An Impressionist State of Mind


Sometimes I think my entire blog — and maybe even my life — is an impressionist experiment.  There are folks whose blogs will inform you about things and places.  Some of them are worthy of being bound together in books and sold as travel guides.  That’s not what I do.  Never have.  Never will.

That realization is even more pointed — in my mind — going into this last week on the ground in Florida.  I don’t know about other travelers but the time just before departures and the time just after arrivals seem to bring out different parts of me that hide themselves most of the time.

Arrival means a period of reconnoitering and familiarization.  One must know where they fit in the universe.  Figuratively and literally.  More often than not the first afternoon in a new campsite (assuming we arrived early in the day) is spend driving around the area and getting a feel for where things are — just a little drive around — no serious shopping, no finding — just a getting familiar. throwing the bones

Departure — for me — is always a kind a summation, a recapping, a time of letting things fall where they may, a time of throwing the bones — and then learning what your time here has meant.  Not exactly divination — that’s forward looking.  More like an act of retrospection.

I guess it’s a time when I make choices.  Is this a place I want to return? how often? or why not? Did we both enjoy it (typical)?  Did we find something here we like but would like to find it in another place?

halftone effect halftone printing 1I’ve always loved the work of the Impressionists.  When we visited Giverny and the museums in France I was entranced, captivated, enthralled.  Seeing the world — but not in the continuous range of color that our eyes perceive but rather in that pixelated, point-of-light, fabrication that the Impressionists taught us to share.  It wasn’t long ago (before the days of large scale digital printing) that billboards and the printing of color images was the result of pictures being broken down into three, four, five, or six separate channels — one for each primary color and the product we saw was the result of a mental trick of conglomeration accomplished between our brain and a half-tone image.

I think a lot of decisions people make are similar tricks of the brain.  What we experience isn’t always the basis upon which we make our decisions.

2016032708304801

Sometimes the most relevant factors determining our feeling about a place or a visit is about the people we were with (visiting with friends/family — or visiting alone);  or perhaps the weather (that surely impacted our impression of Cedar Key early this winter).
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In the instance of our trip to Florida — Our takeaways are less about Florida and more about ourselves.  Some destinations along the way have been more fun, others have been more instructive.  We started RV’ing as soon after retiring as we could — might as well do it while we can.  As a result, I think that some of the things others learn during their first one or two years of retirement we skipped over.  Perhaps we’re learning them now on those occasions when we spend longer periods of time in one place — like three months here.  From time to time the question of being more productive or helpful in retirement arises.  And it’s a topic we have not entirely resolved.

Winegard X1 antenna
Winegard X1 — powered by Coax
Winegard G2 Antenna
Winegard G2 — requires separate 12 VDC power line

Well, we leave here in one week.   We have no plans for the coming week.  The only thing on my mind has been deciding what we’re going to do about TV during the summer.   The Camp Host site has no DISH antenna, and it’s surrounded by trees.  We saw that the ’15 Camp Host jury rigged a pillar from which they mounted a Winegard G2 satellite antennas. I’m not sure I’m willing to spend that kind of money for a combination 5-month-gig-and-whenever-we-might-not-be-able-to-use-our-rooftop antenna.  It’s a lot of money — but then we do watch a reasonable amount of TV.  Not sure if I’ll do something about that this week or not.  I have been considering just calling DISH and paying to have them come out and permanently mount a TV at the host site — the CORPS would end up with a benefit for future hosts (if I can get them to approve our doing it and paying for it).  But I’m not sure I care that much… We’ll see what happens — we have a little over a month before we report for duty.

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

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2 Comments

  1. It’s been interesting following your writings about Florida, Peter. It is a fascinating place….not so much for the geography itself, but for the social experiment it has become. We’ve made so many trips there, we’ve lost count. A part of us longs for the place it was when we were kids, and that was the places we enjoyed the most this past winter. Hey…I’m all about history. But we do love to see the different ways people interpret ‘retirement’, and I know you do also. Your takeaway of Florida has been another brush stroke in our painting. 🙂

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    1. Jim, when we started full timing in ’12 we had agreed to leave the East Coast for some time way into the future. The circumstances that found us HERE already this year were mostly out of our control and we weren’t entirely sure we WANTED to be here with all the Easterners and their congestion.

      In the end, I’m glad we did. We were reminded of a lot of things, not only the different takes on retirement. The size of Florida. Our own ever changing lives — not only health, but how we have morphed as people over the last 48 years.

      I think that for people who know Florida by virtue of many visits it’s probably a very different place. Then again in our entire lives we have never been big on returning to places we have visited. The idea that we are going back to Highland Ridge this summer for the entire summer is in itself a bit of a surprise — it’s not exactly who we have been in the past. And yet we are both quite excited about it — and the fact that our Grand-Kid is nearby may have something to do with that.

      Of course nothing stays the same. Not Florida, Not Northern Wisconsin, Not Texas, or anywhere. Just this morning I hear from our friends who had been hosting at Carter Lake OR, and lo and behold they are in UTAH! Obviously something changed in their lives too.

      I’m glad we came. I have no idea how soon we’ll return. I’m sure we will for some reason some time down the line — but whether it will be in an RV or not, or for an entire winter — who knows. Then again there are plenty of other places that we’ve gone that we wouldn’t be in a big hurry to return to, and others we thought we’d never like particularly that we have returned to several times. Go Figure. It’s good we don’t have to make sense in retirement!

      Have fun in TX. If we don’t like the desert this winter we could even end up in TX all over again. Who knows.

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