Sitting At The Camper

I’m sitting on the deck right now, writing this post on my phone using the WordPress iPhone application with a nice cold Sam Adams Irish Red while Jonna sits chilling across from me in our astronaut chairs – which is what I call these lawn chairs she found that recline and are totally comfortable.

While this is not the ideal way to blog for me (my hands get tired very quickly these days), I have to say it’s pretty cool to be able to write a blog post in the middle of nowhere and actually be able to post it.

The application also has support for the camera, so I am posting some quick pictures as well, that I just took while writing this – just to see how it works.

It’s interesting. For all intents and purposes, this place is supposed to be my refuge from technology. Up until now, I have been limited to Twitter via SMS / web and emailing Flickr photos from the phone.

Now I’m sitting here writing a blog post and watching Jonna roll here eyes at me for doing it. Life is good.

I never thought I would be this connected and have these online capabilities from a campground. What a time we live in!

Tonight is Karoke night here. Not a big fan. However, we do have a big stump to burn. Maybe we’ll just hang out here tonight.

More later. Thumbs tired.





Carol Gets A Back Seat for the Golf Cart

Photo by jonna404

Jonna’s parents have a camper up in Wisconsin. Their golf cart has no back seat, so when they have visitors, its difficult to show them around.

Back in June, after a trip up to their camper, Jonna searched Craigslist for a back-seat for their golf cart. We wound up finding our camper (a little more expensive than a back seat) – that included a golf cart with a back seat. Carol and Bob would borrow our golf cart when they had guests, so that they could drive them around the grounds.

As the story goes, later in the year another couple also went out searching for a deal on a back seat after a visit up to Bob and Carols camper. They wound up buying a camper for themselves as well.

This month, Jonna picked up a golf cart ornament she spotted in a Hallmark store for Bob to give to Carol. She spent some time crafting the fine back seat (seen above in Carols right hand) out of cardboard, bubble wrap, and one of my old t-shirts. Once she opened this, Bob walked her out to his truck to reveal the back seat she has long wanted.

See, Christmas wishes do come true. It wound up costing a few of us some money, but now we have somewhere relaxing to hang out in the summer.

Camping Season Over – Relaxation Unit Close Up.

While camping season technically goes until next weekend, due to Homecoming activities with the kids and the like we had to close up the relaxation unit this last weekend. This has been our first year “camping” and I’ve gotten some interesting learnings from it:

  • Social networking is a lot more fun when the community congregates in person on a regular basis. We met a lot of really nice people this summer and have made friends that we would not have made otherwise.
  • I never realized how much of my weekends were spent working until I stopped doing it to go to the camper. This was probably the first summer in my career that I did not have a computer with me during the weekend. I have to say it was nice, even though it was a grim reminder of how much I used to get done on the weekends due to lack of time during the week. Scheduled time with Jonna and the kids was definitely something I don’t want to miss out on anymore though.
  • I’m lucky in that I have inlaws that I really like hanging around with. Half the fun of the summer was being able to spend quality time with them.
  • I’m more prone to do stuff around the house if the scale is smaller. Totally didn’t mind mowing the lawn at the camper this year.
  • I suck at building fires. If I was the Tom Hanks in Castaway I would have died the first week.
  • No band sucks that bad if you have enough beer around.
  • The Beer Hammer is probably the best invention since the wheel.

A Trip To The “Ewok Village”

Inlaws CamperYesterday we took a trip up to my inlaws camper to spend some quality time with them. Jonna and I haven’t been up there for over a year, but every time we head up there I am amazed at what I see.

The camper is located in a little campground in Wisconsin. I named it the “Ewok Village” a few years ago because it really is like a miniature town. People buy campers, rent land, and landscape the hell out of it, creating their little “home away from home” where there is constant work to do (deck building, lawn mowing, etc), where golf carts substitute as cars (and everyone has one) and everyone tries to create their unique little space on their little spot of land.

The interesting thing about it to me is how committed people get to it. The inlaws have a new neighbor, which we met yesterday. He had been there since Thursday, getting ready to build a new deck. Interestingly, he said he didn’t even want one when he got the site, but here he was, buying lumber, measuring it out and building one. I guess it just catches on like that. Who wants to be the only guy on the “block” without a deck?

The place is called a campground, but what you do there is the furthest thing one would call camping. The campers have electricity, satellite TV, bathrooms and some even phones (don’t quite get this one – everyone has a cell phone these days). One trailer on the corner actually has an outdoor bar, while another one has a gazebo with a ceiling fan, for those unbearably hot days. Everyone has their little golf cart that they tool around in in lieu of cars, some electric, some gas powered. People build driveways, decks, and complete house fronts to make their camper look unique.

Each time we go up there, I realize that there is some “guy gene” that I am missing. Mine would be the camper with no driveway, no deck, nothing. Just a plain camper with a car parked in the grass – if there was grass – I don’t see myself taking the time to plant and nurture it into a lawn. Sure, I would get me one of those sweet mini-rides and tool around the park, but mine would be the plain golf cart – no ATV wheels, nothing jacked up – just something to get around. After all, who wants to WALK when you’re out camping? We are civilized after all aren’t we?

Here’s the most fascinating thing to me, that I think about every time we go up there. Its almost like the people there are building their own little Utopia. They put everything they really want in real life into these campers. The difference between this place and “real life” is that everyone has a sense of “camaraderie” here. The guy who didn’t want a deck? He had my father in law and his neighbor over there helping him build it. Everyone invites everyone else over to their fire to hang out and talk in the evenings. Everyone waves to one another and everyone knows everyones business. It really is like a little town – a small little miniature village that has all of the things that “real life” doesn’t really have. Its a community – but one in which people actually (shudder) meet face to face and hang out in, as our son calls it, “RL” (real life). For my in-laws, I would call this their version of “Second Life”.

I have to admit, every time we go up there I think about how wonderful it would be to be a part of it. I think the only thing that stops me is when I think about the amount of work it takes. The last thing I want to do on a weekend off is to go up for a “deck raising”. For me, a place like this would be someplace to go to relax, not to work.

And that would be my demise. I can just imagine all of the “neighbors” getting together at their evening fires irritated at the guy without a deck or a lawn. “When is he going to fix that place up? He’s bringing the property value down!”. Pretty soon, people are showing up at the camper late at night trying to scare me away. Or worse, they actually build a deck and plant a lawn FOR me – and now I have to keep them up. Pretty soon, I’m making trips up just to mow the lawn or plant flowers.

In the end, thats probably why I just visit. I don’t think I’d be able to handle the ‘hardcore-ness’ of Ewok Village residency, but it really is a great place to visit.