I was near Sarasota this weekend, mostly so I could see R, with a side dollop of managing some paperwork with him. Honestly, if the paperwork hadn’t existed, I would still probably have gone to Sarasota because one breakfast was not nearly enough after not having seen him for six months.

Got there on Friday and took him out to an all-you-can-eat sushi place, which was remarkably good, considering how unlikely it is that all-you-can-eat sushi can survive economically. It seems so impractical, especially in a college town.

Afterwards, I drove to the campground and got settled. I think it was my very first arrival after dark — a thing I had been cautioned against doing, even before getting Serenity. (Or the first such arrival at an unfamiliar place where I would want to connect to water and electric, anyway.) It was sort of thrilling, doing a slow drive through the dark wilderness to the campsite and getting myself situated, but of course it was fine. No problems at all.

I’m developing a different relationship with darkness after months of living with a camper. Unfamiliar dark has always been sort of scary, potentially threatening. What villains might lurk in the night? But now I’m out so often after dark, walking dogs around campgrounds and appreciating the night skies, that I’m really starting to take darkness for granted and even enjoy it.

On Saturday, I mostly hung out at the campground. R came over for a while and we worked on the paperwork that needed to get done and then took a walk together. He’s playing Pokemon Go and I really might have to give it a try, although somehow our entire month’s supply of data for our shared phone lines is gone and if that’s all Pokemon Go… Data has become such a precious commodity in my life.

I really liked the park. They’re using controlled burns and it made for such interesting and diverse vegetation and scenery. In the campground, I was surrounded by trees, plenty of barrier between sites to feel like there was a sense of privacy. But right outside the campground, the landscape was blackened, charred tree trunks sticking up out of ashy ground. And then walking around, there were lots of areas of different heights of plants.

On Sunday morning, I went for a long walk with Z and got a little lost. I didn’t mind feeling lost, mostly because the park wasn’t big enough to stay lost for long, so even when I wasn’t sure where I was, I knew I’d find something familiar eventually. But also because it was such an incredibly beautiful morning. I took my first ever panorama photo because I was so awed.  If I’ve managed to display it properly on the site, that little dot of light in the top left corner is the moon, with the sun rising on the right.

Oscar Scherer State Park at sunrise

Oscar Scherer State Park at sunrise

We ran into one person, also walking a dog, and she pointed out a nest containing baby eagles to us. Their little heads were bobbing up, tiny dots against the horizon. I could have stayed lost for much longer and still enjoyed it.

But it was my last day, so I had to head out. I met up with R for brunch/lunch and then made the long drive back to Sanford. Today the van is at the dealer, getting her fan repaired. Tomorrow it’s back to Mount Dora for an oil change, I hope.

And since I have internet at the moment — not on my data plan! — I’m going to spend a good chunk of the day playing with roadtrippers.com and mapping out a route to Galveston. And also, of course, doing some real writing, not just blogging. The story I’m working on right now — which I totally should not be working on, of course — contained these lines yesterday:

She dashed behind me and I looked up to see a rat charging at us.

Not just a rat, though. A big rat. A rat out of nightmares. The kind of rat that you might invoke in a scary story designed to keep children up at night, with glittering red eyes and a hairless tail lashing the air behind it, clawed feet and teeth dripping with poisoned saliva. It leaped at us, flying through the air as if propelled by demons.

I incinerated it, of course.

Without hesitation.

And with none of that fancy drama some elemental talents throw into their work, with pointing hands and mystic gestures, lines of fire extending from their eyes or balls of flame shooting out of their fingers.

No, I just set it on fire. All of it, inside and out.

Yep, having fun writing. Not writing anything I ought to be writing. So it goes!