Site Occupied

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Sometimes, things seem like a big deal. A big deal. And unless you are Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle, big deals like himself aren’t always a pleasant surprise.

So when we arrived in Cedar Key, Brickle thought he would be the only big deal. But about a million others thought they were too. Some call them sand gnats. Midges. No-See-Ums.

Yes. This was a bug party.

And we were the appawtizers. And the main course. Seemed to me that we had intruded when we picked our campsite.

Now. You would think that if you weren’t invited to a party, that it would be polite to at least bring a snack. And we were it.

Pretty soon, as Boy Person talked to our camp host who warned us of the party, he looked down at his legs. He tried to remember why he had wore black pants. And he wasn’t wearing pants. His legs. Were. Covered.

There should have been a sign that said “site occupied.”

Now. We have lived in this Florida place before. We know about our friends the bugs. We know about our friends the snakes. We know about our friends the mosquitos. We know about our friends the alligators. But never…ever…have we met any residents as hungry. Or as relentless. Or as determined to chase us out of our campsite on the water. Seemed like they should have been the least of our problems here.

The persons say that every living thing has a purpose. A reason for being here. It’s what makes our earth and the environment function. But I had to wonder out loud as Girl Person put a magical oil potion on us…what. Were. Their purpose?

I thought about this from the comfort of the RV. Inside.

Do you like chocolate? Obviously dogs can’t have chocolate but you persons seem to like it.

These bugs are the only pollinators of the cacao tree…where your chocolate comes from.

Yes. You need midges or no-see-ums to grow cocoa beans.

Some things may seem like a nuisance. And I don’t like getting my pancake butt bit. But when things are inconvenient for us, it doesn’t mean they serve no purpose. And we have no right to say they don’t. We may have to make adjustments to let them do their thing. So instead of leaving, we decided to stay. To take breaks inside. And to wear oils to keep them away. Can someone make a maple syrup oil though? I’m smelling pretty bad.

The bug forecast? It’s gonna be a rough one this weekend. But I predict we will still find fun in this Cedar Key, Florida place. No-See-Ums? I see you. I respect you. But can we keep in touch by email?

This site may have been occupied before we got here. Long, long, ago. So as guests, we will try not to intrude. And not get carried away. It’s going to be hard. But perhaps this may be one time I need to wear pants.

Deputy Digby Pancake

What Is Beneath Your Feet?

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  How fast is life going by you this week?  What did you accomplish so far? Who told you that you had to do that? Was it worth it?

I asked myself these questions when we finally got here to this Cedar Key, Florida place.

When we first arrived, we were almost carried away…not with excitement.  But by bugs.  We will leave that story for tomorrow.  When I get over the trauma.

Yesterday was a rainy day.

So we decided to stay and figure out if we should brave the bugs for the rest of the week or move on.  And when Girl Person has to think about something, she hikes.  So that is what we did.

As we were walking, we came upon a big hill. But it wasn’t just any hill, Girl Person said.  It was a mound of shells.

And it had been there for longer than I can even imagine.

It was called a shell mound.  According to history, this mound took 1000 years to build it.  It was 15 foot high and they carried approximately 1.2 billion oyster shells, basket by basket to shape this mound.  Shell Mound was a village as well as a place where the people remembered others who had passed away.  I read the sign that said it was abandoned in A.D. 650.  Way before I was born.

It was hard for me to imagine people from that long ago and what it might have been like here. Even though they aren’t here anymore, we can learn from them.  Many areas on the coast of this Florida place had communities of people.  Storms and other situations caused them to abandon their villages.  But they were resilient and rebuilt and reorganized other places. But how many other places and people do I not know about? What have I walked past before?  If not for the signs and the information here, we would not have known.  And that would have been terrible in my opinion.  Because it would have been disrespectful to just walk by.

But how many things or persons do we walk by?

Life for persons has become so busy.  The oyster shells beneath our feet told a story on this trail.  What tells a story beneath your feet? Do you even know?  Who was there before you?  What can you learn about the place you are at…right now?

Yes, life can get out of control.  Persons put things in their day that have to be repeated the next.  And the next day after that.  How much time is wasted rushing around to do all these things!  If you don’t stop…even for a little while, will you even leave a reminder to others what you stood for?  If you don’t even take a moment to appreciate where you are standing, you won’t.

Take it from us.  Putting unnecessary things in your day is well…unnecessary.  Take one of those things out of your day today and learn about where you are standing.  And then tell someone else.  And then figure out how you can make your place on this earth something to be remembered.Don’t let life pass you by in a rush.

We are still navigating our way thru this bug situation here at camp…stay tuned for the bug forecast tomorrow. 

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle