and people are just to much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of (Sanctuary Too. My truck and camper)
and all my cares just drift into space.
Up on the Roof
Sung by the Drifters
Lyrics by Carole King and Gerry Goffin
Face it, we’re not living in the “Leave it to Beaver” or “Ozzie and Harriet” or even the law and order sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show” days anymore. We have more concerns than worrying about Opie Taylor getting caught in a lie.
Going about ones business has gotten more complicated. Life is as not simple as it once seems to be. To quote George Clooney from “O’Brother Where Art Though”
“Damn! We’re in a tight spot!”
On the international scale there’s:
A daily climate change calamity. Flash floods, wildfires and dust storms. OY VEY!
The never-ending Covid Pandemic.
A rise in chest thumping Nationalism leading to a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Thus triggering all sorts of shortages and further disruption of international trade. Plus the human misery toll of needless death and destruction. All of this to fulfill another tyrant’s ambitions. (There sure seems to be a lot more tyrants these days too.)
On the National scene:
Speaking of tyrants.
Trump the Loser who won’t admit as much, orchestrating the demise of democracy. Facts be damned. I want it my way. Sadly enough, a majority of Republicans kiss his ring and go along with this wayward unreality TV show. I can’t wait to see the new Treasury Bills. “In Trump We Trust.”
The overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Gun owners now have more rights than women.
The now hairline fracture between separation of church and state.
And the Merican Way of Gun Violence.
And now on the personal front:
Back in August 2019, I gave up the Homeless by Choice lifestyle because…well, i was getting lonely out there. Upon setting up a basecamp in Durango, CO I sought guidance from that NY Times bestseller, “A How To Guide for a Wandering Wondering Jew to Meet Fellow Humans.”
Chapter One: Immerse yourself in local events.
So I did and still do with a Covid timeout in between.
I’ve attended: an Earth Day Celebration, the Dandelion Festival, Animas River Days, A Taste of Durango, San Juan Brew Festival (twice), Multitudes of Green Drinks, Durango Film Festival (twice), Bike Durango film and silent auction, a Celtic Festival, iAM Music concerts in Buckley Park, a Durango Trails 2000 Fundraiser ETC, ETC.
I people watch , smile at the many strangers and generally enjoy myself. Yet, I’m not making any newbie connections.
Chapter Two: Become a volunteer for non-profit organizations.
I do and did that too.
Book schlepper for the Friends of the Library book sales. When I’m on the job, I’ll exchange stories/quips with the other hard working volunteers. When the gig is over, I limp away with a sore back and still feeling socially unfulfilled.
Tree Planter and Fen Restoration Helper for the Mountain Studies Institute. (See above for results, plus multiple bloody lacerations.)
Forest Ambassador for the San Juan Mountain Association. I like this gig. I get to schmooze with mostly Pilgrim Hikers about Leave No Trace ethics. When I notice their lack of water, food and warm, dry clothes. I break open my BIGLY day backpack. I’ll display to the neophytes what I’m carrying if Mother Nature throws me a four-seam high-heat fastball.
To spot a Pilgrim, check the socks. Cotton=Rookie.
La Plata County Democrats Fundraiser. I was the guest bartender. Between giving ample pours, many smiles and pounds of Cutie oranges (there’s a lot of scurvy going around) I spoke to my fellow liberals. Social Result? Same as the above.
I commiserated with a Buddy of mine, he said, “Jeff! Don’t take it personally. It’s a sign of our times.”
Another friend said it all so succinctly when describing a couple we mutually know. “They’re in their own there.” Meaning? In their own world. No need for outside intrusions.
But I do take it personally.
Fortunately, the other reason I moved to Durango was for its Four Corner, Colorado Plateau epicenter location to Jeffie’s Happy Places. No matter which direction I point Sanctuary Too, there’s a Jeffie Happy Place: Mountains, canyons, wilderness areas, National Parks and Monuments. It’s all within a half day’s drive of my Durango basecamp. Perfect.
I don’t feel so alone when my needs are met. Solitude, Silence, Scenery=Serenity.
BUT! I’m pleased to report, I introduced Kwanhanumas to Durango. It was a rousing success. We even had Belly Dancers.
Baby steps. Baby steps. Maybe one day, folks will ask me to join them for Happy Hour.
Until then, when I’m in a tight spot, I’ll go camping.
All the above photos were taken from Jeffie’s Happy Places.