It is fairly easy to break from the day to day gate routine once you're off of it for a few days. We no longer anticipate the sounding of the vehicle alarm and are enjoying being able to do things together. We have also liked being able to sleep in and getting caught up on our rest.
As a lot of you know Mother nature has not been kind to Oklahoma and there have been a series of tornadic outbreaks. Other than some stout winds and a lot of rain we have been spared from the worst of it. As long time Midwesterners, both Missy and I are accustomed to extreme weather and it takes a lot to get us concerned. Speaking of weather, who knew 80 plus degrees could be so comfortable? The 10 -15 degree difference between South Texas and 600 miles north is a refreshing break. They are even having some 60 degree mornings up here.
We have been spending our vacation time renewing friendships and participating in some chili cook offs. Before we began gate guarding we were very active in competitive chili cooking. We also dabbled in chicken wings, salsa and beans. Our sanctioning body is Chili Appreciation Society International (or CASI for short) and they are a non profit. All of the profits made from entry fees and the sale of taster kits goes to charity. The sanctioning body owns a ranch just south of Terlingua, TX and holds their annual championship cook off there the first Saturday in November. Missy has also used the time off to spend time with her son. She also has family in the area and has visited with them. We plan to participate in a cook off in Arkansas and attend a Monster Truck Show before we head south to rejoin the gate guard community.
For those of you following our attempt(s) at keeping a 18 year old coach rolling, here's an update. The latest water leak did indeed turn out to be a loose fitting. FYI: a soaked carpet that you cannot get a lot of air to takes a LONG time to dry. After vacuuming the area several times; and as the days went by, we imagined all kinds of scenarios. Perhaps the water heater had been compromised or the connecting tubing was leaking intermittently-who knew? The carpet just wouldn't seem to dry and we were worried that the fitting hadn't cured the problem. After three or four days of ventilating and vacuuming things started to dry out. We have the area under pressure now and the carpet remains dry. Both of the major leaks that we have encountered have been buried and did not manifest themselves till a lot of damage was done. I guess we are ready for the next challenge Jesabel throws our way.