Like you care…

Right after we brought home our SilverSilverado, I began picking up accessories — some practical, some whimsical, some simply ornamental. I make no apologies for those last two categories. It’s my “retirement truck” and I’ll do as I please.

I said this in mid-June:

“We replaced the truck’s wire-whip antenna with a chrome-and-carbon-fiber .50 BMG cartridge, just because.”

It looked cool. And it worked just fine in flat, signal-dense central Ohio. Here in The Ozarks, not so much.

There aren’t nearly as many terrestrial radio stations in this part of the country, and the rolling terrain makes it a challenge to keep any one signal tuned-in for long. Sure, I could switch to SiriusXM and get pretty much whatever I want, but honestly I’ve grown fond of a couple of local stations that play real Country music.

So this morning the cool-looking antenna came off and the original whip went back on.

I expect it to make a difference. Time will tell how much.

Changes happen. If we’re smart and aware, it’s inevitable. With time or experience or the seasons, we adapt. Only a fool sticks with something that doesn’t work when there’s an alternative that could make life better.

That’s the reason I swapped out the antenna on the truck. It’s also why I’ve gone back to wearing an old-fashioned “dumb watch.”

I really wanted to love the “smart watch” Deb gave me before we hit the road. It does some pretty nifty shit — monitor heart rate and track sleep patterns, answer phone calls and display e-mails and text messages.

It shows the weather. It has a compass app. I can change the appearance of the watch face whenever I like.

The more I used it, the faster the battery would drain. (Natch.) It wasn’t even making it through a full day, becoming just another annoying battery to charge.

I gave the geeky gadget 18 months of honest effort. It’s not for me. The other day I reached into the dresser drawer and pulled out my 12-year-old Casio, an all-steel analog chrono, and put it on.

Much better. It keeps time. As it turns out, that’s all I want a watch to do.

The park has thinned out again after a busy weekend. We’ll see that cycle repeat over the next two months, maybe through Thanksgiving. Long-term guests, like Deb and me, remain — we’re a sort of glue, unofficially but willingly filling gaps, helping our hosts where we can.

The arrangement works. It’s almost (but not quite) like family.

Two of our favorite workampers, a husband and wife originally from Illinois, are moving on. They’re older and in declining health, and they’re simply not able to contribute the way they want to.

They bought property in rural Cedarville, Arkansas that they’ll rehab and occupy before the snow flies. (Score another transplant to The Ozarks.) Their last day here at the campground will be the 21st.

Almost every morning, while making their trash-pickup rounds they stop by our site to chat. For us it’s become part of the continuity of being here. We’ll miss that, and them.

Deb and I are walking a line between anxious and impatient. Obviously we’re excited about our plans for The Mountain, but right now progress is (necessarily) slow. There will come a time, I think, maybe within the next month, when things will start moving much faster.

As we mark time ’til that moment arrives, impatience won’t help. Besides, as our site contractor reminded me last week, we’re on “Arkansas Time.”

The builder, at our request, reportedly has succeeded in delaying delivery of materials until the end of September. Excavation will resume this week with a different kind of foundation in mind.

Things like electric, water and septic will happen later — site work first, framing second, utilities third. And right is better than quick.

A lot of what gets done on The Mountain hinges on the sale of Second Chance Ranch back in Ohio. We’ve heard nothing leading us to believe that it won’t close by the date projected (the 26th).

Full speed ahead.

One year ago today, the wildfire smoke cleared and we saw Lake McDonald in all its majesty.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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