There’s no “They” in They


“They changed the forecast again.”

I’ve said it 1000 times because since we went RV’ing we pay a lot more attention to the weather than we ever did before. Our walls are thinner, the weather is closer, we’re outside more.  It makes sense to be aware. Except… nowadays those forecasts we see on our iPhones aren’t created by people — they are created by algorithms and modeling programs.  There’s no ‘they’ in THEY.

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One of our hummingbird friends from our last visit.

It’s all because of my age.   I go to inconvenient (to me) measures to deal with a real live person rather than a computer or an automated system.  I hate being told what to do by a computer chip.  But there are a lot of times when we think we’re being dealt with by a human and in fact it’s all about a computer and a program that’s saving someone somewhere a bunch of money.

There’s another side of “they.”  Sometimes we use it to talk about other people — and we forget that we are part of those ‘other people.’ It’s easy to blame things on “those people”; on “them.”  In part, or in total.

I keep trying not to be one of them. Maybe that’s one of the reason that we like the idea of volunteering. There are always takers in life;  I’m more into being a giver — maybe I can’t do it all the time, but I try. For us, for the next 5 months, we’ll be giving at a campground. If we ever get off the road as RV’ers I can see us doing some other sort of volunteer activity. There are plenty of people who would like help — all we’d have to think about is who would best suit our interests and abilities.

We love people — so long as we can achieve some balance about how many people  and how much time we are forced to devote to them. Maybe that’s why we love a small campground like Highland Ridge — it provides us with some balance.  Only 57 campsites (including Equestrian sites which rarely get any campers) mean that the campground is typically deserted during the week. Just the kind of place that we love. The crowd comes in on Thursdays and Fridays and by noon on Sunday most of them are gone.  Bye bye.  Sayonara. Toodles. A little activity lumped into a short space and then a breather before the next onslaught.

We have our opportunity to help people: to interact, answer questions, to stop and chat, then move on to someone else.  It feels good.  They have a chance to irritate us, annoy us, and, yes…. even make a few friends with them.

I noted earlier this Spring that one CORPS campground no longer has a gate attendant or a camp host — they say, on recreation.gov, that you must have a reservation to camp there — as there are no hosts/personnel on site.  That kind of bothered me when I read it. I’m sure part of the reason is the decline in federal funding for every agency. This is just a personal bugaboo but there’s nothing lonelier than pulling into a campground that’s empty or unattended.  I know it’s contradictory — or seems to be — to say that we don’t like a lot of people on our neck, and then complain about an empty campground — but hey, I never claimed to be entirely consistent.  And there’s a difference between not many people and none.

When I saw we are good at making places uninhabitable, we have a terrible habit of shipping our electronic waste to places like Africa where the piles and piles of trash are hidden to our sophisticated Western eyes.
When I saw we are good at making places uninhabitable, we have a terrible habit of shipping our electronic waste to places like Africa where the piles and piles of trash are hidden to our sophisticated Western eyes.

Our Granddaughter is into Urban Exploring — which is to say, exploring abandoned buildings, caves, sewers, you name it.  For her its fun going to see what has been abandoned, left behind.  For me, it’s sad.  I guess I wouldn’t be a very good Urban Explorer.  (To say nothing of the fact that I’m over staying out in the middle of the night — I like my bed!)

And then there is the great pacific garbage patch that seems to collect all the detritus that we throw overboard from ships and the currents carry it to this one place.
And then there is the great pacific garbage patch that seems to collect all the detritus that we throw overboard from ships and the currents carry it to this one place.

If you’re curious where this is coming from, we just passed the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl meltdown and fire. The area is still dangerous to humans; it will continue to be dangerous to humans for the next 3000+/- years they say. I’ve seen articles asking the question: how do you safeguard a place like Chernobyl for as long a time into the future as we have recorded human history in the past?  We, or should I say “they” seem to be pretty good at making places uninhabitable.  I guess it’s Peggy and my chance to be some of the “they” that make a little campground a better place.

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Peg painting posts last time we were at Highland Ridge

Talking about Chernobyl, there are other studies that show that wildlife has prospered in the area surrounding Chernobyl and I wonder is radiation poisoning something that affects certain species more than others — like humans?  How is it that animals seem to thrive in areas that would kill humans.  Of course some of that is obvious.  Animals are built differently than we are.  I mean — if we ever tried to feed in the water that flamingoes feed in — polluted and brackish — that would kill us too!)  All that science is beyond my head.  Details like that make my head hurt.  What I can do is lend hand here and now.  That’s what we’re going to do.  I don’t really care who the THEY might be that we are helping. In some ways I don’t even care who the they are that we are working for — though nice, easy going folks are better than grumpy demanding ones.  We’ll see the smiles on their faces and hear their thank you’s,  we’ll see their children racing up and down the camp roads screaming with glee — and that — THAT — will make our summer worth while.

Our last few days in Milwaukee are going to be chilly.  Today’s high is 44º and the skies are dirty gray.  With less than delightful skies, I’m enjoying reading like crazy; still getting caught up on books I’ve had in the library for months.  I would like to reduce the volume of books I keep in the coach somewhat. That might be one of my Summer projects. 🙂 (Heck, I’d like to reduce the volume of everything in the coach but that’s harder.) While we were at Ocala I kept cycling through their lending library — reading as many of their books that I could simply exchange rather than working on the books I’d bought.  One has to learn how to maximize those “benefits” 🙂  At the rate of a little less than a book a day — you go through a lot of books!  And we recycle to the Goodwill or St. Vinnies at every opportunity.

Thanks for stopping.  We’re eager to get out of town and get up to our campground.  Tomorrow we take a short trip to Appleton to learn about Container Homes — I’ll write about that after we get up to Highland Ridge as there won’t be much time between now and then.

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4 Comments

  1. You may already know this and have your reasons for not doing it. I used to give away about 50-100 books a year. I realized it would be impractical to try and keep books in my RV.
    I now just have 2 library cards and read on average 3 e-books a week. I use a 7″ tablet. When I want to read at night in bed, I don’t need a light, or have to find a way to hold the book. The books are free and I never have to find a way to dispose of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dave — I have had a couple people suggest that and I have yet to ‘graduate’ to a tablet or handheld of any sort so I have not yet tried ebooks…
      What sources do YOU use for free ebooks. I started to research them and it seemed as if most of the ones I checked were lead-ins for paid services.
      I have ONE library card — for the Milwaukee system. But don’t know if they have any kind of ebook lending system — I should check into that in the next few days/weeks as we’re getting our feet wet with setting up and settling in at Highland Ridge.
      Thanks for the suggestion I suspect that in time I’ll make the switch — for now I still like flipping pages though… I’m such a throwback!

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  2. I second the e-reader idea. I’ve actually download a lot of free books for the future… when I hopefully have time to read more. They will be there waiting as I continue to read in the time I have right now, too. And on the weather front, I had to make a solo drive last week to North Texas. I checked the weather forecast to make sure I wasn’t headed into any supercell storms the next day, and all looked good in that area and for the five hour drive each way the next day. All was fine until about an 1.5 hours away from home on the return drive, where I hit a massive cell as it was building! I don’t like these scenarios at all, much less when I’m driving by myself. I got into the backside of the cell as it built NE of me, and the dust on the backside kicked up so much that I had to pull over on the highway until it let up a bit. Yeah, so much for that clear and sunny forecast! Ugh! That storm produced several tornadoes about 30 minutes away, too.

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    1. I’m going to give the ebooks a try. Amazon had a Kindle Fire sale for $40.00 and I figured that for $40 I couldn’t go wrong. It’s not one of the paperwhite versions. So, reading in BRIGHT sunlight might not be a great option, but it will give me a chance to check out the option. If we like them we might get a pair of the paperwhite ones but we’ll see. I am a died in the wool Apple guy but I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for an experiment.

      Your driving trip sounded like our friend Debbie’s trip to MKE recently. Seems the winds have been pretty blustery all over. We were fortunate all the way from Florida over a month of travels (though we were only on the move for 7 days) — we had light winds, and even some tail winds. Glad you made the trip safely though.

      Always better to stop and wait than to be foolish and get one’s self in trouble!

      I know it’s rough when the forecast is wonky — but all things considered we have better info than 100 years ago so I’m thankful to live NOW instead of then.

      >

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