The Mosquito Meter

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. There are a lot of measuring devices. There are measuring cups.

There are devices to measure your strength.

There are also devices that measure your lovableness. I broke that machine.

But when you are visiting Congaree National Park in South Carolina, you need no other meter but the Mosquito Meter.

Yes. Yes. This was very important as we prepared to walk the trails at Congaree National Park.

You can only imagine Girl Person’s poison ivy and chigger bitten legs at this point. So in actuality, what harm could a few mosquitoes pose? Apparently, our encounter would be severe. At least that’s what the meter said.

And so we prepared as much as we could. I recommended spraying us down with peanut butter, but Girl Person said river otters and squirrels may like that too much and well, I didn’t need a meter to tell me my idea was off the chart. Probably best saved for another situation. Digby recommended not getting out of the car at all and possibly just admiring it from afar.

You see, bugs love his pancake butt more than maple syrup loves aforementioned pancakes. But we braved it. And we set out on the 2.4 mile boardwalk trail.

We were enthralled. I love that word to describe myself. But it described this place too. There were giant pine trees and cypress trees and cypress knees.

There was an old moonshine still and even woodpeckers and birds singing. We learned about the Congaree people and the people who saved this area from logging. It was like a step back in time.

There was so much to look at, we forgot we were supposed to be running from the mosquitos. But they didn’t bother us. We didn’t even notice them.

Why didn’t we notice the mosquitos? We were learning not only about the history of the park, but we were learning to take it slower. Walk slower for Digby. Let him linger. Let him take it all in.

Seems to me that not only are National Parks good for learning about history and protecting areas and wildlife. But National Parks are good for teaching us lessons too, even with the Mosquito Meter. We can imagine the worse is going to happen. We may even be told the storms of life’s percentage is a 100% chance of rain. But it’s up to us to have a good attitude. Because a good attitude can help our problems disappear. It’s been said you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar! Well, I’m not trying to do that. I’m not trying to say I love mosquitos. But dwelling on what may bite us doesn’t stop it from happening. Living in fear is not a way to live. We have to get out, and enjoy what’s out there. It’s worth the effort. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Not even a Mosquito Meter.

Congaree National Park isn’t a place I thought I would ever see. But I needed to. A rare, old-growth floodplain Forest, it’s 27,000 acres was almost lost to logging and people who didn’t care to preserve it. But someone fought to save it. And now others can enjoy it too. We need it to be here.

What can you experience? What is nature waiting to teach you? You know your happiness meter. What does it show? Will learning about our earth help you to learn about yourself?

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Stay tuned to more South Carolina adventures this week and look for our Congaree National Park video Sunday on our Facebook page at 10 a.m. ET.

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Pickin’ And Grinnin’

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. This week has been one for the history books, and not just because we were camped at Fort Pickens near Pensacola Beach, Florida.

However, I would like to leave this week in the history books too. But, we made it thru, and as usual, we learned something from all the twists and turns. I am also sure we will learn more next week with more twists and turns. Am I being negative? Nah, just realistic. That’s what I do. If you don’t like it, well, then You. Are. Arrested.

Deputy Digby? He didn’t worry a lot this week, but he did a pretty good job at what he does, and that is being Digby. Digby. Don’t. Care.

Since we were at Fort Pickens here in this Florida place, he took it literally and made a decision yesterday. He said that as long as everyone else was worrying about the RV, and the Jeep, and Boy Person’s frost bitten nose, he would just handle the pickin’ and a grinnin’ at Fort Pickens.

Instead of contemplation and philosophizing, he takes the route of seeing things for what they are.  I kind of saw this week as a bad one.  But for Deputy Digby, he said that because Boy Person wasn’t feeling good, he just got to be with him more. And that was all he saw.  Not Boy Person’s big, frost bite nose. I saw his nose. Just sayin’.

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When bad things happen, sometimes, that is all we see, isn’t it? Deputy Digby said concentrating on only the bad things this week would have made us forget the Fort.

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Concentrating on the bad would have made us forget the white sand beaches.

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Only seeing the bad would have meant we would have forgotten that at the end of the day, we were still all together despite the bad.

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And most of all, for me, only seeing the bad would have made me forget my new friend Piper who headed back to her house in that Arkansas place.  It’s bad that we had to say goodbye.  But I have a feeling that our paths will cross again. And it was real good to meet her and her persons.

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As Sheriff, I have barely anything to learn.  But Deputy Digby sometimes does remind me that there are many things to be happy about and appreciate even if the skies seem dark. And cold.

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Eventually, the sun has to come out.  And it came out by the end of the week.

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We do have choices, and what we pick to see means we can either frown or grin.  Today, we choose to be pickin’ and grinnin’.

There may not be many more hours left to get to Amelia Island.  But for us, for the RV…it seems like a million.  We know we can do it if we try.  Today, we are going to try and make it to Chipley, Florida.  The RV is leaking something again, and Boy Person is going to cover up his face and his nose and try to fix it before we leave.  Will he be grinnin’ about it? We might not be able to see his face, but maybe if he see our smiles and our positivity, it will help.  Actually, I don’t grin.  I will leave that up to the Deputy.

What we pick to see in our day may mean how we see tomorrow.  Choose wisely, my friends.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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