Saturday, February 16, 2008

Walking the Walk

What's not to love about a view like this--the Wisconsin-cheese-curd-squeaky pristine beaches of the Emerald Coast, along Florida's Panhandle?

Taking a peaceful walk along the beach on the Emerald Coast of Florida, you still have 2 choices: walk by the ever-diminishing natural setting of a state park or gawk as you walk on beaches that separate mega-million dollar mansions from the sometimes surly sea.

We did both today. Seeing the not-humble abodes perched like flamingos on stilts designed to keep the dwellers' feet dry, these homes represent the typically very part-time residences for the very rich who like the view.

I like the view too. Not houses but sea oats and other wild growth that used to adorn the coast before it was discovered by silly people who think they're impervious to hurricanes. Building a house that close to the Gulf of Mexico is audacious. Building a multi-million dollar 5,000+ sq. foot mansion is insanity and waste.

One of our group commented about how obscene it is to see these huge domains here and to know so many other people have little to no place to call home. I don't begrudge people their pleasures if everyone has a chance to get the basics needed for survival. But that is less and less the case.

We returned to our home base, me with Tillie's 150 sq. ft. which more than adequately shelters me. What it would be like to live in a sustainable house? If anyone has some info about this growing--and essential-- form of housing, please let me know.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tough to Gauge

One of the earliest lessons I've learned in RVing has been that the gauges are pretty useless. For whatever it costs to get them, you'd think you'd get instruments of reliability of some reasonable level.

My moments of panic as I saw that my propane gauge erronously indicated "empty" are matched by the false confidence of seeing my water level was at 3/4 only to hear the pump telling me otherwise when I'm nice and sudsy....

So I'm ignoring the red blackwater indicator. Wonder what happens if I'm wrong??? Guess I'll find out.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Party Time

I'm rarely capable of coming up with an upbeat column. I suppose it's the casualty of working in the field of homelessness for all these years. But this time I'm gonna give it a try....

Pulling into this little campground in Lafayette, LA, I was sort of surprised that most of the 70 campsites had "reserved" signs posted. Oh yeah, Mardi Gras weekend...uh oh...

But I nabbed one of the few spaces left on Thursday night. I knew the onslaught of campers would show up Friday afternoon, and I was right. Almost every spot filled up--a lot of families with little and big doggies...and some serious party animals, mostly young males.

Now, at this point I'm happy to have electricity, water and an inexpensive--$13 a night--spot to hang out. If the party animals return in an enchanted state of mind I may rethink.

OK, for the happy part of this blog. It's kids playing. The sound and sight of pure, simple fun blending in with the twilight croaking of frogs from our nearby swollen stream makes for a delightful experience. Kids of all sizes are scooting on their bikes up and down the road and hillsides like busy ants. I've heard nary a nasty word from kiddos or adults. How weird is that??!!

I'm going to hold that thought, not wanting to create any bad karma that would upset this good karma.