It was forecast to turn chilly as we approached our first Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally at Lake Conroe, north of Houston, Texas. Betty & I had no idea what to expect from the South Texas Renegades, who were our hosts this past weekend. As it turned out, we were overwhelmed by the warmth of southern hospitality that we experienced from beginning to end!
Before we left Canada, I had spoken with Bob about the rally registration process. Rather than putting U.S. cash in the mail, or sending a Canadian cheque, Bob fronted us the registration fee until we could get to the campground. He was the first to welcome us, and provided a schedule of weekend events.
For each of the meals, we and 8 other guest couples were honoured to be served first with wonderful southern cooking, including pizza, chicken & sausage gumbo, and catfish, red beans & rice, with hearty portions of food for all meals.
This blog post would run too long if I named all the wonderful folk with whom we shared a meal and a laugh, but I have to give shout outs to a few:
A couple in their mid-eighties, John and Bettie have aged well (not to be confused with well-aged!). They are a true inspiration to us, describing their plan to full-time for 2 years, but continuing for 17! As we regularly evaluate our 5-year plan, we will keep in mind the possibilities presented by Bettie & John.
Lane & Brenda were our next-door neighbours at the campground, and we
also had an opportunity to share lunch with them at a waterfront restaurant called Papa’s On The Lake. Great neigbours!
We were lucky to meet John & Erin, not only because Erin was the lucky winner of one of our evening games, but also because John was able to describe what I should look for in a Prevost, if I ever win the lottery. Of course, because my luck doesn’t tend to be the same as Erin’s, I don’t buy tickets, so that Prevost may be a long way off!
Betty & I not only shared our love for food and wine with Rick & Denise, we shared a few bottles of the good stuff with them as well! At the end of the night, Rick was still reaching into his extensive stock when we made our way back to our motorhome, sufficiently warmed by the experience that I left my jacket behind on what was apparently a cool night. Rick took the time to drive me to his favorite butcher shop and introduce me to his butcher. In the next
few weeks we are looking forward to cranking up the barby for some tasty Texas ribs, steak, and armadillo balls (bacon-wrapped sausage). Going above and beyond, Rick, who is a commercial pilot and certified aircraft mechanic, took the time to diagnose and repair some wiring issues we were having with our motorhome. What an outstandingly generous man!
While most rally participants were Texans, we also enjoyed the company of a sweet couple from Arkansas. L.B. and Carol were people we would love to have spent more time with, if only to listen to the amazingly distinctive southern accent!
Well, there are many others that we enjoyed meeting at this first FMCA rally. If this group is any indication of what to expect from others in FMCA, we look forward to warming our hearts with hospitality again, regardless of the temperature outside!