2016 – Volunteering at Battleship Texas

I haven’t done any new posts in a while because we are pretty much doing a repeat of last year’s winter volunteering stint at San Jacinto Monument-Battleship Texas State Historical Park in La Porte, Texas. Most everything I’ve written before still applies. The ship looks the same (as should a museum ship!), the staff is pretty much the same, and the other volunteers are the same good people (with the exception of one fine couple who have had to leave the RVing lifestyle). This is a great place to volunteer, at least during the mild Houston winters, and people renew their commitment to return year after year.

While we much prefer the traveling lifestyle, I have to admit that there’s something comforting about returning to the same campsite with all the same neighbors after being strangers pretty much everywhere we’ve been through the majority of the year. Also, we enjoy our two-day-a-week volunteering as we talk to people about Battleship Texas and it’s 102 year history, serving in both World Wars I and II.

We also enjoy being close to family and friends. Sundays are especially a joy as we attend church with my sister and our son and his family. What a blessing it was to see our grandson called up to the front to help the pastor light an Advent candle and to see our granddaughter singing on the church Praise Team!

Meanwhile, these months are our medical months. There have been several doctor’s visits with more yet to come. Jackie and I have both had to change our primary physicians this year. Her change worked out better than mine and I’ll be doing some more doctor shopping in the near future.

While it’s beyond the scope of this blog, I’ll mention that this volunteering time has included my having a major round with my lower back. Frankly, it’s just as well that we aren’t traveling because for a while I couldn’t even bear to ride in a car much less tow the 5th wheel. Apparently, a lower back tweak manifested itself in such a way that I couldn’t bear to sit down. I spent my days either standing up and laying down. The funny thing was that I could spend my workdays on the battleship standing up, doing tours, etc. without a lot of pain. Then, to my dismay I couldn’t sit down without whimpering in pain!

After seeing a couple of doctors who did x-rays, etc. to rule out any fractures or the like I decided to switch over to a highly recommended chiropractor who assured me that the problem wasn’t in my hip where the pain was the worst, but was in my lower back which was manifesting itself in my hip and down my leg. I’m still visiting him three times a week and progress is being made. At least I can drive again and sit down for awhile before the pain reappears.


Also, I’ll mention that we returned to the Battleship to finish the year and into 2017.  Most of the photos below were taken in the first part of the year, but a few of them were taken in November and December.

Click this for full screen photos

Update: Wrap-up on Volunteering at San Jacinto Monument/Battleship Texas

We’re just finishing up our first volunteering experience: three months at San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship Texas in La Porte, TX.

Now, if you are ready to sign up, I have both good news and bad news for you. Here’s the bad news, there are a limited number of positions at this facility and people tend to return year after year. They generally have first choice of dates and they come for the winters. Here’s the good news: if you are willing to come in the late spring through early fall, there are generally volunteer opportunities. The weather will be hot and humid, but if you love history and have a reason to want to be in the Houston area, you might want to look into this. It starts with your signing up on this Texas Parks and Wildlife site.  Volunteers park their RV’s in full hookup, 50 amp sites located either on a parking lot by the maintenance building or nearby.

In spite of the negatives, we’ve enjoyed our time at San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship Texas and, yes, we’ve already signed up for next winter.

For now, though, the road is calling and we’re about to begin our 2015 Adventure!

Click this for full screen photos

Click this for full screen photos

Update: Volunteering at San Jacinto Monument/Battleship Texas

We’re about half way through our three month stay at the San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas. This is our first “workamping” experience and we are enjoying our time here. I’ll write more about our experience when we do a wrap up of our stay at the end of April.

As we did last winter, we’re doing camper projects. The biggest two were putting laminate flooring down in place of carpet and re-caulking the exterior of the 5th wheel. We’ve also purchased new fulltime level water hoses to replace the less robust ones we’ve been using and splurged on a name sign for the campsite.

We’re starting to nail down our itinerary for our 2015 Adventure. We’re heading for the upper Midwest — Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the UP of Michigan. We’re hoping to enjoy exploring those areas and maybe even having opportunity to meet up with old friends while making new ones.