Home » Gate Guarding » Joe Btfsplk and Other Wonders of Nature

Joe Btfsplk and Other Wonders of Nature

For hours days I’ve been going to sleep to the sound of rain pattering and periodically pounding on the RV roof. I love the sound of rain –ย  when the slides don’t leak and the wind doesn’t tear off the non-retractable awnings over the four slides that magically transform this little trailer on wheels into a home.

I sleep and dream of the ocean. For three years, I often fell asleep to the sound of rain. I lived in the tiny town of Gold Beach tucked away in a little southern crook. With its temperate rain forest climate, there are more sunny days there than any other place on the Oregon coast. Although I often slept to the sounds of rain, most days offered a generous helping of sun.

For 14 months, I’ve lived in the drought stricken state of Texas. I’d all but forgotten the sound of rain on the roof. It hadn’t rained until I began my period of necessary unemployment. Since leaving the gate Thursday morning, the rain hasn’t stopped.

I’m beginning to feel like Joe Btfsplk! Do you remember Joe from Li’l Abner? Me either, but I’ve read about him. ๐Ÿ˜€

Joe Btfsplk was a character in the satirical comic strip Li’l Abner created by cartoonist Al Capp.ย  A small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovered over his head. Btfsplk and his ever-present cloud became one of the most iconic images in Li’l Abner. The rain cloud was supposed to represent Joe’s unfortunate tendency to bring bad luck.

This past week, our job came to an abrupt halt;ย  Heidi’s renters moved out 7 months before their lease was up; the house requires $5000 in repairs; the RV insurance rate doubled due to my palm tree tango; a random stone shattered the living room window; and the weather forecast is for another week of rain.

Just call me Joe. ๐Ÿ˜€

I may just be a rain carrier. We head east tomorrow to check out the Texas bayous where the rain is expected to continue.ย  I consider it my gift to a thirsty state. I’m hoping to leave the bit of bad luck behind. I think, just to be safe, Heidi better drive. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For those of you who are interested in the oil business down here in south Texas land,ย  Andrew sent me this great link about the Eagle Ford Shale play.ย  The Houston Chronicle article lists everything from the average salaries to the local economic impact.

More from the bayou tomorrow or the following day. I still have some Louisianan bayou tales to tell. Until then to end with a couple of Capp-isms: good is better than evil because it’s nicer. ๐Ÿ˜€

To be corn-tinued

20 thoughts on “Joe Btfsplk and Other Wonders of Nature

  1. I keep reminding myself ‘we need to be thankful for the rain’–but we arrived at a site outside Karnes City on Sunday and a few curses have escaped my mouth about the rain and cold. As you sit inside listening to the patter of rain on your roof, just remember how awful it is to stand outside in the slippery slimey croate of an oil field- with your make-up running down your face to your shoes and your hair resembling a wet rooster. Enjoy your vacation–and don’t give up on the joys of RV living. nancy from Moulton

    • Hello Nancy!
      We’ve had a few days of sunshine now, but oh my, did we have rain! Even though it’s always a little disappointing to have rain on vacation – like you – I kept thinking what a muddy mess it would have been at a gate.
      The RV repairs should be done by next Monday, so we HOPE to be back at work soon! After a week in a motel, I love RVing more than ever! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Take care,

  2. Hi Debbie We understand we have our home rented out in NZ will also had a property manager our home was damaged and the woman left owing rent. It is disappointing.
    Have a great month enjoy your son’s company and be ready to get back on a gate when the mud dries out. Everything happens in 3’s you have had your 3 now. Lin.

  3. Wow! When it rains it…

    Sorry. Couldn’t help myself. My parents loved lil Abner! I Remember that character!

    You two have God and Faith and Us. I know you NEED a gate and cheaper insurance and renters But…

    You still sound cheerful! That is good.

    This reminds me of Job… Sort of, only not so bad. Hang in there you two amazing Women! Head West if need be…

    XO. Jen

    • Hi Jen! We’re doing fine. We’re just on a bit of a roll right now!
      In truth, I’m not sure we can roll, it’s so muddy – we’ll find out Wednesday when we head East. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Earlier this evening, the guy in the RV next to ours climbed out of his cab and crawled over his roof and across the truck bed, leaping to his door. He said he just couldn’t take any more black mud (and he’s an oil field worker). When guys complain about mud, it must be muddy! ๐Ÿ˜€

      My son is attending (and presenting at) the American Politics Annual Conference at Rice (Houston) a week from Friday. I get him Saturday afternoon and evening! We haven’t seen each other for 2 1/2 years! Can’t wait! ๐Ÿ˜€
      We’ve been a little overwhelmed with H’s house, but are very blessed to have a good friend there who is now our ‘property manager’. All is well and we are, indeed, cheerful!
      Thank you for checking in!

      • Ok. Another small world thing? Our good friend Douglas Brinkley, the historian, teaches at Rice and politics is his gig! Is your son acquainted with Doug? I would bet Doug would be taking part unless he is elsewhere. They should be if not!

        Ok I will stop worrying. 2 1/2 years! Oh my! That will be one glorious reunion!

        Mud. Wonderful mud!

        XO. Jen

      • Wow – really? We have some crazy connections, don’t we? Dan (my son) is a Political Science prof at TCNJ in, of course, NJ. He got his PhD from the U of I in 2010 and began teaching that fall, so this is his second year. He’s done quite a bit of speaking and traveling. I’ll ask if he knows Doug. If not, maybe they’ll meet in a couple of weeks!

        It will be a grand reunion. We put off the RV repairs until now so that I’d be free to spend time with him! ๐Ÿ˜€
        love to you,

  4. And yet… He gives more grace. May our God wreck these lives of withered grass for His glory. We are praying for your strength and a coming moment of rest in Christ. God bless, good friend.

    • mt – that’s truly beautiful, my friend!
      May I quote you on TMG?

      I feel very much at peace about the future and certainly appreciate your prayers.
      I was trying to share a bit of a slice of life without complaining. It’s more a comedy of errors (mostly mine) than anything. Hope this didn’t sound whiny – certainly not my intent.
      I have some very cool alligator pics from the bayou. I’ll throw those in the mix next time! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Why are you two not on a gate? What are you all going to do for now ? We are still in Karnes City. The road and pad does not have any gravel on them. If we had an emergency there is no way we could get the camper out of here. They are cooking here again today it is steak & shrimp.

    • Hi Betty!
      We have the RV repairs scheduled for mid-month and didn’t want to ask Jamie to place us for just a week and a half – didn’t seem fair to him. The repair shop estimates 5-10 working days (closed on weekend) to get it all put back together, so looks like we’re on vacation until the beginning of March. We’ve found a park in Seguin for $120 a week, and one down by Angelton for $130 so we’re working on taxes etc…
      Your dinner sound VERY fine! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Good – nice; Evil – nasty. Did i tell you my Uncle Owen and Aunt Cleo live in Gold Beach, OR? I couldn’t remember my uncles name … maybe that’s why i didn’t tell you (if i didn’t). He’s had Type I diabetes for his entire life: Rosy face, SWEET man … just the name. I can picture faces, never names. Anyway … did you ever know an Owen Sloan out yonder in the absolute heaven on earth Oregon? BTW the rain sounds like a shitty deal. I hope your days brighten up. And the rain stops seeping in. I thought you made up the L’il Abner name … a Debbie curse word?? Dare say it … no ๐Ÿ˜‰ oxo m

    • LOL Mel – no Btfsplk is supposedly the spelling of the sound Al Capp made when ‘making a raspberry’. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Wow! No, you didn’t tell my you had family in GB!
      I didn’t know a whole lot of the locals in Gold Beach since I worked mostly with tourists. I volunteered at the police department (so I might have known them if they’d gotten arrested a lot! ) and joined the little Episcopal church.
      I don’t remember your aunt and uncle by name, but if they were out and about much, I bet I’d recognize their faces. ๐Ÿ˜€ You should pay them a visit if you ever feel like a road trip. It is pretty close to heaven on earth in my book!
      Texas still needs rain, although possibly not quite so much at once. No complaints. All is very well.

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