It’s hard to believe that we have now been here over a month. In some ways it feels like yesterday that we made the trek across the United States to get here. In other ways, it feels like I have been here my whole life.
I stick out like a sore thumb here with my red hair, bright green car, and southern accent (supposedly). People stare, but not in a rude way, more like a curious way. They immediately ask me where I am from and then change their mannerisms when they find out that I come from the “South”. I have been told multiple times here that people in the south are polite and they are afraid to offend me, so they feel the need to change their behaviors when they are around me. I find this humorous and so would the people that know me best. I mean I don’t cuss around my mama (most of the time), but I have some rough edges for sure. I was also told this week that what this place was missing was a “red-head with a backbone”. Now that I can accept. I have been called stubborn once or twice in my life and am self-aware enough to know this is true. However, they don’t find my ways defensive or rude, just strong, and they seem fascinated with the quick results that follow my recommendations and requirements. Maybe they will adopt some of my “southern hospitality and mannerisms” to utilize once I am gone. That’s a funny thought.
One of the most interesting things about this place is the people. Not just the locals, the travelers. I happen to be parked at a place that people just pass through, and I happen to be here at a time to witness the migration north. Some people refer to them as snowbirds. Most of them winter in the south and then travel back north for the summer. They arrive here at dusk, after a long day of driving and then move out at dawn. This is the way of it. The site is practically empty during the daytime, it fills up every evening, and then empties out again the next morning. Most of the ones that I have met so far are from Canada. Every evening at the dog park, it is a different group of people. All fascinating. We have pleasurable conversations, learn a little about each other, and then wish each other the best of luck on our journey, most likely to never see each other again
Wookie is enjoying life now. Every morning he does a happy dance all the way to the front door of the facility. He runs in circles around me and jumps up and down with an apparent smile on his face. I now keep a pocket of treats ready for the patients to give him if he says “please”. This is one of his tricks that he uses for communication purposes, and he uses it in the most appropriate ways. The patient with dementia that calls him Muttsy sang him a little rhyme “sing-song” this week. It went “Muttsy do, Muttsy don’t. Muttsy will, Muttsy won’t”. I Googled it trying to find the origination. It has to exist. The best part about the Google search is that I now know there is an actual stuffed animal named “Muttsy” made by GUND. It has been in production for over 30 years. Guess what? It is a little tan poodle. Oh how I wish I could connect the dots with the rhyme! This is where my stubborn trait takes over. I will figure this out one way or the other, trust and believe.
Fun Fact: The local tire shop is equipped with a bar and a casino.