It was the worst of times…

Let’s continue with my Charles Dickens theme from the previous post  –  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolish.sandhill cranes

I’ve already shared “it was the best of times” in the previous post which means it’s time to share it was the worst of times.

Wouldn’t you know, now that we’re getting the wheels ready to roll on the RV the sun decides to grace us with her presence.  Over the past three months, she has played a regular game of hide-and-go-seek …. with a lot more hide.  Needless to say, I have not found it amusing.Gulf of Mexico

Back in early November when we first arrived in Galveston, we were greeted with beautiful, warm, sunny, beach going weather.  It didn’t take Al and I long to don those shorts and T’s and head to the beach for a nice long stroll.  Yep, we were looking forward to a month of glorious weather while our relatives to the north would endure snow and freezing temperatures.

Texas Coastal birding trailWas there a little gloating?  Perhaps, but I’ll never admit to it.

You know what they say, “Karma’s a bitch”. That gorgeous weather lasted all of two days.

By day three we were hit with gale force winds and torrential rains.  I remember Al and I looking at each other wondering if we needed to review the hurricane evacuation route.

The sideways driving rain blew with such force that it penetrated the rubber seal on one of our RV slides saturating the carpet and some Atlas’ we had stowed along the side of the couch.

It caused enough of a concern that from that day forward during and after a severe rainstorm, Al and I could be found on all fours crawling around the RV checking corners for leaks.  Sorry folks, no photos of us checking for leaks because that would just be wrong…. on so many levels 😉  Fortunately, no new or old leaks have been discovered since that one time

Cuddle Duds

The sun may be shining but the temp was just over freezing with cold winds dropping the wind chill. Long Johns and heavy socks!

and we’ve encountered PLENTY of rain over the past three months.  So if we had a serious leak to be concerned about, we would have found it by now.

Oh, but Mother Nature didn’t end with a Tropical Storm.  Oh no, she had to send a Polar Vortex followed by an Alberta clipper.  I’m sure this was the result of all my Canadian friends just wanting to share.  Awe, thanks guys ….. not!

When the weather did cooperate, we took full advantage of those days.  Cooperating might mean a sprinkle instead of a deluge, the sun shining but freezing temps, or just a calm gloomy day.  Yeah, the word ‘cooperating’ took on a whole new meaning these last few months.

That said, more than half of our Texas Gulf Coast stay was met with GRAY overcast skies, driving winds, torrential rains, and near freezing cold.  This was typical Midwestern weather that I just wasn’t accustomed to anymore and nor did I intend to get used to it.  So it was certainly not the kind of Gulf Coast – beach weather I hoped for nor the kind of adventure I had in mind.

Obviously, I was not a happy camper.

seagullSo aside from the disagreeable weather, what else could go wrong?  How about getting sick?  The day after Christmas found me at the Urgent Care and a few days later at an Eye Doctor.

I contracted some kind of virus that effected my eyes and glands/lymph nodes.  After being so ill last year, I tried so hard not to be around crowds of people this winter in hopes of averting illness.  No such luck.  Oh well, on the bright side I did recover in less than a month while last years illness took several months to recover from.  Plus since I was house bound recuperating, I managed to add a new Page (tab) to the blog giving you guys a tour of my home – Our RV.

I’m all better now and even learned to shoot my camera with 20/60 vision.  The bad vision was caused by the virus and was temporary.  Before leaving the RV in search of photo ops, I would set the camera for a center focal point only. I had a few other custom settings already set up so all I’d have to do is turn the dial. I won’t lie, it did have an overall negative effect on my photography enjoyment and mood.whooping cranes

Big birds like the whooping crane make big targets that made the process a little easier.  While looking through the viewfinder all I could see was a big white blur. Yes, it was very frustrating. Thank goodness for auto-focus. I’m very grateful my vision has since cleared.  That’s not to say life still isn’t a little blurry, but I think that’s due to extenuating circumstances 😉Rockport Fulton Texas

It was the best of times; exploring new and fun places; socializing with great, like minded folks.   It was the worst of times; bad weather, illness, and less than stellar accommodations.  (I’ll do a separate post on the places we stayed)

Next up…  it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishblogging

BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro

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82 thoughts on “It was the worst of times…

  1. I had not realized you could find cranes in Texas. I live in Dallas and we haven’t been to Galveston but this post makes me want to go. Thanks.

  2. You definitely can take a bad situation and make the best of it. I love your great positive attitude! Gorgeous photos.

    • Thank you Marsha. Thank goodness the weather and illness were both temporary situations and we’ve been able to thoroughly enjoy our last week in Texas 🙂

  3. The bad weather and being so sick sounds just awful, Ingrid. You do such a good job of keeping a positive attitude, as well as continuing to take beautiful photographs. We spent January in Texas several years ago and had perfect weather. But your experience is definitely making me wary of returning in the winter. I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling better. Take it slow and easy and you’ll be back to your normal energetic self soon! 🙂

    • I think the weather patterns have been a little strange everywhere and I shouldn’t complain as I had no snow to shovel so I know it could’ve been worse. Hubby and his buddy had a great time and although I wanted to do a lot more ‘shooting’, I still managed to capture a few good photos. I’ve got two more days of birding before we head west 🙂

  4. I ditto Mona…time to rack in some dough…I’d buy your photo book. Hummm, what could we title it? I’m sensing desert sunshine soon enough…travel safe!!

    • Awe, thank you C…. you are too sweet. We’re basking in this fabulous weather before we hit the road westward bound, just in time for the weather to turn again 🙂

  5. Pictures are all looking so good. Sorry bout the weather though. Me and The Weather Gods get along well most of the time whenever I travel. 🙂 Then again, you fellas travel all the time. As long as you two came out alright. Stay safe out there and have fun!

    • Thank you Rommel. I believe the worst weather is behind us and we’ve been able to enjoy our last week in Texas with some fabulous weather. Trying to give the camera a working out 🙂

  6. I am amazed that you stuck it out in that nasty weather. I think I would have been out of there pretty quickly. Try to come to the desert southwest next year!

    • Hubby and his buddy were having a great time and the weather did not deter their fun or you can bet I would’ve moved west. Next year we’re planning on hanging around Arizona 🙂

  7. Ugh! Well I’m super impressed you got so many sunny, pretty and in focus shots. What is it with the weather this year? Crazy! We’ve had more rain in the desert than I can remember in 5 years. Oh well.
    Nina

    • Thank you Nina. With the right settings and auto-focus the camera managed to do a great job. Until I uploaded the photos to the computer, I had no idea how they would turn out.
      My weather bug phone app was left on Phoenix the whole time we were in Texas, and I kept getting alerts for freeze warnings, high winds, etc. Thus, we wouldn’t have faired any better had we stayed in Phoenix. I have to admit, I love the desert after a drenching. The plants seem to come alive 🙂

    • Being sick sure does put a damper on things and I think it’s even more difficult living in an RV due to the size. Hope you’re feeling better as well 🙂

  8. So glad you are feeling better. This has been a particularly bad winter for illnesses it seems. Love the new Our RV page. So fun to tour your home! We have had weeks of snow/ice/freezing temps followed by unseasonably warm weather and now we are expecting another 4 or 5 days of freezing snow/rain mix. Confusing to say the least. I think the constant changes in temps/climate have all increased the number of sick people. Glad you are better!

    • Thanks Karen and yes it sure feels good to be back to normal. I know lots of folks have been ill this winter enduring the crazy weather. Stay warm 🙂

  9. Dickens on the Strand – you did see some great places – the Lexington was a high point, I am certain. Rain can be a problem in South Texas in winter – I remember that very well… But, thankfully you did not mention snow! Hang on the happy days are here again!

    • Yes, I can’t complain because I did not have to endure any snow this year. So it could have been worse. We lucked out with perfect weather for Dickens on the Strand. We wanted to go back the next day (Sunday) for the bed races, but the weather turned ugly cold so we passed. For the most part, we’ve enjoyed Texas very much and I know we’ll be back 🙂

  10. I seem to remember that the weather in Texas was not so great last year too. One of the reasons I hang around Arizona and Southern California 🙂 even though it got kind of chilly a few times around here too. Sounds like Texas would be pretty good in the very early part of winter (?). LOVE the photo of you pointing to your long johns, cute! And so glad to hear that you are feeling better. Where are you headed next?

    • Well, obviously we came to Texas for Al to play and now that he’s had a fun month it’s time for us to return to AZ. We’ll be meandering around southern AZ boondocking most of February and then head up to Phoenix to see our son. The 3rd week in April we’ll boondock our way up through Utah on our way to Grand Junction. Let’s stay in touch via email and see if we won’t bump into each other 🙂

  11. Ingrid, I just love the photos of yourself; always smiling and happy! You have some great bird shots there! We spent one February in Kerrville and at the time we thought it would be great – Not! It was rainy, cold and windy! Texas can be one of the most beautiful places to visit and stay, but when she is having a bad season – forget it! Glad you are ready to move on. Happy Trails!

    • Thank you Sheila. We tried San Antonio last February and finally gave up on the weather and hightailed it out of town between storms. This winter, much like last, seems a little crazy everywhere. Hopefully the desert will great us with warm, dry sunshine 🙂

  12. So sorry to hear about your illness. The change in vision must have been frightening.
    Sorry about that Alberta Clipper business. We are having record high temps every day so the world must be upside down.
    Lastly gorgeous photos as always Ingrid. I am sure we are going to see a post that you have been called to travel with some magazine!

    • Awe, Sue thank you for the compliment. Now that my vision has returned to normal, I’m running the batteries down on the camera LOL. Gotta keep my blog followers coming back for some reason 😉

  13. That must have been really hard for you, Ingrid. So happy you’re now recovered, but hope for much improved vision for you. You still take the most breathtaking photos. Those cranes and the Spoonbill are very eye-catching. 🙂

  14. We hear you about the weather, hence our decision to try AZ next winter. That being said the past week has been glorious but the forecast says that is to end. Hoping Feb brings sunny days. Glad you’re feeling better. Safe travels…

    • The weather hasn’t seemed to stop you guys from having your fair share of fun and yes this recent weather has been fabulous. AZ has had it’s fair share of cold and rain this winter also. Oh well, have house will travel. Enjoy the rest of the winter in TX and we’ll see you next winter in AZ 🙂

  15. While we were at Water’s Edge in Okeechobee. FL (My Fri post), we were two sites down from a couple who had spent the last few years on the Texas Gulf Coast and had experienced too much of your “worst of times” and moved to south Florida beginning this year.

    • MonaLiza and Steve were comparing last winters stay in FL to this winters stay in TX and they too were not impressed with the weather in TX. Thank goodness we have options and with a house on wheels we can move 🙂

  16. So sorry to hear about all your problems and glad you are healthy and recovered fully now and can move past this experience. On the up side it sounds like your did have a few pleasant times (the best of times) and your photography is fabulous and you got to see some great birds. Wishing you more and more warm days!

    • Thank you and our last few days in Texas have been fabulous. I’ll be checking in from time to time to see where you guys are as we’ll start our journey toward southern AZ soon and spend Feb meandering around boondocking. Perhaps we’ll bump into one another 🙂

    • Isn’t it frustrating when you’d love to be out hiking and the body just wants to lay around? Sorry to hear you too were ill. Now that we’re both better it’s time to hit those trails. I can’t wait to get to southern AZ and explore some virgin (to us) territory. Happy trails 🙂

    • Yep, life still happens while traveling. Hubby and I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and there you were on the cover of a magazine. I know you wrote about it, but I was thrilled for you when I saw the magazine in Corpus Christi. I’m VERY happy for you 🙂

  17. Tooooo cold for us! However you were still able to make the most of it. Looking forward to your next installment in this series! Glad you have recovered from whatever bug got you. I know you don’t want to ever be as knocked down as you were last year. Take care! -Linda

    • I think the worst is behind us and I bet once you get here it’ll be nice. We’ve had a wonderful week…. the best so far, but the desert beckons 🙂

  18. Oh yuck. That is not why we come south, is it? My friends are headed to Austin this week, and are pretty nervous about the cold weather they have been having.

    • The weather has really been a mixed bag this year in Texas but then again it’s been a little bipolar everywhere. I’m looking forward to returning to the desert to dry out 😉

    • I wasn’t going to let illness keep me from some great photographic opportunities. Oh, I did miss a bunch which was frustrating. Perhaps I’ll just have to come back. I think Texas has seeping into my blood 😉

  19. Glad you began with the Best of Times! Boy, Texas was not nice to the snowbirders so far this winter. Sorry to hear how sick you were. So happy you are feeling better much sooner than last year:)

  20. So sorry to hear about your vision problems, I hope they continue to resolve. Dave has experienced an unusual problem with his vision as a result of an “event” last winter and has adjusted to less than perfect sight…..we take our perfect vision for granted and the thought of less is scary!

    • It was extremely scary having the blurred vision especially since I’m such a visual person. Thank goodness I’m back to just the old age vision issue and nothing more serious. Sorry to hear about Dave’s issue. Our reservations are set for June and July in Colorado. We’ll see you there 🙂

    • See, I knew I was right in blaming Canada LOL. I think it’s been a strange weather pattern all over and since we didn’t see a flake of the white stuff, I won’t complain…… too much 🙂

  21. San Diego has been a very pleasant place to spend the past 2.5 months…compared to so many other places. I am glad we are waiting till mid Feb to arrive in TX! Fingers crossed the weather has stabilized by then!

    Hans and I have not had a real cold since we left San Diego 2.5 years ago…this year we both got whacked with a big cold. Too many social situations I think. Thank goodness you didn’t get as sick as last year…but it is still no fun! I hope you are in a better space now and that it lasts!

    • The weather in TX is already improving so I think by the time you get here the worst will be over. If you have any questions about TX, feel free to email me. I’ll do a post soon on the places we stayed. Glad you guys are feeling better as well. It does put a damper on the fun being sick!

  22. So sorry to hear you were ill again this year. Hope you have recovered fully by now. I would have never guessed Ingrid as the photography you shared was as lovely as ever. Safe travels to you two.

    • That FZ200 is a great camera and I rarely shoot in IA anymore. It was so frustrating not seeing what I was shooting clearly but by setting the focus to the center only I was able to work with it. I’m looking forward to hitting the road. Still haven’t found that spot that doesn’t give me hitch itch after 30 days.

    • I’m sure you understand Teri. I remember it being a challenge while you were hobbling along with one good leg 😉 Loving your NV photos.

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