Here is how the circus of my life looks at night. To the left, the bicycle is locked and hidden under a flowery table cloth. The umbrella and picnic table keep it upright and mostly dry. To the right is my folding table and assorted chairs, most are broken donations I repaired. The lights were restrung like this one night so we could see to play Dominoes after dark. It was chilly so we stuck the electric heater under the card table to keep our legs toasty warm. In the background, my neighbor across the street keeps his American flag lit up all night. Being able to live outdoors when the weather permits keeps me from going insane living in such a modest movable caravan cabana.
Life is good.
SECOND CIRCUS RING
The guy with the flooded RV came back hours later after the waters had soaked into the ground with the sun baking the grass dry. From the outside, all appeared fine. I went over to tell him why I turned his water off before he went inside to whatever plumbing disaster had unfolded in his absence.
Harley was on a long flexi-leash next to me. As I was talking the man gave me a really strange look, as if I was an odd aspiration. He had a huge dog staked outside. Harley wagged his tail in greeting. Suddenly his dog lunged at us as if his very life depended on it, coupled with an unexpected ferocious snarling growl.
I thought he was going to rip the stake right out of the ground devouring us for a snack. His collar strained threatening to burst open.
Thoroughly frightened, I jumped back. Harley rapidly retreated to the end of his leash in the opposite direction. I scooped him up in my arms. The man was still staring at us. He hadn't said a word.
His dog was lunging and barking viciously as if to finish us off for once and all while the man just stared. I turned to leave. As we hastily walked away he said "Thank you" so I spun around said "You're welcome" and that was the end of that.
At least we got away alive.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Obviously he wasn't a southerner. They would have had three or four lengthy paragraphs to say at the very least.
THIRD CIRCUS RING
Today while dog walking I made an effort to speak to everyone I ran into. Some returned the greeting, others just ignored me. Do I laugh too much? Have too much fun? Is my cute little dog too ugly? Is my motorhome too small, too old? Do I live too large? I have no idea. It's a different culture and I am having a hard time comprehending.
Perhaps it's just a reminder that maybe I don't belong in the city. Having spent most of my 3 years in America tucked away in remote beautiful places I seem to fair better with the wildlife than the city folk.
Later in the day I began uncovering the bicycle in anticipation of torturing my body again. I thought about returning the bicycle for a refund and forget this foolishness. I've had this bicycle a month now yet I still wobble around uncertainly.
Distractedly I looked over the bicycle thinking I should either return it or learn to ride it. Harley scampered up on the picnic table, taking a wild flying leap to land in the basket on the handlebars with a heavy thud startling me completely.
Good grief. He really is a monkey! Look how far away the picnic table is.
He sat there pretending to be comfortable on his wadded up quilt watching me laugh. Luckily the bicycle didn't fall over from his crazy antics.
I guess he has put his vote in. We keep the torture machine.
No wonder Harley is so sore some days. He unwittingly abuses his tiny body. I rode to the dog park with renewed spirit. When we stopped at the entrance he remained in his basket while I locked the bicycle to the fence at the dog park. No wild flying leaps. I've been trying to teach him that he can not go jumping out of his basket at will. I guess now I have to teach him not to fly into the basket either, lest he and bike tumble over.
I picked him up to step inside the double gated doggy entrance. He sprung out of my arms, waiting anxiously at the next inside gate. When I opened it, he shot through like a clown out of a cannon. For the next hour he enjoyed his freedom from leash and tether as he mingled with the canine pack du jour, running, racing, leaping, jumping in between gulps of water which dribbled down his beard.
Incredibly, two men got into a shouting match. The ranger showed up with diplomacy trying to calm the situation. A similar scene has happened twice in the last month while we were in the dog park.
The rag tag canine pack was getting along marvelously but the humans were having issues.
I shook my head in disbelief. A world gone mad. Maybe I am not the crazy one after all. It was time to go. As if on cue everyone left the park while the ranger continued to mediate the disagreement.
On the way home it struck me how absolutely awesome the weather is. I was wearing shorts enjoying spring like weather in January. Feeling so lucky I managed to add another tortuous mile or so to our ride. Cars still frighten me. I wobble around uncertainly, but Harley sits up front in his basket, with complete confidence we will arrive alive. I am so fortunate to have my little buddy.
Circus and all.