Orange Beach, AL, End of February, 2021


We saw the ortho doc for the last time a week and a half ago, all looked good. He had Susan switch to a soft brace — a laces and velcro sort of thing. She can now walk without the boot, the boot and crutches have been retired to our medical device hall of fame, the walker is mostly on standby duty and a new cane is now the mobility assistance of choice. She saw the PT person twice more as well.

A new soft brace.

Walking with a cane. Cold weather dress explained later.

Across the road the massive piles of concrete rubble have been ground up into even bigger piles of gravel. And every day the tree grinding machines are reducing the piles of hurricane damaged trees into mulch. The mulch piles are bigger than the tree piles. Semi sized trucks have been hauling loads of mulch off to somewhere and barges on the Inter-Coastal Waterway are getting filled with mulch or gravel. Most of the pile of building debris was hauled away but more keeps showing up. The rows of damaged boats are down to just a few. The big crane they were using to move them around has been busy.

When I went by earlier this week there was only one boat left and the crane was gone.

There is still much to repair in this area, every time we drive anywhere we see homes with tarps on the roofs. We checked out two campgrounds out on the road to Ft Morgan, cheaper, older, not as nice, more crowded. And we looked at a piece of property on the Lagoon which clearly had a home on it that had been destroyed and removed.

Heading for Nacogdoches.

The next thing we were going to do was to pack up and go to Nacogdoches in East Texas for some service work. Time to replace the suspension air bags, shock absorbers and the ride height control valves. We had an appointment for Monday Feb 15. It is an easy two day drive over there from Orange Beach, usually.

I am sure you heard about the big polar vortex thing that broke out of its arctic home and came flooding down into the US about the time we were getting ready to leave. On the Gulf Coast we had a couple nights just below freezing but nothing too bad. Then we started hearing about Dallas being below zero, ice storms, massive pile ups. Nacogdoches was in the single digit temperatures, it was snowing, power all across Texas was failing, water supplies in Nacogdoches were shut off.

The Mississippi River Bridge on I 10 was closed due to ice. Just 30 miles north of here there was freezing rain and ice. I 10 goes under the ship channel in Mobile Bay and it had ice on the roadway at the low point.

Everyone we know in Nacogdoches was without water and power, friends stayed overnight in their motorhomes because they could stay warm while their homes got very cold, some suffered frozen water lines and water damage.

This is what our friend’s back yard looked like. It just doesn’t seem right for Texas.

They got out the best of the snow removal equipment they had in Houston.

Needless to say we decided to stay put. Now it is a week later and warmer temps are coming. Power is back on in some places, water too. So we are heading to Nacogdoches in the morning, (2/20), a week later than earlier planned. But it is OK. We are pretty flexible. And our next stop in Fredericksburg, TX had snow yesterday! It is supposed to be spring time and the wild flower season. I guess we will see.

Life goes on. We somehow have no problem getting from one day to the next, always something to do.

We have been playing Skip Bo, a card game with numbers. Susan won 2, I said let’s do best of 3, then 4, then five. She won them all. Best of six? I finally won one. It is entirely luck of random cards turning up. As far as strategy goes, if there is one we haven’t discovered it yet. But of course winning 5 in a row means Susan discovered it and I haven’t.

I have been playing Words With Friends with several friends. I got sucked into this by my sister and have been wasting time, nope, that is, sharing time with others ever since. It is sort of like Scrabble but with a dictionary that makes no sense to a Scrabble player, much different from a Scrabble dictionary. And that is the reference of choice when we play Quiddler so there is always some confusion.

Some neighbors we won’t miss.

Susan has progressed to doing dishes, some cleaning and vacuuming. She is getting around mostly using her cane, even sometimes without it. It is very reassuring to see her progress. We will resume some level of PT in Fredericksburg, walk every day as much as we can and just keep getting better. There is lumberjack work and buckthorn removal to do when we get home. Maybe she will supervise.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

One thought on “Orange Beach, AL, End of February, 2021”

  1. We feel for all caught in the storm. We left Rudy just in time for Mexico.
    Lucky us!
    Great to hear Susan is doing so much better. Safe travels,
    Joe and Dottie


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