Thursday, February 6, 2014


Woke this morning to the patter of rain drizzling on the camper top, first grey light of dawn oozing through shaded windowglass. I lay there, warm and fetal. Slowly the sky brightened, sounds of birdcalls and a full bladder prompting me to emerge from my cotton and polyester womb.

I was fortunate enough to duck some ice and snow, leaving the panhandle for a quick sojourn into Southwest Florida, with its sunshine and near-perpetual warmth. That warmth comes with a price, however. Orlando and southward, with Mickey Mouse’s vicious rodent teeth smiling from the balconies of empty condos, and campgrounds filled to capacity with pale-skinned snowbirds, lined up like tin-canned pickled herrings in their $250,000 mega-campers. Come south for the sun, yet living in the white trash squalor in what could pass for a Tennessee trailer park. I lived among them only long enough to move on and visit the Sea Captain and his longsuffering wife who spends her afternoons on the Widow’s Walk waiting for the ancient mariner’s return from the sea.

I’m now back in the Panhandle, laid back and less crowded. Don’t need 80 degree days and I’ll take the 40 degree nights. Feels like home.

The more time I spend “away” the more the lines used to define the concept of “home” become blurred. Is it that place back in Jerkwater with its possessions and complications, property taxes and phone calls? Or is it the space I’m currently occupying? Right now, the sandy soil of the Ochlockonee River feels like “home.”

Modern Man, with our appetite for material things and compulsion to run the pointless hamster wheel of “success” become trapped behind walls of our own construction. Deadlines, bills and commitments are subtle, but cruel masters. Don’t know what it will take to finally shake the deadening life of tedium I’ve chosen for myself back “home,” but I could get used to a life of wandering aimlessly. Like Merle Haggard says, I could “die along the highway and rot away, like some old high wire pole.” Meanwhile I could spend my days feeling the liquidity of Time ebbing and flowing pleasantly behind me as I scatter my coffee grounds into the palmettoes.


  1. beautiful Hermit, like you said, i could live that life too 'wherever you lay your hat, that's your home' ain't that the truth, it never ceases to amaze me that you can put up a simple tent when camping, something you can carry in a tank-bag on your bike and have shelter from the elements, i mean, who doesn't like burying themselves deep, deep, down inside a sleeping bag and laughing at the weather as the rain beats down upon the simple nylon, string and framework of a humble tent? waking to a new horizon every morning, the chirp of a kettle on a camping stove as you prepare the first brew of the day or staggering around drunk trying to un-do the zipper on the entrance to your own personal boudoir, 'where's the freshwater tap?' that's really all that matters....

  2. Agree with Tim on the 'where ya hang your cap' feeling...making me think of when I was 19...had one car, one bike, and everything I owned fit in one back pack and a I get older and closer to 'retirement' (whatever that is...) I long for less stuff and a nice go with that camp.

  3. Very happy for you travellin' man, a world of difference from last year's drenched decacle, enjoy Herm, lovely.