Keepin’ it personal

It’s Day 419 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are ok today.

It was another ideal spring day in The Ozarks — ideal, that is, if you’re a farmer and your planting needed a soaking rain. We’re under no pressure today, and it wasn’t a travel day, so the weather didn’t create any stress. We just let it rain.

On these down days I’ll fire up my computer earlier than usual. I’ll do a little social media, maybe seek out a bit of entertainment, surf the news and research a few things. Doing all that requires an Internet connection, which brings me to the subject of campground wi-fi.

It sucks.

The wi-fi provided free by most commercial campgrounds these days is almost universally horrible. It can’t possibly keep up with the myriad devices guests have running simultaneously, especially in the evening hours when demand peaks. So it’s down as much as it’s up, and when it’s up it drags like an old 300-baud modem.

Yeah, I know, it’s a First-World Problem. But it still annoys the hell outta me.

When it gets intolerable, and provided we have a decent cell signal (which isn’t guaranteed in The Ozarks, by the way), we use our phones as “mobile hotspots” and end the frustration. Any time we’re camped at a state park or boondocking, of course, we have to go the hotspot route.

Even though we have security measures in place for using campground (and other) free wi-fi, a personal mobile hotspot is more secure. We do, however, need to be mindful of our provider’s data cap, because if we blow through it we pay through the nose.

And that leads me back to our rainy day. Getting onto campground wi-fi before the evening rush means competing with fewer users, and that makes the connection more reliable and acceptably fast (if not necessarily speedy). So I chose to do most of today’s blog post earlier rather than later.

I made a fire last night. This campground provides each site with a welded-steel box for the purpose, and I propped ours up off the ground with a few sticks to improve the draft. We burned more of the oak that Deb’s cousin had brought us.

The folks in the fifth-wheel trailer parked next door came over for a beer and friendly conversation. As Deb was talking with them, my mind drifted away from the moment.

I got to thinking about what we’re doing and how totally unfamiliar the experience is — truly terra incognita for me. As wonderful as it is, as fortunate as we are, one question gnawed at me.

Do I really deserve this?

I’m serious about that. It feels a bit like I’ve been awarded The Grand Prize by mistake, and that any minute now the prize committee will come to take it back.

The feeling passes, of course, because I don’t dwell on it. And Deb assures me that I deserve this — we deserve this.

But it does beg the question — suppose you were told, either by your god or your gut, that you could have exactly what you always wanted? What if you could jettison your cares and concerns, shrug off your burdens and live a Zulu Foxtrot kind of American Life?

You can.

I’m here to tell you that it’s a choice — maybe a complicated one, perhaps a difficult decision to make, but trust me, it’s within reach.

It took me almost 64 years to learn that the people that I admire are the ones who figured that shit out.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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