I’m writing this blog from a lakeside RV campground in North Carolina, near where I snapped the above photograph. The campground is our short-term home until we find and purchase a new house. Unfortunately, I anticipate living here for a few more weeks, but things could be much worse.
This is a peaceful place. A sunrise on the glassy surface of the lake is gorgeous, and mesmerizing. I’ve become attached to a family of mallards that stop by to visit and share my breakfast each morning. They seem to like Honeynut Cheerios as much as I do.
Staying in a place such as this one provides an excellent opportunity to develop new character ideas. It’s a people-watcher’s paradise. Our temporary neighbors come from varied backgrounds, professions, and lifestyles.
There’s no doubt that many of us would probably not reside in the same neighborhoods outside the boundaries of this resort. In the two short weeks that we’ve been here I’ve met doctors, lawyers, a cattle farmer, neighbors of NASCAR drivers, several police officers (this seems to be a very popular activity for law enforcement professionals), teachers, and business professionals. Today I spoke to a man who’s in town for a Thresher’s festival – the largest antique farm equipment and steam engine show in the Southeast. Not an event that we’d likely attend. In fact, I’d never heard of it until today.
I’ve watched with keen interest when new people roll in. The process is similar for each arrival. The man backs the RV into the space while the woman provides hand signals as a guide to move left, right, or stop before running into a tree (lots of cursing and fussing takes place during the backing maneuver).
When the unit is in its proper spot, the man begins leveling the house on wheels, hooking up to water, electricity, cable TV or satellite, opening the slideout room additions, and chocking the wheels to prevent the mobile condos from rolling downhill into the lake.
The next step is conducted with a fair amount of reverence. One member of the family emerges from the RV carrying an American flag, which they attach to the home, the trailer hitch, or to a portable flagpole.
The American flag is as much a part of RVing as campfires, hotdogs, and making Smores. This display of our nation’s independence is never more apparent than it is on the 4th of July when campgrounds everywhere are converted to seas of red, white, and blue.
This weekend’s activities will be centered around the family. The odor of charcoal fires will drift throughout the grounds. The sounds of boat motors, children’s laughter, and horseshoes clanging will fill the air. But thoughts of soldiers protecting us and our freedom will be foremost on our minds. There’ll never be enough words to thank them for all they do.