Saturday, December 23, 2006

This Christmas season: All is calm

Week 8, Dec. 18 through 23, 2006

While most folks are still bustling about decorating, shopping, wrapping, etc., I’ve had a calm, peaceful week. There aren’t many campers in the park, not many visitors to the park’s museum. Several volunteers have headed out for Christmas visits, leaving Diane, Jimmy, Fran, Bill and myself to tend to park duties. And another past volunteer is here for a couple of weeks to help in the museum.

Tomorrow evening I plan on attending the Christmas Eve service at the Columbus Baptist Church and then come back to Jeremiah to put my small Christmas tree up. You see, when I was a child, Santa Claus brought our tree on Christmas Eve. Picture this: it is still dark on Christmas morning when eight Anderson children lined up by age in the hall – youngest first, oldest last. Then we were led into the living room and saw the Christmas tree and presents for the first time. It was a magical time. The first time I was allowed to be up to watch Dad decorate the tree was when I was home from college my freshman year! Memories of my childhood Christmas mornings are why I often keep this Anderson tradition.

Without all the hustle and bustle and often tacky commercialization of Christmas, I’ve had more time to concentrate on the real reason for Christmas – celebrating the birth of Jesus. Thanks to my Verizon PC Internet access, I’ve been able to listen to wonderful Christmas Carols and songs on

Full-time Campers
During my weeks here at Pancho Villa State Park, I’ve discovered some interesting things about the full-time campers. These are generalizations based on observations and conversations; not to be construed as “facts.”

There are two types of full-timers:

1. big RVs, mostly retired couples; they spend most of their time at commercial RV parks – north in summer and south in winter – that have full hookups (water, electricity, sewer) and amenities (Laundromats, etc).

2. tents, converted vans, small RVs, many singles (mostly men in tents/vans; less women in small RVs); they prefer low cost state and federal campgrounds and forests and other primitive (no electricity) camping locations.

PVSP has quite a few of category 2. They stay here for the maximum 21 days, leave for a week or so, and then return for another 21 days, etc. A few of them do their 21 days here, travel about 30 miles to Rockhound State Park and stay there 21 days, etc. Back and forth during the winter. Some of them are friendly and sociable, others prefer to stay to themselves.

Growing older
Being alive means we grow older each day. Here’s what Will Rogers had to say about this:
Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
1. The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
2. Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
3. When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
4. I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
5. One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
6. One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
7. Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

News in and around Columbus
I heard that a cattle transport truck overturned going west on Highway 9, but didn’t hear of the fate of the truck-full of cattle.

Talked to a big-rig truck driver who has hauled oversized freight over Highway 9 for 30 years. A mobile tire repair guy was struggling to replace several tires. I’m not sure what he was hauling but the low-slung trailer had many more than 18 wheels! He was saying that if he had any money, he’d certainly start a truck-tire repair business here in Columbus.

I wish you all a blessed and merry Christmas.