I feel like I’ve joined the ‘writer’s abstinence club’ of sorts lately. I think of great things to write, but I’m busily doing something else, and then I have tasks to tackle or familial bonds to reinforce with listening, advice, interventions or the like, and a dog to walk and a job, and well, then it’s past bedtime and I’ve neither read nor wrote a single line here at WP.
This is one of those activities that really would benefit from the ‘rent-a-husband’ idea. Granted, I’ve polled a few male friends for input, but a woman tire-kicking just doesn’t have the intimidation factor, ya know? (unless you’re my eldest daughter who memorizes mph, engine sizes, torque and the like, but only on cars). If you’re a regular reader you’re probably going “Wha, huh? Wait, what about the tiny house in the woods deal?” Consider this practice. I’ve lived in a tiny space for almost three years now, watching monthly as money goes down the bank drain with nothing to show for it except fading receipts from Chase bank. Despite one of my closest friends repeatedly pointing me towards RV living, I kept coming up with excuses – until I realized it solved several areas of concern. Part of this was also motivated by finding out my idea of a tiny house and the landowner’s idea of a tiny house were, well, neighborhoods apart. So that might not come to fruition after all, at least the way it lived in my shoe-string budget brain.
Part of this includes RV parks themselves, the places you live in your RV. Now, I’m not socially challenged, but I am socially grumpy. I don’t really want to know my neighbors other than to say “Hi, nice day yeah?” I have those conversations with the guy that rides his bike down the alley who lives catty-corner to me, except normally it is about the stars, the grocery store prices, or, his laundry (last random 30 second chat). I have a detente with my other neighbor, who put duct tape over a hole in the fence because I stuck a solar light stick in it prompting “Your stick is in my yard” (imagine 100% Long Islander there). She yells at my landlords too, so it isn’t just me she’s taking to task. Miserable lady, I hope I don’t grow up to be her. And then of course there are my face-touching, plant destroying landlords. In their defense, it was due to a fruit rat problem – but they are par for the course when one has fruiting trees of any kind down here. It does look nice for pavers and it is easier to pass through in heels after work while juggling a laptop bag, purse, coffee cup and lunch bag.
As such, an RV park gives me pause. I think of people who don’t work, who play cards and drink gin, hoot while scoring in bocce ball early on Sunday mornings, and have small little fluffy dogs that my anti-social Jack Russell thinks are moving chew toys or personal blow up dolls. I think of people knocking at my door, say, after a long network outage involving people from India, the West coast and a frantic remotely located boss, wanting to know if I am up for gin and cards or if I’ll be attending the pot luck, and my reaction if it strikes my one remaining nerve the wrong way and the resulting emotional energy it will take me not to look like my crotchety neighbor. It other words, it makes me shudder in some respects. It is also likely to be a very broad generalization that many RVer’s wouldn’t fit!
Then, I think of actually having a conversation with someone other than myself, having someone near by with more experience to pepper with questions about the RV life that I am ignorant of, or actually maybe feeling like socializing at a pot luck with other grown ups not connected by work, and that doesn’t require a long drive to attend. That gets a half-smile.
I tried to rent a couple of acres in the country, near the kids. THAT was a fun activity (that’s sarcasm – thought, why isn’t there a sarcasm FONT?) After arriving at a random GPS mislabeling and having to re-route the drive while reading text directions, then having to fill out a form that contained more questions than an online dating form…and then never hearing another word, text or otherwise, after handing over the information, my desire for that waned a bit. I dunno, maybe it was my joke about the Craigslist murders putting a dent in the property showings, or the question did he have authority to rent the property derived from the legally listed owner, or my pointing out that there was no water or electricity visible as listed in the ad. Anyway, I apparently wasn’t a suitable renter, as he continued to post the ad repeatedly while not answering my texts. Maybe he went to a Superbowl party on my 25.00 background check fee?
And so in preparation for an anticipated move, I’ve stepped up the organizing/downsizing event. Eh, it is going slowly. LOL! I get sidetracked often, stumbling on notes and cards from my kids when they were little, notes from my late husband, photos from Junior High, the birth announcement from when I was born, photos of when my kids were born and other time travel trivia. I found my hair from when I was seven and in a fit of pique my mom had it all chopped off, saving the pony tail it was put up in Kids teeth, jewelry and cards handmade by the kids, four eyelash curlers (?!?) and…37 pairs of socks. Do not ask me why I own so many socks, because I do not know! I was talking to a friend the other day, trying to figure out why I save things that do not have emotional value. We are the generation who learned about barges of trash circling the seas, declining resources, toxicity in manufacturing and so a natural wrestling match happens in my brain. “Throw that away.” “No, I could use it for…” “But you won’t.” “I might!” (now you can see why real neighbors might just be less tedious than endless arguments with myself) And I have duplicates of things that apparently I really never want to be without. Cheese graters, for instance. And juicers. Also random cute colored dishes for one. Tea kettles too.
Then comes the off-grid factor into play when sorting through stuff. I’d like to go solar, even while in a park eventually. There goes the coffee maker and the blow dryer. Hm. Also the blender, the high-end juicer and possibly the toaster oven. Eek. I comfort myself with the thought that I am not off grid quite yet, and those oldies but goodies can still be stashed under the counter. I’ve done a technology refresh over the last few months to extend battery life and lower power consumption on my electronics, so should be good to go there. This often leads to a break and peeking at You Tube for videos about something that pops into my brain.
Camping and Hiking:
Last weekend’s camping trip and hike were stellar. It was gorgeous weather for both activities. I got some great bird footage, some beautiful sunset, moon and sunrise shots too. It was marred a tiny bit by my youthful and noisy camp neighbors, who were playing night frisbee OVER my tent after I went to bed and seemed to have an intense interest in smokeable herbals. I don’t know how to tell them that a grill fire just doesn’t cover that scent…
I love to camp, but I don’t love to camp with a bunch of people all smooshed all around. I guess I will have to look for less popular sites in the future. There’s always the primitive site I discovered a couple of hikes ago, but that was too remote, as well as harboring too many alligators for my sleeping comfort. Just call me the Goldilocks Camper, lol!
The park itself was closed to vehicular traffic due to an early morning bicycle race, so I had a beach entirely to myself since I was on foot. That’s never happened in my entire life that I can remember. A duck into a mangrove cove at the side of the footpath allowed me to watch a Pilated Woodpecker digging into his breakfast completely undeterred by my presence. I had no problems with racoons this visit, although I did hear the partying campers next to me shrieking about one during the night. I think my camp was too boring, hah!
The hike was great and I averaged about 1.5 mph, including photography stops, with a 37 lb. pack weight. I look forward to an all-day hike in the near future.
A few shots from last week…
Now back to work for me on that downsizing! Be well, dream often, smile more often.