On the 24th of November I receive a request from the North Pole via email.
The email has an attached photo of a gold box! One should never do anything to annoy or offend Santa Claus, so I quickly prepare to send my address by return email. That’s when I notice the email is from someone by the name of Mick.
Hmm… Must be a typo. Old Saint Nick.
While I contemplate this mystery, I receive another email. It says the package is on its way to the Borrego Springs post office! I’m in Slab City at the time.
Oh my! We must go to Borrego Springs! I don’t want to miss a package from Old Saint Mick!
Wednesday, November 28
I love our location!
Not only is this dispersed camping area east of Borrego Springs, California, bordered by dramatic mountain scenery, the daytime and nighttime temperatures are very comfortable (70s by day, high 40s by night). Best of all is the space!
Some people like to camp with close neighbors.
If that’s what they like, all the more power to them! As I’ve made clear on this blog, I prefer privacy and quiet days with my crew.
One has to have some type of project or activity every day.
Today I feel the need to replace the old fire ring with a new one. It doesn’t take long.
It’s 7:30 a.m. Hmm . . . I have the rest of the day off!
I drink a second cup of coffee, walk the crew, read a book, go online, hug Bridget, keep a watchful eye on Spikey, and basically laze around looking at the changing light on the mountains with a smile on my face.
And then I get an email from the post office!
I didn’t expect it to arrive until tomorrow! So much for strapping down the awning to protect it from the wind. No time for that. I quickly roll up the awning, lock the BLT’s door, lower the solar panel, and the crew and I take off across the desert.
Borrego Springs is an upscale town.
Well, crew, we certainly aren’t in Slab City anymore.
Golf courses, resorts, immaculate homes, lots of palm trees . . . We ride around the town circle which has a park in the middle of it.
The post office is easy to find. I’ve never seen such a refined P.O. Brand new building located at the mall, elaborate landscaping, huge parking lot . . .
Spike and Bridget bark like fools as I lock them in the PTV and hurry inside. The postmistress hands me a big box wrapped in gold foil paper. What in the world? I notice from the address label that it’s from Tennessee! Hmm . . . must be Santa’s centrally located warehouse.
Back in the PTV I try to tear it open but it’s sealed so tightly with tape I can’t do it.
Okay. Calm down. We’re in town. Let’s get something done. The package can wait.
The library is nestled between expensive shops in the same mall as the post office. I go in and ask the librarian for a temporary library card for a non-resident.
Now let me point out something here.
Whenever I’ve asked for a non-resident library card in some of the dusty, dinky little towns I’ve had the pleasure to visit, the response is a card in my hand, and maybe some welcoming chitchat delivered with a smile.
In Borrego Springs, I get “There’s a one-time fee of five dollars” with no chitchat, not even a smile.
What? Only the little, low income towns can afford to give out a card and a smile?
I say “No, thank you” and leave.
Oh well. I guess they have to do something to make sure only people who can pay get to touch their books from their library located in the mall. If I weren’t in such a happy mood over the package, I’d be tempted to say, “Never mind. I’ll read free books on my Kindle.”
I stop for gas and a cheerful attendant takes care of the task for me.
A pretty church catches my eye, so I drive over and snap a photo.
Next I pull into the True Value Hardware Store.
A hummingbird has been visiting our camp. The last visit it seemed to say, “Get with it! Hang up a dang hummingbird feeder! For crying out loud, don’t just sit there with a smile on your face!”
So I go in the store and plunk down ten dollars (!) for an ugly, red plastic apple the size of a cantaloupe. (I liked the one given me at my retirement party, but alas, I broke it a while back.)
On the way back to camp I wonder how I’m going to hang the thing, what with there being no tree anywhere nearby.
So what’s in the mystery package?
I’m not telling until tomorrow. Nope. Sorry.
My lips are sealed. Any blogger worth his air card wouldn’t pass up a cliffhanger like this!
Bridget! Quick open up the package. I can’t stand the suspense 🙂
Bridget is looking at you horrified! What? And disappoint Mom??
psssst! SPIKE! hey Spike! Open the present CAREFULLY – take a peek, put the paper back on and RV Sue will never know. Then get on here and TELL US, we’ll never rat you out!
Spikey will do it, too…..Bridget is too ‘refined’…..=uppity. the Hound Herd
Don’t you have to at least wait until Christmas eve to open presents? HO HO HO
Hey Sue one of your great stories again, love where you are with desert, palm trees and pretty town.
That would be my kind of place. not the slab city for sure. I also need pretty places to look at and we can do charity work from nice areas to, no need to be in depressing places if we can’t stand them. Different strokes for different folks.
After midnight is tomorrow…. I’ll check back then. Lol
P.S. I put my location because you mentioned one time having commenters with the same name hard to keep straight. And if I keep mentioning Salina you might come through sometime. Lol
Oh geez! And now we’re all supposed to be able to get to sleep tonight? It’s worse than “Who shot JR?”!
To heck with the package I can wait but tell me where did you find a gas station the will actually pump your gas for you? Neat -O! I was just talking about that the other day when our temps dropped sure do miss that kind of service with windsheild cleaning.
When the man appeared at my window of the PTV, I said, “Oh, I wasn’t expecting full service.” He replied, “We’re old school.”
What Gas Station aka Service Station were you at?
My Uncle is probably rolling over in his grave at the thought of a Service Station that does Old School Full Service!
My husband and I were in New Jersey in June and they had gas stations run by Siks that punped gas for you.
NJ and OR have state laws that forbid the customer from pumping their own gas. The NJ station was not doing it to provide good customer service they were doing it because it was the law. What Sue found in CA was truly an Old School Service Station.
Perhaps the library has lost many books due to the popularity of Borrego Springs with people who dont stay and dont bother to return them? I’ll bet the librarian knows when she/he has to tell you about the fee, they know it will irritate and they cant bring themselves to smile ’cause they know what your reaction will be. Especially if they didn’t set the rule. But still a smile is always better. Were they selling used books? Most libraries sell used books for a quarter or so.
cant wait to see what Santa sent.
Quote“Perhaps the library has lost many books due to the popularity of Borrego Springs“……….Susan I agree , lost books can be a problem but Rvsue probably would have added to the library’s collection when she left the area…))
You may be right but that theory doesn’t answer this question: Lone Pine, CA, and Ajo, AZ both have a lot of people passing through, the former because of the movie history, and the latter, because it’s a popular spot for winter RVers. Surely their libraries, sitting among low income people and serving travelers, experience book loss, too, and it must be more difficult for them to recover. Yet they don’t charge people anything passing through. Why is that?
I think it’s because they value the people passing through. They want to make the RVers feel welcome in their town. A more affluent town like Borrego Springs with its airport, golf courses, and resorts, doesn’t feel it needs the business of RVers. That’s the way of the world . . . That’s my theory.
Yes, they were selling used books at fifty cents and a dollar. I don’t know how much a smile would’ve cost.
Pump gas for you? I thought that happened only in Oregon!
I thought that NEVER happened anymore. I’m impressed!
Can’t wait for tomorrow! Thanks for the great story.
Salt Lake City, UT
You’re welcome, Michelle!
That’s mean making us wait. O’l well!
You probably know about Pixel of Ink.com? Free books!
Tell the crew hi, and I’ll give them a milk bone to open the present.
Obviously, amazon.com has free kindle books but I also subscribe to http://www.ereaderiq.com/ They will send an email out each day with free ebook deals. That was suggested by another full-timer with a blog.
Yes, I get that email, too! I’ve read quite a few of those free books. Sometimes, though, I like to peruse the book shelves and bring home some “real” books.
I understand that. I’m a very tactile person and love the feel of a book in my hands. Though, after reading so much on my Kindle Fire, the last time I read a “real” book and it was time to turn the page, I swiped my finger across it! LOL I was so glad no one else noticed!
Ha! That’s funny, Donna.
Ohhhh the suspense …….
You’re a stinker!! 🙂 You had me “Evelyn Wood” speed reading trying to get to the end to see what was in the package. Bridget would never ever think of opening that package……..now Spike on the other hand.
Let’s see…old saint nick…or ehh Mick from TN…for Sue and her crew…hmmmmmm..I don’t have a clue…..stay tuned until tomorrow!
What a beautiful place! Love the pics……and Bridget posing.
The hummingbird feeded would hang nicely from the corner of awning..visible from the inside window…once you strap it down!
Do you ever worry about leaving the BLT just sitting there by all by it’s lonesome? Meaning when you drive away in the PTV.
How do you get mail without having a PO Box?
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from this blog..
I don’t worry about the BLT because the hitch is locked and it’s pretty difficult to run off with a trailer. If I left it for weeks, then maybe I’d worry, but I’m never gone long. I do sometimes toss my camp chair in the door of the BLT before locking up, just because it’s easy to do so. So far nothing’s been disturbed. I checked the sand when I came home, and no new footprints were near.
I have my mail shipped to me periodically by my mail forwarding service, Americas Mailbox. I only have that done about twice a year because my important mail comes to me online.
Oh man……….. you expect us to wait until morning???? What a meanee !!!!
Oh you STINKER!!! What a cliff hanger!
Can’t wait until tomorrow !!!!
That’s what is known as Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
Maybe if we bribe Spike & Bridget with a big Juice Porterhouse they will open it.
and let the cat out of the bag or so to speak!
While in the park, don’t miss the hike to the mountain pond and palm trees. It is an easy half mile or so and you get the feeling you are part of the Mexican traders and adventurers who refreshed themselves there over the centuries. A nifty spot.
Sue, you are a tease!!!!!
My mother loved holidays and birthdays – any day that was present-worthy. But she would buy these presents weeks ahead and then torture us with “What do you think I got you?”, “You are sooo going to love what is in that box!”, or “Guess what is in there!”. We lost mom 6 years ago, but now we have RVSue to “torment” us!
I love the picture of the BLT up against the mountains. It looks like it was up for adoption!
Wish I had your vision and spirit. May be (haha) in another life! Wishing you well.. Kathy with a K
There are SO MANY questions I’d like to ask you but I’ve decided I need to go back and read all your previous posts because you may have already answered them! I so want to do what you are doing!
Go ahead and ask…. Maybe spread them out a little though, :), like two or three at a time!
Run, Its a bomb!!!
Very exciting! By the way there’s a free bookswap just around the corner from your site in the mailbox at Peg Leg. Not a ton of choice, but it’s fun to go down there and discover what’s in it….and who knows…you might find the lost gold while you’re at it 🙂
Thanks! I’ve got a bunch of paperbacks I’d happily leave there.
I think you should wait til Christmas.
The library has every book ever published about Borrego. There;s a lot more than meets the eye.
It looked like an excellent library for its size.
Oh, I hate waiting. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what’s in that box. Yeah, we aren’t allowed to pump our own gas in Oregon.
I know a man who had a friend that found an old Spanish breast plate of armour out in that desert. Maybe if you scout around you might find an artifact of long ago too, maybe even Peg Leg Smith’s lost gold mine. What a present that would make!!!
Is the package from your friend, Mick, that sent you the camera? Hmmm what can it be?
I really enjoy your enthusiasm. It’s snowing gently here and I lit the woodstove yesterday. I would prefer waiting for the sun to warm the desert. Your recent visit to the slabs helps provide perspective. The ups seem so much higher when we’ve climbed from the depths. Thank you for your generous sharing.
All the best,
The gold wrapping adds to the suspense.
For the hummingbirds, my husband bought two large suction hooks that go on our window. They are strong enough to hold the feeder and the nectar. It’s nice to watch the hummingbirds up close.
Susie from Destin
My guess! Rv stuff or Spike had a load of kibble mailed to him.
OK, now that you have the whole country as excited about your gold box as they were about the $540+ MILLION dollar PowerBall, let’s hear it. Your blog tomorrow will have the MOST hits ever since you started…. you’ll see. Maybe I should drink lots of coffee and log in first tomorrow morning ? Nah, I can wait … but PULEEZE don’t leave us hanging like the hummingbird feeder 🙂
Way to go, Sue. That’s one way of keeping us reading your blog! As if we wouldn’t anyway! I agree with some of the comments: Do not open until Christmas. Keep us in suspense. Or maybe not; you might end up with a lynch mob at your door one morning. Spike and Bridget: how could anyone even suggest you would do such a thing as peek into the package? You sweet, innocent, always perfectly behaved (am I laying it on a bit too thick?) bundles of furry joy. Shameful.
Before i noticed your notation at the bottom of the church picture, I thought to myself, “that looks just like the church in Ajo!”…..hmmmm… great minds think alike.
After reading all of yesterday’s comments, I will add that I am from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is snowing here today, I am recovering from the flu, and I can only dream of warm sunny places. A wannabe full-timer!
Ah shucks, you are as bad as those TV news teasers–now I have to wait until tomorrow to find out what’s in the box. Looks like a pretty little town but too fancy for me–imagine $5 for a temporary library card. What would Dale Carnegie say about that?
Hi Sue, It is now Nov 29th Still no word what’s in the box,, at least tell us is the box
heavy or not, does it rattle inside, we need clues to help us guess,, It’s not nice to tease
Here in Port Orford, OR you have to make a deposit of $20 to get a library card if you are not a local. Upon giving up your card the $20 is returned to you. Mary, one of our regular campers is giving up her card today. She found an apartment in Brookings! Both Port Orford and Brookings have free shelves. We move down to Brookings on Saturday, Loeb State Park. Can’t wait to go to the library. We are running out of books! Most of the books we have read in the last seven months have come from free piles of books in the laundromats, it will be fun to see the reported three shelves of free books at the library.
How is the weather? Have you been hit by the storms I heard about on the news?
Pretty nasty storms. Winds on the head and bluff at 70 to 90 mph. You can walk in the tree cover, but not one foot out. The waves are beautiful. My favorite picnic table sits in the tree cover on the bluff a few feet from our trailer. It is good for watching the storms. Last week you could not get out of the campground because of flooding on one day. We shall see what this day brings.