Daily Reflections From My Window

August 6, 2021 Friday: Day 5: Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses

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“Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.”

Earl Shaffer

When I pack, I pack in “what if” mode. What if I get a blister? I need to bring bandaids. What about bug bites? Of course bug spray for prevention and Benadryl spray, cream if we can’t avoid them. Sunscreen? Check. After-sun care? That too. You read the post about the hiking boots. That was a fluke that I had a back-up pair. Usually I have several pairs of flat shoes, but boots? One. Then there are the clothes. What if it’s hot? Cold? Unseasonably something? Rain? You’d think I was a scout. I’ve never been. Organized? I always say that it’s “the key”, but it’s a key I don’t have!

A few years ago. Jay decided we should become campers, with a tear drop camper. He’d heard of one called a “Little Guy”, made in Somerset Pa. we headed to the Hershey RV show to check out all of the options and not to long after, our Little Guy Max with the Rough Rider package was in our driveway. It tweaked both of our camping desires. Small, filled with gadgets and storage, a nice working kitchen area with 2 burners and a nice sized refrigerator and freezer, and a shower which included the potty, right inside. It sleeps 3 or 4 little people. It is THE little house on wheels. Just what I’d love to do with the cat house but not on wheels.

We have been going a little further with each trip. We like to camp with our friends, but most can only do weekends and we’ve been trying to go a little further each time we go alone. Last summer we ventured to Lake Erie. Mostly highway, it was great. This week we headed to Rickett’s Glen State Park one of the true hidden gems of Pa. and to our delight, Jack, Madison and Connor came along.

Jay discovered this park in a National Geographic book about the lesser known state parks worth visiting. It was booked, to campers, unless you wanted to tent camp, so we stayed at the nearby Red Rock Campground, which looked like something out of the 50’s-Dirty Dancing vintage. No one puts Baby in a corner. Except Tracey, the owner, made Jay, who prefers pull through sites, to backing in, back in. Better her than me. She said she has a “big voice” and wasn’t afraid to use it. She persisted and he did great! Every time we go, we learn more and do new things.

What does any of this have to do with packing light? The LGM can be pulled by our car, but has weight limits to what you can carry. Packing it lightly and efficiently is critical. It does have lots of storage, but you have to be mindful of what you put inside. Melamine vs. ceramic dishes, cast iron has to go underneath or in the car, minimal everything. Nothing heavy. I’m still learning. Collapsible bowls? I may need some. I love our coffee cups, but might need a lighter version.

Though the site looked relatively level, once we parked, we discovered we were in the “Tiltin’ Hilton”. Front to back it was level, side to side? Not so much. Our camper neighbors had a driving camper and just tolerated it for a night or two. We decided to do it right and I’m so glad we did. Things just work better. Water runs the right way, door stay closed, that kind of thing. We need to buy a few more things now though-sewage lifters among them and more level things, a filter for the water. More weight.

The camp was described by the owner as “primitive” but it had water, electricity and sewage at each site. It wasn’t primitive, just tired. A new coat of paint would do wonders on the buildings, but other than that, it was a great place. We had a beautiful rock fire ring and an expert scout fire starter. Life is good.

We cooked in the cast iron almost every meal and the key for me at least was keeping it preheated, so I just stored it between meals on the hot fire coals and that seemed to work. If we use that, even though it’s heavy, it’s all we need.

Here’s another example.

What I packed in the clothing department, vs. what I actually wore.

For 5 days, I took:

2 long sleeved Cabi tops

2 short sleeved underarmour tops

2 pairs of shorts

1 long sleeved bathing suit top (for sun protection)

Bathing suit

1 pr. wool stretch pants

1 pair army green Cabi Capri pants (pockets)

Navy Sierra tank dress

Underwear

Bras

Pjs

2 Sweatshirts

Alpaca socks

Flip flops

Hiking boots 2 pairs

What I actually wore:

Navy dress as top and dress

Bathing suit

1 sweatshirt

Capri pants with pockets for hike

Black wool pants

Red long sleeved Cabi top

Alpaca socks

Pjs

Underwear

Bras

I always need much less than I think I need. May be time to clean my closet.

Anywho, the clothing I took fit into a packing cube and wasn’t heavy at all. As mindful as we are about weight and packing, and especially about locking every drawer and cabinet before driving, on the way home, one of the drawers let loose and ripped right out of its gliders. It was the drawer in which my clothing was stored. Not heavy at all. We’ll have to investigate options.

For now, I’m getting back in the groove. Back to fiber and I have wonderful ideas, as usual after a little time away! The socks are entering production phase. Excitement! And the alpacas are on the mend, thanks to Dr. Dan’s care and the help of our friend Phyllis, a retired nurse snd alpaca lover. They were in terrific hands while we were gone, as they usually are, but this time with the added treatment, I needed to think outside the box. Today, pack light and choose what you haul around with care. You may find that the heaviest burdens are ones that you don’t really need.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!