All writers are people watchers or should be in my opinion. From a very early age I have been fascinated by people. I enjoyed their idiosyncrasies and loved to imagine what their lives were really like. This fact has prompted me to include a new feature on this blog.
When I was a teen and lived out in the sticks in Pennsylvania, my friend and I enjoyed taking advantage of a small bus that took us into downtown Reading. For those of you unfamiliar with Reading it isn’t much of a tourist location but, at that time it was the ‘big city’ to us.
The drive was not that long even with the bus making several stops to pick up people but, we were teens and restless. It was necessary that something occupied every moment much like todays’ youth but, without the benefit of electronics. While we were waiting to get there, we would imagine what other bus riders’ lives were like and who they really were. We imagined torrid love affairs even among the Amish and Mennonites, several international spies surfaced during our bus ride and countless criminals were hiding out in our neck of the woods from the law. It became almost as much fun as our few hours in the big city spending very small amounts of money and walking a great deal, often in areas we should have shunned.
This preoccupation with ‘people watching’ has never stopped for me and now as a writer I hope it serves me well and someday its characters will find its way into my novels.
Of course with a new adventure and a traveling lifestyle, spying on others it has become quite apparent that it is part of every day. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to say when someone(read hubby here) accuses you of being nosy, “I’m just writing!”
So this feature may include a few characters but, mainly will be filled with people I really wished I could have gotten to know. Some were out of reach before anyone knew it. They left the camp grounds or we did, or the opportunity to speak at length, just never presented itself. Here are a few people I wished I could have known better.
If there were a contest for best dressed campers I think I spotted the winner. He was in a rented camper and most likely touring our wonderful country. I saw him at Caballo Lake State Park. He seemed to be traveling alone, but saw him so briefly I cannot be sure. It was his attire that made me take notice. He was wearing sandals and shorts like most any other camper, but he also donned a wool jacket and hat that were just right for the look he sported. The real English touch was an ascot. He looked the proper English gentleman and I would have loved to speak to him at length about camping across the pond.
Another missed opportunity was when I waved briefly at a lady across from us in a corner camp site. I first noticed a lot of movement with legs and arms going and at first just thought she was one of those exuberant, friendly morning people. I ignored her for some time, till singing reached my ears. I had to sneak outside to see if the two were connected. This was also during our stay at Caballo Lake State Park.
Sure enough, this little lady was singing quite loudly and enthusiastically while listening to whatever device was plugged into her ears. It finally all became clear when I saw her in full action as she was working out and doing her fitness routine on a personal trampoline. This evidentally was done on a regular schedule and when I saw her going to the shower wanted to tell her whatever she was doing was working as she had a very pretty slim figure. See workouts do pay off.
Still in Caballo Lake State Park, the next person was someone who camped alongside us and was an elderly gentleman who wore his shorts and sandals while working at the fix it shop he had created. He walked slowly, but seemed to have abundant energy as he constantly was connecting and reconnecting various electrical cords and using a wealth of tools. For a time he would disappear into his motorhome where repairs were being done to update it. He was also full timing. When we thought we had a battery problem (it later turned out to be a connection issue) he came to our rescue with all his tools and cords. We were so thankful for his help, but, he refused any monetary reward and was just happy for conversation.
The last mention goes to a couple we met at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park while walking the dogs down by the lake. We first noticed them at the shore of a nearby peninsula. We exchanged greetings and soon found ourselves in a pleasant conversation. Their first names, I believe, were Larry and Dorothy. They told us after some time that they are full timers also. We were very encouraged by their words as they shared really positive feelings about their experience. We laughed about the fact that people generally believe you are insane when you do this or even talk about it. They said their kids thought they were nuts. It sure sounds like they are happy, enjoying life and have been ‘nuts’ for 14 years now.
The world is so full of interesting people! I can’t wait to meet them all.