How do you react to the places around you? Is a city the same for a resident as for a transient?
This is something I’ve been thinking about in between visits to the clinic and Home Depot. I am enjoying being back in our old hometown! Sure. When we lived here I always said that I loved living living here — except for the winter. That’s pretty much still true. But with each passing day I realize that there is a significant difference between being a resident in town and being a transient visiting a town.
This is the second year we chose to camp within the metro area instead of finding a campground in a more rural setting — for example, one of the local state parks. Of course the problem with state parks is that you are limited to 14 nights. Further, a lot of the WI state parks close their campgrounds at the end of September. If they have open campgrounds then they turn off the water completely or except for one hydrant.
In any event we would then have to drive in and out each day we have business to be done in town. That’s not a lot of driving — just a lot of traffic. When we realized that extended stays at the RV park were more affordable than single nights this became the collusion of choice.
Here we are 6 miles from the clinic/hospital instead of 45 miles; and about the same to our daughter’s house. The grocery (nearest) is 2 miles instead of 10 miles and there’s also a laundromat right on site.
Still, it’s different this time. When you live in a place changes are part of the web and woof of life. A road closes, another opens, construction begins on a project in one place and finishes on another place elsewhere. When you’re a transient the changes all hit you at once. There is a remembrance of what was and a startling awareness of what is. The challenge is to assimilate the changes without feeling disconnected to a lifetime’s experience.
This time of year there are fewer vacationers staying at this park. Most of the RV’s are either contractors in town or retirees returning to Milwaukee for medical visits, or as patients coming for treatment. It’s a different sensation, unlike a rural campground or normal RV park; we’re all in the city for a reason.
Last year we were aware of the transient crews, this year their presence is more obvious (bigger crews, bigger crew trailers — 6 door Montana 5th wheels). Our next door neighbors in ’14 were a crew of 6 hispanics installing radiation shielding in a local hospital. They had been there for 2 months already, were staying nearly 2 more months after we departed and their day long job of moving 20 lb radiation bricks was hard, hard work. It’s easy to tell the contractors from the medical visitors this year — the construction ladders are dead-giveaways, as are the hours of departure and arrival. Most of us patients have rather less predictable hours.
With fewer medical appointments this week we are at sixes and sevens. With each passing day we realize more about what has changed since we left. And then there’s that Norcold…
Even though we have the replacement on order we’re still monitoring the Norcold — for what little food is inside and to see what the temp may be. I’m glad we decided to change it out, but I’ll feel better once it’s out of the coach. At this point it’s just an annoyance and a safety hazard. The other day before we committed to replacement I had been checking part numbers and realized that our fridge is some 5 model revisions out of date. The electronics have been re-worked that many times and you have to use the correct iteration of circuit board to make it work — you can’t replace an old board with a newer design — so even if you update, you aren’t really updating.
Considering how many RV’s have gone up in smoke because of Norcold fires, that obsolescence issue does not instill confidence. With the ordered refrigerator arriving this coming Saturday we just have to hold out until it arrives and I can get Michael to help me with the installation. It will be nice to be able to load up the fridge and freezer and forget about it for a while.
It seems that lately a lot of things have been about what I call Smashed Thumb Syndrome. You know what I mean. You manage to clumsily whack your thumb with a hammer while you’re doing something and then the only thing you want to do is protect that thumb from getting hammered again — you hold your thumb inside your hand — which of course makes it difficult to pound any more nails — but you don’t want that thumb out there exposed to the hammer. All your attention goes to your thumb. And that’s sort of how we have felt so far this month in Milwaukee. So many little distractions are occupying too great a percentage of time. We aren’t seeing the city for what it is, we’re seeing aspects of it, as it were, through all the distractions. We aren’t really enjoying the visit, we are enjoying ridding ourselves of niggling concerns that have been just out of reach as it were. Like an itch you can’t scratch.
A few months ago I changed my Facebook profile image. Being in Milwaukee this time feels like that graphic. In the graphic there are two statements which can be made about the object. But neither apparent fact is the entire truth. And that’s what being in Milwaukee this year has come to feel like
Talk to you tomorrow, and thanks for stopping by.