Slow Gypsy Life of Lynda and Bob travel blog

Bob with drill replacing the door latch!

Neighbor Len couldn't resist watching!

Our block at Retama is filling up now

New neighbors have a fancy cat house!


Last week was for the most part another delightfully dull several days. We caught up on some reading and I got my fill of election coverage. We both also did some family history work. For me it was the first time I had done any in months. I guess now is a good time to get back into it. On Monday (10/27) we went to Progreso to get our teeth cleaned and a check-up. The dentist we came to the Valley to see is still on maternity leave but I learned that regular crowns in her practice are $180, quite a savings from the States. I thought I might need a crown or two replaced, but as it turned out I don’t. I also was told the details of getting an implant, the real purpose of us coming here.

First of all the total price of having the implant and the subsequent crown is $2000, only a $500 savings from the price quoted in Chattanooga. I had been told that the savings would be at least $1000. Then I learned that I would have to go to Reynosa (another border town) to see a specialist for the implant portion. The specialist would apparently meet me at the bridge crossing the Rio Grande and take me to his office – Reynosa has a reputation for potential violence. As you might guess, with the smaller than expected cost savings and meeting a stranger “at the bridge” (under cover of darkness?) who would surgically put a screw in my jaw bone, I decided to pass on getting the work done in Mexico. Others have apparently had success with implants across the border, but for me it became a pennywise, pound-foolish risk. So here we are for another month in a place we don’t particularly like – Retama Village is fine, however. Oh well, it’s an opportunity to take a breath and prepare for what’s to come.

Last Thursday I called my cousin Michael in England to see how he was doing. We got to know (and love) Michael during our month-long stay in Looe, Cornwall in 2006. Looe is a picturesque fishing village 20 miles west of Plymouth, England where my Soady line goes back several hundred years. During our conversation Michael mentioned that we should come for a visit now that the dollar is much more favorable in relation to the British pound. As Lynda said, that is all I needed to hear and the wheels started to turn. I guess when life is dull and your somewhere you don’t particularly like, it is easy – especially in a gypsy lifestyle – to be drawn to a place you love. I also have some important genealogy research still to do in Looe and up in the Midlands near Birmingham. So we’re off to England in the latter part of December for a couple of months, subject to one important caveat, Lynda’s knee.

Her right knee has been hurting for the past month or so and she doesn’t want to go across the pond with a bad knee. It’s probably the result of a year of heavy-duty wear and tear climbing into the truck and doing the low jobs around the rig. The ophthalmologist I have seen here recommended an orthopedist that we visited yesterday. He must be good since he is a graduate of the University of Miami Medical School, my alma mater. The x-ray didn’t show anything, so he gave her a cortisone shot and recommended an MRI. He suspects a meniscus tear. If the cortisone shot works for Lynda like it did for me several years ago, she should be fine for six months or more. If it is a meniscus tear she will have to have it “scoped” eventually. After the Dr. visit we celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary with lunch at Chili’s. WOW! We tried finding three restaurants the GPS mentioned but guess we do need to download the newer maps as the restaurants were out of business. Too many new roads here in TX!

Assuming Lynda’s knee will at least be pacified, we’ll head for England in mid-December. We will spend Christmas visiting my cousins north of Birmingham and do some research about my great grandparents, my grandfather, and my cousins’ line – my great grandfather’s sister. We will also visit friends in Surrey near London and spend six weeks or so in Looe. Our next-door neighbor when we were there in ’06 rents vacation cottages and flats, so we’ll choose one from her inventory. January and February is the “cheap season” because the weather is less than stellar. But as L.L. Bean says, “ There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

With these new plans materializing I have cancelled our month at Buckhorn Lake in Kerrville, TX. We will go directly to Apache Junction, AZ from here for a week or ten days and then store the rig and truck until our return in early March. Rather than spend March near Portland/Salem, OR as originally planned, we’ll probably stay in the Phoenix area to rest up from our trip and then go to the San Francisco Bay Area for the balance of the month, picking up our original plans in Bend, OR on April 1.

As Lynda often says, or at least thinks, “I’m never sure where we’re going next, but life is exciting!” She is always ready to go once “I get my head around it.”

More later.



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