Ramblin’ Road: Camping is a lifestyle that we chose

by Phyllis McCrossin

It’s been an uneventful week.

King and I hibernated in the trailer on Monday as the snow swirled around us. We did venture out once for a run into South Haven. I don’t even recall what it was for, but I’m sure the trip was vitally important.

I was thinking that if the snowy day had occurred in December rather than April, people would have been much happier with the white stuff that was floating down. There is something about a December snow that is magical. I’m sure there are many who don’t share the feeling of magic when the snowflakes fall in December, to them I have one question: if you don’t like snow, why are you in Michigan?

Now April snow is another matter. By the fourth month of the year most people are looking forward to spring. Snow on April 18 is generally not welcome. Even a little.

We have been dealing with the cold. In the morning the water line is usually frozen and we switch from an external water source to our internal source. I think our tank under the bed is 30 gallons. If we were boondocking (camping without any amenities) we would conserve water, questioning whether or not we really need to wash the breakfast dishes or if we should combine breakfast and lunch dishes. Since we are not boondocking, and once the sun comes out and it warms a bit we can switch off the internal water tank and use the water from the campground, so conserving water from our tank becomes a non-debate.

And while I’m thinking about boondocking… Our goal this summer is to replace our gas generator with a solar generator.  Neither one of us can follow the diagrams and text that goes with a complete solar system but a simple solar generator hooked up to one or two appliances (i.e. the television and dish receiver) will make King a happy camper.  Our fully charged deep cycle battery, which charges when hooked to the truck while driving down the road, will suffice for the few times we do boondock.  It’s all about compromise and doing what works for us.  

I have been told by someone (who was using a rather disdainful voice), that there are those who would not even think about watching television while camping. OK, I get that. But to be honest, we are not camping. We happen to stay in campgrounds but we live in our travel trailer. It’s our permanent home (until the time comes when we can no longer do this). That does make a difference — at least in our eyes.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion about our lifestyle, but those opinions don’t have to be shared with us. Well, I suppose they can be shared but I don’t have to agree. Opinions are just that – opinions. My opinions are mine, your opinions are yours.

In fact, opinions are kind of like navels. Everyone has a navel, but few people walk around with their shirts lifted showing it off (thankfully).  There is a time and a place for exposing your navel (like the beach), but I would grow tired (and also be a little grossed out) of seeing them day in and day out.

The same is true with opinions.

You can share with me your opinion. But don’t expect me to change my mind to your way of thinking.  I have lived and observed life from my perspective for a long time. My opinions fit my life, much as I’m sure your opinions fit yours.  No need for arguments or name calling or calling someone evil for having a different point of view.

Play nice, be kind and don’t kick sand in the sandbox.

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