Thursday, May 14, 2015

Be A Happy Camper


Be a happy camper

I try to be a happy camper. It's why I don't write much about campground reviews, I love every place I go it seems. Well, to be honest, there are two parks I hope to never ever visit again, but never say never. In an emergency, I once ended up in an RV park I said i would never ever visit again. Not surprisingly, it was still overpriced, in horrible shape, even worse than when I stayed there before and the same bad vibes echoed around the place. While out walking doggy, I tried to make peace with the temporary situation and soon as I was strong enough to drive again, I  put that bad spot in my rear view mirror. Va-room!

Bugs and Ticks (But I am still happy)

The past two months no matter where I go the bugs are there too. It almost like an epidemic. I love being outdoors, so I don't complain about the bugs, mosquitoes, noseeums and such. I buy plenty of bug repellent. While I dislike using the stuff, it's a necessary evil to be a happy camper. I want to be happy! So I squirt and spray and smell so awful, even the bugs won't come around me. Yippee!

I also use an outdoor fan to blow away bugs, this often works quite well. When my outdoor fan just suddenly died a few weeks ago, I tossed it in the dump. Believe me I tried to fix it and coaxed it back to life a few times, but the next morning, it would be flat-lining again. Good grief. I didn't want to buy another one, it seems to me the old one should have kept on working, but I also realize that consumer goods in this country are often designed to end up in the dump sooner rather than later. I can't figure out how this helps the environment, creating massive landfills of crappy equipment and consumer goofs, oops consumer goods, that expire way too early,  but it's just another mystery of modern life I don't understand. (And probably never will!)

I am sitting outside by the new fan now, happily blowing away the bugs with electric wind. I also have 6 cans of assorted bug repellent in case any of the buggers think they are going to defeat my happiness. They won't. Life is good!

Too much fun

I don't think I've ever had too much fun, but having fun comes with consequences. Somehow three ticks caught a ride on ME and even though I removed them promptly, two of the bite sites are giving me fits, big angry red swollen blotches. I am slathering antibiotics on the bites and praying for deliverance. I love playing outdoors and well that's where the ticks are hitchhiking, so it's all part of having too much fun. Wheeeee!

Be A Happy Camper

If I get cranky about camping and campgrounds, then I figure it's time to find alternative living arrangements (Pushing up daisies?)

For now I choose to live in a tiny old motorhome and move around to beautiful spots in this big wide wonderful world. Many places I love the most have strict time limits on how long I can live there (typically 14 days) so I have to shuffle along hither and yonder. Other places that I have a great fondness for are simply too pricey for my efficient money management so I have to limit my time there and enjoy all I can of the place while I splurge to be there for a little while rather than a long while. I temper this out by then moving to a place with a cost more in line with my particular budget. That's a polite way of saying cheap. (Very cheap.)

Recently I was in a certain campground park. I am not going to name names or point fingers (but I probably will anyhow). I went inside the park's office and store (same building) to buy something I didn't need.

Yepper, out spending money on stuff I don't need.

OK, if you must know, it was ice cream. A pint of ice cream. In the past year I have bought three pints of ice cream and felt extreme guilt over each purchase (for about 4 minutes). I eat it in teeny portions, so I get about 8-10 servings out of one pint spread over about 2-3 weeks. (I try to make the most of all that guilt and sin.)

I was waiting my turn to pay for the pint of ice cream and wishing the person in front of me would hurry up because the clerk was all alone and looking pretty harried. I was afraid if the person in front of me didn't speed up their mess, my ice cream would either melt or even worse, I might change my mind and simply put it back in the freezer leaving empty handed. Heaven forbid!

I plastered a silly smile on my face and began eaves dropping. The lady in front of me was complaining and complaining and complaining and complaining.

She was not a happy camper.

The clerk was not happy.

I was trying to be happy, but my hand was going numb from holding the frozen pint of ice cream as it slowly began thawing out, dripping on my shoes. I knew I had my chance to return it to the freezer and leave, but listening to this lady complain and complain and complain and complain was like a good lesson to be learned.

Don't be like her. Don't be a miserable.

Be a happy camper.

While eaves dropping, it turns out the complaining lady didn't like her camping neighbors. Their lot was bigger than hers. (I checked later, and it seemed to me she had the bigger lot, but she wasn't utilizing it much.)

Note: This particular campground (like many beautiful places) has erratic sized lots due to nature, stuff like ancient tall trees, bush, brush, undergrowth, overgrowth, mole hills, sand dunes and so on. In numerous campgrounds, the dotted line between campsites is just not clearly defined at all. One camper may think the dotted line runs this way and the neighbor may think it runs another way. For 97% of the campers, this is not a problem. For the other 3%, well um, maybe they should stay home or choose fancy RV parks that are arranged like mall parking lots with clearly defined lot sections (usually because they've deleted all the wonderful trees and other bits of nature in favor of paving paradise!) Some RV parks are so ridiculously cramped, that they have clearly marked out the sites with borders so that everyone knows up front, they are getting a teeny crowded spot with well defined lines. (Not my cup of tea unless there is plenty of nature and lack of pavement!)

Yellow lines mark these spots.


I prefer the erratic parks that have let nature flow and they've arranged the camping sites around nature, not around a precise grid. The camp road curves around nature, not following a straight wide line. Many beautiful campgrounds don't offer up sewer hookups so what this means is often there is an erratic parade of folks meandering to and from the public bathrooms and shower houses which sometimes means crossing over the imaginary dotted line of other's perceived camping spot, in order to get to a restroom that might be randomly placed. Every place is different.

No yellow lines, just imaginary dotted lines.
My neighbors were nice enough, and some very chatty.

This lady felt like the neighbors were taking up too much room. They were laughing too loud, they were sitting outside, they had awnings  and lanterns strung up hither and yonder including one close to the curvy slender camp road. They had pets, they had children, they had a freezer in the back of their pickup truck, plugged into the camp's electricity, they had an outside refrigerator  and they had a big fire going in the fire pit and grills going with aromatic foods and smoke. Camping chairs and toys (big people and small people toys) were scattered around. On and on the lady complained about the camping neighbors. She wanted the clerk to call the rangers and do something about these dreadful campers.

They were having TOO MUCH FUN!

Holy cow. What a disgrace.

OK, just for the record, she did NOT say they were having too much fun, but that is what her problem was in my humble warped opinion. She wasn't happy and wasn't going to be happy until everyone else that was happy became unhappy.

Finally the complaining lady finished her tirade and left the park store. I set my slushy pint of ice cream on the counter, leaving a big puddle while wiping my numb wet hand on the back of my shorts. I smiled at the clerk and I should have bit my tongue and kept my big mouth shut. But since the whiny lady was outside now and couldn't hear me, I said "Some people should just stay home if they can't put up with the thrills of camping with others in beautiful campgrounds."

The clerk laughed and said "You are so right." So I opened my big mouth and let more foolishness fall out, "Maybe someone should tell that lady they have these newfangled things called hotels. Probably a million or more of them out there from the rumors I've heard."

Now the people behind me were laughing too.
Oh what fun, to stir up trouble.
Shame on me.

Nosiness

The fun part about owning a dog is being nosy. Dogs are nosy and it's a perfect excuse for me to be nosy. Nothing is more exciting than something that is none of my business. (I think I pirated that off someone else's signature line!)

That's me, a nosy pirate with a penchant for decadent ice cream coupled with tons of guilt.

So when I heard the ambulance and fire truck sirens blaring as they squealed into the campground, I immediately decided it was time to walk the dog.

My dog is more than happy to stop and sniff around. So we oops accidentally oops walked near the commotion oops. I stopped and my dog began sniffing things, so I pretended to be waiting for him to make up his mind whether or not to pee on that particular patch of ground while I watched to see what was going on. Luckily my dog continued sniffing, then he peed a bit, then he sniffed around some more.

Turns out it was a false alarm. No fire, no medical emergency, just a bad scare.



Next I happened to walk past the offending campsite. The one the complaining complaining complaining whiny woman was fussing about. So I walked really slow while smiling. The campers happily waved and spoke to me, even said my ratty little dog was cute. (Oh I love them now!)

Apparently no ranger had showed up to rain on their sunshine and happiness. I could see not a thing wrong worth complaining about. What was wrong with that whiny woman camping nearby? She wasn't happy and she didn't like it that these folks were happy, so I suppose she was going to try to pee on their campfire in a manner of speaking.

It looked to me like the happy group had rented a cramped spot on a curve, It was somewhat chaotic because the trees were all over creation,  but this group like so many before them had chosen to make the most of their camping by spreading out around the site soaking up nature while enjoying the shade of awnings, the company of kids, pets, friends. Yes it was true they had a freezer in the pickup truck plugged into the campground electricity and they had a little refrigerator outside the aged camper trailer. Their firepit was roaring with a well stocked fire, the grills were cooking delicious food that made my mouth water. Their animated conversation was no louder than any body elses. Everyone appeared well satisfied and  contented.

Happy campers! 

Nearby was the complaining whiny lady on her campsite with a male person who also looked miserable.  She didn't have company or children, she didn't have a fire, or extra fridge or freezer, or grills or awnings or a pet. They just sat there glaring at the happy group nearby, I expected steam to be pouring out of her ears she just looked so very angry and miserable. Yet it was a beautiful campground, one of the world's most spectacular unspoiled beaches was just steps away, the towering ancient trees provided lots of shade, the random undergrowth was exquisite in colors, textures, smells, and beauty. The weather was darn near perfect around 70F degrees.

I smiled at the lady and her male person. They scowled back at me. They owned a new shiny expensive motorhome (you really can't buy happiness but some folks will never accept this as fact.) I kept my great big mouth shut. I decided to speed along cause if what they have is contagious, I surely don't want it. Doctoring up tic bites is enough of a worry as it is, but I earned those tic bites by being happy, so what's to complain about? Scoot along. Mind my own  business. I can't change the world but I can change myself (if I work super hard at it!)

I felt sorry for her and said a prayer "Please dear Lord, help those poor souls and don't let me ever end up like that." I suppose I should have been more grateful for having this excellent lesson presented to me first hand. So I say it now, thanks for the wake up call.

Life is long, death is short.

Be a happy camper. (Tic bites and all.)



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3 comments:

  1. I realize it's difficult for you to get into town often, but the pharmacist at Walgreen's can special order some Porter's Liniment Salve and have it the next day. Porter's is great for itchy mosquito bites (clears them up overnight)so probably would work well on your tick bites. It's a bit smelly but oh! the relief!

    You (and the happy campers) are my kind of campers. The expensive motorhome should be in an expensive motorhome resort away from the "riff raff". Hee.

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  2. mermaid. you are right, they are not happy. period. no place. no where. no how. gop. grumpy old people. some are not old, most are. i'm 70. no grumpys, no grumpys, no grumpys. be happy, happy, happy. it's fine to be mature, just never be a growedup. what they have is not contagious, but why take a chance.

    be nice, cheerful, polite. when they bitch just keep telling them how great your life is, keep at it they will avoid you like the flu. don't give them a chance to start. i actually make fun of them. you know " your life is a real piece of shit, this is what i would do to straighten it out. i'd buy a great big expensive motorhome and go camping.

    you know if i had a great big expensive motorhome i'd probably be a gop jerk, too. hell the stress would kill me. no grumpys or stress.

    ice cream. raz ps. i would eat the pint at once, probably down in front of their campsite. burp and walk away. see ya. i was moms favorite.

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  3. mermaid. something else, did the the happy couple think that it would be silence except for the birds?

    i'm 70 and absolutely no one has followed my advice to rent an rv for a weekend. to try it out. none. i can imagine the shock of finding the youth of america. they may also be apprehensive about (real) boondocking not the walmart stuff.

    happy happy happy.


    ice cream. raz

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