Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | October 25, 2010

Silent Observation

There really isn’t much privacy in campgrounds.

And, even though you may never meet your neighbors, you will have many occasions to observe them engaging in daily activities around their “homes”, all the while knowing that they are also observing you.

This silent observation provides much fodder for the “inquiring mind”. A person can sit for hours and invent stories about their neighbors. Stories which could easily be more exciting than their actual lives. It’s great entertainment!

It’s sort of like being a private detective. It’s also like being an author, who takes observed behavior and adds his or her own creative element to generate a story that could end up having little resemblance to that of the actual person observed.

Remember The Backpacking Cat from a previous post? The child’s name has now evolved to Cat Pack Boy, and his family is an interesting one. Mom and the kids appear to live in the fifth wheel. Mom stays at home, and the children must be home-schooled, as they can be seen riding bikes and playing around the campground seven days a week.

Their campsite has all the trappings of long-term residents: lots of “stuff” scattered about – the things that would normally be stored in a garage, and a number of decorative items to make it feel more like “home” – pots of chrysanthemums and seasonal flags flying in the breeze.

On weekends, dad or grandpa appears. He is definitely an authority figure, as his appearance caused the children to scurry over to a pile of bikes in disarray, and carefully lean them, one by one, upright against the camper.

When “authority figure” is present, the “man chores” are done…last weekend it was powerwashing the camper – a chore that is not really permitted at this campground because it is loud and uses a lot of water, but which was taken on by the entire family with gusto just as we were sitting down to enjoy an outdoor afternoon chat with our children before heading to Carytown.

Keep in mind, we have never met these people. Long-term residents don’t generally put forth the effort to befriend those who are traveling through. But, after living near them for three weeks, they have become a part of our life experience, and now a story for our blog. And, we have to accept that we, in turn, could end up as a story on their blog – those two strange traveling musicians and their scrappy little black cat!


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