Farewell Dinner

The end of the season.  I’m not sure what that means.  I suppose that’s partly because I’m never on the same wavelength with other folks but at the end of March each year the RV park has a “Farewell Dinner” as a way of saying thanks to the Winter Texans who spent their winter here.

I hope you noticed that I said “Winter Texans”  — we aren’t Snowbirds as some of you may know, but probably not all. Snowbirds go to Florida, or maybe to Arizona (I’m not sure about that) but Winter Texans come here! The locals will gladly correct you if you get that wrong.  They aren’t really interested in Snowbirds but Winter Texans are welcomed with open arms.

Being in S. Texas what better meal could you ask for than smoked brisket and beans and ‘tater salad.  That was the feed that the park put on for about 160 of us on Thursday night and I have to say it was some of the best brisket I have ever had — and I do not give out food compliments easily.  When it comes to food it has to be exceptional for me to even admit that it was good!

We’re fortunate to have as other home owners and regular winter residents a couple the husband of which is an outstanding man on the smoker/bbq.  He started brining the brisket for Thursday night on Monday, then they were smoked low and slow, and finally finished on the grill.  Yum Oh!

Six years of retirement does not make an “overwintering expert.” Not all our  retirement  winters were even spent in the South, so I’m not sure I know enough yet to speak about the phenomenon know as “The Season.”

The real migration seems to occur from November till the end of March. Some folks arrive here in October, many don’t show up until after New Year, and by the end of March we have already seen the beginnings of the move North.  We’re probably 15% or 20% fewer already and in the next couple weeks there will be a noticeable drop off of people.  By the end of April the place will be pretty empty and by June there will probably only be a dozen or so sites with year round residents — us among them for this year.

All of the RV parks that specialize in winter visitors see a significant fluctuation in their residency rates.  That’s part of the business.  Staff shrinks when the residents aren’t here, and grows again when they return in the fall.  Activities do likewise — cuz no one’s here. 🙂 We have no idea what it’s going to be like this summer.  We’re eager to find out and there is a nuclear group how do reside here year round.  I’m not sure we have sussed out all of whom they are yet, but we’ll know pretty soon.

In our lifetime we have usually been the comers and the goers. We have rarely been the ones left behind.  This is going to be a new sensation for us. It’s going to be a busy summer though.  We already know that some of the old ash trees are to be cut down and palms planted in their place.  The old toilets in the clubhouse are to be remodeled and made fully ADA compliant. There’s lot of activity going to take place whilst the Winter Texans are gone!  All good and solid improvements.  I suspect it’s going to get harder to make reservations in the coming years and I think we made our purchase at an opportune time.

Well, some of our friends are actually leaving this morning.  Others will be following in the next few days and the exodus will continue.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  It’s another way in which this continues to be our Life Unscripted.  More experiences that aren’t typical or even normal for us.  At least this summer we won’t have campers knocking at our door at all hours of the day and night.  I’m not sure I’ve recovered from hosting last summer even now!

Thanks for stopping.  We’ll be here again tomorrow.  Stop by and see what’s up!


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