Brrr…It’s Cold Up In Here. We have been here at Stephen Foster for almost two months now. Yes, we are in the middle of winter here in North Florida but we were hoping to escape some of the worst of the cold weather this year. I know we haven’t had it as bad as they have up north. Each new camper that comes in during the week is usually from those poor states that have been hit the hardest this year. But really dropping down to the 20’s for over 8 hours is just a little bit too much for these old bones. We have had icicles on our RV three or four times already from the condensation of the fridge and last night our water line froze so we didn’t have any water until the sun came out for a couple of hours. Granted, the air is fresh and the temps are slowly rising so that is a plus. For those who haven’t visited the Northern part of Florida during the winter time we generally only have a couple days throughout the winter season of really cold days. For the most part it is cloudy and warm then it rains. After the rain it’s sunny and cold for a couple of days and then we start all over again. Yesterday you would have had to go all the way down the the keys to keep in the 50’s and 60’s.
Again, I realize that 4/5ths of the country has had it way worse and nothing brings that home more than when we saw a couple pull into the campsite, put out there lawn chairs, the man with his shirt off and the lady in her shorts, to sun themselves for a couple of hours. Now, I was running around the camping area in my little golf cart with my double layers of clothing, sweat jacket, etc. thinking now those people must be from New England. We are almost into March and, hopefully, these record breaking cold spells will be at an end and more campers will be laying out in the sun even here in North Florida. But for today we are taking it easy, enjoying the sunshine and staying warm and cozy in our RV. It is one of our off days after all and we are going to enjoy it. We have already washed all our clothes, went to the grocery store to stock up on our supplies and paid all our bills yesterday. Today, I am writing a few articles and will be cooking up some sausage spaghetti this afternoon to eat while watching some DVDs. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the Low 70s and Sunday the low 80’s.
Talk about a cold and flu situation! We hope to spend the morning tomorrow at the Live Oak Farmers Market to see what they have, maybe talk to the vendors about being one and maybe even pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables while we are there. There is nothing like cooking with fresh vegetables. As you know you cannot store much stuff in one of these RVs so you have to pretty much buy and consume food fairly quickly. We cannot afford to go out to eat and do all of our cooking right here. Mom and I truly miss our chest freezer we had in our “stick and brick” house for being able to buy meat in bulk, fresh fruits in flats to freeze for later and even some vegetables as well. One year I was able to buy a case of those pickling cucumbers from the Farmers Market and put up 2 dozen jars of dill, kosher and bread and butter pickles. They didn’t last all that long but were well worth the price and time it took to make them.
Well to finish up I guess we will talk a little bit about being volunteers here. So far, we have been over our hours two out of two months. The park rangers are almost always busy with whatever major event the park is sponsoring that month so the supplies are slow to come in, the repairs to the equipment is a little slow and we generally have to take care of things ourselves. The campers visiting here are not that rowdy and have been very good about cleaning up after themselves. Our bathhouses are finally looking pretty good but could use a pressure washing and maybe a new coat of paint in the showers. The rangers are quick to fix anything within the campground that gets broken. I have been able to street sweep twice and blow off all the leaves from around the bathhouses but now the hand blowers won’t start and the street blower leaks oil. Spring will come soon and all these things will need to be done again soon.
Our current co-campground host couple and us have decided to work 3 days on and 3 days off with alternating Sundays. Since the turn around here is fairly quick you will be cleaning campsites all morning, calling in those sites that have emptied all the way until 1:00pm. Then, the two bath houses have to be cleaned every day. That can take up to an hour a piece. So you are looking at finishing around 3 or 4 each day. You do get the use of a golf cart to haul around your fire pit buckets and the double rakes. When it is not raining, that is. Yes, we rake each site about once a week or so to keep it looking nice and it helps to keep the sites level. If the blowers are working I try to do that about every two weeks. There is a mixture of oak and pine trees here in the camping area and it is much easier to rake the pine needles than it is raking the oak leaves. We really could use one of those electric hand blowers. I saw a camper blow off his site when he arrived and it did a quick and easy job of it. We just might have to invest in one of those ourselves.
OUR BOOK UPDATE NEWS: Since the State of Florida Park system has updated their website in not only looks but links as well we have had to go through our entire website and our book to update the links. For those who have purchased the eBook you should be receiving an email or notification of an update from Smashwords and Amazon. As to our paperback versions, I am sad to say, that I won’t be able to offer you an updated version due to cost constraints. However, next month I might offer those who have purchased my paperback version a coupon to get the new, updated eBook for FREE. All the information is the same, we have just corrected the links to the Florida State Parks. We have also added a few places we have come across since the book was published in October. We have posted those here on the website so you will not be missing out on anything. More on this later. Till then stay warm and keep on camping!
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