Van Horn

It’s impossible for us to cross West Texas in our RV without having to stop and spend a night somewhere. RV parks are few and far between and let’s just say the pickings are slim. So today, and on our last few trips, we’ve settled on Van Horn RV Park (in Van Horn, Texas) because it’s the farthest we can make ourselves drive in a day. There is something a bit forlorn about the place…


The park does fill up as it gets later in the evening because there aren’t many other options for weary RV travelers.


Is this a cabin for rent? Or maybe they put on plays here? Super mysterious.


Up next –  New Mexico.

The Old Year Goes


The Year

What can be said in New-Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

~ Ella Wheeler Cox, published 1917

999 Pieces


Abby and I finished this big Texas puzzle in two days (with some excellent help from Viki!). It is supposed to have 1000 pieces but Max ate one. This is the piece he ate –


I told him that that may come back to bite him!


A Gentle Spirit


This is an excerpt from a poem…

To Keep the Memory of Charlotte Forten Grimké”

Where has she gone? And who is there to say?
But this we know: her gentle spirit moves
And is where beauty never wanes,
Perchance by other streams, mid other groves;
And to us there, ah! she remains
A lovely memory
Until eternity;
She came, she loved, and then she went away.

~  by Angelina Weld Grimké


A Small Blaze of Color

Yesterday was a very gray day. This colorful bit of plant matter caught my eye. Seen on a sidewalk near downtown San Antonio.


Commonly known as a Chinaberry tree – this is now considered an invasive species.

A Texas Dance Hall

Many, many years ago I visited Schroeder Hall with my college roommate, Tracy, and her family. They lived in Victoria TX. Tracy and I came from College Station for The weekend. On Saturday night we all headed for Schroeder Hall (situated between Goliad and Victoria). Very memorable night.


Like most Texas Dance Halls it’s a family place. Grandparents to babies – everybody shows up. There is plenty of beer drinking but mostly it’s about the music, the dancing and community. Lots of two-stepping  but at some point during the night the band will play the Cotton Eyed Joe and the Schottische. Everyone is on the dance floor forming lines like the spokes of a wheel. If you don’t know the steps, the line just pulls you along for the fun. And it is fun!

Schroeder Hall is the second oldest dance hall in Texas. It opened for business in 1890. It’s a series of odd little buildings sitting in a big open field out in the middle of no place.


Paul and I drove over to Schroeder for a little trip down memory lane. Paul asked if it looked familiar. Nope! Not familiar in the least. But in fairness, they remodeled it a few years ago. Also, it was many years ago, on a hot Texas night, and the hall was crowded with people enjoying the dance.

Goliad County

One of the interesting things we see while driving around the back roads of Texas is the many and varied county courthouses. The smallest most dilapidated little town will have an unusually fancy county courthouse. I believe that there are coffee-table books devoted to this subject.

The town of Goliad (small but not terribly dilapidated!) is the County Seat of Goliad County. This is the Goliad County Courthouse which sits smack in the middle of town.


The courthouse isn’t fancy inside but does have some pretty touches.


Originally built in 1894, it was damaged by a hurricane in 1942. So it has had some updates.


The original architect was Henry E. M. Guidon and the courthouse was built in the “Second Empire Style”.


Goliad County is named for Father Miguel Hidalgo. Goliad is an anagram minus the silent H. I have no idea why they used an anagram!

The Caretaker’s House

We’re spending a few days at Goliad State Park which is the home of Mission Espíritu Santo. I’ve gushed about this beautiful park in previous posts. The park system has just recently renovated the nearby Caretaker’s House and it is now open to the public.


The Mission was renovated by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s. The Caretaker’s House was renovated first as a sort of practice piece. The CCC architects made field trips to the Missions in San Antonio and others all over the Southwest. They developed a plan to renovate Espíritu Santo and then used the Caretaker’s house to perfect the techniques needed for the Mission.


The house fell into disrepair in recent years but has now been updated. It’s just lovely! A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic Park Ranger shared lots of interesting info with us.





A Poem for Thanksgiving



When Giving Is All We Have 

                                               One river gives
                                              Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.


~ Alberto Ríos