On The Road

Campgrounds and RV parks remind me vaguely of a gypsy camp. People come in from the road throughout the afternoon. They’ve been driving from who knows where, from every direction, but they all know to come here, hook up to power and water, do laundry, go grocery shopping, visit with new people, and share stories. It’s interesting to see people doing the same basic things in so many different ways.

After we get settled, we usually take a walk around the park to look at other people’s set ups. What kind of truck do they have? RV, tent trailers, tow vehicles, etc., it’s all very interesting and each has its positives and negatives. People’s rigs reflect the kind of people they are, the kind of traveling they do, but the common denominator is that it’s all mobile, we can all be back on the road in a few minutes.

We talk with people, compliment their pets, ask where they are from and where they are headed. It’s short term community. A friend of mine once told me that camping was just pretending you were homeless for a few days. I thought it was a funny way to think of it, but it’s kind of true in a way. The reality is that it’s so much more. To me, it’s remembering our ancient nomadic past, an echo of our pre-agricultural eras.

Humans weren’t always so sedentary. Before we invented farming, humans used to travel constantly to head to a better climate or a better food source. We owned nothing, we stayed nowhere. I’m not feeling nostalgic for those days, by any means. The invention of farming allowed humans to stay in one place, build communities, and eventually invent the smart phone with unlimited data and excellent coverage, so that we could leave all our stuff behind and hit the road for fun! I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Camping in all its forms, from tents and gear packed in the back of a Subaru to a full-size house bus with a tow vehicle, reminds us that we can live with less than we have at home, that we can pack up some of our stuff and leave. The longer we live in our smaller, mobile space, the more we learn what is really important and/or actually needed.

Staying in the same place, with the same people, while beneficial in many ways, weighs us down. We become accustomed to it, even like it, but we start to think it’s the only way and should always stay the same. But life can’t always be the same. We’re forcing ourselves into a mold we can’t even see. We become bored and weighed down a little at a time and don’t even know it, until something shakes us and then we have to adjust, sometimes painfully.

To keep our bodies reasonably fit and ready for action, most people would say consistent, daily exercise is far better than suddenly having to run for your life. The same goes for our mental health and growth. When we deliberately choose to move out of the familiar space to see new things and meet new people, we waken something in us that we bring back home. It renews our thinking, planning, expanding brain, and makes life better back at home.

Traveling is one thing, but camping and rv-ing are different. Something about being on the road at a slow pace, coming to a common resting area, and gathering for a short time only to move on again in the morning, just does something for me. It feeds a spot in my soul that I didn’t know needed to be filled. I gain so much every time I go out.

We all know humans started as hunter/gathers, but agriculture helped us to stay in one place and thrive like never before. We are more than we once were. We do more. We create more. Camping, maybe, allows us to go back in time and relive the old ways in new ways to remind us what we have. We go out heavy and return light, back to a our home base where we continue to grow long after our return.

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Sunday

Well…so much for keeping up. I’ve just never been the consistent type. Even when I have a list in front of me, a schedule to keep, it never gets completed, even if it’s short. I just can’t seem to stay on a schedule.

School was the worst! The same classes, the same days, over and over and over.

My work was awesome! When I worked at Knott’s or Disney, the show or venue changed seasonally. Here’s the funnier part…wait for it…I also don’t like change. It makes me nervous. “Special kind of nuts,” that’s what my kids say. A human that is anxiety ridden when things are different or unfamiliar but gets bored easily! That’s why the entertainment jobs fit me so perfectly: same venue, similar crew, different show, different schedule.

Come to think of it, one of the first reasons that I didn’t send my kids to school was because I couldn’t imagine all of us doing the same thing every day. Get up at the same time, get ready for school, drive there, homework…just kill me now! Homeschooling fixed that. And unschooling made it even better!

That’s it…it’s not me! It’s schedules. They suck!

But…I have to consistently make time for things I want to do, don’t I? I make time to read and work in the yard every day. Hmm…Maybe I have too many things on my “daily essentials” list. My days, weeks, and months can’t be too similar. I’m going to have to look at that.

Maybe make a list!

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“Amor Fati” people! Love Fate! Gotta love Mark Manson’s latest!
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Some days I just want to live like this dog!
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Yard work here isn’t about getting it done, it’s about enjoying doing it. It’s a morning meditation!

Practice!

Folks.

Yes, talent has something to do with doing something well right off the bat, but pracFB_IMG_1557493351307.jpgtice is what makes you awesome at it.

There is no mystery.

Practice at something you want to do better. Take time to learn more about it. Read about it. Find a mentor of some kind. Figure out how you learn best.

But the bottom line is…DO it. Do it every day and you’ll get better at it. It doesn’t matter what it is.

Don’t discredit hard work. Time and effort are worth more than talent alone.

Books, Flowers, Cherries, and MX!

Do you keep a journal? Hand written or on the computer? I’ve done both and written about both before, but this month I did something a little different. I kept a paper journal with me at all times (even at the grocery store) and jotted things down in it as they came up. I wrote down anything that came to mind throughout the day: notes, ideas, rants, lists, quotes. I wrote about what I was doing and when, what I was feeling. I wrote sideways, messy, printed, lists, and expletives. Some of it I’d be so embarrassed if anyone else read. I tried to post a picture so you’d see how crazy it looks, but couldn’t without exposing myself to ridicule. It was amazingly cathartic though!

I’ve always kept a journal of some kind and wondered why, or if anyone else would ever read them. What if the information I wrote about could be used effectively somehow? When I have had the inclination to go back and read what I wrote, it always seemed so time consuming and pointless. But what if I did it more often? Like, what if I made a point of spending the last day of the month reviewing what I’d been doing for the last thirty days or so?

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I left myself a post-it note reminder.

So I did! And as I sat there thumbing through the journal, I picked up a pink pen and made a few comments and pulled a few ideas out to blog about over the next month. I filed the ideas away in a “drafts” file to use as writing prompts later.

It was fascinating.  I wish I could graph my emotional roller coaster for all to see. But then maybe someone would have me committed. It’s enough for me to notice that I do tend to be a little all over the place.

Another recurring theme was “stop eating like we’ll run out of food if I don’t” and a bit of loneliness. I tend to swing from “hermit” to “why won’t anyone come to play with me” fairly regularly. I’d like to be ok with being alone sometimes.

Funny though, in this house, it’s very hard to be alone. There’s always someone doing something, talking, watching tv, playing a game, nearby, but I get lonely for…not really sure what? Connection? Recognition? Novelty? That leads me to believe that it’s just a mood, a cloud over my usually sunny sky. I’ll watch it float by and out of my life.

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I started a new book last week, “A Student of History” by Nina Revoyr. It’s a novel and I finished it this morning. I’ll post about that another time.

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This kid is very proud of his cherry tree. He came back from Germany with big ideas about fruit trees and has been working on this one and an apple tree. The apple didn’t fruit, much to our dismay, but the cherry is doing well. He also has a olive tree that he’s hoping will do well in his care. He loves those trees!

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And then there’s this one. He raced at Glen Helen this weekend but left early because he just wasn’t feeling it. He’s having a bit of trouble finding his “thing.” You know, the thing that drives you, the thing that you have fun doing with your friends after work or school? It used to be motocross, but he’s starting to think maybe he should look somewhere else. He can do it with our support but as an adult, he’s not sure. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and risky and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to keep doing it. So he’s searching, which is hard on a kid. Hell, it’s hard on everyone. Here I am still searching…by writing all this out and hoping someone will find something useful in it. I know I do.

And then there this week’s flowers! The yellows are out in full force! Enjoy!

The Little Things

I joined BookCrossing a few months ago and eagerly bought book plates to put in a few of my favorite books and send out into the world…but I lagged in actually doing it. The truth of the matter is that I love my books and don’t really want to part with them. The books I end up sending out are ones that I loved because they are simple and I know I won’t read them again or books that are probably great but I wasn’t a big fan of.

There are some great novels I’ve read lately and non-fiction awesomeness, but I’ll have to buy a new copy to send out because mine have notes in them and…well…I love them and they are mine!

I finally released my first book into the wild earlier this week while I was on a short hiking day with a friend. I left it at the trail head in a cute plastic bag with “Not a lost book!” written on it. I got them from the website!

The next day I found THIS in my in box!

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How exciting is that? I know, maybe I’m weird, but the idea that I left something somewhere and someone else picked it up and was tickled by it, just makes me so stinking happy, especially since they took the time to go online and log it!

So, AnonymousFinder, wherever you are, thank you! You made my morning. I hope you like the book and pass it on!

Now I feel inspired to send more out. I may have to run to the thrift store today and get a couple books I know I’ve read and can recommend.

 

Adjustments

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Not only am I considering myself “self-employed” from now on, I’m adding “writer” as my @.

That’s me. “Self-employed @ writer.”

Have I made any money at it? Nope.

Do I have a blog with thousands of followers? Nope.

Have I been published by anyone but myself? Nope.

Does it matter? Nope.

An artist is an artist, even when no one buys his art.

I’m a writer because I write.

I’m also keeping office hours. Everyone has to go to work somewhere. And the best way to get work done is to schedule time to sit and do that work.

I’ve messed around with my schedule before and it seems my best thinking work gets done in the morning, before noon. I seem to be able to will myself to clean the bathroom or run the vacuum even when I’m tired, but I just cannot do any real creating if I’m physically tired.

My office hours at this time are between 8 am and 10am, sometimes longer if I’m on a roll. I’m not allowed to do anything else during these hours because I’m “at work.” And just like when I worked for someone else, I may not always be productive, but I am at work so I can’t be playing on Facebook or watering the yard at that time of the day.

Let’s see how this goes!

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Oh, wait…I was going to sign off and then remembered another change in the planning of my week. Pictured above is my April. Notice how many boxes are filled in!

Next week is a “5th week” in the month, a week that is half one month and half another. From now on I’m declaring that week a “Mom-cation!” I will not be planning anything during those weeks; no lunch dates with friends, no hiking meet-ups, nothing. I can help those that live within this house if they need it but I’m not making any plans. I’ll be home…all week…hopefully getting more done, whatever that turns out to be: writing, reading, housework, projects. I already have the next one blocked off on the calendar in July!

Finished and Started

Finished these two! The Paris one yesterday and the Brothers today. More about them in another post.

Started reading this this morning. I’m rushing through it though. The images are so painful. I want to glean what I can from quick reading, like pulling off a bandaid.

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Finished off THESE after a long walk with an old friend. I’m fairly certain most of the world’s problems, especially the interpersonal kind, would be solved if we just spent more time walking and talking things out. Walking gives us the chance to listen better, we have more time to hear, think, and respond. It doen’t have to be any place special. It’s the walking that facilitates the communication. Long drives do it too!

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And these darlings have bloomed this week! With all the dying grass and weeds that have come up this year, it’s hard to see all the cactus underneath, but those bright blooms do catch your attention!

Weekend Update!

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Jack-in-the-Box tacos, curly fries, and a home brewed beer.

I firmly believe all weekends should start with this kind of a dinner! I had plans to make dinner but…I bet you know how that goes. I’m the queen of meal plans around this house but by the weekend I’m just tired of the whole thing. The boy who would object to this dinner (because it’s not good for you) was out for the evening, so we splurged.

We watched “IO” on Netflix while we ate. Not a bad movie. I thought it would a little too doom and gloom, oh humans are worst, blah blah blah, but it wasn’t. And it had a surprise ending, at least to me. It also wasn’t filled with “thrilling chase scenes” so I’d give it 1 and half thumbs up.

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Gaurd Dog…and Cat!

These two crack me up. They sit on the back of the couch like this all the time watching the driveway. The cat must have seen something because he was watching alertly and growling, which made the dog sit up and search the yard as well. They watched like this for about five minutes and then relaxed and went to sleep.

My son and his girlfriend accompanied me on the long drive to my Aunt’s house in Arizona for Easter. I love driving, but this time I was so tired on my way back that I’m considering spending the night next time. Ten hours of driving in one day is just too much.

It was worth it though. We had a good time even though Dad and my other son couldn’t go. I only took three pictures! I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have any cute babies hunting eggs. And I drove the whole way so I didn’t get to take pictures of the rocks and mountains! I think I should try harder to take at least a few pictures when we at family events. It would be nice to see more of the adults in our family in the scrapbooks!

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My son cleaning the windshield for me because he’s taller and doesn’t have to lean on the truck to do it. I have a pretty new shirt!!
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We found this strange new Coke flavor and I LOVE it. Just don’t think Coke when you drink it. Think carbonated Snapple.
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Why do they have to cage in these rocks? Do they wander away? Are they “traveling rocks”?

And then…this morning…I found cool new flowers blooming on my short “mind waking” trot around the property. I do that between hours of writing and reading. It helps me focus and think of new ideas.

Change of Story

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This blog has evolved a few times over the years and today it will be evolving again!

It’s Spring in the desert and I’ve decided to try something new, or really to go back and try something again.

When my children were little, BF (before facebook), I kept a daily blog. It was a journal of the day with a few pictures thrown in. I printed those and keep them similar to the scrapbooks I kept when I was in high school and college, before the interent, digital cameras, and social media.

The experiment begins. Can I write here on a daily basis, or at least several times a week, and keep a loving record of my life? Will I be happy with it? Let’s see.