The “OFF DAYS”
by Johnnie W. Lewis
Today, I’ll recap some of our adventures from the past two-and-a-half years, especially since there’s not much else to write about right now — until next week! Next Monday, we’re taking a trip down to John Pennekamp State Park, in Key Largo (the most northern island of the Florida Keys) for a glass-bottom boat tour! Yes, we’ve done glass bottom boats before, but Silver Springs is in fresh water, where there are different kinds of fish and animals than in salt water. Never taken a salt water glass-bottom boat tour before, so this should be interesting. And rather than coming straight back to TB1 (our RV) from there, we’re going to spend the night near the entrance to Hwy. 9336, which goes deeper into the Everglades than the Tamiami Trail or any other road we’ve taken into that vast network of sawgrass, alligators, pythons, and swamp! Then on Tuesday, we’ll take Hwy. 9336 deep into the swamps down there and see what we can see!
Which leaves today without an “adventure.” Everyday, during this last month of our “snowbirding in Florida,” I need to spend getting off my lounge chair where I’ve been resting the body and, supposedly, the mind. If I were a young child now-a-days, I would be diagnosed with ADHD, because my mind bounces from one subject to the next, constantly wondering about events going on around me. Why is that squirrel moving his stash from that hole to another one? Why did that lady take stuff out of one under-compartment on her RV and put it in another? Why is that cloud whiter than the others? How loud will the 17-year cicadas be when we get to Tennessee? I hope that ambulance isn’t stopping here!! ARGH! I just wish the mind would REST sometimes!
Anywho. One of the many things that I have to finish or straighten or reconfigure before we leave our nest near the Everglades is to get all of the extraneous files off my desktop (on the computer). Reason? Because we probably won’t have access to decent internet connectivity again for most of the summer, except sporadically! Our son and daughter-in-law’s house provides fiber-optic cable (theoretically, providing the fastest internet service), but we’ll only be there for a week during May, while we cat-sit for our grand cats. Then at my brother and sister-in-law’s house, we have a little guarantee of good service. But once we head toward the Great Lakes, we’ll be in Corps of Engineer campgrounds and other private and public parks, few of which have internet service for the RVers, whether it’s free or we pay for it. SO. Anything on my desktop that needs to get to YouTube, the “cloud,” or to a newspaper needs to get “sent” before we leave here. After that, our main source of “uploading” anything will be through a “hotspot” that we purchased or our iPhones. Sure, if we can get a phone signal, we’ll have wifi service (to some extent), but the high-speed version of that runs out, eventually, during the month. That usually means that I’m left with files full of pictures and video snippets all over my desktop…, until I have/take time to put those photos and video snippets into movies to put on YouTube and eventually to the “cloud.”
Here are a few of the files that I still have left on my desktop, which either haven’t been turned into videos or are waiting to be uploaded to the “cloud” or are only of interest to us and probably not to anyone else. CCHS (we missed our 50-year Class Reunion last year because of COVID, but are hoping we can have a delayed version this year, so I have a file for activities for that event). Free music for videos. State CapitOl Buildings (pictures of the capitol building for all 50 state capitals as we visit them; these will go in a book eventually). GA Counties and their courthouses (all 159 counties will be visited by the time we’re through with this odyssey and all of their courthouses captured; another book). San Diego (the movie has been produced and is on YouTube, but the pictures have not yet been sent to the “cloud” for safe keeping…). Tombstone (same song as San Diego, second verse). March Air Reserve Base (same song as Tombstone, third verse). Pio Pico near San Diego (same song, yada, yada).
Then there are the places we’ve been for which I have not yet created a video, each place with a file full of pictures on the desktop. Each of these files needs to be produced into a video, uploaded to YouTube, the pictures and video snippets uploaded/stored to the “cloud,” etc.). These files date all the way back to the middle of the summer when we were still in California. Some just didn’t seem interesting enough at the time for me to spend the time to create videos, while others had to be put aside for crises in our lives. Earthquakes, COVID restrictions, funerals, horrendous weather, etc. are all the reasons why some of these visits have gotten “pushed aside.” There’s the one full of pictures about Hollywood, CA. Then the repairs I had to make to the RV roof and the scenery as we were leaving California. There’s Phoenix, AZ; Yuma, AZ; and the High Chaparral at Casa Grande, AZ. There are files each for: White Sands, NM; El Paso, TX; the Space Center in Houston; miscellaneous shots in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida; Tallahassee (had to get the capitol); and the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Pooler, GA near Savannah. All of these, of course, are in addition to the 108 videos that we already have on YouTube (to find them, put “Two Old Farts Traveling” into the search bar).
If I’m lucky and can get caught up, I also have a file on my desktop for XCode. I’m trying to learn “coding” so I can create an “app” for my The Five Finger Paragraph method of teaching students to learn to write paragraphs and essay without all of the hassles! And maybe some apps for some of the other 46+ books that I have on amazon.com. Please, Jesus, don’t come get me until I get through with all of this work on Earth!!
Johnnie Wright Lewis, author of 46+ books and a former resident of Cordele, and her husband, Jimmy, travel the USA in their RV, stopping to see whatever they can. Follow them on Facebook at “Two Old Farts Traveling” and watch the many videos of their travels on YouTube under the same name. Look for Johnnie’s books on Amazon.com under the name of Johnnie W. Lew