Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moonlight Mile

I found that there are some things I got to do while RVing that I wasn't able to do when I lived in a regular neighborhood in a regular house living a regularly scheduled life. After my mother died I found it most soothing to ride my bike late at night (midnight even) around the perimeter of the RV park in Hoover, Alabama. It was a smooth ride, paved and mostly well lighted. It was peaceful, with zero traffic. In the summer the heat usually broke after dark so a cool breeze would envelope me as I made my laps on a purple mountain bike that used to belong to my niece Emily. There's not a regular street too close by so there was no other traffic to even think about. Even the other residents weren't stirring that late. The RVs scattered throughout the 2.5 acre park were quiet, with no lights on. Sometimes the dogs would come with me, leashes left behind. Who was to mind? You can do a lot of musing on a bike when you don't have to be conscious of traffic or other people. I would look at the stars, the night clouds and the occasional bat that would be attracted to the insects around a parking lot light. Often John would join me in my cyclic wandering. Sometimes we would hear deer moving through the woods on the edge of the park. The dogs would be intrigued and stare into the darkness, ears on high alert. The few times we did see deer my dog Tumbleweed thought it a good idea to chase them up to the tree line, which overjoyed him but exasperated me. He's 14 years old and in great shape, save the fact that he's missing most of his teeth.
"With what exactly were you going to take those deer down?" I asked him one evening, "You have 8 teeth." He wagged his tail happily.

Grendel, our food-obsessed spaniel hound mix, loved these late outings for the simple reason that it gave her the opportunity to see if anyone had left a crumb of food around the park after a cookout, picnic or pet feeding. Her nose drove her to and fro as we would make our way around the perimeter or up and down the mostly empty parking aisles. The night she found a leftover chicken wing was both the happiest and saddest night of her life. She found it, she was in love with it, she wasn't allowed to keep it.

Boomerang, the stray dog we found and adopted while hiking in Rising Fawn, Georgia, would keep to the edges of the park and her steady pace only changed if she saw what she surely considered her main nemesis in life : rabbit. Boomerang loves to chase rabbits. She turns into a blur when the rabbit chase is on. She's very fast, but even so, doesn't seem to want to catch them and eat them, just chase them. And they gave her ample opportunity for that.

So, as it turned out, everyone in our little RV family got something from our midnight rides: John and I could muse on life or smaller questions, Tumbleweed might get a chance to feel like a wolf with a mouth full of teeth , Boomerang could possibly find a rabbit she hadn't raced yet and Grendel could dream of finding treasure in the form of yesterdays fritos.