Tyler Texas

15 Feb

We’ve spent this week near Tyler, TX at the Lake of the Woods condos. They are rustic cabins in the woods but have all of the basics needs – stove, refrigerator, hot shower and most importantly a TV with cable for Harry. We have done a little site seeing, eaten Cajun and BBQ, played miniature golf, fished in the lake and taken lots a walks in the pine woods. We brought the dog and cat in the camper van so Harry could have a regular pet fix and Fred would not have to worry about Murphy for the week if he went to a kennel. Our neighbor would have stayed with them but her hours don’t match Fred’s schedule and we knew he would have issues. He is accustomed to a walk at 6 AM rather than midnight. Murphy likes to have his litter box cleaned at least once a day. I’m not sure I’d bring them this way again but it has worked just fine. All in all it has been a nice change of pace from working on the house. We will return to hanging the doors on the utility closet, installing the final butcher block bar top and trimming it out. Other than painting the living room our restoration projects are coming to an end. Time to start thinking about this next chapter of retirement.

One of the places we have visited was the Brookshire’s World of Wildlife Museum and Country Store. Mr and Mrs WT Brookshire opened their first grocery store in 1928. There are Brookshire grocery stores through out Texas including one we shop at in Bonham. I have avoided museums since Harry’s last stroke because I have to read all of the exhibits out loud to him. We don’t always have the same interests and he gets bored (or frustrated) easily when we’ve view the exhibits at some rest areas. That was very true here but the admission was free so it wasn’t going to be a big deal if we cut the exhibits short. The free admission meant the there was a steady stream of moms with small children who ran through the exhibits to the play area in the back. The weather was warm and sunny so there were a lot of small children!

The Brookshires were very successful with their grocery stores and did what many rich people did in the 30’s; they went on safari to Africa. The museum has two very different sections. One was a 1920’s country store filled with things both of us remembered from our childhood in the 1940’s. The second part contained the heads and stuffed bodies of the lions, antelope, elephants, rhinos, zebras and wart hogs they shot in Africa. There were bison, bears, elk, deer and birds from North America. They also collected some African art but the main exhibits were the 450 animals. They were interesting exhibits but we were appalled at the slaughter. There were photos of them with their guns and the downed game so there was no question. Harry and I would love to do a modern day safari but that is with a camera rather than a gun. We had problems seeing the white tigers and black rhinos in the Caldwell Zoo inside enclosures but seeing the heads of black and white rhinos on the wall was far worse. The dedication for the museum explained how the Brookshires wanted to share their love of the outdoors with others. It may give small children a chance to see those animals up close but I’m not sure that it will teach a love of the wildlife that is now so endangered. So for us, this is not something to do in Tyler Texas that we would recommend. Our life on vacation is never dull.



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