8-21 My body exhales, Amish farmer, wrench in machine
A couple days later of no connectivity I’m finding my body truly appreciates it. It’s far more relaxed and less tense, esp. in my neck, back, and eyes from the strain of being online.
Internally I sense more inner peace. There are just my thoughts alone without the entire world inside my head.
I’ve long been aware of the stress being online puts on my body but I didn’t feel the palpable exhale of relief from it until after being off-line for an extended period of time.
What a difference it makes!
I sometimes reflect to the days when there were no cell phones and I remember how more vibrant life was - maybe because I was more in touch with it.
Rather than catch up with news of the world on my phone each morning since there is no connectivity I’m going to try jotting down thoughts in a paper journal and see where it takes me.
Just saw a raven swoop through. Whenever I see one it’s a good sign that I’m on the right path.
When I first started this very nomadic journey by going up the east coast in to Nova Scotia, there were ravens all along the way, guiding and accompanying this newbie.
Much later, the day when I resumed my travels after a long battle with Mr. Lyme a pair of ravens perched above my camper to see me off.
Today I move from Defeated Creek in Tennessee to Tailwater further north. I had plans to stay here longer but my spot has no shade and it’s too hot to sit outside like I usually do. And I don’t want to sit inside my camper all day, A/C or no.
Waterfront spots are nice but shade is a must to enjoy it.
Took a long detour through the Kentucky Highlands countryside to stop at an Amish farm shop. It was like stepping back in time via rolling hills sprinkled with farms and old homes. As I got closer I began to see tell-tale signs of skinny ruts and dried horse poop on top of the asphalt road — a sure sign of Amish horse drawn wagons.
The farmer’s market was a delight, complete with ancient cash registers. Varieties of veggies ’n such were spread throughout mixed with assortments of homemade breads, jams, granola, baked goods and more.
I asked the Amish farmer if I could just buy a couple of potatoes rather than the bundle he sells.
He waved me into the back and said to pick whatever I liked. I choose a couple small potatoes and he gestured to bigger ones, encouraging me to upsize.
I pointed out the back door to my tiny camper. Small camper, small space for food.
He got it and grinned, long white beard dancing.
As we walked back to the front, he asked where I was from.
“Florida… but that camper is my home.”
Eyes wide, he confirms, “You live in it??”
“Yes. It’s my home wherever I go!”
He laughs and waves his arms around, “Your home is everywhere!”
I nod and smile.
Curious, he asks if I’m alone.
What about a wife?
“I divorced a long time ago.”
His gentle blue eyes dig into mine.
“It’s all good,” I affirm.
He gestures again, “Your home is wherever you are!”
“Home is where the heart is!” I reply jovially.
I ask where he is from. Pennsylvania.
Why did he move to Kentucky? Everything was getting expensive and land prices getting too costly for farming he says, shrugging.
And the kids, he adds, we don’t use electricity, cars, or cell phones — they’re fading away from our way of life.
It was a somber moment.
Then he says I’m here now and happy and our farm is expanding!
We grin again in unison.
How old are you, he asks? 55 I say. 77! he reciprocates.
Another customer walks in. It was time for me to get back on the road.
He rings me up, I fork over bills, proffer thanks and wish him the best.
You too! he says with a twinkle in eyes as he whimsically looks over at my camper.
I arrive at Tailwater COE campground a day early thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal to shift my reservation back having left my prior reservation at Defeated Creek a day early too.
The campground host was clearly unnerved I brought chaos by showing up early and she was unsure what to do.
Is it really a big deal with the campground being mostly empty and my spot available, I ask?
Stammering and stalling out, her brain sputtered to a stop.
I ended up running over to the COE management office (luckily they were close by) where a kindly ranger banged around on her computer for awhile and got things sorted out.
I asked why it was such a big deal. She shrugged it is what it is, we have to make sure everyone is checked in properly and with a proper reservation.
I forgot COE (Corps of Engineers) is actually part of the US Military. And being engineer-run, they got rules and they gotta be followed!
My mistake for throwing a wrench into the machine.
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