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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Reflection Time

~Friday, January 8, 2021~

Day 208

Over breakfast, I was explaining to Jeff that I noticed this trip is causing me to be more deliberate and more cautious with my actions. I’ve always been pretty cautious about what I do, but have taken the time to slow down and think more about what I’m doing. For example, I’m much more aware of my surroundings….does it seem safe, sketchy, a little more questionable for what fits in my comfort zone? Since my intuition has always served me well, I listen to it a great deal! Traveling or being in unfamiliar territories forces one to do this naturally, or though it seems. I don’t sit there and worry myself to death (that’s not good either). But in a nutshell, it pays to be smart….right?

An example of being deliberate would be making a mental checklist when I’m going anywhere (especially errand running). The checklist looks something like this:

  1. Check that the truck shell and car are locked

  2. Check that my keys are in my backpack

  3. Check that my wallet is in my backpack

  4. Check that my cell phone is in my pocket

I know for many, these seem to be easy tasks, but as many of you know, this has been a struggle for me over the years after several incidences of losing my wallet, my keys, etc. due to the mere fact that I was always in a hurry.

Another thing that being a full-time RV’er has taught me is keeping better tabs on scheduled maintenance on the trailer and the truck….i.e. oil changes, tire rotations, etc. The truck maintenance is essential to ensure that we don’t get stranded in goodness knows where. I don’t take this “beast” for granted one second since it has allowed us to keep on movin’ and has given us the opportunity to see what we’ve seen these past 6 months. This isn’t just our mode of transportation….it is our garage, an extension of our home, our everything right now. Being a full time RV’er forces you to behave and think differently. It is a lifestyle.

Would I choose this forever? I haven’t quite committed to that idea. For now, having a home base is really important to me. But the home base idea looks way different than it did a half year ago. The past 6 months has really enforced what I kind of already doesn’t take much (in terms of stuff) to make life run smoothly. In fact, the “less is more” attitude and action simplifies, which in turn produces less stress, less obligation, which in turn allows you to breathe and be more present in life’s experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern conveniences as much as the next guy, but require very little of it. And furthermore, it’s not good for the planet! It’s a good thing that we’re paying more attention to our “footprints”, conserving as we go. Have you noticed that when we’re in places where we’re not busy, busy, busy and we have some recharge time, that the posts get more philosophical in nature? I guess having some time to reflect is good for the soul!

So what did we get done today? Are you with us? You can now check off the oil change on the list. Jeff’s rethinking the idea of having Ford do the oil changes instead of himself. It’s been a little challenging finding the right places to do this while we’re camping, not to mention the time it takes to do this 2-3 hour chore and finding a place to properly dispose of it. Maybe while we’re on this little trip, it would be better to just spend the $160-$170 letting the professionals handle it than spending $120 to do it ourselves. Not an easy decision for someone who does virtually everything himself. Consensus?

Finally, at around sunset, we took a walk on the 1500 foot long boardwalk which then leads you to another 2,000 foot dirt trail that runs along the Suwannee River. When we got to this handsome section of river, it begged the question….is this the same Suwannee River that is mentioned in the ever popular 1851 song “Swannee River” . Well, yes it is. In fact, this IS Florida’s state song. We weren’t sure because they’re spelled differently, which prompted me to do a little research. I found out that songwriter, Stephen Foster, purposely changed the spelling to fit the melody. So they are one in the same. What do you know??

Walking on the boardwalk went a little better for Sadie today, since yesterday when Jeff took her, she was a little skittish, at least in the beginning. There is a little section on the platform that is a bit wobbly but once we got past that, she did fine. It was a little creepy walking over these really swampy, mossy areas, all the while wondering when an alligator was going to grace us with its presence. There were none to be seen today. What we did notice were these really peculiar looking spire-shaped stumps that protrude from the bogs. And they’re everywhere. Jeff had brought a beer along this little hike of ours, and what do you know, the picture on the can was exactly what we were looking at in the marsh. The name of the beer….Swamp Head. So we thought these odd looking protrusions were called swampheads. After some botanical research I found out their actual name is Cypress Knees, which are thought to help aerate the roots around Cypress Trees. This would make sense due to their roots needing some relief from the constant moisture. Interesting little fact.

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