June 08, 2020

Campfire Talk

Whatever Happened to The Golden Rule?  Most of you know that Reflections Around the Campfire is all about RV travel and the camping lifestyle, and it’s not often that I venture off the straight and narrow.  I don’t want to turn today’s post into an editorial on the painful state of our country’s difficulties, but I also don’t want you to think that I’m completely oblivious to current events.  Our family is truly blessed in that all of us are physically, emotionally and financially secure, but there are so many others who are not.   My heart and my prayers go out to each and every person who is suffering in any way, whether that suffering is due to a health crisis caused by COVID-19 or another serious illness, discrimination of any kind, unemployment, food insecurity, physical or emotional abuse, grief, fear, hate, anxiety – sadly, the list goes on and on.  These are trying times we’re living in, in so many ways.  So, I’m working especially hard to live by The Golden Rule, treating everyone the way I would like to be treated.  What a wonderful world we would live in if all of us could actually manage to do that!  As our former pastor said many times over, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  Please, God, help me be part of the solution. 

We Went Camping!  Well, Not Really . . . No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth.  Life has just been a bit busy around here lately and, unfortunately, blogging has had to take a back seat to everything else.  We’re in the midst of a major retaining wall project at home, but took a break to fit in a few days of camping.  Okay, that’s not really true.  Our older travel trailer, the Jayco, was parked at one of our rental properties, and we stayed on site while we worked on a couple of projects and a local contractor paved the driveway.  That property is within driving distance of our home, but it would have been a really long commute.  Since there’s enough room on the property to fit the trailer, “camping” there whenever we have projects to do has proven to be a wonderful convenience.  We have access to “full hookups,” so it’s not like we’re roughing it, and it eliminates the necessity of booking a hotel or driving an exceptionally long way to and from “work” every day.  Since our mid-May camping reservations on the shores of Lake Champlain were cancelled due to the pandemic, this is the best (and only) camping we’ve done so far this year.  With luck, that will be changing sooner rather than later.  Hope springs eternal.

North to Alaska . . . Not.  Again.  Yup, our trip to Alaska for our 40th wedding anniversary has been cancelled yet again.  Our anniversary is in mid-September, and our anniversary trip last fall was to have included a week of exploring several National Parks in Alaska on our own, followed by a week-long cruise down the Inside Passage.  We canceled our trip last fall for business reasons; this year, it was COVID-19 that did the canceling.  Thanks to the virus, it looks like it’s going to be a long, long time before we return to the magnificent state of Alaska.  While I absolutely love the idea of RVing across the country, up into Canada and throughout Alaska, it’s not really feasible for us – at least, not at this point in our lives.  Due to business related reasons, we can only travel for up to about six weeks at a clip, and we’d want our journey to Alaska to feel like an epic vacation, not a race across America.  Who knows?  Maybe the not too distant future will provide just the right Alaskan opportunity, and we’ll jump at the chance.  The state cast its spell upon me a long time ago, and the magic and the majesty of its mountains, waters and wide open spaces live in my heart and in my soul. It won’t be long before the longing becomes planning and the planning becomes packing and we’ll be headed north.  North to Alaska.

The Year of the RV?  Understandably, the COVID-19 pandemic put a scare into a lot of people who are currently questioning or outright abandoning their usual mode of travel.  Trains, planes and cruise ships are all foreboding places right now, and the family car, while safe in and of itself, tends to deposit weary road trippers at a hotel at the end of the day.  What to do?  It seems that buying or renting an RV has become a wildly popular solution.   The RV industry has been on a roll as of late, and was setting record-breaking production numbers several years ago.  Currently, the benefits of traveling in a self-contained recreational vehicle are appealing to many individuals and families as the pandemic runs its course and people are anxious to get out and do something.  Anything.  Sales of RVs and reservations for RV rentals are skyrocketing.  That’s wonderful news for the RV industry, as many of the manufacturers had ceased production during the pandemic and their bottom lines took a hit.  If demand is high, that facet of the economy will be showing positive numbers sooner rather than later.  But what impact will this new-found love of RVing have on those of us who are already having difficulty finding places to camp and making reservations?  It’s a good question, and I can see things going one of two ways.  1.  So many more people will be vying for the same number of campsites that reservations will become almost a necessity, and planning for them will become the newest indoor sport.  That would not be good news for those of us who prefer a less restrictive schedule and might struggle more to find campsites on shorter notice.  2.  On the other hand, with unemployment so high, even those who already have an RV, or who may be inclined to give RVing a go, may not be able to afford it, resulting in less of an uptick in RV travelers than might otherwise occur.  As to how things will shake out, I have no clue; I’m just sitting here ruminating when I should be doing the laundry.   I know the RV industry is ramping up its marketing, focusing on the safety and freedom of RV travel.  In theory, many new RVers are flooding the market just as most states are working hard to re-open their economies.  Let’s hope that the Year of the RV turns out well for all of us.  Whether due to campgrounds that remain closed because of COVID-19 concerns or the scarcity of available campsites, it would be a shame to be all dressed up with no place to go. 

But You Don’t Understand - I Have a Difficult Time with Change.  Those of us using Google’s Blogger platform have been informed that we must switch to the “new” Blogger by the end of June.  So, this will be my last post on the “old” Blogger platform – the one on which I actually know what I’m doing.  A number of fellow bloggers have already made the switch, but I’ve just been a little too busy to really concentrate on it.  Some reported that the transition went well; others, not so much.  Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be back soon with the next installment of the Big Switcheroo series.  Next up will be a recounting of our adventures in and around Disney World, including a tour at the Daytona International Speedway.  I hope you’ll join us!  Zoom!  Zoom!

“May God give us grateful hearts and keep us mindful of the needs of others.”
                                       ~ Author Unknown (at least to me)


  1. Very inspirational, Mary. Makes me feel a little selfish by comparison but, as an only child, it's not my fault! On another note, your disappointments in being unable to fulfill your travel desires because of other obligations reminded me of our decision to get rid of those obligations and hit the road. Best thing we ever did. I sincerely hope for the time when you can experience the degree of freedom that suits you. If anyone would deserve and appreciate it, it would be you and Alan.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Mike. The obligations are of our own making, but Alan's the kind of guy who needs a project or two to keep him happy, and I fully understand and support that. I would be delighted to travel more than we do, but he has spoiled me for 40 years, so it's a small price to pay. We have reservations in July and August that, if they're honored, will make us happy campers, indeed.


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