One Horse Towns


We love small towns. The first year and a half of fulltiming we never went into a town larger than 50,000.  We’ve gotten away from that a little — three months in Milwaukee for medical appointments and visits to Florida cities like Orlando and Gainesville while we have been here in Florida.  But a few exceptions doesn’t change who we are.

Today’s feature photo today is from one of my trips to France (in ’05) near the town of Bonnieux.

050702-1372

I find myself of mixed feelings when it comes to city size.  I like the culture and availability that larger communities bring to life.  That is increasingly true as we age.  Health concerns add a new dimension to all of one’s other livability criteria. I say that I like small towns but I wonder if that’s true?

I might write a daily blog but I’m still a private guy.  I’m not keen on other people knowing my business (in real time) so my blog is typically written 3-5 days in advance of publication.  And yet, once we get past real-time, I’m kind of an open book.  There’s not much I won’t talk about.

Galena, IL from our visit in 2011
Galena, IL from our visit in 2011

Why is it then that the idea of living in a small community with it’s inevitable gossip and cliches both intrigues me and scares me to death.  I think that’s why we have preferred public campgrounds (with length of stay limits) over private campgrounds (with their longterm residents).  But the longer we remain fulltimers the more we have gravitated towards private campgrounds.  I can say that part of that change has been circumstantial:  our unplanned extended stay in Milwaukee, our delay in making reservations for the winter because of the extended time in Milwaukee.  The last half year have been very much not who we are and we haven’t been all that comfortable having been crammed by circumstance into a mold we aren’t comfortable with. And as strange as it will sound, I can’t wait to get to Highland Ridge Campground where we will be sitting still for another 5 months.

Why is it that I see a volunteer gig at a CORPS campground as being such a huge difference from what we’ve been doing?  In both cases we’re still sitting still for an extended time.  I think that the transience of our neighbors is part of the difference.  We’ll be there for the summer, but no one else will be.  The only other summer-long volunteer gig at that location is a maintenance position and those folks are domiciled 8 miles away at the ranger station.

All of this comes up because we have been talking about longterm future plans and whether now (after 4 1/2 years of RV’ing) we can any more easily see ourselves returning to one location annually for either summer or winter.  The conversation isn’t due to any immediate change.  We’re still feeling great, but the fact of life is that at some point most of us full timers end up getting rid of the RV and settling back into sticks & bricks because of health or mobility issues.

wi_badger
I guess if you live in Wisconsin you’ve got to be a scrappy character like a badger!

At the same time that we have been staying in places longer I have been feeling antsier in each instance.  For some reason I think that the CORPS gig will be easier and less confining.  It’s not a new location;  there’s not a huge amount of exploring to be done — we’ve explored there during previous summers;  and when we get done exploring I tend to get antsy.  So why the difference?  Wisconsin has always been ‘home,’ even when we lived in OH or IL.  Before we went RV’ing I always said that I liked Wisconsin because we had 4 seasons (as limited as Spring/Summer/Fall might be in comparison to Winter), and the state is a beautiful place to live.  Our daughter and SIL live there — and being a small family they are our family.  Peg and I are both from small families and our parents are gone — so we are the ‘elders’ — such as we are.  After 4 1/2 years I think we have come to realize that whether or not we like it we are likely to end up back in the Badger State when we’re done wandering.  So, I’m curious to see whether 5 months there will be any easier than three months in Milwaukee or three months here in Florida. I’m actually optimistic that will prove to be the case; but time will tell.201111100845TRIP2621

We’re doing little chores today: stowing some things in the basement storage bays, laundering the vent covers — little things that need doing.  We’re betwixt storm fronts — that’s good.  We had a nice pouring down rain again last night and the leaves on the trees are thickening up.  I wonder whether in the next 6 days we may lose our satellite lock and be without DISH.  When we came back from the coach repairs we were able to lock onto 2 out of 3 DISH satellites — enough to see what we wanted.  Whether we’ll lose another or both will depend on how much growth we see among the trees.

Thanks for stopping by.  We’re just playing a waiting game for a few days, but I’ll be here to chat in the morning if you are.

 

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