This Is What I’m Thinking.

Happy hour at the campground started at 4:30pm. We left at 8:30. Margaritas. I spent the morning in a Christmas card-making class. In the afternoon, we went to the post office.

Four weird things about that. First, the two towns we’re sandwiched between have post offices which are only identifiable by the chalk (I kid you not, CHALK) U S P O above the doorway in very small letters.

Hey, this is the Wild West. The post office doesn’t even have a FLAG.

Second, you can only find it by asking someone. And that someone doesn’t know how to speak English. (And I’m fine with that; I am proud that the United States doesn’t have a national language. It’s part of our freedoms, and I value it.) My Spanish is limited to Uno, Dos, Tres, (don’t know how to spell them) Feliz Navidad, and the lyrics to Rayando el Sol (because I listen to it ten hours a day for the first two months after Glenn goes on a work trip). So getting the directions to said post office was… difficult.

Third, our normal mail goes through one town, while any express mail goes through another town. And… get this, express mail is not DELIVERED here. So you spend $15 for express mail, but unlike a 44-cent stamped envelope, you have to actually drive to the post office to get it.

Four, in order to get to the post office, we have to go through a border patrol/inspection checkpoint. I really tear up at least once every day about border patrol and attitudes toward Mexicans. The way they sell it down here, I’m learning, is it’s not about the Mexicans crossing; it’s about the drugs. (Well, that’s what the NICE people say.)

However, I had one person tell me I should not go hiking without first getting a concealed gun permit, and, as someone else later said, not because of the four-legged cougars. Which is still better than the all-Mexicans-from-Mexico-are-dangerous-criminals attitude. *sigh*

The drugs are not entirely a prejudiced concern. They just discovered a truck with like 1600 pounds of marijuana or something insane like that. I’ve seen border patrol catch people twice, once because of a flat tire, and once because of one headlight being out. And I really don’t see why a forty-five year old woman is so dangerous she has to be kneeling in a ditch with her hands over her head. A bus crossed over, how I don’t know, and we were driving amidst ten or fifteen border patrol cars carting them to Tucson. (I woulda thought they’d be going the other way…)

One thing I didn’t imagine before I got here, is that border patrol stuffs people in the bed of pickup trucks. There’s a top over the bed with a locked door, but it’s short enough that people have to be awkwardly scrunched in there.

Do you know how hard it is to step up into the bed of a pickup truck? (Near impossible if you’re not under thirty.) Okay, now imagine doing that, and then climbing through a three-four foot doorway.

Meanwhile, back in the campground…

Campground living is different. For example, if Glenn walks the 1 minute walk to the office to ask a question, it’ll take him an hour and a half to get back. You stop and chat a lot. And the people are the COOLEST. And most people are retirees, so an “activities director” is coming in a week to entertain the “snowbirds” for the winter.

I can totally get used to this life.

So what are you thinking this weekend? Any plans? What’s your life like?

21 commments so far. Add yours!
Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: , ,

Pics of the Old and New Life

I didn’t look back when I left. I cried, but only from sheer exhaustion and relief to be done carrying stuff up and down stairs. I did, however, take a few pictures to share with you.

This is the pile of stuff I got rid of the last week. There was one, equal in size, the week before. This pile actually doubled in size by the time I left. It’s amazing how much junk a house holds!

Adventure 1 040

Did I mention it doubled in size by the time I left? About twelve more large, black bags were added to the pile.

I also took thirty-some big black bags of stuff to the Goodwill amidst five Jeep-loads, had a garage sale, and a local neighbor took four truckfuls of stuff.

I’ve lived on this street for the last eight years:

Adventure 1 041

The last five years have been in this house:

Adventure 1 042

I can’t tell you what’s in all the black bags. I think every house has stupid stuff that can’t be donated or given away. I threw my entire junk drawer away without looking at it, LOL.

You can see in the background that the camper is halfway up: it’s a pop-up, although it has hard sides, not a tent.

This is my Jeep. Isn’t she the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen? When Glenn first came to Ohio, he was in the dog house, and he told me he bought the Jeep for me. And then he forgot.

Adventure 1 018

This is currently the view from my bed, the front window of my camper. I wake up to it every morning. Every night, I fall asleep looking at the clouds stars.

Adventure 1 043

This is the creek running behind my camper:

Adventure 1 046

My campfire and picnic table:

Adventure 1 044

The front of my camper blurred, so you get to look at the back, which I smashed on the very first day I bought it. (See the duck tape?) *sigh* It towed so well, I forgot it was there:

Adventure 1 045

This is my “bedroom:”

Adventure 1 048

This is my office and living room:

Adventure 1 049

(Don’t look behind the curtain. That’s another bed end that holds the litter box, our chests and drawers of clothes, and all the cat food/water stuff.)

This is my kitchen. You can’t see the frig down below, and that off-white metal thing is covering the stove. I haven’t done the dishes yet. Sorry!

 Adventure 1 050

What home would be complete without an assortment of knick-knacks and stuff? Somewhere in the move, I lost my plates. Weird.

Adventure 1 051

So that’s my new home! I love it more than any house I’ve ever lived in. It was funny, I was standing in my best friend’s kitchen, and I realized that she has more stuff in her pantry than I probably have in my whole camper! Not quite, but close. :-)

In the middle of the top shelf, you can see a toy truck and a fifth wheel. I bought that in Michigan last spring to keep on my desk and remind me of the lifestyle I was aiming for. See the doll in the red basket? My dad got me that. It’s made of china, and I couldn’t part with it.

The only downside to my new life?

The big lug is still missing. :-(

Adventure 1 005

42 commments so far. Add yours!
Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: , , ,

Settling In

I want to show you my new camper, but I have to clean before I take pictures. A twenty-some foot camper requires always picking up after yourself. Two things out of place, and it looks like a disaster area.

I can’t get the water to work. See, I need a hose with two female ends, but my hose is a normal hose, with one female end and one male end. I tried cutting off the male end and doing one of those hose repair kit things to put on a female end, and it’ll work for five minutes and then the end just pops right off. Water spurts everywhere, and my cat gets wet. She doesn’t like that.

I think I need to find a picture online so I know I’m doing it right.

I was evidently muttering “female to female” in the store, and my best friend was very patient and accepting. About ten minutes later, as I’m puttering in the garden hose aisle, she goes, “Oh! So that’s what you meant by female to female!” I then imagined her setting herself up to be supportive of my coming out.

(Yes, we writers live mostly in our imaginations. I didn’t ask what she was thinking because my imagination was more interesting.)

My cats, while crawling in all the cubby holes, have disabled my 12 volt electricity. So my lights, my exhaust fan, and my furnace (all connected to the 12 volt line) are not currently working. I just have to take the time to follow the wires and figure out what’s going on. Good thing I brought electrical tape.

And I’ve lost a cat. I am trying not to be worried. He is not in a cubby hole. And the ONLY way he could have gotten out is if someone came and opened the door, because he sure as heck didn’t open it and then slam the door and latch it after he left. All the windows were closed because of rain.

He is really friendly though, so he will ingratiate himself to people, and I will find those people and get my cat back. He would not be scared outside, so that’s cool.

Still. I want my cat. Now. He’s my big lug.

On to the good news: the stove is working! I procrastinated turning on the propane for a week because I was nervous. (I don’t know why.) But it works! And I’m currently making quinoa and lentils in veggie broth. Yum, yum.

Other good news? My two and a half weeks of moving, sorting, and hauling stuff up and down stairs made me go down two pant sizes. Very cool! Hence, my first meal made in the camper will be quinoa and lentils, and not chocolate pudding made with almond milk.

I’m inordinately pleased by this. I keep standing up and looking at the flame and grinning and saying: my stove works! I feel like I’m a kid playing house. This is the first “house” I’ve owned. And it’s allllllll mine. Tee-hee.

The bathroom is nearly a football field away. I would like to think I’m getting more exercise, but I’m just getting a stronger bladder.

And finally, this campground feels deserted and dead quiet. My backyard is a cute little creek, which my niece waded in. My front yard is a cornfield. When I went out walking to look for Caesar, I was surprised to find at least two or three hundred more campers here. Astonishing. I would’ve bet I was the only one.

Oooh! My lunch is done! It cooked! Like for real and everything!

20 commments so far. Add yours!
Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: , ,

Some Adventurer I Am

I never want to leave. I’m all settled near my best friend and her daughter (my niece), and it’s totally awesome. My campground is spacious, quiet, beautiful, and my backyard is a little creek. I’m sure when it starts getting cold and Glenn gets home and the Jeep is fixed, I’ll start to get “hitch itch.”

For now? It’s amazing to be living in the same city as one’s best friend. And I get to see the little niece a ton! I got to pick her up and carry her into the house, which may sound silly, but pretty much made my week.

Summers will definitely be spent here.

I feel a little embarrassed to be so happy. Since this blog is mostly supposed to be about writing, I’ll say this: working one job only ROCKS. Wow!

I get up. I write. And then I get to make dinner, read, go to a movie, spend time with my best friend, putz around the camper, catch up on little stuff, and… THAT’S IT!

I have tons of writing ideas. The other amazing thing about working one job is that my creative mind only has to stir the story pot. It’s wonderful.

This is the life. I feel like apologizing, I’m so happy. It’s going to rain in two days, and since I haven’t yet repaired the leaks to the camper, I probably won’t be so annoyingly happy. Maybe.

image And here’s more happy news: Marcia Colette’s Stripped was released this week! Yay! Wishing her a ton of sales!

How do you balance your day job with your writing job? Or your non-fiction writing with your fiction writing? Do you find it hard to juggle it all? And for those of you who’ve put your foot down and just write or just work one job, how does that feel?

17 commments so far. Add yours!
Written by Natasha Fondren in: Full-Time Writing | Tags: , ,

Copyright © 2009 by Natasha Fondren. Powered by WordPress. Theme: TheBuckmaker. SSL Zertifikate, Eigenbau