion, there was lots of socializing and picture taking. What a wonderful day for all of us, especially Don & Pauline, Donald’s parents. They had 2 of their 3 kids there with all of their families. Their youngest son Darren and his family have lived in Austin for many years.
Bill took the following picture of them.
Other family members living in the area are Andrew, Liz and their 2 sons Little Andrew and Benny. Andrew is the son of David, Donald’s brother who lives in Reno, NV. The family has relocated to Hometown Crowe and lives 3 doors from Donald and Charlotte. They were unable to attend the reunion, Andrew was working and Liz was still in Hawaii with her family. She and the kids came home during the next week.
Later in the afternoon we had an old fashioned Texas style backyard barbeque. All the members of the family contributed to the meal and at the end, we celebrated the February birthdays. Chris turned 30 on the 17th, Cindy’s was on the 11th and Benny’s first birthday was on the 20th.
Monday, February 16, 2009: Kind of hung around the Crowe Estate and took a couple of walks in the area. On one of these walks we went in search of Rey and Darlene Berquist who have relocated to Hometown Kyle from Topsham. They are friends of our friends Don and Jane who live in Lisbon. Over the last several years, we’ve seen them maybe 4 times at different functions. The interesting thing with them is that about 3 years ago, I ran into Darlene at the CVS store in Brunswick one morning. She shared with me that they had decided to buy a house in Texas and settle down for awhile after full timing in their motor home for several years. As we talked, she told me they found a real nice place in a development south of Austin called Hometown Kyle. Imagine my surprise, as my sister and husband had just signed papers to buy in the same development! As it turns out, they live about a 5 minute walk from each other. Small world!
We spent the afternoon with Rey and Darlene Berquist catching up on camping experiences, their new home in Texas, their previous home in Maine and of course each of our families. They gave us lots of ideas for our camping journey and suggested many interesting places to visit. One of their 2 daughters, Michelle and her family live just a couple houses away from Donald and Charlotte. Their other daughter Missy and her family still live in Maine at the Bergquist family home in Topsham with Rey’s dad. All in all, we had a wonderful time visiting with them.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009: We are off exploring again. Drove out to Canyon Lake, a large recreation area west of Austin. Even though the lake was 26 feet low due to the extended drought that has plagued this area the scenery was very nice. Did an investigative drive through the Lackland AFB recreation facility and found it to be very nice with camping, boating, hiking trails and very clean. Unfortunately they were booked solid…..those darn snow birds!
Attempted to visit the Fort Sam Houston facility about a mile down the lake but it was closed for reconstruction. In talking to one of the park employees it sounds like it will be very nice and have all the required stuff.
Drove the Texas Hill Country through some beautiful scenery to the little town of Wimberley. Parked and walked the town stumbling into a small curiosity shop. As it turned out the place was owned by the wife of renowned collector, Jack Glover “The Barbed Wire King” who just happened to be in the place doing some repair work. Not sure that barbed wire will actually hold that chair together but it ought to make for some entertaining moments. Since I personally know Vince the Duct Tape King, I took an instant liking to old Jack.
Today was his 85th birthday and he is a spry and down home old fella as you would ever want to meet. He actually has made his living collecting, writing about and selling rare pieces (called “cuts”) of good old American barbed wire or as the pro’s call it “bobbed” wire or “the devil wire”. His scholarly work on the subject is now in the 11th printing.
Jack was telling me that some of the rarest bobbed wire is located in New England as it tended to deteriorate quicker in that environment. He claims that he has been able to sell some wire for $250.00 a cut (18 inches) and that he has sold over a quarter million dollars of the stuff in the past 30 years. In this era of financial meltdown that might not be a bad hedge, investing in bobbed wire futures can’t be any more painful than watching my 401K. Unless you keep your investments under your mattress.
Returned to the Crowe Ranch and treated the family to an authentic hometown Maine meal which they all enjoyed. Since Warming’s Market won’t deliver this far we went with Domino’s Pizza which it turns out actually has universal appeal.
Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit