Sunday Afternoon in the Park With Peter


Life is too short to live without beauty, art, passion.  We live in such an extraordinary universe — continuously expanding and revealing itself to us tiny humans.  That people live their lives preoccupied with filth and pain and hatred astounds me.

And that’s what was on my mind on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee.  It was a nice quiet day here at the State Fair RV park.  A few people arrived to spend a night or two,  more people than that left after spending the weekend here.  We’re less than 25% booked and Peggy is happy to have a site near the laundry for a change.

sunday-afternoon-on-the-island-of-la-grande-jattegif

If there’s a single impact that full time RV’ing has had upon me  – personally – it’s been refreshing my brain, my life, my heart about the grandness of this wonderful world.  Each day I awaken eager for the day.  Maybe not always wide awake, but eager for whatever the day has in store for us.  If some people get bored with their retired lives that is a phenomenon that has not yet struck us.  And by God’s grace we hope it never will.  Life is too short and too precious to be bored with it.

I’m not sure we have seen anything during our 4 1/2 years of full time RV’ing that I hadn’t seen before — I’ve been around this country a lot — but we aren’t bored because every day has it’s new delights. And, fortunately, after being ‘stuck’ in an RV for 4 1/2 years with Peggy — neither of us has commited murder nor even been tempted.  We’re still enjoying the strange togetherness of wandering around the country in an RV.

I’ve had Ansel Adams on my mind a lot lately, and this quotation has really be speaking to me.

The only things in my life
that compatibly exist with this grand universe
are the creative works of the human spirit.
— Ansel Adams

I don’t blog about everything that’s going on in our lives. For the first several years we were learning so mucha about our new lifestyle that my blog entries were almost exclusively about RV’ing and the RV lifestyle.  But that hasn’t meant that we haven’t been thinking about other things as well.

We still look around for long-term volunteer potentials.  It’s one of the things we wanted to do in retirement and even though we are headed in a few days to a 5 month gig when I speak of long-term I’m thinking of longer periods than that.  We haven’t found a solution for our quest but we’re still looking.

0000130225e07I continue looking for other ways to be creative; over and above those that have been part of my toolbox of talents for much of my life. I’m looking for different ways to express myself.  Which is to say to express myself with some degree of what I would consider skill.  For example, I’m not very talented when it comes to eye-hand coordination so you’ll never see me doing Pen & Ink drawings. And when it comes to things like wood working I’m the guy who cuts the board three times to find that it’s still too SHORT!

The changes I made to my computer system recently have made it easier for me to work on images and I’ve been having fun playing with a few in ways that haven’t been easy for a long while.  Reconfiguring my little back-of-the-coach office has seen me using my graphics tablet a little more and some storage changes have made the editing process a lot easier.

2006090212174091I don’t know whether the ideas that have been taking root in my brain about future projects are really projects I’ll undertake, nor do I know right now if they are workable from the coach — It’s possible we may be starting to think about a final end point to our full time RV travels. And of course what happens with the doctor later this week could have an impact as well, but that’s not the reason for our consideration.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my mom.  Goodness she’s been gone over 20 years now and I wish she was brighter in my memory than she is, but I remember her as wanting me to be involved with more concrete pursuits than those that suited me.  My interests in religion (which she shared with me, but differently) and in art meant that when her friends were bragging about the advancements their kids achieved in business she was notably quiet. That was a hard time for her and there was no way of easing that time for her without ceasing to be who I was.  Over time she came to terms with who I was but that took a long time. I literally can’t remember a time when art wasn’t more important to me than anything other than my faith. (we’re not including spouses here, friends. 🙂 )  Dad was a different story.  He and I shared a lot and no matter what I got into he seemed more than happy to work right alongside of me.

I’ve been restless for a few months.  I can’t honestly say it was all about being in Florida.  And I’m not sure where the restlessness will take us. We’ll let you know when we find out.  Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here to chat tomorrow.

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3 Comments

  1. I enjoy you RV posts and the places you visit but I have to say, it’s the other things you think about that I enjoy the most.

    It’s interesting what you say about your mom and her desires for your future. I have had similar struggles with my daughter over the years, partly because she is very capable and literally could do anything she chose to pursue and partly because her choices don’t always align with mine. In many ways we are opposites. Like your mom, I had those thoughts, though mine were never voiced. Michelle is hyper sensitive to criticism of any kind and I value the relationship too much to rock the boat. Even so, I have felt bad that I wasn’t gushingly proud of her…I felt unsupportive and fake. What makes it even harder is we are both “take charge” personalities. This has resulted in a superficial relationship…we share but their is no depth in the conversation. What I get, she could easily tell her next door neighbor. Over the past few years I have learned to give up the reins and have gradually come to terms with our differences, realizing that I have no right to claim expectations on her life.

    My first trip out there I was so excited about what I wanted to do while I was there that I missed what was happening in her universe and we had some rocky days. She was overwhelmed and I was unprepared. Since then, I have had to learn to walk into her world when I come for visits. I make no plans and follow her lead and for my own respite I allow a few days of doing what I want with whom I want while she is off doing something else. It seems to work better that way. I am hoping that one day our relationship can grow deeper. We’ve had moments…just not enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny you mention ‘doing anything she chose to do’…
      I have found myself using that in relation to Katy and I have recently realized that when <> have said that most often what I have meant was “doing more with one’s self — in the way that I think is right.” and completely without regard to what she want’s or needs. And with my mom it was very much that. She wanted me to succeed in HER way, and my idea of success was very different.
      If I go back to my formative Christian days the thing that struck me about Jesus was that, yes, there were the times that he spend teaching multitudes, but the over all tenor of his ministry was best summarized — I my mind — in the expression “MORE TIME WITH FEWER PEOPLE” — He made disciples. He concentrated most of his effort on a few people and they in turn did similar. It wasn’t about a mass movement — it was about moving a few people a great deal. And that has always been at the heart of what I have done. I have been more about mentoring than mass marketing.
      As a result, mom, who wanted more show and more outward evidence of success was very frustrated. For a long time. Eventually she changed, but it was tough.
      Kathryn is a lot like me, and she has lots of little ways of having impact. And specially in the past 10 years I’ve seen her blossom as a human — more and more compassionate — in ways I never would have guessed or anticipated — and she inspires me now. But I had to see her in her own light.
      When we were young we did a lot of things in those early years “because of” others — we were going to help them, or something — took a long time to realize they didn’t need our help. But that we were welcome to walk alongside and be their friends. sigh. slow lessons to learn.
      I guess, if you’re visiting your daughter then it should be a good thing to ‘walk in her world.’ — otherwise your not visiting her — you’re forcing her to visit you in her home? You know what I mean?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, fortunately I learned that last lesson pretty quick and the visit was much more enjoyable! 😀 😀

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