February 1, Texas

We are in South Texas--Kingsville to be exact. We've been spending time lately as beach bums and are taking some time off in the "big city" to get some errands and cleaning done. We are planning a birding expedition at the King Ranch on Friday with Richard and Beverly, then will head farther south to the (Rio Grande) Valley. The weather is turning colder and colder as I write, and I wish it would pass on through. Birding in 20-30 degree weather doesn't sound like a lot of fun--must get warmer.

After leaving San Diego, we had a brief visit with our granddaughter, Channie, in Yuma. Her high school choir was putting on a concert which we attended along with Lara and her family. The only pictures we took were rather dark, taken in the parking lot at IHOP where we had all visited after the concert. The concert was great and Channie is growing into a lovely young woman.

Alyssa, Lara, Channie and Justin

Patagonia Lake at sunset

We then spent a week at Patagonia Lake before visiting Randy, Ginny and Rachel in Tucson. We had a pleasant visit there, and were happy to see the remodeled kitchen. They took us to see a musical play about Woody Guthrie. It was quite good, and we enjoyed the music very much.

Randy, Ginny, Rachel, Margie & Riley

New kitchen

Christmas was spent in Albuquerque with Shannon, Dresden, Jennifer and Jonny. We were there two weeks and while we didn't have a white Christmas, it did snow while we were there--looked like a blizzard, but did not last long. It was fun watching Jonny opening his Christmas presents. After New Year's, we packed up Jonny's things, rented a U-Haul trailer and started back to Houston to return Jonny to his mother, Rebecca. We made stops in San Saba to visit cousin Sharon and Doug, then in Austin to visit brothers Lloyd and Richard and their families. Jonny was a good traveler, though he got very tired of being in that car seat, and I can't say that I blame him. He was friendly to all the relatives and it was fun having him with us.

Jonny under the Christmas tree with "Seven of Nine"

Drez and Jonny

Shannon and Jonny

Jennifer and Jonny

Shannon, Jonny and Drez at the aquarium

Jonny and Grandma making cookies

We delivered Jonny and his things to Rebecca, then camped at an RV park in Highlands, while helping him adjust to being back in Houston. I know Shannon and Drez are missing him a lot; in fact, so are we. Rebecca is very happy to have him back with her and they both seem to be adjusting well. Tony is working steadily and they have their own apartment now, so that is a help. During the two weeks we were there, we got to visit Nancy and Jim, and Sarah came out to see us a couple of times. We didn't get to see all our friends but will be back in Houston for Jonny's second birthday, March 2, and hope to see those we missed during that visit.

Sarah and Grandma

Rebecca, Jonny and Grandma

Jonny and Riley

Jonny -- almost 2 years old

On leaving Houston, we headed to the coast and camped in Rockport. Richard, Beverly and Lloyd met us there and we took the tour boat to see the Whooping Cranes. The day we drove down was warm and sunny; the day of the tour was cold and cloudy. Nevertheless, we had fun. Though I must say we got the best look at the Whooping Cranes the day before when three flew over us while we were out birding along the coast highway. We also went into Aransas Pass for some birding, then stopped in Sinton to visit Mom's grave. After they left us to go back to Austin, we went to South Padre Island National Seashore (just south of Corpus Christi) and camped on the beach for the next week. The weather was beautiful, until yesterday, and we had a good time. Fog rolled in yesterday and so we rolled out.

Margie, Richard and Bev on the boat dock

Riley, Richard, Bev and Margie on the boat

Richard and Lloyd

Lloyd, Riley, Bev, Richard and Margie -- ancient oak on Goose Island

I would say this has been a good start to the year and I think the rest of the year will only get better.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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