Thursday, May 24, 2012

The adventure of picking up trash

Yesterday is a sacred room in your heart where you keep your memories. Here you cherish laughter from another day. You hear melodies of half-forgotten songs. You feel the warmth of a hug from an old friend. You see the lingering glow of a long-gone love. From your yesterdays you draw lessons and encouragement to pass along to others.
---Writer Barbara Johnson, Joy Breaks Devotions

Birds are great entertainment
Birds continue to discover my window sunflower seed feeder. Besides the House Finches, recent visitors have been Canyon Towhees, Black-headed Grosbeaks and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Just today a Blue Grosbeak – the first one I’ve ever seen – discovered the seed that I spread on the ground; it’s just a matter of time before he finds the window feeder.
The feeder also had a surprising visit by a Bullock’s Oriole (according to my bird books, they are not seed eaters, so I assume they are just curious). Later the Oriole discovered the hummingbird feeder on the other side of Jeremiah and has been enjoying the “nectar” (sugar water) I prepare for the hummingbirds.
The White-winged Doves still have not figured out how to get into the feeder! I’ve had fun imagining its thoughts as a dove perches precariously on the slick, slanted feeder top. “How do those birds get in? Let me try again – oops, missed again, how embarrassing. I’m know those other birds are laughing at me!”
            Refilling my two hummingbird feeders is a daily chore. I sure enjoy my window feeders – I can look at birds even with my nose on the inside of the window and they don’t know I’m there

My campsite
I have a great campsite with a covered picnic table that gets plenty of use during midday. That’s the time I head out with a tall tumbler of iced herbal tea (favorite is half peppermint tea and half green tea), and my current book. Even though Jeremiah has good air conditioning, I prefer to sit out where there is a breeze to keep me relatively cool. I have finished reading Clive Cussler’s Lost City and Pastor Max Lucado’s “In the Grip of Grace.

 More interesting people
  1. A couple from New Zealand spent a night here. This is their seventh trip, and on four of them – including this one – their goal, besides touring our country has been to buy US-made motor homes to take back to New Zealand. Between here and the west coast, they will be giving away/throwing away all the electrical components (they won’t work in their country). They will have their motor home sent to their country via cargo ship.
  2. One night we had two sisters: one from Arkansas, the other from Dallas. Made me think of last summer’s trip with sister Linda.
  3. Bass fishermen from Albuquerque area had a frustrating time – between the low lake water and the muddy water – and in spite of a variety of odd-looking lures; the largest bass hooked in two days was a measly 2 and ½ pounds.
  4. Four campers were here specifically to see Sunday’s solar eclipse. And it was a full eclipse in this part of the country. As I wandered by their campsite in early afternoon, they gave me some “safe solar glasses” (think 3-D cardboard glasses with mylar as lenses). Thankfully the sky was mostly clear, making the eclipse very visible. I walked around the campground letting folks use the glasses to enjoy the eclipse. What a thrill!
  5. The Baumgardners – they were having a mini-reunion. Wendy and Dayna are sisters and aunties to Lee, Ava and great aunt to Liz. Fun folks – I used them as guinea pigs to demonstrate how a tarantula walks. We were laughing a lot.

And there always are some people I wish had stayed home. One night I was awakened by the lights of six or seven vehicles as they roamed the two camping loops. It was about 10:30. Eventually five of the vehicles settled in a campsite right across from me, and proceeded to be extremely loud, disturbing me and other nearby campers. When they still hadn’t settled down by 11 p.m., it was time to call for help. Note: I do NOT go out after dark. After a phone call to Sheriff’s dispatch; two State Police cars arrived less than 20 minutes later. Shortly after their visit with the rowdy crowd, they settled down.

Trash pickup has been a major project
I’m making good use of my pick-em-up tool. From the looks of stuff I’ve found, the previous host has not considered this important. Of course, I’ll cut him slack since I understand that he recently turned 90 years of age! He is remembered fondly by the regular campers.
  • Hundreds of cigarette butts; a couple cigar butts
  • Hundreds of beer and soda caps; one from a TAB soda (is it still made?)
  • Hundreds of aluminum pull tabs – including some real old ones
  • Hundreds of plastic bag ties and plastic bag clips
  • Candy wrappers and sucker sticks (left over from Easter?)
  • Wads of tangled fishing line
  • Rusted steel-wool pad
  • Numerous tent stakes, some bent and some not
  • Money – so far I’ve picked up two dimes, three nickels and nine pennies!
  • Rusted nails and wire pieces
  • A variety of screws and eyebolts and several zipper pulls
  • Pieces of ripped tarp
  • Three single-size foam pads
  • Inflated water toy –PHOTO
  • Various bits and pieces of string and rope
  • Two weird lures
  • 115 tiny – bb-sized – pinkish-red balls (not beads) (yep, I counted them!)
  • Trader Joe’s reusable grocery tote bag
  • And lots of paper trash
And on a last note, if you need to get in touch with me, please call. The Internet service here is weak and occasionally nonexistent, making it difficult for me to get email. (email address in

It’s not officially summer, but the heat has arrived at Santa Rosa Lake State Park. The thermometer on the sunny side of my motorhome has been reading in the mid to high 90s. No complaints from me, though – I grew up in the Phoenix area and lived through temps higher than that.

Life is meant to be a grand adventure to enjoy through all its seasons.

With a busy Memorial Day weekend ahead, I’m posting this on Thursday instead of Friday.       Remember to be thankful for all our veterans and current military folks – we owe our freedom to them.