Lake Conroe

iPhoto wanted to enhance this photo by making the sky blue: it wasn’t. Just shades of gray.

If I had six kids, some tents, bikes, a boat, some fishing gear, coolers of food and a barbecue grill, I would really like this campground. Actually, maybe even just the boat would do it: I bet it would be fun to motor around the lake for a while, despite the rain and chilly air. (I wanted to say that it was cold — it was in the 40s this morning — but for people still having real winter, 47 probably does not feel cold. It did to me.)

That said, I strongly suspect that five years from now, if someone were to ask me whether I’d stayed here, I will not be able to pull up a single memory of the place. There are basketball courts with basketballs, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, ping-pong tables, a fitness room, a swimming pool… but walking the dog feels like walking through, at best, a tiny home community. At worst, a reasonably nice trailer park. People are friendly, as they always seem to be at Thousand Trails campgrounds, but admiring the scenery while I walk the dog is mostly a matter of considering what lawn ornaments I like best; pink flamingos, garden gnomes, or other. One house had the exact same rabbit my mom used to have as a planter on the kitchen counter, so it’s pretty much won the contest for now, but I’ve got another day here, so I might find still find some competition. Hmm, that makes me want to go back out with the camera and take some photos of lawn ornaments to put at the top of this post. But it’s cold and wet and I have a dog sleeping at my feet, so that’s not going to happen.

I would love to understand why it’s so easy for me to walk miles on a beach where the scenery is technically pretty much all the same — endless ocean, endless sand, occasional birds — and so hard to do the same in a neighborhood. I was hitting a daily 10K steps in Galveston, and walked at least 2 miles before breakfast every morning, but this morning I walked less than a mile and it felt like plenty. I don’t want to break my streak, so I’m going to be aiming for another 2.5 miles today but it feels like a chore instead of pleasure. The rain, of course, doesn’t help — beach rain is exhilarating but neighborhood rain is just tedious.

I’m hitting the point where I have to start planning my trip home to Florida. It’s strange that it feels so much like a “have to,” though. I’m going home for two main reasons: to be with family on my 50th birthday and to go to Universal with my niece and brother. I’m also looking forward to having dinner with my writing group and seeing my friend C. So this is not a “have to” sort of event. Good things will be happening in Florida in April. Good things will be happening in May, too, and also June, and also July, so I think that my “have to” feeling is mostly that my time no longer feels so flexible. And I’m going to have to make some decisions: a few long driving days interspersed with no movement days or many short driving days. What I really want to do is spend a few weeks wandering around Oklahoma and then the same in Arkansas, but I’m not going to have the time for that. No regrets, though — my extra beach days in Galveston were absolutely worth it to me. The weather was typical of this Texas adventure — rain, rain, more rain — but I would live in that campground if I could.

I just looked at the clock and argh, how have I wasted so much time this morning? Ans: daylight savings time, of course. Time to get to work…