I am pretty sure that September 1st will be the first Thursday in all of 2016 on which I didn’t post to my blog. I am writing a post, though, which ought to count for something. But for the past couple of days I’ve had no internet. Not slow internet, not bad internet. None, zip, nada.
Not even a phone connection.
It was sort of glorious.
Today didn’t start out that way, though. This morning, I walked Z up to a high field and spent too much of the walk trying to get a cell phone connection, trying to check my email, annoyed at the bugs. I tried to appreciate the subtle beauties of a grey day, the quiet colors of the late summer wildflowers, more subdued than spring flowers, but still shades of purple and gold and amber. I tried to find the forest lovely in its dark depths.
But you know what? I didn’t. Not much, anyway.
Mostly I tried to find a connection and shooed off bugs and got annoyed at Zelda for continually getting her leash tangled in stuff. And when I finally decided that the bugs outweighed the merits of a one-bar internet connection that wasn’t successfully managing to pick up my email anyway, I headed back down following a path that disappeared. We wound up shoving our way through tall, tall weeds, getting tangled up with burrs and nasty sticky plants, Z’s leash tangling on every other strong stem, and me worrying steadily about ticks.
I kept trying to tell myself that it was an adventure. But it was grey and wet and chilly — my jeans were soaked through from the knees down by the time I made it out of the field and back to the bathhouse which is where the sign had claimed the path led — and it mostly just felt annoying.
On the other hand, when we got back to Serenity and I dried us off and searched, I found no ticks. So hey, there’s a blessing in disguise. But when a lack of ticks is the good news, you’re definitely setting the bar low. It did remind me to reapply the dog’s anti-bug stuff — good news — but that means that they sort of stink and I need to remind myself not to pet them too much and that’s not so good.
But the day improved steadily from that point. I don’t know why exactly. I did make a conscious effort to change my mood, but I’ve done that plenty of times with less success. I meditated, highly disrupted by the dogs, but still good. I wrote a lot. I took the dog for good walks. (Dog, singular, because B has very little interest in good walks. He’s a fan of short walks.) I did some organizational tasks, including sorting through all the CDs I brought with me. I even cleaned the bathroom and did a little yoga.
I ate pretty good food: a spicy omelette with sausage for breakfast; a salad with a kitchen sink’s worth of vegetables in it for lunch. (Not size-wise, just a little of this, a little of that, a little of the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. I was finishing up odds and ends, but it was good.) And for dinner, a plate of snacks: peach slices, crackers, Vermont summer sausage, cucumber, olives, two types of cheese.
So maybe it was all those things. Or maybe it was just that the sky cleared and it got sunny. But it wound up being another truly lovely day.
This campground, Onion River Campground, near Montpelier, Vermont, technically has some strikes against it. No internet, no cell service, near a busy road, so traffic noises… but I have loved it. I got here by about 4PM on Tuesday, planning to spend Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but by early afternoon on Wed, I knew I wanted another day. Mostly because the writing was going so well.
But the days here have been blissful. I know I probably make it sound like all my days are blissful, but honestly, not so much: I work on it, sure, but I’ve spent a lot of my past five weeks trying to adjust to constant change, a new bed, and a much higher level of dirt than I am used to. With sick and stressed dogs; strangers living twenty feet away from my windows, sometimes less; no dishwasher, washing machine, or bathtub… yeah.
But these past days have been what I hoped to find: Serenity feeling like a cozy home rather than an overstuffed vehicle; the dogs relaxed and enjoying themselves; the writing going beautifully (except for the part where I’m back in the beginning again, oops); and my days filled with moments of appreciation.
The spot I’m parked in is in the tent zone, under a tree, so instead of being in a parking lot of RVs, I’m off in a field and it feels like I’m by myself. There have actually been two tents here, but somehow people with tents feel more peaceful than people with big trailers. By the time I walked the dogs in the early evening, I could look at the field of wildflowers and the apples in the orchard and the green hills, and think, wow, how lucky, how incredibly lucky, I am to be here.
Tomorrow — well, today or maybe even yesterday by the time I find an internet connection to post this — I’m back on the road again, spending the weekend with my cousin. I’m hoping to get some useful stuff done: laundry and finding a place to get propane and dog food (probably not the same place, but maybe!) But I’m also hoping that the weather will stay nice enough that we can try out my kayak. I’ve been on the road for over a month, with my kayak taking up precious space and I have yet to use it. Mostly because there’s been so much else to learn that adding one more thing to figure out just felt like too much. But I’m ready. Fingers crossed that all goes well!