Next Up La Pryor

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Next Up La Pryor

Frank, Scotty, and I returned to College Station then the packing began meanwhile the School Board and Head Coach in La Pryor looked for us a home to rent.

Although Frank and I were not new to packing up and moving, it would be quite a new adventure now that we had that third little Musketeer in tow.  We would have to be a lot more strategic in when and what we packed. The first thing on our agenda was to call and rent a U-Haul truck because, for some reason, we seemed to have acquired a lot more stuff. Babies seem to just come with more stuff, and we were not going to leave any of it behind.  No sirree!

Since Scotty was on table food and potty trained, we could undoubtedly pack up diapers and all of his clothes that he had outgrown, but the toys would have to wait.   After all, what was he going to do while I was packing up the kitchen? Although, I had to wait on some pots and lids too because they were part of his clanking pounding toys along with some of my wooden spoons.  We were pretty sure that he would grow up to be a drummer.

The apartment had to be left spotless with all of the small holes filled.  Which meant if we had hung a picture, we needed to remove the nail and fill the hole.  Frank and I found that white toothpaste worked beautifully.  Thinking they owed us big time for scraping the bubble paint off the walls of the metal shower then repainting it with metal paint.  I scrubbed that shower sparkling white hoping they would not repaint it for the next renters but laughing at the memory of  Frank and I popping those bubbles.  While cleaning the shower, I was also thinking maybe the new renters would enjoy popping bubbles too.

About a week after we returned to College Station, Frank got a call from the Head Coach at La Pryor telling us that they had found us a house to rent.  We were so excited to know that we had a new home to go to even though we had not seen it.  Also, he told Frank that all of the utilities would be turned on for us before we arrived in La Pryor.  Everything was going great.

The packing was all done, so the next morning Frank went to pick up the U-Haul truck.  One of my brothers, Mark, had been staying with us since mid-summer going to the second summer school semester. Since we had paid our rent until the end of August,  Mark would continue living in our apartment until he moved back into the Corps dorm for the Fall Semester.  Mark volunteered to helped Frank load the U-Haul truck with all of our belongings.

Of course, I was busy chasing after Scotty trying to keep him out of their way while they loaded the U-Haul, and trying to keep the plastic shield on his arm which was there to protect his vaccination.  I had taken Scotty to his Pediatrician during the past week between cleaning and packing,  Frank and I were concerned about trying to get our son a Smallpox Vaccination.  We knew living thirty miles from the border of another country might put him at risk for Smallpox.   The Smallpox vaccination not being required in the United States at the time was a concern for us. Since the Doctor thought it was a good idea to vaccinate Scotty,  Frank and I were dealing with trying to keep him from scratching at the vaccination site.

The U-Haul truck had a unique slide-out ramp that pulled out from underneath the floor of the cargo area.  Since our porch set about two to three feet off of the ground, Frank backed the U-Haul in up next to the porch then he pulled out the ramp so he and Mark could walk straight from the top of the porch into the back of the truck while loading our furniture.

Hauling our furniture into the truck should have gone very smoothly and quickly as they loaded the U-Haul, but it would not be Frank and me if that had happened.  While Frank was backing down the ramp dragging the box springs from our bed as Mark helped push it, he misstepped then ended up with one foot going off the ramp.  Of course,  the shin on the front of his leg got scrapped nearly to the bone from the knee down to his ankle.  I covered our son’s ears as he talked to that ramp then I cleaned and patched up his leg with gauze pads and medical tape.  Since most of our stuff was loaded into the back of the truck already, I also was thanking God that it did not take long to finish putting the rest of our things inside then slidings in the ramp and closing up the back sliding door of the U-Haul.

Frank, Scotty, and I gave Mark a big hug, and a final see you later.  I remember being emotional as we drove away from the apartment in College Station.  So much had happened to change our lives there.  God had given us a son, who we never thought we would have and now His love encircled the three of us on a new journey.  College Station, Texas would forever be engraved in my heart and mind as an extraordinary place, but I was also excited about the future and wondered what God had planned for us.  With Frank driving the U-Haul in the lead and me driving the Super Beetle with Scotty in the back seat,  we drove to Van Vleck, Texas where we would spend the night with Frank’s folks.  Frank’s parents had volunteered to keep Scotty for us while we drove to La Pryor, to unload the U-Haul then set up the house.

Since it was our first time to leave Scotty with anyone, we tried not to think about it as we got ready to go the next morning.  Frank and I got up very early, tiptoed into the room where he was sound asleep, kissed his sweet cheek, and quietly left the room.

Frank and I had a long drive ahead of us to get to La Pryor, Texas from Sugar Valley, Texas.  We had decided to take back roads south of San Antonio, Texas to stay out of the traffic.  Another reason for this decision was the U-Haul driver in the lead had been proven as directionally challenged.  Just for your information, I was driving the Super Beetle following the leader. Remember this was a time without those thangys in cars that tell you where to go, when to turn, etc.  All we had was a map which Frank, who was driving the U-Haul in the lead, had laying on the seat next to him.   We also did not have cell phones or air conditioning in either vehicle, and it was mid-August Texas hot.

Since it was the time of the year for teachers and coaches to be changing locations and moving, my folks had decided to take teaching jobs in Plano, Texas.  Frank and I stopped by their home for a moment to see them.  They had a moving van at their house, lots of help, and were loading up all of their things in boxes while the movers loaded their furniture.  We hugged them, told them to be safe, and then got in our vehicles to get on the road.

Well, La Pryor was due west of Sugar Valley which meant as we drove we faced the sun the whole way.  The back roads had long gaps between towns, but Frank and I were excited to get to La Pryor.  He would wave to me out of the U-Haul driver’s window, and I would wave back, knowing he could see me in his big side mirror.  I had the radio turned up loud knowing he did too.  We only stopped once at a large roadside park.   We had packed sandwiches and had iced down drinks before we left that morning, so we had a little picnic then got back on the road.

Even though Frank and I had not seen our new home, we had instructions where to pick up the keys and would receive more instructions to get to the house from there.  It was around four o’clock in the afternoon when we finally pulled into La Pryor.  We picked up the keys to the house then with Frank in the lead we drove to the house.  The house was about two miles outside of town on a farm to market road.   When Frank turned the U-Haul into a dirt driveway, I parked the Super Beetle behind the truck.  Of course, it was a little white house with black framed windows.  Both of us got out of the vehicles quickly then raced each other up on to the porch and to the front door of the house.  Frank put the key in the door and opened it.

As we walked inside the house, both of our jaws dropped, and our mouths were wide open.  Cobwebs filled the living room, dust thick on the floors, but worst yet, big ole wood spiders were everywhere, and I mean big as tarantulas.  This house had not been lived in for a long time, probably twenty years.

Wood Spider

Tarantula Size Wood Spider

Frank and I walked silently through the living room into the kitchen then discovered that there was not a stove which would have been okay, but we did not have an oven either.  Of course, there were more spiderwebs and tarantula spiders.

Next up was the bathroom which had been added and was a room on the back closed in porch.  The first thing that I saw was the old footed tub.  It was a little rusty on the outside and at the drain, but I loved it.  What I did not like, was the toilet which was black in the bowl part, and the black stuff looked to be about a fourth of an inch thick.  Did I mention cobwebs and tarantula spiders everywhere? The real silence breaker that made Frank finally speak was the remnants of something hairy and large that had died in the middle of the closed in back porch.

Frank was standing by my side then turned, looked into my eyes and said, “Nancy, I know this seems nasty, but we can fix it up.  I’ll get the broom and dustpan out of the truck then we can start tackling killing those spiders and getting the cobwebs down.  With a little soap and water, this place will be great in no time.”

Thinking he was right, but still seeing a picture in my mind of the inside of that toilet,  somehow I managed to answer him saying, “Okay, you’re right, but you are not leaving me in here and going outside without me.  We’ll go together.”

Frank and I retrieved the broom, dustpan, mop, and other cleaning supplies from the U-Haul then went back into the house.  While Frank started to do the tarantula-wood-spider-kill and cobweb removal thang, I went into the kitchen to clean the sink then fill it with hot water, soap, and bleach.  When I turned on the hot and cold knobs, the water did not come out of the faucet.  Immediately, I went into the bathroom and tried the faucet in the sink, but nothing, not one drop of water.   Walking back into the kitchen, all I could hear was the broom slamming over and over on the floor and Frank telling those tarantula spiders, “Take that sucker!”

As I walked through the kitchen, I decided to try the light switch, but it did not work.  Something told me that the utilities had not been turned on.  Although I hated to break up the war of “Broomman versus Tarantula Wood Spiders” which is not in History books, I walked into the living room and informed Frank of the no utilities situation.  Frank stopped his attack on the spiders then looked at me.  He could see in my eyes that I might be close to crying which was something he would not allow.

Frank laid down the broom, walked over to me, took my hand, lead me out onto the porch, locked the door of the house.  He told me to get into the Super Beetle while he pulled down the sliding door of the U-Haul then closed it.   Next, he got in the driver’s seat of the Volkswagon, and we drove out of the driveway.

While driving down the farm to market road, Frank said, “Nancy Lou,  we’re going to Uvalde a large town about twenty miles away, get something good to eat and spend the night in a motel.  Plus, I need to make a phone call or two.  Of course, if you’d rather spend the night in our new home, I can turn around.”

We both started laughing loudly.  What a day it had been, but I knew tomorrow we would have electricity and water then clean that house from top to bottom.  Wish I had gotten to hear what he told them on the phone that night, but the next day we had utilities.

Everything’s gonna be alright.

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2 Comments

  1. This should be read by every young couple starting out on the new venture of marriage. I love the humor and love the two of had mastered.
    “I covered our son’s ears as he talked to that ramp then I cleaned and patched up his leg with gauze pads and medical tape” is CLASSIC

    • Thank you, Chuck. Frank was a little upset with the ramp. Lol! So many wonderful memories are coming from La Pryor, Frank’s first teaching and coaching job. Seems like yesterday…
      God Bless You.
      Much Love to You and Shirley,
      Nancy

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