So, do you know how….

…when you live in a place long enough you eventually get past figuring out what it means to your lifestyle to live where you live.  You can stop chasing around trying to  find things and  you get over the novelty of this new place and settle into just living.  We aren’t quite to that point ourselves but I got to thinking about the way that happens.  grandma running errands

If you’re an RV’er who spends a few days, or maybe a couple weeks in a place you might never get to that point;  RV’ing can be like a perpetual vacation if that’s what you want.  A lot depends on whether you’ve ever been to a given place before, or  how much you like doing the things tourists do.

I got to thinking about this process over weekend.  We aren’t quite there yet, but the emotional landscape looks a lot different than it did upon our arrival.  Of course how quickly one gets to feel ‘at home’ in a new environment depends on many factors including how nosey you are.  And I admit to being pretty nosey.  There are a lot of things I ant to know about in a new place — it’s just who I am.

I keep hoping we’ll have a week where we don’t feel compelled to go our checking things out.  Just a week when we will have been here long enough that all we want to do is  eat meals, check out the wildlife refuges, take a few pictures, and spend some time in the pool.

Then again I wonder about whether it’s normally this overcast.  The stats say that San Benito ‘normally’ gets 231 days of sunshine year — a statistic we are woefully running behind at present.  But we can live with what we are getting.

A month or so ago we had checked out a few alternate RV campgrounds — and stopped.  Then a week ago we started all over again — and stopped.  Are we really dissatisfied where we are?  I don’t think so — we just like seeing how other people live.  Peggy used to love looking at houses for sale.  We weren’t looking for a new home — she just loved looking at them.  I think that’s what we are doing here — just looking.  But sometimes one never knows what’s going on in ons’e own sub conscious.   Would we be looking at houses for sale if we were still in Wisconsin?  I doubt if we’d do it during this time of year — but yeah… it’s possible we might.

5258720348_8b54a5dec4_zI admit that I had hoped for better weather to visit the local wildlife refuges.  I have mistakenly described this as an arid climate — but that is not what it is.  “Arid” defines land that receives so little moisture that it is unproductive or parched.  This is an area where a large amount of the US fruit and produce crop originates — it is definitely PRODUCTIVE.  It’s just drier than we are accustomed to — and definitely wetter than we had expected — but then the area is recovering from a several year long drought and few people here are complaining:  just the Winter Texans.

I’m glad we decided to skip the trip to Florida, and I’m glad we decided to hang out here another couple months.  Clearly this is not Utopia, there are problems here: (1.) in the area and (2.) in the RV park.  But we’re happy here and maybe a couple extra months may be long enough to get past that familiarization period.  When we are talking with some of the residents who have been coming back for 20 years it’s hard for me to figure out how long it takes before we might  be able to remember that the third weekend of January and February are Market Days on Padre Island and that the first weekend of the month are flea market days in Harlingen, and certain restaurants have $0.50 oysters on Thursdays and others have great wing…. these are all things I wish I could remember…. and don’t.  ARGH.

20130914_180918-1024x576But some things don’t happen quickly.  Some of those I’ll probably never be good at remembering.  Some of their memories are based in factors we don’t care about.  I’m not going to bars and drinking — and the reason they know about Thursday Oyster nights is that they go there to drink and they have an association upon which to hang the memory.  So, even though the proud male part of me is miffed that my memory isn’t as good as once it was, another part of me is quite happy not being able to remember things that others think are important.  I don’t care about flea market days because we aren’t (either of us)  into jewelry or chachkies; our life is simpler and part of making our life simpler was giving up some things we didn’t care about in the first place.

normal12I thought that by now we would be settled into a more ‘normal’ rhythm (like living in Milwaukee) but I was wrong.  I don’t know why I set up an artificial deadline; I just did.  And now I’m saying (to myself) “You dummy…. Why’d you do that?”  And the truth is that I have always needed deadlines.  If I didn’t have deadlines I created them for myself.  It’s still part of that Puritan Work Ethic raising it’s head and dogging my heels.  But — now I can at least see what I’m doing.  And sometimes even when I know I could be doing something I’ll get out a book and read, or I’ll choose to simply sit and BE.  I used to feel guilty when I did that.  Now, I’m happy I’ve made it to this age and have the opportunity to do so.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Los Tortugo’s Seafood Market — if you are in the area you have to try this extremely simple seafood place.  It’s nothing to look at, right next to a Stripes gas station and in front of the local H-E-B store.  There aren’t many seats — maybe 8.  It’s primarily a seafood market and carry out.  But the seafood is divine, and if you ask Peggy, they serve the best fried shrimp she has ever had.  The prices are very reasonable, you pick out your drinks from the refrigerator cases next to the cashier and the seafood case.  Buy your seafood — almost whatever you want — fresh from their own boats.  Have them cook it to eat there or carry it home.  They have wonderful ceviche too!  by the pint or 1/2 pint.  GO!


2 thoughts on “So, do you know how….

  1. One of the things I enjoy most about your blog is the similarities we have on the simple life. So often you mention things that you and Peg are doing and I find myself thinking…I do that or Rick does that!

    Having both, in our younger years, been in situations where we had friends that we would get together with from time to time we find this element lacking in our life. I don’t know if we are just more particular about who we bring into our circle or what but the result is that we seldom get together with others. We don’t drink, gamble or watch sports which are part of a lot of social interaction.

    Every once in a while we’ll find someone we think we can connect with, we enjoy it and as is expected get to know them better. It’s the getting to know them part that gets in the way. A lot of nice intelligent people have severe integrity weaknesses. Not too long ago Rick severed a friendship with someone he was quite compatible with and they saw quite a bit of until he saw a side of him that he didn’t like. He was not honest in his business dealings. At first he just observed it but then he saw it was his pattern so he commented on it hoping the guy would take the hint. He didn’t. One day he was telling Rick how he was going to do something wrong and Rick said, If you do that, we’re done. He did it anyway. Though Rick misses the connection we both feel that people who are intentionally unethical are bad business for friendships because their bad habits will eventually fall on to you.

    So…the reason I like your blog is that you’re good people and even if I only know you virtually, I am glad to have made your acquaintance and maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity to buy you a cup of joe or a cuppa whatever. 😀


    1. Mrs P.

      Integrity…. Now there is a word that is rapidly disappearing from sight/sound/and practice. Sadly.

      I know that over the years we have gotten much more careful about whom we associate with. I know for me a lot of it has to do with watching good friends hurt over and over again because they seemed not to pay any attention to the character of the people they were calling friends. Ya know, this thing about animal magnetism… the way you can look at one person and instantly all your hormones are raging…. well, animal magnetism says nothing about character. And I get so frustrated by the advertising and media which pays so much attention to sexuality and so little attention to character.

      So, yeah, we have trimmed our friendships; but to be honest I don’t miss them — and more often than not I find myself wondering why people do what they do. So many social actions seem irreconcilable with rational thought.

      Take drinking for example. In a former life I had a job were there was some expectation that I would wine and dine people — not a lot, but the occasional business owner at the occasional bar/hotel in Northern Wisconsin which was my territory for a while. Well, I got drunk three times in my life and I simply decided I didn’t like the way I felt when I was drunk and now I don’t do that any more. But what really gets my goat is that I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to continue feeling that way time and time and time and time again. I don’t care what inhibitions I lose, there’s nothing worth feeling that badly! But millions of people do it regularly. I mean really regularly. And I don’t get it. (to say nothing of the expense — which can be considerable — although there are many places around this country where beer is cheaper than water )

      I left a couple good jobs because of ethics — one was a job I had wanted all my life — literally. There was a position with a branch of the church I pastored for that I dreamt about and prayed about for a long long time. When I finally had the opportunity to do that job I lasted about 5 years before we got into an ethical situation where I had done what I had been asked to do and then the board wanted to change direction and they asked me to un-commit a personal obligation I had already made. I thought about that long and hard; it seemed so out of harmony with everything they appeared to stand for; and finally decided that integrity was more important than having a position I had obviously known too little about when I wanted it. That set me off on a good few years of reevaluating a lot of aspects of my/our life. I’m glad it happened, as painful as it might have been at the time. I know I scared a lot of folks at the time; they thought I was crazy but there are some things that are just too precious to give up. And a person’s integrity is one of them. And now we live very different lives than then. To all outward appearances we aren’t doing as much, but in reality I think I’m being more effective in the ways that are the most important to me than ever before. But also in ways I would never have considered had all that not happened. I opened my eyes and saw a new world, as it were.

      It’s hard to speak up. If you have time, do a SEARCH on my website for the word HEROISM. There’s a poem there that I posted a long time ago — it’s been perhaps the most influential poem in my life — perhaps even some of the most influential WORDS in my life from anyone. It was written by CPS Gilman — an early women’s activist, and it was written a very short time before she took her own life.

      This is only the first stanza of that poem:

      It takes great strength to train

      To modern service your ancestral brain;

      To lift the weight of the unnumbered years

      Of dead men’s habits, methods and ideas;

      To hold that back with one hand, and support

      With the other the weak steps of new resolve!

      It takes great strength to bring your life up square

      With your accepted thought, and hold it there,

      Resisting the inertia that drags back

      From new attempts to the old habit’s track.

      It is so easy to drift back—to sink—

      So hard to live abreast of what you think!

      I know the cadence of that style is a bit hard to get — too many people pause at the wrong places, but that only emphasizes the facts of the content. It is difficult to bring your life up square with our accepted thought, and hold it there while resisting the inertia that draws you back from new attempts and right back into your old way of being. It is indeed, hard to live abreast of what you think.

      I’ve struggled with that for 50 some years — I first read those words when I was about 15 or 16 and they forever changed me. I hope you enjoy it, in it’s content, not in it’s ‘mere’ beauty.

      And, my friend, I’m sure one day we will have time for a cuppa, and some hearty laughs, and maybe a hug or two.





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