Showing posts from June, 2010

Polite Pirates

Sound asleep, after midnight. A car pulls up, stops, motor running, doors open, and I hear someone rummaging through the pile of firewood that's directly under our bed , under the fifth wheel overhang of the trailer. I hollered, H ey! , from the window, and two very polite young men told me they "were hoping to get some fire wood, and pay me in the morning". I said, You can pay me now , and instantly felt like an idiot. I should have said, Put the wood down and go to bed , but nooooo, I wanted to be nice ... Rick went out and got their money, and then we both lay awake, thinking about how we should have handled those guys, which of course is easier once you're wide awake and angry. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the Wood Pirates were just a couple of pampered, smooth talking, privileged kids, who knew how to schmooze their way out of any situation, and were used to getting what they wanted. They even mentioned that they were late because they

our little boat

I've been wishing really, really hard for a boat. Just a little boat to paddle around the lake in. No motor, no noise, no skis, no fishing gear. Just a humble, frill-free, small craft to drift around in. Living at a lake and not having a boat is like living next door to someone who throws great parties, and never being invited. You can hear the music and smell the food and peek through the fence and see all the fun, but it's just not the same as being there. Well, I finally realized that all the wishing in the world was not going to get the attention of the Boat Fairy, so a couple of days ago, I said to Rick, let's go buy a boat . It worked like magic! Now we're at the party too! We decided on a sweet little blue inflatable kayak. Truly nothing fancy. It has two seats but only one paddle, because I knew we'd have trouble trying to paddle together. I'm told these are called "divorce boats" for that very reason, so we thought we'd just bypass that p

what a hoot

I had a most amazing little visitor today. Walking back from my after-lunch campground rounds, I noticed a flurry of wings and loud squawking under our awning. A couple of deviant looking scrub jays split the scene when they saw me, landing in the nearest oak tree, but kept on taunting another bird that seemed to be taking refuge on the back of my camp chair. When I got a little closer, I realized it was an owl. A baby owl, no bigger than my hand. I inched closer and closer, taking advantage of the times it was looking away from me to move an inch or two. It took about 10 minutes to move 3 feet. Every time it turned to look at me I froze like a kid playing Statue Maker on the front lawn, phone-camera poised, one foot in the air, goofy look on my face, until it looked away again and I could inch forward a little bit more. Then Lucy came out from under the picnic table, and that baby owl make the cutest little "eeek" sound, and promptly pooped on my chair, just before flying

back to camp

Just a few more pictures from our days off. The Oregon coast was at its best for us. This was the kind of day that tricks people into to moving to places that are usually foggy and damp. We know better, but we still enjoyed our time there. We stopped at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park for a little break on our way back inland. There's nothing like standing next to those big old trees to make a girl feel dainty and petite. And the smell of that forest... I could just plop down on the ground and roll in it... but I didn't. Back at camp now, it's a hot and sunny weekend, with happy campers everywhere. Loud ones too, but that's a story - probably lots of stories - for another time. Right now it's just too nice out here in the evening breeze to do anything but relax and watch the sun go down. Not another peep out of me. Shhhh...

gold beach vacation day

In my humble opinion, there's nothing better than a day on the coast of just about anywhere. My favorite, because it's home turf (or surf), is the beautiful Pacific. Any part of it, as far as I can tell. Today we're on the southern Oregon coast, in Gold Beach. It's about the closest worthwhile beach town to Ashland, at about a 3 hour drive away, up through Grants Pass and along the Redwood Highway till you hang a right and head up the coast a ways. Except that you no longer see people camping on the beach the way I remember from the 70's, the Oregon coast is still kind of low-key and a little bit hippie-ish. It's easy to be comfortable here. We would have gone over to check out this guy's art work, but we didn't want to scare away his bird... There's a brief stretch where you go through California, which means you also get to stop at the "bug station", where they always ask you if you have any fruit, and you always say no. Except today

going coastal

Even when you live and work in a supremely beautiful place, every now and then it's a good idea to take a break and go someplace else. So Ranger Rick and I are heading for the Oregon coast tomorrow, even though it's supposed to be cloudy over there. We just need a little beach hit before dealing with the craziness of the 4th, and the dogs have been begging for a good long romp with the waves. I'm taking my camera , MacBook , and Mifi so you can follow along. See you at the beach!

june at emigrant lake

Time for an update on the park. I think last time I showed pictures, it was winter, probably snowy, and the hundreds (thousands?) of oak trees were bare and spooky as a Tim Burton movie set. On Sunday afternoon the weather began to clear, after the coldest, wettest June on record. Friendly assurances that "this just isn't normal" didn't really help. We wanted sun. So while I cooked a nice Father's Day dinner (my amazing stir fry, which I will share with you soon), Rick sat in a sunny spot in the road and read a book in his stocking feet. He's earned it. These shots were taken the next day, on a dog walk to the dam. I prefer to do my morning dog wrangling as far away from other people and dogs as possible. Lucy is a handful, but we're making progress. I think she's starting to see me as her Pack Leader. Even when Rick has her leash, she watches me the entire time to see what I want her to do. This is good, considering what a struggle the last 8 years


I remember learning to sew with Simplicity patterns as a kid, and noticing that while they may have been simple, they sure weren't easy . It seems to be the same with life in general. Simple living isn't necessarily easy living, but with attention and practice, it's a heck of a lot easier than what I've done in the past. Our little life here is about as simple as it gets in this country. We live in a 29 foot trailer, which as it turns out, is plenty of room for the two of us, our necessary stuff, and our two dogs. I could make beads in there too, but have opted for an "extra room" to use as my studio. After all, we work in a campground, so it makes sense to do some of my work in a tent. It saves on set-up and tear-down, which in itself greatly simplifies my life. I think the simple life has also led us to simpler tastes in a lot of things we didn't foresee. I'm finding myself less and less interested in anything complicated - food, relationships,

happy father's day

If you're on Facebook, you may have already read this little story, but it's too good to let it fade away into the Facebook sunset, so I'll tell it again here, in more detail, of course. Life in a campground is sure to turn up a lot of good stories. People are just so funny, aren't they? Campsite #11 seems to have a magnetic pull, attracting families that remind me of Cousin Eddie's, in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation . The folks in my story were settled into the tent site with their "tenement on wheels" the day I walked by, making my friendly camp host rounds. The pot-bellied dad and granddad sat in folding chairs, looking at the ground, barely glancing up as I approached. A pot-bellied dachshund and a yippy little terrier mix sniffed around for food, and two tiny puppies that looked just like the adult dogs scampered over to greet me. Do you have something of a visual on these folks? So the dad looks up as I pet the puppies, giving me the op

crater lake

I've known about Crater Lake all my life, but somehow I never managed to go there until just yesterday. I wonder why it wasn't one of those California camping places my parents took us to every summer. We were a Camping Family, not a Hotel Family, much to my dismay as a teenager. I suppose my lifestyle now reflects that - I love being outdoors, but I also "love not camping", to quote the ever fabulous Anne Taintor . Sure, I live in a 29 foot fifth wheel trailer, but I also have a king size Vera Wang memory foam mattress squeezed into the space where a crummy queen size standard issue RV mattress used to be. We had to remove night stands and sacrifice precious overhead storage, but it was oh so worth it. Anyway, Crater Lake is not too far from where we are now in Ashland, Oregon -  an easy day trip for road warriors like Ranger Rick and me. We drove up through Klamath Falls and made it to the park in time for a late lunch. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn

sleepless in southern oregon

Like most of you, we really look forward to our days off. Rick, working as Ranger Rick, starts his days at 7:30 in the morning, takes a 30 minute lunch break, and then shares camp host duties with me in the evenings. Days off are Thursday and Friday, and sleeping late is a big part of the joy. Yesterday morning we were rather rudely awakened at 7:14 to be exact, by a man who had rented the group space for a family gathering, but couldn't get the lights turned on. Another park employee had locked up the box the night before, and Rick was the only one here at that hour with a key. So off he went, our good Ranger Rick, to save the day. We tried to be jolly about it, appreciating the help in getting a good early start on our day off. After lunch we were both feeling droopy, so I crawled up to the bed for a nap, leaving Rick to doze in the sun. A while later a woman who had parked her RV just above us came hollering into camp with a Very Important Question. Rick shushed her, but not be

here we go again

Well hello again. It's nice to be back. I feel a little silly, but I'm used to feeling silly, so that's no big deal. I've had a month or so to catch my breath, and to realize that I have some sort of need to write. Wanna laugh? As soon as I made that grand announcement about ending the blog, my mind went directly to wanting to blog about how it felt to stop blogging. Silly indeed. But it wasn't only my yearning to write that made me come back. It was a lot of you, who so kindly sent me notes telling me you'd miss me. I really had no idea how many regular readers I had. Then last week, while I was visiting family, my sister's mother-in-law made a special point to tell me how much she had enjoyed my blog, and how much she would miss it. This really got my attention, and made me wonder how many people were reading and enjoying and getting something from my posts without my ever knowing it. I started thinking, Hey, maybe I do have something worth sharing after
Yes... It's true... I've missed you... I'm coming back... I think... Soon... If you'll have me...