Thursday, April 27, 2017

Unplugged Somewhere In Virginia

Our modern day lives are inherently bound to the use of technology so when we don’t have it at our fingertips, some people are just plain lost while others are forced to do without and learn or recreate by other means. With a statement like this one, a story is sure to follow.

Our month at Sherando Lake Recreation Area in Lyndhurst, VA is almost at an end. During this month our lives have been centered around the care and cleanliness of the Meadow Loop Campground, consisting of 18 sites and a bathhouse with two showers and two toilets. There is also a family sized bathroom to be used by handicapped or parents with small children.

This responsibility has been a joy to accomplish. There is a beautiful little stream running along the back of the camping sites as well as another stream bisecting part of the lawn area when significant amounts of rain fall. For more than 20 days, this stream has been flowing at full strength. To say we’ve had quite a bit of rain would be an understatement. Our supervisor measure just shy of 4 inches in a 24 hour period.

Our site is situated along the road where we have a southern exposure. Now for most of you out there, southern exposure means lots of sun for all of part of each day.  Not so with my husband. Our site is equipped with water, sewerage and electricity so a southern exposure means he can have excellent satellite reception for his television pleasure. Doesn’t sound like much of a hardship, does it?

There is no cell service at Sherando and it took me the better part of two weeks to stop grabbing my phone to research trivia, check on the weather, look up a word in the dictionary and to ascertain if any messages have come in. I would go through this fruitless exercise several times each day but I eventually learned. For a few campers, being without their “smart phones” has proven too much for them. Some have left the camping area, demanded their money back and even mumbled some less than flattering remarks under their breath about the “primitive conditions” in this part of the country. I question whether the smart phone would help them.  

No cell service, for me, means I can’t check on which movies are playing in Waynesboro, where the Outback Steakhouse is for our next lunch, how to use the word “penultimate” properly in a sentence and also to find out if we should close our awning because we are expecting high winds.

Now, these are most assuredly man made modern day hardships. In truth, my only real issue is being out of touch with my family back home in New Hampshire. I haven’t missed the numerous telemarketers, the phishing spam in my e-mail or the ringing of the telephone at unusual hours.

I do some of my best reading, walking and enjoying of nature during this month. I talk with campers, watch children playing outside in the fresh air and smile when I see a newly arrived flock of Gold Finches feeding on our lawn. It was impressive and “no, I don’t’ have a photo to share because the camera was inside the camper and I didn’t want to frighten them away”. It was awesome to just sit and watch the dozens of brightly colored birds moving about while they feasted on all manor of bugs. I’ve even had time to watch the foliage turn slowly from bud to leaves over the course of the month. At home, with our hectic and electronic lives, you don’t have time or take the time to enjoy those sorts of things.

My electronic fix is grabbed when I go do laundry or have to go into town for groceries. So, while I’m waiting for the clothes to spin, I’ll get this blog entry posted and then go enjoy some more nature. I may even have to mow the lawn this afternoon. I swear I can see it growing after all that rain we had a couple days ago.


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