Restless Feet Syndrome- Diagnose and Treat this Ailment

Overview

Restless feet syndrome is a prevalent ailment among single adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s and manifests itself in a multitude of outward symptoms to those afflicted.  RFS can emerge at an early age and is noticeable in children who doodle, daydream and play extensively with matchbox cars, plastic airplanes and spaceships and are constantly running in circles or have creative eccentricities that are unexplainable.  As an adult, RFS can emerge at the most inopportune moments and is enhanced by environmental influences, such as Mercury in Retrograde, full moons, unruly roommates, unsatisfying jobs, disgruntled spouses and the spiteful Monthly Curse from Mother Nature.

While RFS has no true cure, other than extended travel and periodic chaos, RFS can be controlled or at least the symptoms can be managed once you are aware that a problem exists.

Symptoms

  • Clammy palms occur during the following situations; signing a long-term lease, signing your W-2 forms, sending your passport off for renewal, paying for car repairs, home repairs and health care bills with your travel kitty fund.
  • You have heart-wrenching longings when your favorite airline’s commercials appear on your Pandora account, your Gmail account or when their weekly specials are sent to your inbox.
  • You drive to a neighboring city in the hopes that a change of scenery will stop your RFS, only to find as you approach the city limits, you have the overwhelming urge to either, keep driving, flee to the beach or return to where you just left.
  • You never truly unpack your suitcase, it becomes part of your furniture.
  • You keep all of your cosmetics in your travel case, and put them back in the case every time you use them, for months, or even years at a time.
  • You keep your travel gear essentials within arms reach of your bed, just in case.
  • Your wardrobe can be balled up and tossed in a bag, one bag, at anytime. And it all fits.
  • Your wardrobe is compiled of clothes that are functional, can be washed in a sink and air-dry in 30 minutes, are wrinkle free and breathe well.
  • Your favorite clothes have numbers written on the tags in magic marker from the laundry service you used in a third world country that cost you .50 cents a load.  And you smile every time you put them on and see that number.
  • When you get bored or the restless urge overwhelms you, usually the day before a full moon or right before mother nature’s monthly visit arrives, you spend hours checking Craigslist in multiple cities you think it might be cool to live in for rentals.  If your RFS has been present for years, your Craigslist obsession might evolve into hours spent searching for travel trailers and sail boats. You check job listings in your profession in far away cities and countries and think, “maybe it won’t be like a real job and I’ll only stay for a year or so.”
  • Your passport stays in your purse/glove box at all times.  No matter what.
  • When you see an Airstream caravan or a biker gang heading down the highway, you pause, drool and lust after the sheer freedom that exudes from their presence on the highway and the possibilities of their unknown destination.
Hanging on top of a Himalayn ridge with a local sheep herder in Himachal Pradesh, India.  2006.

Hanging on top of a Himalayn ridge with a local sheep herder in Himachal Pradesh, India. 2006.

Treatments

  • Schedule small trips to previously unseen destinations periodically throughout the year until your next major trip takes place.
  • Always have your favorite movies on-hand that depict a previous travel destination that holds a special place in your heart.  Sometimes, a Friday night is best spent with a bottle (yes, RFS requires a bottle, not a glass) of divine red wine, your favorite travel movie and the some outright lusting over distant lands. Embrace these emotions and that wine. Recommended movies; Slumdog Millionaire, Thelma and Louise and anything with George Clooney in a distant land.
  • Be careful when choosing your recreational reading. The occasional travel novel is appropriate and will ease symptoms, but try to choose a classic novel that takes place in a time period of historical reference- preferably some Steinbeck, Keourac, Twain and Thoreau.  Modern travel memiors and novels might be too realistic and thus amplify the RFS to a degree of unbearable longing.
  • When symptoms are truly unbearable, choose a book whose protagonist is struggling with the same inner conflict as yourself- revolving around travel, life commitments and social conformity- and wallow in the fact that this person represents part of you and you are reading this to gain an outsiders perspective- without paying hundreds of dollars to visit a shrink.
  • Talk with your friends who are also travelers- long-term vagabonds and gypsies are preferable.  We’re not talking about your garden variety “I need a vacation” conversation.  We are talking serious, life-altering, “I need to throw myself into the unknown chaos of another culture/community or I will jump off a tall building and poke my eye-balls out due to the sheer inability to handle the mundane, routine engagements of typical social norms.” That’s deep- and only a fellow vagabond or independent traveler will understand the magnitude of your RFS.  And can empathize.  Others will merely tell you to suck it up and get a job.  Which, really, can be the worse thing for those suffering from RFS.
  • Start planning your next journey.  When all else fails, start to plan your next trip. Talk about it, dream about it, start making your gear plans and strategizing about what equipment to take, what shoes to wear and begin shopping for that perfect travel skirt/pants that can be worn every day for 3 months and still make you feel hot and sexy when necessary.
  • Limit your time on Craigslist, Emirates, Orbitz and Amtrak until its truly time to buy your tickets. Yes, it is wonderful to daydream about purchasing that ticket- and when your RFS is overwhelming, by all means, take an hour or two, go to your favorite airline’s website and start looking at all those wonderful, distant destinations.  But tread carefully, there’s a fine line to walk before you launch your RFS into a state of total despair which may not rebound until you jump the big pond.
A view from a billboard in the heart of Ramallah, West Bank. 2007.

A view from a billboard in the heart of Ramallah, West Bank. 2007.

Living with RFS

When all else fails, simply buy your ticket- one way- and go.  Just go.  Throw your shit in a bag, put your mail on hold, kiss your doggie goodbye and say I’ll be back in a couple months. Once my brain is filled with new stories, exposed to uncertain situations, once I’ve navigated a few challenges and some chaos, I’ll be back.

In an effort to deal with long term RFS, begin planning a nomadic lifestyle, using “land yachts” or sailboats and be sure your choices in life- where to live and what to do to earn a living- account for your affliction and incorporate the necessary treatments when the RFS is too much to handle.  Those who love you will understand, your true friends will find your RFS and its treatments fascinating, intriguing and may just follow you and those who don’t understand and judge you for your idiosyncrasies aren’t truly worth the effort to keep them in your life anyway.

Embrace your RFS and understand its needs and living with this affliction will take you to destinations you never thought possible.  When you approach the end of your long and interesting life with your RFS by your side, you’ll never look back and think, damn, I should’ve done this or seen that.  You’ll kick your feet back on the hitch to your Airstream or the bow of your boat and think, Damn, that was one hell of a ride.

Passport Renewal and the Ensuing Separation Anxiety

Sending my Precious to the Land of Red Tape…
Separation from the passport, for any duration of time, can be a debilitating event for an independent traveler. Yesterday, with a heavy heart and sweaty palms, I double-wrapped my passport in a weather proof envelope, triple checked the envelope for the necessary proof that I exist, tucked the package in the priority envelope and slapped a delivery confirmation on my precious document and wished it a safe journey as it heads onto the State Department.

Why can’t my passport be good for 30 years, like my shiny new Arizona drivers license? I wouldn’t have to needlessly suffer every decade as my ticket to other worlds leaves my possession and enters the dark, surly world of federal bureaucracy. Poor thing.

In a moment of panic, I called the State Department to confirm the length of separation and the lovely lady on the end of the line assured me that in the event that I need my passport sooner than 6 weeks, I can call, cough up 60 bucks and they’ll push my little Precious on through the reams of red tape and get her back in my hands ASAP.

Such an attachment to a travel document may seem strange, but for the nomadic soul its a necessary requirement to feed an obsession of experiencing unknown destinations and unmitigated chaos. I carry my passport with me at all times, if I leave the house, that little document is tucked inside my purse. Without question. My justification- if I happen to be strolling down the sidewalk and someone stops me and says, in an urgent, authoritative manner, that I must catch the next flight to Tunisia and here’s the ticket, I can fulfill my obligation. I, at any moment in time, can hop on the next plane across the pond and be in a distant land.

That, dear friends, is the insane train of thought that runs through my thought bubble as I leave the house. Every time.

So, here I am, in the redneck Rivera, a place one would flee at a moments notice to any other destination, foreign or domestic, without my Precious. Without the document that says, “yes, I’m a real person, I’m not an ax murderer and my visit to your country will be beneficial to all of your residents,” or something like that. Oh, and my poor little truck has a broken axle and drive shaft, so I literally am stuck. Here’s where I get twitchy.

So, in honor of my Precious and her well-earned visa stamps, I would like to wander into the social ramifications of the passport.  Spawned, in part, from the most recent edition of Adbusters and last night’s Daily Show, so hold onto your panties- its a rant!

Why More Americans Need to Ship Themselves to the Developing World…
Landing in a strange land can be jaunting, at best. Odds are, you’ve just spent 14 hours or more crammed in a tiny little seat trying desperately not to sleep so hard that you cuddle up to your seat mate in your dreams but trying to at least drown the cries of the screaming infant three rows over with a few hours of sleep so you can speak coherently to the customs official who determines your entry to their country and hail a proper cab.  Your food was slightly runny and distinguishing between chicken and carrots was an unsolved puzzle and brushing your teeth in the airplane bathroom makes you want to vomit. So, needless to say, you’re exhausted, your stomach is growling and gurgling and you have three inches of fur on your teeth.

Once in the airport, as you try to fight the odd sensation of the swaying beneath your feet, you shuffle underneath a sign that states that you are definetely not from here.  You wait patiently as the stark, serious faces of customs agents inspect travelers documents, bags and faces for signs of ill-will or intentions of staying in country past their visa expiration. You glance around and see a melting pot of faces, a veritable scene from “Its a Small World” playing in real time right before your eyes. You glance at everyone and see these colorful little books in their hands. Everyone has one, they all have different colored covers and emblems and look so damn official. You share a common bond with these folks. You feel privileged. You feel special. And if you’re American, you think, damn, this little book is the most valuable piece of paper in this joint. Short of a diplomatic passport or paperwork indicating you are a decendent from the Monarchy.

Yep, even with the tarnished international reputation that the moronic W. administration provided for Americans, our passport is the most valuable one to hold. Obtaining a Visa from a country while holding that nice, dark blue passport is a simple endeavor with little questions and minimal fanfare. (I will leave my border crossing experience in Israel out of this article, for that would fill volumes and negate my previous point- but that country is its own little world, where logic is optional)

Back to my point. As you stand in line and see the value of the passport and all the people that hold one, you have to wonder, “why do only 30% of Americans hold a passport”? That statistic makes me want to weep. I get that not everyone is an international traveler, but what if someone just wants to take a jaunt to Canada or a tropical island? Or what if a person, on a whim, wants to visit the homeland of their ancestors in a distant land? And, truly, we are a privileged society, shouldn’t we embrace the freedoms others would fight and die to obtain and get the damn passport- just because we can? Isn’t that the American way?

Ask any Palestinian about a passport.  I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear their response. I met a Palestinian man who had to go to the police department in his local town EVERY morning to obtain permission to leave the city and travel one hour to see his wife and children- and they never let him go. Think about that for a minute. I met Tibetans who will never, NEVER, be able to obtain a passport. They don’t have a country. Imagine that. And here we sit, the most privileged country in the world (though, that’s debatable) and only a small fraction of our population every bothered to obtain a passport.  Much less use it.

A Bedouin child with her family outside of Jerusalem. The children play as the parents talk with us about the encroaching settlements and the loss of their mobility and freedoms.

A Bedouin child with her family outside of Jerusalem. The children play as the parents talk with us about the encroaching settlements and the loss of their mobility and freedoms.

I turn on the news and I look at the people making headlines- screaming, angry faces with tea bags hanging from their earlobes, costumes of colonial era patriots covering their white bulging waistlines carrying signs of hatred from a long ago era, that apparently never truly died, and I pause.

Seriously?  Have you people ever been to foreign land and witnessed another culture? Do you even hold a passport? Have you been in a developing country when the government collapses and social services, like trash collection cease to operate? Have they ever seen a city park turn into a landfill overnight, with mountains of trash, in 90 degree heat causing a cholera outbreak. I have, and it stinks. That’s what happens when you’re government goes away, nothing functions.  And the shit turns rank. Is that necessary?  I’ve seen what happens when children don’t have health care- its not pretty!  Is that what we want for our children?

But seriously, would there be so much hatred, so much bigotry, an over abundance of racism and intolerance if Americans obtained a passport and traveled to the countries they bomb, berate and belittle on a daily basis. Would we have so many battles over oil and the possession of natural resources if people disengaged from the “Second Lives and Worlds of Warcarfts and cable television news” and engaged in the First life, the one they are living?  Would Americans not stand up and demand peace and sound governance if they had left the couch and traveled to a country with over a billion residents all fighting to put food on the table or a country where the government just collapsed?  Would we fight so hard for the right to consume if we could witness, first-hand, the effects of our unnecessary consumption on other cultures and children in a distant land?

Maybe we should demand that in order to hurl racist slogans and carry signs of ignorance and bigotry, you must hold a passport and travel to a distant land, first.  Then protest. Maybe we should gather all our Senators, Congressmen and administration officials and send them to the countries they seek to control with wars, violence and unsustainable means of production.  Maybe we should gather all the CEOs and stockholders of the major corporations- and their lobbyists; Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agri, Wall Street and the military industrial complex and send them to the refugee camps that litter the borders of the countries with the puppet governments they install, manipulate and support with cold hard cash and see if our current foreign policies withstand their travels.

And well, I’m sure there will be opinions on this article, so fire way…  Keep it civil though, and slightly intelligent.

Sleeping with my Atlas? What a single nomad does when the travel bug hits.

Yep, it happened.

Last night, as my eyes were closing and my brain was still giggling at Jon Stewart’s depiction of the Fox News logo being a subliminal representation of a Hitler poster, I placed my brand new shiny National Geographic Atlas in the empty spot on the bed next to me.  As I leaned over to turn off the lamp, the thought occurred to me that I just tucked in my Atlas. I paused for a second, not knowing whether to laugh or cry at this odd behavioral act of a 34 year old, single nomad.

Really, it is rather funny.  In a twisted way.  Who sleeps next to their Atlas?

An election billboard in Madaba, Jordan.

An election billboard in Madaba, Jordan.

I guess a wanderlust does.  Someone who relishes layovers in foreign airports, who yearns for the intoxicating smells of a street vendor’s delicacies, who longs for a cafe filled with an indecipherable language but cheap and delicious frothy caffeinated goodness.

The twitchy, restless “I have to leave this place now or my head will gyrate like the girl in the Exorcist” feeling reared its head last week, so I drove to the behemoth of all bookstores, found an atlas on sale and brought it home to live with me.  The act of seeking the atlas was spurned, in part, by my dear friend in Pakistan who is itching to leave her conflicted homeland and travel to some other destination of wonder and chaos.

After a frantically exciting exchange on the Google Chat, we decided to spend a summer in the Middle East.  Ahhh, falafels and hummus. Mmmm, coffee that makes your hair stand up and your eyes bulge for hours.  Ohhh, yummy, fruity hookah goodness that spawns hours of civilized conversation and lively debate. Yes, I’m in!!

So, I am in the throes of planning the next Walkabout and writing furiously to pay for my plane ticket. I am engaging in my ritual of bag packing daydreams, you know, the one where the multimedia journalist plots and plans endlessly trying to cram all her belongings in one backpack while still having the capacity to shoot video, stills and audio and produce from the road. Yea, that’s a losing battle. This journalist is contemplating a world of only black and white film (with a point and shoot for this blog, of course) and a small little net-book to write my prose from any remote coffee house in the world. I will figure this out, it is my mission!!  And yes, it might just be a simple camera, or two, or three and a net-book.  A girl can dream!

I am also planning a different blog.  The storyteller blog will still be rolling along, complete with stories from exotic lands and encounters with the normal, the abnormal and the downright insane.  But I’m feeling the need to launch something a little smaller, with short, quirky entries and lots of photos. Something that doesn’t require long periods of time for the readers to engage with the content either and large amounts of espresso to write the entries.

A book will be spawning itself from the first walkabout here shortly.  I’m writing this, in part, to motivate myself to actually design it. I will be placing all the stories and entries along with lots of the Crackberry photos, into a book format for my friends and readers who are, like me, trying to disengage a little more from their electronic worlds. I’ll keep you posted, you keep me motivated!

So, I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely spring time weather, if you’re not, you should be.
And I will keep you posted on the next wave of adventures for the Storyteller.  I’m sure there will be tons of stories to share!

Small Town Living and Walking Out the Writer’s Block

The desert is in bloom, the temperature is in the mid to upper 80s and the town population is down to a few thousand.  And, I have to say, life in a small town is pretty nice.

Granted, Quartzsite isn’t just any small town.  This place is an odd mixture of carnival, flea market, gem show, tourist destination (with very few tourist attractions) and it desperately wants to be a real city.  Or at least its politicians are seeking this outcome.  The Palm Springs of Arizona.

20100312_QUARTZ9_0020
Transient wanderers walk through town amongst the stray snowbirds who are prolonging their winter retreat until the last possible moments.  The town drunks are more prevalent now and nothing is hidden on these quiet streets.  And the daily trips of the locals on their bicycles heading to the market for beer are more reliable than the postman.

I’m currently battling a case of writer’s block, usually an indication that I’ve stayed in one place too long- or I’ve had too much of my aunt’s homemade banana bread and the yummy, sugary goodness has zapped the creative juju out of my brain.  I utilize the wonderful art of sauntering to try and alleviate my blockage.  Alas, as this entry is proof, my block is still here, but I did work on my tan and see some odd occurrences today and overhear some interesting conversations on my aimless walks.

On the way to the post office, I noticed an odd group of guys parked next to a 30 foot dilapidated RV with a flat tire that limped onto our street the other night and landed itself at the vacant lot to our park.  A lot which is home to some very, very odd fellows and is frequented by the police several times a week.  For what purposes, I can only imagine.  These fellows are stuffing plastic garbage bags full of crap from the RV and placing it into an old blue van.  The kind of van you walk by quickly and open the eyes in the back of your head just to be sure.  Upon my return, the van was gone.

Later that day, I walked to the coffeeshop and sat on the porch to try and find something profound to write about.  Obviously, I’m still searching.  I listened to the barista and her new employee talk about the changes in this town of 3500 people over the past few years.  They mentioned the price of food- which is insanely expensive.  Six dollars for 4 sticks of generic, chemical laden butter is just wrong.  They went on to mention the cost of housing.  Property in this semi ghost town has skyrocketed over the past few years as more people park the RV permanently and try to recreate California.  The barista is a sweet woman who works hard to provide for her 4 kids and is about to be married.  Again.  She mentioned finding a 40 foot fifth wheel with 3 slide-outs, but couldn’t imagine having all four children and her soon to be husband inside the home at once.  I couldn’t imagine this either.  But that’s life in this tiny little town if you are not of the Have’s.

While finding reasons not to write at the espresso outpost, the blue van filled with garbage bags drove by 3 times.  And I passed them again on the walk home.

After dinner, at a loss for words- literally- and with no reason to walk to McDonalds and buy a $1 espresso (yes, I support my addiction with the cheap stuff in this town.  No Starbucks, what can I say) I went for another walk.  More of an aimless, after dinner, ‘let’s watch the sunset behind the mountains and hope another character from the story gods appears’ walk.  I passed the same familiar faces.  This town is so small that I pass the same people walking, biking or trolling in their electric wheelchairs every day.  The guy who smokes while driving his electric chair attached to an oxygen tank waves at me from across the road.  An older gentlemen stopped in the middle of the four-lane road to see if I needed a ride.  The guy who runs one of the swap meet stands and sold me a copy of the ‘Tibetan Book on Living and Dying’ for 2 bucks waved to me as he closed shop and asked how my day went.  He’s seen me at least three times today walking the streets.  As the sun sets in this town, the folks gather around camp fires, share dinner at the picnic tables and ride their 4 wheelers through the washes on the way to the local bars, all two of them.

Strolling down main street.

Strolling down main street.

I figured it was time to walk home once the sun disappeared behind the hills.  I turned down my street and came to the empty lot with the dilapidated RV.  A woman was hollering outside the RV with her dog.  I had to remove the iPod to hear this.

“They sold me a hot RV.  Bastards!” She yelled to no one.

“Not you.” she pointed to me as I walked by. “I’m not talking to you, just yelling at these guys.”  There was no one there.  “This thing is stolen.  They sold me a stolen RV.”  Insert foul language here.  I passed this woman on my first walk around lunchtime.  She was walking up the road, with a little swagger, in her pajama bottoms and a tank top and slippers.  When I returned from that first walk, she was sitting by the sidewalk next to the main road picking flowers.  Its been a rough day for her.

As I walked through the RV park to my humble abode- literally- the residents were standing around talking, so I caught up on the days activities.  As I sat knitting on the couch later that evening, again- trying to find something to write about- I told my uncle about the stolen RV and the blue van.  He laughed, “well, I guess the cops will be out later.”  Maybe that will give me something to write about.

Life in this little RV town.

Turning off the Grid- “Things were better before there was television.”

Canning for Survival

Last week, the RV park gathered for their monthly donuts and coffee breakfast.  About 20 old-timers sat around over glazed donuts and talked about their world; knitting, beading, quilting, RV roof sealer, which vendor had the best deals on lawn chairs, and on, and on.  The women all gathered on the porch and showed off their latest creations and the men stood around the coffee pot and talked about cars, politics and the weather.

When I say old-timers, I’m referring to the median age of 70 and up.  I’m the youngest by 40 years or so, which makes the conversation even more interesting for me.  It fascinates me to think of the time span my fellow breakfast mates have lived through and the moments of modern history they experienced.

Happy J's RV park residents gather for their monthly soup luncheon.

Happy J's RV park residents gather for their monthly soup luncheon.

“Things were better before television,” one tiny little lady commented when the conversation drifted to stories of their childhood.

“We didn’t have electricity until I was in high school.” Another lady stated.  High school- can you imagine?  I always proudly state, “back when I was in college, we didn’t have cell phones or email.”  But wow, no electricity, and many of the ladies agreed with her.

“We didn’t get hot water until I was 16,” stated another woman.

“One summer, when I was 15, they pulled me out of summer camp to go home and can for the summer.  Mom was sick, and they came and got me and I had to can all the vegetables for the coming winter.  Took me all summer.  If I hadn’t canned the food, we wouldn’t have eaten at all that winter.” Carol the quilter made this statement and I just had to pause and take that in for a moment.

If I had to can my entire family’s food for the winter, we’d be in serious trouble.  I can’t even bake a loaf of bread properly, that whole patience and baking gene was not passed down to me.  Imagine the summer when you were 15 years old.  Canning vegetables for survival couldn’t be any farther removed from my reality at that age, or even now.

From the Great Depression to the Great Recession

The irony in so many of these folks lives is that they entered the world during the time of the Great Depression and now they are beginning to leave this world under the time period of the “Great Recession”.  But they know survival, they know sacrifice, they can create and they can endure.

And when I look at my generation and our troubles and woes through their eyes, I don’t quite know what to think.  On the evening news tonight, a story about long-term unemployment spoke to the rising trend in my generation of people who will spend years in unemployment.  And as I’m listening to this in the same room with my 87 year old uncle, who has spent a lifetime starting small businesses and making a living any way possible- and doing a great job of it.  I can’t help but wonder about our motives from his perspective.

Granted, we are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but politics aside, what does his generation think of a younger generation that sits around and waits for someone to hand them the same job they just lost?  When you spend a summer canning vegetables for survival, what runs through your mind when you hear about people spending 2-3 years or more out of work and resigning to the inevitability of joblessness? And, I guess coming from a service industry background, I have to wonder why we can’t just go get any job when the one we want is not available.  I know it requires swallowing quite a bit of pride and shoving aside our egos, believe me, I’ve done it, often.  But when we did we become so beholden to inevitability, rather then just changing our reality and seeking our own solution.

Conversing over coffee before the soup luncheon at Happy J's RV Park.

Conversing over coffee before the soup luncheon at Happy J's RV Park.

Finding our Survival Skills

When did we lose our survival skills?  When did we resign our fates to our bosses and supervisors and CEOs?  Why are we so afraid to seek the unknown and find a new skill or a new profession?  Why are we unable to just shift gears when troubles arise and plow forward into the unknown?

What will we do if canning food in the summers is our only means of survival?  I wonder if one day, we’ll be sitting around a table of donuts and pots of coffee reminiscing about the time the televisions went away and we learned to can our food and generate our own power.  I wonder when we are approaching the end of our years if we’ll sit around and compare our masterpiece quilts and handmade jewelry and talk about what life was like before cell phones and recessions.

Or will we be talking about the time we lost our jobs and failed to seek a better destiny for ourselves?  Will our conversation drift to the time when our government failed to function and we turned to ourselves for survival?  The time when we returned to community, farming  and family and rebuilt lives filled with sustainability and self-reliance. Lives where the television was turned off- permanently- and we learned to can vegetables from our own garden, build our own homes and knit our own sweaters.

I wonder if we’ll sit around our coffee and donuts at the end of our lives and say, “life was better after the television went away.”

authors note: I wrote this article Sunday evening during a windstorm with the RV swaying in the gusts and tried to publish prior to bedtime but could not access the internet. The following morning I wandered over to my trusty outpost with wifi only to find that the entire town had lost its internet, phone and ATM capacity during the storm.  Oh, the irony!