Blogs, random thoughts, travel

  • Planning for Spontaneity

    In order to be spontaneous, we have several lists on the kitchen counter in various stages of completion.  
  • Annie's Antics

    Recently we were just organizing the storage areas for an upcoming trip.  Annie came aboard the van, hopped in the shot-gun seat, and looked back at us as if to say “Let’s get a move on!”
  • Who’s the Photographer?

    In doing an art show or craft show, without fail, there is always at least one person who asks the question: “Who’s the photographer?”  Typically they are an older (than me) male, often with a military background.  Once they identify who in the booth is the shutterbug they begin to describe their own photography equipment and skills, in great detail. 
  • When Is It Too Rough To Rough It?

    We don’t worry too much about forgetting something we might need on a trip.  Years ago people would say “there’s always a Wal-Mart nearby” but the more reassuring thought today seems to be that there is ALWAYS a Dollar General nearby.  On our last trip we tallied thirteen in two days.  
  • Buying a Mattress

    We set a date to go to a mattress store to look at our options.  In preparation we laid on all the beds in our house and camper.  We came away with the realization that the most comfortable mattress we owned was the foam one we made for Wanda the campervan.  
  • Gnats!

    Then there was Jenni’s uncle who lived in the Low Country of South Carolina.  The kids knew better than to complain about gnats around him because his response was always the same.  “You know how to get rid of the gnats in your face?”  How?  “Cut a hole in your shorts.”  
  • What's Your Legacy?

    Wouldn’t it be grand to live your life in such a way that people remembered the good you did, and the smiles you created, decades after you are gone?   
    Could a photograph of something you created and the mention of your name open a floodgate of fond memories and stories?

  • Week of Waterfalls

    [The ranger] assured us our Civic could handle the gravel road to the parking lot but not to think about traveling farther down that road.  Then she pointed out some simple to reach falls closer to the Blue Ridge Parkway and I pointed to a spot on the map and commented “that’s where we tried going a few years ago but got a hincky feeling about the directions”.  She suddenly had more respect for us and said “oh, you’ve been reading so-and-so’s book”.  
  • Moth Man

    Back at the visitor center, Jenni was taking care of business and I was trying to get Annie to go to the park’s water bowl.  However, the man we had just met was standing right beside the water bowl with his large coon hound.  He was studying the moths which had gathered on the wall during the night. 
  • Ultimate Outside Update


    A few weeks ago I wrote about our quest to visit all 47 South Carolina State Parks in an effort to get a FREE T-shirt as part of the Ultimate Outsider Challenge.  We had done 1-1/2 parks at that point.

    In case you, or my wife, forgot what it takes to FULLY qualify (by my rules), we must visit the park, walk SOMEWHERE in it, take our photo in front of the park sign, and get an ink stamp in our official park service book.  To date, we are at 9-1/2 official parks. (At this point, we still need to return to Devil’s Fork for the photo.)

  • No, really, where do you go?

    In case you don’t know us very well, we would rather spend hours trying to make something we could have ordered off the internet with a 10 minute search.  We approached our van toilet the same way.
  • Teacher Appreciation

    Sometimes I got there by bus, sometimes by catching a ride with an older sibling (if I promised to become invisible when we reached campus). One time in Elementary School, I even pedaled my bicycle the 3 miles because there was a bicycle rodeo that day.  But for the most part, going to public school was one of the happiest events in my young life.