As a full-timer, who tends to fall into the categories known as “Winter Texan” and also “Snowbird,” a major part of planning our locations throughout the year involves running from the bad weather. We watch the weather patterns and try to avoid tornado season, hurricane season, blizzards, and nasty weather such as freezing rain. Naturally, we also avoid the other extremes as well, such as those days it is 100F in the shade with 96% humidity.
Over the last few years, we’ve accomplished this fairly well (even though we still manage to find ourselves in at least one snow storm each year—this winter it was Salt Lake City, Utah). However, once we made it way down here to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, we assumed that we had made it out of the bad weather.
Sure, we know that we could have some days when it will dip below the freezing mark, and other days when it is a bit too windy; however, we expect the extremes to stay a bit North of us—we are, after all, at the same latitude as Miami, Florida. And, who expects to see ice on palm trees?
Well, as you might have gathered from the title of this post, things did not work out quite as expected. Yes, the other day we were presented with a regular winter storm—complete with freezing rain. Nothing like stepping outside and seeing your motorhome covered with a layer of ice; not to mention the grass, cars, roads, plants, trees, and everything else.
For full-timers weather like this poses a few problems. First, we have to try and find our warm clothes. Surprisingly, I was able to locate my long underwear, extra warm socks, and heavy winter coat that had earmuffs and gloves in the pockets. At least I was able to stay warm for all the other things I needed to handle. I realize that there are different opinions on how to deal with this, but when it comes to water, since it is only cold a few hours, I normally fill the fresh water tank and disconnect from city; this way I do not worry about the water hoses freezing.
Of course, there are other things that come along with owning the lot here—so I have to worry about the irrigation system, the coach house water, and the beautiful plants that we would like to keep flowering this season. It was quite interesting seeing all of the different items used to cover the plants; maybe it could be a new form of lawn art?
I have to admit, though, that while it was quite cold and very inconvenient, the ice made its own form of art with the way it looked on the trees, grass, and bushes. I have to thank my friend, Donna MacNeil for the excellent pictures that show just how beautiful it was.
As it warmed up during the day, though, we discovered other issues that I had never considered before—such as the ice falling out of the palm trees! As the temperature and wind-speed rose, we saw some fairly large pieces of ice falling to the ground; and the wind made it difficult to determine exactly where the ice would land (some of the palm trees are pretty tall).
Of course, the good news is that even though we woke up on Friday morning to what could be described as a winter wonderland, today (Saturday) things seem to be back to normal with a high temperature prediction of 67F—and, hopefully, will not see any more freezing temperatures in The Valley this winter.