On Friday, I left my campground in Vero Beach, with some unexpected regret. I really thought that ten days sitting still, all alone, was going to make me totally stir-crazy, but I was completely peacefully happy there. And the writing went so incredibly well — it was writing like I haven’t experienced since, I think, February 2014, which is an awfully specific date, but it was when Fen was spilling out of me like she was writing A Lonely Magic by herself.
I tried to convince myself to wait until the last minute to leave the campground, but that is just not in my nature. When I know I’m going, I need to go, so I packed up early and hit the road. But since I was on the road, I decided we should have a little adventure. I headed for Captain Forster Hammock Preserve, a dog-friendly park that according to Bring Fido included a pleasant 3/4 mile hike to a beach where dogs were allowed. I got lost on the way there and wound up driving on a dirt road for about forty minutes, through mud puddles galore, but eventually found it and took the dogs for a walk. Not, however, a 3/4 mile hike to the beach.
The post-hurricane mud puddles had turned the trails into slip-and-slides, as well as creating perfect breeding grounds for a mosquito world domination plan. When B sat down and refused to go any farther after about twenty minutes — I think we were getting close to the beach, but I couldn’t say for sure — I decided to take his opinion as law, and we turned and headed back to the van.
I’m one of those people with blood that must taste like mosquito ambrosia and as a result, I’m pretty mosquito tolerant. I’ve claimed before that my secret superpower is the ability to defend other people from mosquitoes, because a mosquito will always go for me if it has the option. I’m usually very good at ignoring them. But not even I could ignore those mosquitoes. They were very, very happy to have discovered me, but so prolific that some were even going after the dogs. Still, the park was beautiful. It felt like walking through a jungle, with palm trees and underbrush, but with nice wide paths.
As we headed back inland, I was thinking about the rest of my plans for the day: grocery store, maybe storage unit clean-up, hanging out in a parking lot until I could meet up with a friend for dinner, and wishing I could really just write instead. Noah’s being so very, very opinionated. Quick example:
She’d neatly sidestepped his earlier question, returning to ridiculous stories about her brother and other people in the town. He hadn’t wanted to call her a liar, but telepathy? Precognition? Auras? Sure, there were people who believed in those things but people believed in astrology and lucky numbers and the dangers of black cats, too. People could be stupid.
He didn’t think Grace was stupid, though.
As I was thinking that, I drove past a… well, sort of a park, I guess? It was a parking lot. With one pavilion and one picnic table and plenty of room for cars. But it was right by the water. Impulsively, I pulled into it and parked, parallel to the water. I got out my computer, and for the next three hours, I wrote to the sound of ocean waves, the smell of sea, and the feel of a cool breeze coming in through the open windows. It was basically paradise.
One of the absolute best things about Serenity, both as an experience and as an aspect of the make of RV I chose (a Winnebago Travato 59K) are her windows. A lot of RVs, especially the smaller ones, are pretty closed up. The wall space is used for storage and appliances and it feels like you’re sitting inside a box. But the Travato 59K has long windows running along the twin beds. In fact, the 59K basically has windows in every single place it’s possible to put a window. Even the bathroom has windows on the doors. When I was looking at it, I liked it because of the light it let in. I thought living in a box would likely be easier if it was a well-lit box. But now that I’ve lived in her for a while, I love it because of the views. I love lying in the bed at night, turning my head two inches to the left to see the night sky. And I love working in my office (the same bed, switching to a perpendicular position) and looking up from the computer to see trees and leaves and… well, sometimes ocean views. In the future, more ocean views, I hope, because although that was the first time I wrote from a parking lot with a view, it will not be the last. Campgrounds with ocean views are too expensive, but parking lots are a bargain.
In other news, Z and B are both sick. I spent the day at the vet on Saturday, emerging precisely $600 poorer. Ironically — or perhaps in just a not-very-amusing coincidence — that was how much I told my brother it would cost the previous day when I was debating whether I needed to take them. Yes, I can predict vet costs! Not a useful skill, really.
And not at all ironically, I was not happy about the results of my visit. Z has been refusing to eat. Not just her kibble but anything. No wet food, no treats, no people food. She rejected rice and roast pork on Friday. The vet ran a bunch of tests, came up with nothing, so sent her home with a bunch of medications and some special food. But since she won’t eat, I couldn’t get her to take either the medications or the food. My big plan for yesterday was to get some chicken and rice and see if she’d take that (nope), and do a bunch more reading about raw diets for dogs. I am somewhat grossed out by the thought of the dogs eating raw chicken in the van — raw chicken, ew! — and I don’t know how I can manage creating the veggie mixes with my tiny fridge, but I think it might be time to try. B, meanwhile, has another ear infection. Yep, life with dogs. Totally worth it, but still frustrating.
And much to my relief, on Monday morning, Z still turned up her nose at the special prescription food, but thought it was definitely time for some of her regular food. Yay! I knew as soon as I woke up that she was better, which was one of those puzzles — how did I know? But I realized after I’d been awake for a while that I knew she was feeling better because she woke me up when she demanded I move the blanket out of the way so that she could come snuggle. That’s the way she generally wakes me up and for the last few days I’d woken up on my own. I would really like not to have to wake up on my own again anytime soon. But I hope I won’t have to.
This week: lots of useful stuff, unfortunately getting in the way of the writing. But seeing some friends, getting a check-up, fixing some stuff that’s wrong with Serenity, spending some time with family — all good stuff. And I hope to squeeze in some more words around the corners.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
Wow what a lovely spot to write. Glad it’s flowing. Sorry about the dogs. Hope they return to good health quickly.
Z is doing much better today, much to my relief! And B’s ears… well, he doesn’t seem to be in pain and we’ve done this rodeo before (about a dozen times) so I’m not too worried. And yes, wasn’t it lovely? Today and yesterday I searched for beautiful spots to write and had far less luck, unfortunately. Lots of Spanish moss in central FL parks, not enough water! And today’s has a guy with a leaf blower wandering the grounds making noise…
Beautiful view…sorry about the babies being ill. Funny how you were right on about the vet bill. Aaack… pets are ex-pen-sive! But you can’t put a price on their companionship or love. Glad Z is on the mend, and hoping B gets over his ear infection soon. Great snippet of Grace — wondering what Grace will have to do to convince Noah that precognition, auras and all the other wonderful gifts are actually real? Can’t wait until he wakes up and smells the coffee! LOL
Grace will be working on that very thing today! It’s a very fun scene. I’m still feeling far away from my ending, but I’ve got a solid 50K words, so getting there!
Allison Hubble said:
You should talk to Marilyn Alm about feeding raw, she has fed raw for quite a while. Her pups eat about a wing and a half each per day for a full size dachshund and beagle. I think the veggie mix would not be too bad either small batches should be manageable.
She was the one who gave me the idea! She gave me a lot of info about it. It had never really occurred to me before. I still haven’t tried them with anything with bones, but I did feed them some raw chicken thigh with a dehydrated veggie mix and they loved it, so that looks like the direction I’m going to go for now.
allison hubble said:
She’s an expert. I’ve tried several times over the years to transition my cats to raw. They want nothing to do with it. It’s actually kind of fun to watch the dogs crunch through the cicken wings. For the smaller size dogs you can segment the pieces to make it easier. The raw meat rarely touches the ground once they get the hang of it. I might start feeding outside at first to avoid clean-up, but then you just hand it out like treats and, crunch, crunch, crunch, swallow.