Because Charles is having problems with his vision and doesn't want to run over any small children or dogs--especially not dogs--Susan goes to Houston to get him. Then, together, they motor toward Concan. They have a fine time. They chat. They listen to Susan's mysteries on CD. Charles makes fun of her mysteries. Susan doesn't mind because she knows some of them are pretty lame. So it goes.
Charles wants to have lunch in Castroville on the way, so he and Susan stop at the Old Alsatian Restaurant.
The main dining room . . . very nice. Cloth napkins and everything.
The patio is empty . . . probably too hot.
The old stable.
A cool old light.
Susan and Charles' destination is River Rim Resort on the Frio, a resort co-owned by their cousin Nancy Horner Feely.
The Inn on the Rim is his the largest building at the resort. Puddin & Butch, Dianna & Hans, Charles, Nevin, Nate, and Nevin's friend Luke Brown stay there. It can sleep 12 people. Make your reservations early!
Another view of the Inn, showing the old cistern that was original to the property.
The cistern was here when Nancy and Chuck bought the place. It looks a little Ominous. But it's also quite cool.
The patio behind Rim 1, the cabin where Susan, Larry, & Erin stay. It offers a nice view of the river. It also offers a good view of Susan's bathing suit, which is hanging on the fence.
Flowers in bloom at River Rim.
Puddin must enjoy working in the kitchen. That is not natural. Not at all.
Dimmer contemplating the ceiling, evidently finding it satisfactory. Cam pretends not to know him. He does that a lot.
In early celebration of Puddin & Butch's 50th anniversary, which will occur in September, Missy has put together a display of their wedding photos. Pictured above: Susan Carper Hanson, Sally Horner Kibbe, Dottie Brooks (Puddin's college roommate), Puddin & Butch, best man Vernon McLaughlin, and Charles Carper. The minister is the Rev. Ferman Weedon, pastor at the First Baptist Church in Bay City. Years before, he had also been at the Baptist Church in Uvalde. Some might call that a Coincidence.
More wedding photos (from left): Puddin & Daddy; Sally, Puddin, Susan, & Dottie; the sanctuary during the wedding
Hans Schultz & Missy Schultz Roberts putting some snacks together. Food for our kayaking trip?
Hans at work. Work, work, work.
On the river at last: Charles, Puddin, & Susan enjoying one of their many photo ops. They feel Special. (photo by Dianna)
Missy looks like a natural on her kayak. She may have done this before. (photo by Dianna)
Puddin demonstrates how to run a waterfall without crashing. (photo by Dianna)
Not wanting to mimic her sister, Susan demonstrates how to crash a kayak while attempting to run a waterfall. She succeeds the very first time. (photo by Dianna)
Seeing the waterfall, Charles wisely chooses to walk around it. Nevin helps him get his kayak to the bank. Nevin and the other boys are busy, busy, busy pushing and pulling the old people across the rocks where the water was too low. (photo by Dianna)
Charles makes it to the bank without ever spilling his beer. His great-nephews Dimmer and Nevin are in awe. They want to be just like him when they grown up. (photo by Dianna)
"You're almost there, Charles! Don't fall out now!" (photo by Dianna)
Kayaking isn't always a graceful sport. (photo by Dianna)
How in the world did Charles make it down the river without his glasses? (photo by Missy)
"I know . . . let's put all the old people and all the young people together! That'll make the old people feel REALLY old!" Pictured: (front row) Dimmer, Nevin, Nate, Cam, and Nevin's friend Luke; (back row) Charles, Puddin, and Susan (photo by Dianna)
Missy, Charles, and Dimmer taking a stroll after the kayaking trip. (photo by Dianna)
Larry being mellow after driving up from San Marcos with Annie the Lab (barking in his ear most of the way).
Nancy (right) and Chuck Feely (center) join the group for fajitas that night.
Left to right: Danny Roberts, Butch, Chuck, Missy, & Nancy. Butch is making a Point, with which Missy vehemently disagrees.
"I'm thinking of a number between 12 and 42." Dianna has no clue what Butch is talking about.
Chuck guesses "18." Unfortunately, he is wrong.
Charles enjoys a light breakfast.
"I need me some PIE!"
Welcome to the Pie Lady's place.
Let's have a little of all of them . . . or at least the chocolate, lemon, coconut, apple, and buttermilk. That should be a good start.
Missy has cash!!
Are all of those for us??
The people in line (who followed us all the way to the Pie Lady's place) are worried that there won't be any pies left for them. Seriously.
"I got me some pie!!"
The Pie Lady has some interesting bird houses.
Susan likes this one best.
This one . . . not so much.
The Pie Lady is very much into yard art. Perhaps she will win a prize if Concan has a contest. Maybe Nancy should suggest that.
Annie the Lab FINALLY gets to jump in the water. She is home.
That stick may be a little big for you, Annie.
Annie never has learned to put her face in the water to get a stick. What kind of retriever is that?
Hans and Dianna make a new friend on the river (the guy in the center). Beer appears to be mandatory at this event.
Charles has everything he needs: sunscreen & hat, sunglasses? Check. Beer? Check. A reasonably reliable float? Check. Big stick for beating off children? Check. What more could a boy want?
Nancy and Puddin are no doubt talking about the effects of the Hegelian Dialectic on world political and economic thought. Or maybe not.
Puddin & Erin Hanson are obviously amused by something. Has Larry (who is sitting on the bank) read them a joke from Reader's Digest?
Missy enjoying a moment of Zen.
Close-up of her moment of Zen.
Missy describing her moment of Zen to Nancy, who advises her not to talk about that if she should go to Uvalde.
"This is my mother. She's not always like this, but when she is, she's quite a lot of fun." (photo by Dianna)
Charles was always precocious. He was into shaving his head and getting Really Big Tattoos long before such things became Cool.
Chips & dip!! Charles is extraordinarily happy to have found the floating appetizer buffet.
Ummm . . . guacamole.
Not everybody gets in the water. That includes Buthch, who is sitting here with Hans under the canopy on the bank, discussing the possibilities for economic expansion in Uzbekistan. (photo by Dianna)
The golf carts don't always have the "umph" to get back up the hill after taking people down to the river. Pictured: Luke, Nevin, and Cam.
Nancy, Erin, & Charles lounging in the river, discussing the pros and cons of investing in property in Nicaragua. Erin is very wary.
Nancy is easily amused. Or could she be smiling because it's her first chance to get in the river in three years?
Nancy looking to make sure no one realizes she is shirking her duties as manager of River Rim. She fears someone might be calling to ask why she doesn't post photos of the bathrooms on the resort's web site. The Public often perplexes her.
Susan is evidently trying to look into the sun, which is never a good idea. Puddin, who is a nurse and knows about such things, is ignoring her. She is on vacation.
Susan looking pensive. Or maybe that's just how you look when you've stared at the sun too long.
Have you ever noticed how Susan's two eyes aren't the same?
Susan is thinking about the fact that her two eyes aren't the same. She wonders what that means.
"Oh Mom . . . ," Erin says with a big sigh. Erin does NOT like to have her picture taken.
Chuck making friends on the river?
Erin has either smelled something awful or just noticed that her mom's two eyes aren't the same. Regardless of which it is, she is sore afraid.
Erin giving her mother "that look."
Danny, Missy, & Hans, lounging.
Nate turns his kayak into a stand-up paddle board. His great-aunt Susan believes he's going to make a great Surfer Dude. (photo by Dianna)
Puddin explaining the relative benefits of serial electrical circuits vs. series-parallel circuits. Susan and Nancy are (a) spell-bound, (b) comatose, or (c) silently reciting the words to "O, Canada" to themselves. Take your pick. (photo by Dianna)
One of Hans & Dianna's new friends with her dog, who does NOT like the water one little bit. She would much rather be herding something. On land.
This is what the Frio looks like when all the people--or at least most of them--have gone home. It is quite pleasant this way.
And this is what the Frio looks like when the people are all still there.
People tend to make their own little villages on the river--at least for the afternoon.
Erin chilling out with Annie, who is dog-tired. Aargh . . . that was a really bad one.
Susan, Larry, & Erin, who likes to be dramatic (but who does NOT like to have her picture taken).
Her parents find Erin very amusing. They wonder whose genes she got.
Has Charles just said something Totally Inappropriate?
Charles was identified as Gifted & Talented early in life. Can you tell?
"OK, we'll pose nicely for you." Susan is poking Charles to get him to smile. It doesn't work.
"What's that in your hand, Dimmer? Gatorade?"
Charles no doubt chastising Dimmer, who is wearing a decidedly ironic T-shirt at the moment.
Erin feels the need to rescue Charles. It is an instinctive response on her part.
Erin takes her job quite seriously.
Did Charles drown in spite of her efforts? Stay tuned.
No, the victim revives, making Erin ecstatic.
Having saved his life, Erin is now certain that she is now Charles' Number One Favorite Niece.
This knowledge gives her great joy. Charles, on the other hand, has gone to sleep.
(Insert scary music here.) Missy arrives, ready to assume her rightful place as Number One Favorite Niece. (Charles is very popular, so being at the top of The List--forget the fact that there are only two names on it--is muy importante.)
Missy is sure that she has succeeded in winning Charles back.
Little does she know that Charles has decided to have Co-Number One Favorite Nieces. It seems only fair.
Whatever. It's all good.
Is Charles really smiling, or is that just for the camera? Only he knows for sure.
Butch is thinking of a number between 12 and 42. Larry is considering the possibilities.
Is Butch (a) laughing, (b) crying, or (c) singing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"? Hint: The correct answer is A.
Danny instructing Dimmer in the Jeddi art of grilling steaks, as Chuck looks on, hoping for pointers.
The other side of the patio, the guests who have chosen NOT to watch for UFOs: Nevin, Christopher Feely (Nancy & Chuck's son), their friend Roland, and another friend whose name Susan can't remember.
Everyone enjoying a wonderful steak dinner, courtesy of Danny and Dimmer. (photo by Dianna)
"Now, after you've all had a huge meal of steak and baked potatoes, would anyone care for pie? We happen to have a little." (photo by Dianna)
"Whassup?" Danny cleaning the griddle for one last bacon run.
Charles believes that breakfast is a very important meal, along with lunch and supper. And pie.
Nevin is contemplating his cereal.
Yes, this is a dung beetle. (Can you find it?) Susan likes to take pictures of such things, especially when she's supposed to be packing up to leave.
Obligatory Group Shot #1: "Whaddaya mean, we have to smile?" Pictured: the Schultz-Roberts clan.
Obligatory Big Group Picture: "Missy, be nice to Charles! Remember, Mama liked him best." Even Annie the Lab gets to be in this shot. (photo by Nancy Feely, in case you're wondering who was left to take the picture)
"Ok, we're all good now." Pictured: (back row) Dianna, Hans, Butch, Danny, Cam (front row) Nevin, Nate, Puddin, Missy, Dimmer.
Missy slugging Susan for mouthing off one time too many? Or is it just an illusion? Missy and Susan aren't telling.
Charles has a camera, too.
And he even knows how to use it! (photo by Missy)
Chuck and Nancy are wonderful hosts. See how glad they are to welcome family members. Oh yeah--those family members are LEAVING today. Never mind. It's still a good picture, though. (photo by Missy)
A short Roberts Family documentary.
Cam pretends not to know these people. Dimmer is thinking about girls. Or maybe his truck. Or both.
Missy brings Dimmer back to consciousness. Cam still does not know these people.
Dimmer contemplates his next move.
Dimmer decides to channel Tom Cruise in "Top Gun."
"I'm cool," Dimmer says to no one in particular. Cam STILL pretends not to know these people.
It's time to head home, so Susan and Charles pack up the Prius (not drawn to scale) and start out for Houston. They will stop at Buckey's on the way. Charles will hyperventilate when he gets trapped in the crowd thronging toward the restrooms.
Susan & Charles stop in Castroville again on the way back to Houston. She is amused by the tiny car in front of the tiny house.
A close-up of the tiny car and the tiny house. Susan is not sure what it is used for. She would like to go up and knock on the door, but she thinks better of it.