Under Construction


The sounds of nail guns and saws hang in the air here at Palmdale.  The owner’s rehabbing of the facilities continues all for the good, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few temporary inconveniences.  I’ll not provide any photos of the work. I can’t see what’s going on on top of the clubhouse — I know they are doing roofing “stuff” up there — I can see bales of insulation, etc., but I can’t see the project itself just because of the angle.  And I won’t be doing flash photography in the clubhouse where they are midway through converting the old bathrooms into modernized and ADA compliant bathrooms/showers.  Suffice it to say that work is progressing. I’m sure it will be finished before the winter texans return.

I am quite amazed at how construction progresses here.  I admit to being of an age and physical condition that I could not work effectively in the heat here.  By Northern standards it takes longer to get things done here — but then it’s not northerners working in northern conditions either.

I observe guys here on road crews.  A lot of them are wearing long sleeves and long trousers.  In the heat.  Most of them have wide brimmed hats.  Many of them are working all day long with what looks like a whole head cloth helmet liner and face mask on — to keep their skin out of the sun and protect themselves. It’s bad enough that it’s so hot, but bundling yourself up for protection on top of that has to make working outdoors quite uncomfortable.  I can’t even imagine what it must be like.

Ted, the new owner, is doing a lot to to improve the campground. I doubt that many people will appreciate the expense or effort being put into their comfort.  But I have to say that to watch the process is difficult.  These guys are working hard in really difficult conditions.

I’ve also been wondering what the presence of pipeline workers will do to the social mix in the campground this winter.  The pipeline project that has brought so many workers to the Rio Grande Valley will continue a full 2 years and some of the workers will be here for the entire time.  That means that part of the park will be occupied this winter not by Winter Texans, but but transient pipeline workers and I’m sure that will have repercussions.  Not necessarily negative repercussions — the people we have met thus far have been wonderful people.  But they are not retirees.  They are hard working folk I’m sure their take on life will be a bit different than that of some of the folks we know to be returning this fall.

It’s not a case of class.  The Winter Texans are from all sorts of backgrounds — it’s not like they’re snobbish. This IS a very friendly park. But retirees live on a different schedule than workers.  And retirees have a different aesthetic.  I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone mingles and rubs shoulders.

I had heard at the beginning of the bathroom remodel that the project would be done in 3 weeks.  That was kind of like the promise that the roads were going to be done in 3 weeks too; the roads took significantly longer, and so are the bathrooms.  It doesn’t matter, there aren’t that many people here to be inconvenienced and it’s not really a matter of practical inconvenience.  The clubhouse bathrooms don’t get much use this time of year — all the residents have their own bathrooms.  The roofing is a bit noisy but it’s not like you can’t do what you’re doing because of a few nail guns and saws.

On another note, the palm trees that were planted on Palmdale road seem to be doing nicely.  As hot as it has been I had some concern that they might not make it and transplanting 13 foot tall trees isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.  But they appear to be tolerating the change in environment just fine.  Fingers crossed.

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4 Comments

  1. All that construction noise would likely get my sleep back on what most people consider normal hours. Yes, retirement makes for different priorities. 🙂

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    1. LOL — Sometimes, Linda, I think I should have been on one of those 6 on – 6 off sleep cycles. I do pretty well with a nap and s shorter night’s sleep. Still need close to my 8 hours, but sometimes it works better if it’s broken into 2 chunks.

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  2. When we looked at this house twenty-some years ago the block plant across the street looked closed. No one mentioned they only work when they have orders or that occasionally something over there makes a tremendous clang around 1:00AM. I’ve gotten used to it and rarely hear that clang anymore. We live on a main highway in a sleepy little town, but there are days I feel like I’m living in New York City with all the traffic that goes up and down the road! I’ve been wanting to build farther back on our property, away from all the noise. After all this time, I don’t expect it to happen. Lucky for us we live upwind of the dog food plant or I’d be putting up the smell. I like to support businesses, but I doubt I could handle that. Maybe a taller smoke stack would have helped. Noise is easier to handle than smell as far as I’m concerned!

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    1. LOL — Oh my…. what a surprise that could be — unexpected noises at 1 a.m. or suddenly busy factories!

      One thing I learned in Milwaukee is that there is no escaping the noise in a city. You can go the the remotest places within a municipality and the noises of life track you down and haunt you!

      I find I am particularly sensitive to sirens, police, fire, ambulance, the sounds drive me bananas and in a city the size of Milwaukee there really isn’t any escaping them. There’s a place we go along the lakefront that is lovely, but the advantage/disadvantage is that with an expanse of open space you hear the sirens echoing up the streets and you actually hear more of them than you would if you were in the midst of the city, instead of on the lakefront.

      Smells are a difficult thing, I agree. I grew up in Milwaukee when there were slaughter houses there, and also brewing was big, and in order to have breweries you need yeast — so we had a big Red Star Yeast plant as well. The aroma of yeast fermenting is a big part of my childhood memories — after a while you get used to it, but it was pervasive. As was the smell of the slaughter houses that were worse in the summer when we were out of school on seasonal recess.

      Here, we go to the birding center quite often and it’s an odd thing that a lot of birding centers/refuges seem to be built adjacent to wastewater treatment plants. Or else, people don’t like the smell and the birds don’t mind so they hang out where there aren’t a lot of people. Not sure how that works, but we are often down there whiffing in the aroma and muttering under our breath about the birds. 🙂 🙂 Just kidding. Seeing them is worth a little inconvenience.

      Seriously though, knowing where you’re moving is important. In Milwaukee the underlying soil is largely clay, which means that in any place that is low-lying you are apt to experience flooding. A LOT of Milwaukee basements have water issues. Factories aren’t always what they appear — we have a foundry about 2 miles from our daughter’s house and the neighbors adjacent to that plant are serenaded with the sound of foundry hammers. Not a pleasant thing at all — but hey… if you work for the foundry and it’s your livelihood you might not mind too much. Or maybe you would….

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