Monday, May 16, 2016

Snap. Smoooooth. Tuck. -- day 201

Snap. Smoooooth. Tuck.

They say most folk don't end up in the job they went to school for. I say, "What's the point of school, then?" I actually heard one professional teacher explain that school was to help kids learn how to learn.

Learn how to learn? Didn't you come out of the womb not really knowing anything, and have to learn how to eat, talk, walk, and use a toilet? How did you learn to do all of that without going to school? Is there a secret prebirth school that you attend that teaches you how to learn the preliminary skills to learning that a school can only help perfect?

I am not here to knock school. I went to some really great schools in my lifetime, and made some really great friends as a result. I have been exposed to public, private, parochial, homeschool, christian school, and charter school. I've worn uniforms and had dress codes. I've had free dress Fridays, and half day Fridays. I've had field trips to art museums, working farms, and once to night skiing on Mt Hood. My point is: I've seen a lot of different kinds of schools. In all that time, I think the two biggest lessons that school taught me is that people are jerks, and my parents are the best teachers that I've ever met.

Confucius and Marc Anthony are both credited with the idea that if you find something that you love to do, you'll never have to work a day in your life, or some such. And I have to disagree. Sometimes the pressure of doing something that you love for money ends up killing the dream that you had to begin with. I think the secret to being happy is not trying to get someone to pay you to do something you love, but to find something that you love to do and do it for free. Do it with friends, teach other people how to do it. Surround yourself in it, and let it define you. Be what you love, and the work that you have to do to pay for it won't really seem that bad.

Right now, I'm working at a job that some would say is a waste of my talents. But they are missing the point: I am not my job. I am all of the things that I do when I'm not working. The job just allows me to pursue the other things that I want to do in life. I also fold a mean hospital corner.

My parents are wonderful teachers, and one of the greatest lessons that they taught me was to be an awesome parent. So, that's what I'm doing. Teaching my little one to be authentic, and unapologetically herself. Hoping that she continues to love herself regardless of what other people say and do, or what they think of her. Show her that if she shines her light bright enough, she can change the world.

Meanwhile, I will snap, smooth, and tuck.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Adventure Awakens -- Day 189

Today is my third day working, and it's my day off. I mean, I'm not working today, but I'm officially back to work, as of this week.

We arrived Sunday afternoon and got settled into our site. We met a few people from the staff, as well as some long-term campers. Most of the staff has only been here a couple of weeks, and there is a small group of folks that have been here about a year. We really vibe with the crew, and I think we're going to have a marvelous time here for the summer.

All of our preparation, and learning how to RV over the past six months (which really has felt like a year), has brought us to this point. This was a goal line, of sorts. The finish line. Time to relax and enjoy our accomplishment!

Except that we are now working full-time, five days a week, off on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

"Out of the flying van into the campfire." ~ Sensei of Truth

This place is truly gorgeous. The sheer enormity of these wooden giants is difficult to capture with pen or lens. Words like "vast" and "giant" get bandied about as to lose all significance. To stand beneath these gentle souls and tilt your head back until your spine protests is like a tiny child looking up at a parent. But the parent is actually 400 feet tall and 1200 years old. Zoe and Anya walked THROUGH the base of one of the trees. Not the commercially hollowed out desecrations, but a genuine giant that had survived many forest fires, one of which opened up a passage at the base of the trunk. I'm pretty sure if Gandalf had THESE Ents on his side, that battle would have gone a bit differently.

Another teacher of great wisdom nearby is the Eel River. Deep enough to enjoy a swim in, but cold enough to make you regret that decision immediately. Lord Eel has deposited a treasure trove of round river rocks, some of which defy classification.

To reach the river from the campground, one must descend the River Trail. A winding 350-yard path that ensures you will carefully consider a return visit, and you will also appreciate the resting benches that are strategically placed along the way.

The walk down persuades you to spend a bit of time with the river, if only because you're dreading the walk back up. Ascending the hill didn't quite take me 127 hours, and I do have all my limbs intact, but I'm pretty sure there is plenty of fodder for an Oscar-worthy film of the man-vs-nature variety. My single-minded plodding was motivated by the realization that there was no food down by the river, and I'll be damned if I'm going to die of starvation because I can't climb a planned hiking trail.

Found out from the staff the next day that there is actually a paved river access road a few feet farther down the river, and they usually drive the 4-wheeler down there. Lazy.

Now that I've survived that ordeal, I'm fairly certain that we can make it through anything, including this summer long hiatus from LTE service (thanks for the memories, Sprint) and the fact that the nearest shopping district is 80 miles away. And it's not that we're getting rid of our phones, we just can't use our unlimited Sprint internet because the nearest coverage is something like 200 miles away. And when I say shopping district, it's where CostCo, Walmart, Winco is. There are grocery stores closer, but they are significantly more expensive. Also worth noting, we have been encouraged to leave our rig here, parked, for the entirety of our stay. There will not be a weekly Fezzik trip to the grocery store. We're relying on our new-found friends and Amazon for our grocery needs. Having said that, if you want to send us a block of cheese, our address is:

Cheo Jackson
75000 Highway 101
Leggett, CA 95585-8910

"Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor." ~ Rumi

Facing these odds, we know that we are going to be ok. Every change requires adjustment, and flexibility is what allows you to bend and not break. Flexibility can be increased by stretching. Stretching is most effective on warm muscles, after exercise. Looks like we're going to be in really great shape!