Is it difficult to picture these lovely guys as the precursor to your smart phone?
For just 18 months in 1860/61 ponies like these (and their plucky riders) were the only means of communication between the eastern and western United States. Their legendary feat of carrying mail 1700 miles – across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains – lives on in the hearts of Americans. When the Pony Express came to town in Fountain Hills AZ a great lump of unexpected national pride welled up in my chest.
Jude of Travel Words and the earth laughs in flowers has invited me to join in with this challenge. Jude is an accomplished photographer/traveler/garden enthusiast so while out and about stays grounded and records everything with wonderfully entertaining results.
There are only two rules for this challenge:
On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.
Today I would like to nominate Joanne Sisco at My Life Lived Full to take up the challenge. She likes to live her life ‘on the edge’ and has posted some startling photos to prove it. A favourite post of mine is A Winter Day at the Falls. Recently she shut herself in a sensory deprivation tank. Good grief! What’s next, Joanne?
It has occurred to me that Jimmy and I may not be thinking along the same plane or are even on the same planet. We rarely do are should our Quest be any different?
“The List” of requirements for the perfect place to live, which we had agreed on, has been thrown out as being ridiculously unattainable so now we’re drifting aimlessly, mentally and geographically. We each speak longingly of our nirvanas but these potential home bases may be more pie in the sky than pie on our plate and his is probably apple and mine is pear.
When I say Let’s live in California he says I don’t think we can afford it. When he says Let’s live in Florida I say I don’t know if you can stand it. And that’s the end of the discussion. If you can call that a discussion.
As we’re not the best at communicating, at least in any constructive way, it seems appropriate at this point to put into writing our options. Perhaps the unspeakable possibilities will spur us into taking action about settling down. These are our realistic and unrealistic prospects:
Do nothing. We are fed, clothed, warm, mostly dry and have beds, in fact have everything we need all in the one small room.
Move into an apartment once again with a view to buying a house at some point.
Move into a single wide and keep the travel trailer for a means to escape bad weather.
Spend a little time with family in Washington State and Florida then tow back to California to look seriously at different areas, cost of living and apartments.
Research cost of living in California thoroughly online before wasting a few months realizing we can’t afford to live in Malibu.
Pack up our meager collection of furniture and belongings stored in the U.S. into a U-Haul and travel in tandem back to Florida where we know we can find a nice apartment and the cost of living is affordable but we don’t know if our 50°N latitude bodies are ready for 25°N latitude heat and bugs.
Keep traveling in our shoebox and looking for an unconditionally perfect place to live.
Return to the UK.
Live in France.
Check out Hawaii.
Sink our house fund into a new big shiny RV and new car. DO NOT TELL HIMSELF I EVEN SAID THAT.
Give up all our worldly goods and join a religious commune.
There. That should focus our minds. There are some pretty scary prospects there.
Even more worrying is that it is only No. 12 that we would both find completely alarming.
I’ll get back to you when we’ve had a proper grown up discussion about it.
Our tolerance levels are tested when we’re cooped up in our shoebox RV. Bad vibes bounce right back to the perpetrator and can ricochet between us with increasing ferocity. Some days I bite back caustic remarks in a bid for peace in the box. Some days I don’t. Some days I try to couch accusations as innocuous statements so as not to be seen to be blaming him.
“The water should be nice and hot. I turned the water heater off when I got up for a wee at 3:00.”
“Was it on all night?” himself asked, his voice raising in alarm as our water heater can be temperamental and hot water spews down the outside of the trailer in its own campaign to escape the box.
“Not all night. Just half the night.” I valiantly left it at that. He knew he had turned it on and left it on. If he thought I’d done it, he’d have let me know. If he thought I’d accused him of doing it, he’d have let me know that too.
The merits of sarcasm, nagging, letting rip and knowing when to shut up often “debated.”
The diagnostic testing was inconclusive so there is no treatment plan. Derek is slower than ever and I can only conclude that he’s sulking. The tech was too kind to say but my diagnosis is senescence as many of you have suggested although there was a degree of prejudice against his kind where a preference for an Apple exists.
Derek will be destined for an old people’s home while I find a toy boy, technologically speaking that is, but until we decide Which Way Now – USA or Europe – we will hang on to Derek as well as Bill and Bob the naughty 2G phones that refuse to play with the new cell phone tower next door.
Derek thanks everyone who has shown concern for his welfare but has been quite distressed at the number of people who feel I should trade him in for a piece of fruit.
Now he’s been mesmerized by this slide show of white-tailed deer at Ochlockonee River State Park in Florida:
The bills are paid, the checkbook is balanced. I’ve had a last troll through WordPress Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Pinterest , three different Hotmail-now-Outlook email accounts and Amazon, both .com and .co.uk. The local-to-seven-time-zones-away newspaper has been checked for football (you call it soccer) results; BBC.co.uk has been scanned a last time. Zoopla.co.uk and Zillow.com have been perused for houses. Again.
The time has come. Derek the laptop is being sent away for treatment.
His problems are two-fold. We’ve filled his belly with double doses of music, photos and text files which is partly to blame for his worsening mental functions. None of us perform well after a big lunch. But a rapidly developing early onset dementia is now made apparent by blank screens and infuriating little circles that go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round which indicates I’m thinking before he blurts that tired old message, the only one he can recall, this page can’t be displayed. His instant recall is rubbish.
Not helping his troubled mind, Derek has been at odds with the new AT&T tower next door. He feeds his poorly brain with a 4G Verizon signal but AT&T badgers him so he constantly loses his train of thought.
To give him a break from the neighbor’s harassment I take Derek to the library for a refreshing dose of free Wi-Fi. His condition causes him to repeatedly drop the signal, like a baby with a rattle. He won’t pick it up and I can’t pick it up for him. The other boys and girls are playing happily on their laptops, but Derek made me complain to the librarian despite the fact that he was the wayward one.
The signal is fine. See that green circle? No-one else has complained. I think the problem is . . . . . . . , and she looked at me sympathetically before her eyes dropped to Derek.
Back at home he returns to his meditative state. My brain is always full of chatter but Derek can clear his mind beautifully and just ooooooooooom.
I could put Derek in a home and use the library computers but their browsers aren’t up to date and don’t support spellcheck on WordPress. As I am a teribul tipist and my speeling is werse I have developed a spellcheck dependency disorder. Which means I am co-dependent with Derek.
And I would miss his warm presence on my lap.
C’mon Derek, off you go. There’s a good lad. The nice man won’t hurt you. He’ll hook you up to life support, run some diagnostics for a couple of days and then put you on a detox.