Sculpting a dog’s temperament; sculpting in the sand

Wednesday, January 4

“C’mon, RVSue!  Let’s go to town!”

“Okay, hang on.”

Reggie looks forward to our almost-every-day jaunts into Blythe from our camp at Midland LTVA.

When it’s “that” time of day and I step outside the Best Little Trailer and hook him on his tether, he trots over to the passenger door of the Perfect Tow Vehicle, ready to ride.  He gives me the look.

I get the message.

I grab my camera, his water dish, and the bag of trash to drop in the bin on the way out. (No need to grab my purse.  I keep it in the PTV.)

I toss Reg and his tether onto the front seat, unhook the power cord to the BLT, and we take off.

I do like Blythe.

It has a down side though.

It’s not uncommon to see people — both men and women, but mostly men — riding a bike around town loaded down with their belongings.  The number of homeless people seems higher in Blythe than other towns its size.  Or maybe they’re more visible.  I don’t know.

For instance, I stop for gas and next door is a woman wearing several layers of clothing, sitting on the ground with her back against the wall of the building.  Her expression is vacant, her head wobbly.  A few feet away from her, a man lies asleep (or passed out) on the ground.

Sometimes I’m approached by panhandlers.

I always give.

I know, I know. . . . The money goes for booze, you say.  I give anyway.  Not that I’m Mother Teresa, mind you.

A gift doesn’t have conditions attached.  (Bribes do.)  In turn, I receive the gift of being reminded how fortunate I am.  Not an equal trade, the gift to me being the greater one.

I like to take Reg to parks for him to sniff trees and run in the grass.

When I see men hanging around a park, men who obviously aren’t there to shoot baskets or have a picnic, I keep going.

Today we’re in luck!  The park is empty except for a family at one end.  I park and let Reg out before he bursts with joyful anticipation.

It’s a nice day for being in a park.

After a string of cold and rain, the days are warmer and the sky is clear.  Reg and I stroll around.

Reggie notices a woman with a dog!

We walk over, I greet her, and ask if the dogs might play together.

She’s an elderly lady, bent over her dog, putting little, knit booties on his paws.

“I don’t know,” she responds hesitantly.  “He’s a male and . . . . ”  She picks up her dog.

Picking up the dog teaches him to be anti-social, lady.  That dog is friendly and wants to play.

“That’s okay.  Don’t worry.  Reggie can make friends with anyone.”

She sets her dog down on the grass.

The dog is young and eagerly runs to Reg, losing a bootie on the way.

The woman hovers. 

“I don’t want his wounds to open on his paws,” she says nervously.

Her dog is excited to have someone his size to play with.

The fun is just beginning when the woman scoops up the dog and proceeds to fiddle around trying to put the wayward bootie on his paw.  The dog wiggles and squirms, wanting to play.

This is hopeless.  I really wonder if this dog has “wounds” or if this is maternal instinct to the nth degree . . . .

“C’mon, Reggie!  Time to go!

~ ~ ~

A few days ago Reggie and I hike toward the base of the Big Maria Mountains.

This is the longest hike we’ve ever done.  About halfway along, near the top of a low, rocky foothill, I turn and take this photo of our camp.  It’s the white dot in the middle.

One thing about hiking in this desert . . . .

There’s nothing to sit on!  Before turning for the return to camp, I plop down on the ground to rest.

Then, instead of following the two-track path home, we follow the washes.

The sand is rippled from the recent rains.

Waves of sand appear to be flowing still.

I take several photos.  Later I have fun in photo editing (Picasa) fooling around to make my own abstract art from the sand sculpted by rain.

The “saturation” feature adds warmth to the sand.  Cropping zooms in on small sections of photos, revealing patterns.

Ooh, this one has dark energy . . .   That’s nothing but sand . . . .

The artistry of nature is limitless!  Swirls, ridges, texture, soft tones . . . .

Photography can be so much fun! 

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on lens.  Get a decent camera, download free software, and you’re all set!  And don’t worry about being perfect, unless perfection is your goal.

Do you have a hobby that adds to your enjoyment while on the road? 

Maybe you’re still in the dreaming and planning stage — What will you do during the winter months when you slow down your travels?  Besides maintenance and repairs.

This is what I do when waiting for a refrigerator to arrive!

The photos in this post were taken on more than one walk in washes.

After playing with the photo editor, Reg and I go out at sunset for pics with different lighting and effects.  I’ll show those in another post sometime.

Before I close this post . . . .

Thank you for your enthusiastic responses to the list in the previous post, “Our camps of 2016!”



Reggie says, “And sand is fun to run on, too!”


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122 Responses to Sculpting a dog’s temperament; sculpting in the sand

  1. Chris(MN once but now AZ for the winter) says:

    Hi Sue!

  2. Dawn in NC says:


    • Adam Baker says:

      Yeah, first as in being the one to leave the first comment on this post.

      When a blog is good enough you can anticipate comments just flying in 🙂

      Have a good one!

      /Adam Baker – The Doggy Institute 🙂

  3. Hi, Sue! I read down far enough to come across a paragraph about the homeless, and it reminded me that the official definition covers anybody without a physical address, which probably upsets full-timers in quarter-million dollar rigs. Now I’ll go back and finish reading.

  4. milliehubbard says:

    Hi Sue,

    Can’t wait to go back and really look at those photos!!

    • milliehubbard says:

      In answer to your question…yes, I have a love of the outdoors, I grew up on 20 acres of countryside!! Very fortunate, I know. Currently I enjoy birding, but have recently purchased a new digital SLR and I am starting a basic photography class next Wednesday, mostly to learn about the basics of photography. I really want to learn to use the camera in the manual mode so I can get “creative” with it…like you have with your sand photos! They are just beautiful. Prepping myself for retirement…I can see it on the horizon…a tiny, white dot, like your home place!! hehe

  5. Chris B and Diego says:

    I like your nature’s art photographs. I take lots of those. Tree bark is always interesting, too.

  6. Dawn in MI says:

    I camp alone with my dog and am always careful of being in a place where there are men hanging out, especially men hanging out alone. I never advertise that I’m camping alone and I make friends with families near me just so I have a place to go. It’s a plan, better than nothing I guess.

    Love that Reggie loves to play. Katie-girl doesn’t really engage with other dogs, though she will now let people pet her briefly.

  7. Tara in Pac NW says:


  8. Ok, back. I appreciate your willingness to help. Having been officially homeless myself (never lived outside, but did a few weeks in cars), I’m more familiar than most with how varied and often interesting homeless people are. Many are well educated and traveled; some are simply incapable of meeting society’s demands for one reason or another; and a select, fascinating few just refuse to participate in the material parts of life.

    I agree with you about that lady who makes her dog wear booties. Most likely, her dog’s biggest problem is her.

    The sand pictures fascinate me. Even knowing what they are, I can’t distinguish the first one from running water. The visual results are interesting with all of them.

  9. Sherri D says:

    Great photos. btw, I think it is perfectly fine to give money to panhandlers. So what if they buy liquor with it? YOU did a good thing. Your karma scale dips a bit to your good side. 🙂
    I’ve heard stories about panhandlers that do not use it for drugs or booze, they truly need the money for food or things we might think are more acceptable. Who are we to judge, right? As long as WE feel good to give a little to help, it doesn’t matter what that money is spent on.
    A little different spin on this. I have often wondered how horrible it must be to be homeless. Just the simple things like a drink of water or being able to use a bathroom or having personal toiletries available could be near impossible for some. (or for ‘that’ time of the month)
    GOOD on you for caring and sharing with those less fortunate!!!

    • Pam from Wisconsin says:

      My feelings exactly about giving to the homeless without judgment or strings. It’s a mitzvah, good deed, good karma.

    • Krystina McMorrow says:

      Sooooo true Sherri D! As I am no longer on the road, I am volunteering at a place called HOPE in Lyndonville, VT. It is the best organization. We cook up something in the crock pot every day for folks. One of our employees keeps at least two “home packages” so when someone is burnt out or had to leave their situation on a dime they can come to us and get “the basics”. Low income parents get vouchers so they can clothe their children and they also get “food bags” when they need food. We have what we call the “backpack program” where we fill a backpack with enough food that a child can have enough to eat when the weekends come. At Thanksgiving we delivered dinner to about 50 shut in’s. At Christmas we had the “adopt a child for Christmas program”. It is a GOOD place. LOVE working there and meeting the folks that come in. I don’t know if we have any homeless folks…a bit cold here for that I would suspect.

      Love the pictures of the sand RVSue! xxoo

  10. Kevin in CO says:

    Loved your list of camps, thanks. Please don’t think I am stalking, but I have kept a list of your camps since you started you blog. Your ideas have helped me come up with my own boondocking locations, and we have found a spot or two near places you have been in the past. Thanks RV Sue.

    Hope you fridge comes soon. PS: Were you a math teacher?

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Yes, she was.

    • Hi, Kevin,
      I’ve boondocked at the place where Sue have been in the past, too.
      I’m extremely grateful that she has been keeping informed us of the boondocking places with nice pix and infomative phrases.
      My RV travel style in the US has been chenged by her. 🙂

      Fuji-maru, a Japanese RVer

  11. Shirlene (Florida) says:

    Hi Sue, Happy New Year. I am jealous for those desert scenes. We are in Florida and fighting the good fight against the bug war. It is starting to cool down now and the bugs are getting to be less. Those pesky things keep us inside too much of the time. We have to wait until after sunrise at least a couple of hours and be inside before sunset…Love those sand pictures, you are doing a really good job of that kind of stuff. I think your picture taking is getting better all the time. Reggie has turned into a really fine dog and traveling partner..I am so proud of him..what a good choice you made. Stay happy and warm and appreciate the no bug zone!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene… Happy New Year! I missed replying to your previous comments over the past few weeks. I’m thrilled that you made it all the way to Florida, bugs or no bugs. 🙂 Lots of birds in the Sunshine State … Have a great time!

      Oh, and thank you for the encouragement on my photography.

  12. Susan in south central WA says:

    #11??? WooHoo! I love all the sand art photos! Around the holidays I handed out still warm cinnamon rolls w/napkins to the usual dozen panhandlers at the closest shopping district. The last person didn’t get one because Juneau helped herself when I was delivering one.

  13. Ken Canada says:

    Hi Sue….
    Super pictures.
    Will order hats from Pauline shortly.
    Look up manual washing machine.
    Wash 3 min……Rinse 2-3 min…..Spin 1 min
    Look up….” yirego “

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If I had a washing machine, I’d miss out on all the fun down at the laundromat. 🙂

      • Jan NH says:

        Funny…I always thought the one thing I will really miss when I hit the road would be a washing machine….that was until I started following you and realizing it can be an adventure more than a chore once I’m retired 🙂

  14. Rochelle in IN says:

    Ah ha ha!!!! That last picture of Mr. Reggie scootin’ along the sandy wash makes me literally LOL. I, too, love the pictures of the sand.

    You asked about activities that we enjoy. Aside from reading (I do love my IPad mini with the Kindle app), I enjoy counted cross-stitch. It’s what I do in the winter months in Indiana, when thanks to the time change, I go to work in the dark and return from work in the dark. Now that I think of it, what a misnomer to say I work “days” – ha! Anyway, outside activities – such as geocaching, which we also enjoy – have to wait for weekends.

    So cross-stitch it is. I have gotten pretty good at it over the years. One of my projects was a Monopoly board – all cross-stitch and made to scale. If I wanted to take it off the wall (which I don’t), we could actually use it to play a game. In a concession to age, I now use a magnifying floor lamp, which really helps with those tiny stitches. And my hubby knows that the lamp will be going in the RV when we retire and hit the road.

    My hubby is a reader, too, and we love to relax at a campsite, sitting in our chairs with our e-readers – ahhhhh, almost heaven. 🙂

  15. Lori says:

    Geez, thought I’d reply quickly but I guess there are others that are speedier than me! 🙂

    How sad about the homeless. I guess no matter where you roam, there’s always someone who doesn’t have a roof (I consider a car/van/RV to have a roof and therefore it is a home). And yes, it does remind us how fortunate we are.

    I’ve always been fascinated by the patterns seen in nature. Patterns in chaos sometimes. Or is it chaos in patterns?

    I love to read and hope to do some writing but sometimes you need to do some right-brained stuff. I have taken up the hobby of gourd art. Not the “paint on top of” type of gourd art but the kind that requires burning with a wood-burning tool, carving, staining, etc. I love the organic feel of gourds and what you can do with them. I’ve seen some where people have taken small river pebbles and embedded them in the gourd. Lovely. Although they can be a little bit bulky if you’re working with the large ones, they are very light weight. They might work well as a hobby on a small scale while traveling. If I want to work with larger gourds I will have to get a cargo carrier on the back of the van to put my supplies in. It lends itself well to working outdoors, as well. Especially when you’re doing carving and don’t want the gourd dust over everything. My Dremel is a cordless rechargable model and I don’t think the woodburning tool takes much in the way of power. You only use it for a short period anyway. So yeah…I think it might be a good hobby for on the road.

    That poor pup wanting to play. Sometimes I think some owners get jealous of their dog paying attention to anyone or anything other than them.

  16. Dawn in Asheville says:

    I’m glad you give to the homeless – a few years ago my adult sister had a mental break; completely unexpected (turns out the bipolar is a gene you can carry and it is triggered under stress). Within a few weeks she went from having a job, getting a masters degree, apartment, car and boyfriend to homeless and soon in jail. Even when someone is mentally ill, you can’t make them do anything they don’t to do, you can’t protect them. It was a long terrifying year until she finally hit a point where she agreed to take meds, and it’s been another long year while she’s struggled back to the person she was (although her life is ruined – can’t get a job, school loan debt, etc.) Whenever I see someone homeless I think of all the kind people that gave her money or let her borrow a cell phone so she could call home and we at least knew she was still alive. So good for you, who are we to judge, except by grace, there go we…!

    Okay – REPORT!

    Juno is in Missouri. It’s been a shakedown cruise for sure! Hays saw the accelerator pump on the newly tuned carb start failing – thumbs up to Rein Automotive for not taking care of us right away and not taking advantage us (heck they could have told us we needed a new transmission). It’s not completely fixed but they feel it will hold til we get it here and can get a kit ordered and someone to install it. Then there was a gas cap left at a gas station. Discovering she only gets 10 mpg and he needed alot more cash to make it across country. The license plate that fell off – that someone kindly picked up and handed off to Rick in a parking lot. The house battery (in the engine) almost fell off of its shelf but Rick was checking fluids and caught that in time and disconnected it and moved it back to a bay. There was the moment of thinking the keys were locked in the car late at night in 9 degree weather, interstate exchange craziness and missed exits…and now there’s the snowstorm that’s stalled things…but, she’s on her way and Rick is enjoying an indoor pool and margaritas to help get his mental state back in shape before hitting the road again once Helena moves through. I hate I’m not with him but I’ve been his internet ground control – we’ve skyped as I’ve talked him through those interchanges trying to follow google maps (I sent him a gps but I don’t think he trusts it), found credit union branches for him, auto parts places, called a gas station to see if they’d found the cap…so I guess I’m there virtually. He sends me mile marker numbers so I can keep up with where he is and make him hotel reservations (it is way to cold to be in a camper we weren’t prepared to camp IN).

    So that’s the report! I tell you, nothing like an RV to make life interesting again!

    Best to you and Reggie Man! Love the pics….

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Thanks for the update! I am glad that your sister was able to get help and is able to try to rebuild her life.

      • Dawn in Asheville says:

        Thanks Dawn 🙂 Hey – you prepped for/expecting snow where you are this weekend?

        • Dawn in NC says:

          Yep! Expecting 3-5 inches!

          • Dawn in Asheville says:

            Yep…we got about 8 I think (just by measuring our back porch). I’m telling you – I’m moving to Florida. Shoveling is for the birds 🙂 LOL. Hope you are staying warm and safe!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Juno is making her way home…slowly, but surely! I am glad that your sister is on a better path. 🙂

      • Dawn in Asheville says:

        Thank you Denise – hope you are staying warm and safe, too!

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Thank you, Dawn. I have just a bit less than you… 7″+. The snow ended about an hour ago. Pretty fluffy snow, but bitterly cold. I cleared a path for Gracie pup….all is good! 🙂

          We are expecting single digits or below freezing the next couple nights. May Juno take you to Florida soon! 🙂

          • Dawn in Asheville says:

            Here here!!!!!!! Ever since fulltiming eight or so years ago in Denver, cold has become (to my mind) this aggressive living force that wants to kill me! LOL

    • Krystina McMorrow says:

      So sorry to hear about your sister. Happy to hear that she is doing much better.

      • Dawn in Asheville says:

        Thanks Krystina – yes, she is – last Christmas when we brought her home she was still over-medicated and it was hard – she was still like a broken little bird. This Christmas though she was back to her bubbly self and I think this will be the year hopefully she can move forward again with her life. Had to put her back on a plane yesterday. Going to miss her (sniff sniff).

    • cc and canine ( now in Clackamas, Oregon) says:

      Dawn in Asheville….What kind of a camper did you buy???

      • Dawn in Asheville says:

        Hey CC and Canine – it’s an old one. She’s a 1984 Dodge Mallard Class C on a Dodge D350 5.9L V-8 truck chassis. The engine is strong (we’ve had quite a few mechanics looking at her now – everything we’ve had to do has revolved around an after-market carburetor and tuning up what the previous owner put in her this summer). About 65K miles and everything we’ve seen is she’s been well maintained. Transmission and engine itself is running strong. But she’s definitely not a new car (like my Prius) – rattles and lets in the cold and drinks gas like its Southern Comfort at her first prom. But not as old as the 1930’s UPS Model (T?) truck Rick saw for sale in Carthage MO – that was something else. Can you imagine turning that into an RV? What about you?

        • cc and canine ( now in Clackamas, Oregon) says:

          We used to have a 2001 Winnebago Rialta class B built on a VW chassis,….We’ve just gotten a used fiberglass trailer, a Bigfoot, and a used 1997 Dodge Van with the same engine as yours! It’s running strong too, but has 210,xxx miles….We’ve been working on getting it shipshape and ready for a long trip…new radiator, alternator, rebuilt differential, new wheel bearings, etc….Hubby does a lot of his own work, but for some things it had to go to the shop…. When we did drive it up to Washington to retrieve our used trailer. It did slurp lot of gas, but it towed just fine! We do feel better driving a vehicle that is easy to get parts and service for anywhere in the country…

  17. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    What I do in the winter months is design and make things that I sell to supplement my SS and small pension. If I do the work in the winter then I don’t have to do a lot of work the rest of the year. It is creative work so I enjoy the design part of it. It is work I can do my little fiberglass travel trailer.

    • Dawn in Asheville says:

      Hey Karen – if you see this; if not I’ll catch up to you on another post – what do you design and sell to supplement your income? I’m not terribly crafty and assume I’ll take my web design where I go, but I love the idea of figuring out something I could make and sell.

  18. Hi! RVSue, Reggie and blogorinos!
    I got up 2 hrs earlier than usual, aiming to get the #1. It seems that 3 hrs is better.
    I was moved by the artistry of nature, too when I walked around barren badlands s in the US.
    Have a good day!

  19. Sandy Riley Lancaster, PA says:

    My take on giving money to the homeless has always been that I give it with a pure intention and caring heart; what they use it for is up to them. Life is tough for all of us, if we can make it just a little easier for someone, why not?

  20. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue…I really enjoyed the post of all your camps…
    That is such a cute photo with Reg and the mirrors….Your other photos in this post are
    amazing too.
    So nice of you to give, you are very kind. Iis so true, we have so much to be thankful for.

    As for hobbies, I do card making, but not enough of it to justify all the stamps and punches I have. Now I have all my mom’s stamps too. Yikes! Years ago when I lived in Toronto, I had a small dark room for developing & enlarging prints, enjoyed it, but not the clean up afterward. Prefer the digital photography of today. If travelling with the trailer I would take my good camera, some knitting, maybe a small box of card making supplies, and a few books and I would get more as I need them on line with my library card. I would take my bicycle also. Maybe next year I hope. We have to get my mom’s place next door finished & ready for my daughter to move in. I will then have someone to look after the cats when I’m gone. Cannot believe it has been 18 months since my mother went into long term care & we still haven’t finished clearing it out.
    Love those shots of Reg in action….hope he meets some more playmates soon.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Val,

      Are you familiar with the Crafters Companion brand from the UK? HSN carries some of their line. Very nice products (stamps, die sets, markers, papers, and the Gemini machine that cuts and embosses). HSN is having their 24-hour craft show on Tues, 01/10…. If you order directly from the company (they have a US branch in CA, they always send you extra goodies with your order. Just saying….not to tempt you… 🙂 I am just beginning to make cards. 🙂

      • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

        Hi Denise
        Thanks, I will check them out. I have a small embosser and cutter it is a Cuttlebug, easy & not too expensive. Crank a handle to use. It is only good for small cards though.6

    • Chris(MN once but now AZ for the winter) says:

      Hi Val! I am a card maker, too. When I started full-timing, I got rid of a lot of my card making supplies, but I still have quite a bit. I had over 1000 rubber stamps, most of which I sold on Ebay. I kept my manual die cutting machine (Big Shot), metal dies, embossing folders, paper, and my electronic die cutting machine (Silhouette Cameo). I am still happily making cards. When I bought my 5th-wheel, it had to have good storage for my toys. Luckily, I live alone (not counting 2 dogs and 4 cats). Bottom line is that once you know what things are important to you, then you know how much room you need to keep them. Good luck!

  21. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    What fun with the pictures!!!
    Reggie could have taught that pup how to have fun…poor thing. Pampering can take the fun out of a dog just being a dog.

    Love to you both

  22. Laurie in NC says:

    Love the sand pictures and such good pictures of Reggie in motion! He is the cutest!
    I usually read when we camp, but I also enjoy a type of doodling called Zentangling. It doesn’t require many supplies and can be enjoyed anywhere!

  23. Gail on the Olympic Peninsula says:

    I love the photo of Reggie in his high alert stance with his paw raised ! Looks like a true champion ! 🙂

  24. Sue, those photos, ESP the sand in the wash photos are spectacular! My hubby was yearbook photographer in his youth, later Navy unit photographer, so he appreciates good photos and he really thought your photos today were well done. We both ESP like the sand below branch right after your waiting for fridge comment. It would be lovely with a favorite quote printed in the middle of the sand and framed to hang.
    I crochet, cross stitch, read, usually kindle these days, like to take pictures, and make cards (yep I’m another addicted to stamps, punches, dies, and new papers!)! Lol
    I aspire to learn watercoloring using both inks and watercolor pencils, and to use stamps with inspiration from my surroundings outdoors to create scenes. I have taken all my hobbies in our RV at times. Hence our big RV has been a 40 ft bus, though I prefer to downsize while still having room for hobbies.
    About the lady with the dog. I’m nosey. I would have said, Oh dear, what happened to his feet? Might have gotten a response of: he just had his dew claws removed, or tore one, or I dropped a glass and he stepped on a fragment before I could grab him, or?. I tend to give benefit of doubt. I like to give people an opportunity to chat if they desire, but that’s me. I would drive Sue nuts as I’m very much a people person. While I would love my time alone, ESP since I’m a full-time caregiver to my two loved ones, I crave time alone to decompress, then want to be near others, ESP my camping buddy who also does card making!
    We are being told there will be a big storm here in most of northern California this weekend, with as much as two inches of rain and brisk wind. I know two inches sounds to some like spitting in the bucket, but to California , that is potential flood producing, ESP along creeks and our two major rivers, the Sacramento and the American. Add to that snow level is rising to over 6000 ft, which means below that in the 3000 to 6000 ft elevations, there will be rain melting snow that fell early this week, all of which flows down the watershed into creeks, rivers, and Folsom reservoir and the others. Since Folsom is a flood control dam/reservoir rather than being primarily water storage, they have begun letting water through the gates, a very spectacular sight.
    Stay safe all and have a good weeks end.

  25. Karen LeMoine says:

    That poor little dog:( Must have a miserable life. Like you, Sue, I also give to the homeless and their pets. I give from my heart and what they do with the money its on them. God knows I give out of compassion for those in need. As for the sand art its awesome! Nothing beats the desert for nature’s beauty. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Hi Sue .. wow, what gorgeous sands of time photos. Thank you! My boat is now officially for sale (anyone want to buy a beautiful classic wood cabin cruiser?). Have had a few queries, but the next owner hasn’t shown up yet, that could take a while. I’ve been thinking about what to do with my winter time once the boat sells. My habit has been to do most of the maintenance on the boat during the winter, and haul the boat out of the water to do bottom maintenance, along with a few short cruises on those few gorgeous winter days up here in the pacific northwest. I love photography. I love music. I love wood carving. I love to read. But that’s not really enough to keep me busy for several hours a day for months at a time. Your talk about giving perked me up. I’m going to look around for an organization where I can donate my time and help folks. I’m so blessed and it always feels so good to share. I suspect we’ve all had our share of rough times (I sure have), and it feels really good when someone offers a helping hand. When we can turn around and offer that hand to someone else, I believe we should do that. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  27. George says:

    I too like the sand pictures. Reggie likes to play like my 2 do, he would enjoy romping around with them.

    I don’t want to be the fuddy duddy but mentioning leaving your purse in the PTV on your blog is probably not a good idea (unless you keep the important stuff with you at all times), not all of us are nice folks. My wife left hers in the car to run into a 7 eleven type store for 3 mins and it was stolen in that short time.

    Enjoy the weather there it is supposed to be 16F here on Sat night.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, George,

      I don’t leave my purse in the PTV when it’s parked away from camp. What I meant is I don’t bring it into the BLT. It stays in the PTV which I keep locked. Not many thieves in my neighborhood (see photo in post). Ha! Thanks for your concern. I don’t know where “here” is but it does sound a bit chilly!

  28. Retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

    Danielle Steel wrote about helping the homeless after the death of her son in “A Gift of Hope”. Her books have always been part of my eclectic taste in reading. That book was such an eye-opening read. I highly recommend it to those who are interested in the plight of the homeless and mentally ill in our country. One of my dear friends has an adult son who suffers from mental illnesses and the struggles she has faced trying to get the help he needs are overwhelming. She is a physician and so blessed to have the funds, the knowledge, and the resources to get him help….YET, the laws are more focused on so called rights of the individual than giving those individuals the help they need. Such a failure for a country that has been so blessed.

    Sue, I am sorry I have preached on your blog, but your simple act of generosity did speak to one of my deepest concerns for this country.

    Your pictures are lovely. Thank you for sharing them with us all. Take care.

    • Retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

      I was tired last evening when I responded. I loved the pictures of rocks and sand! I loved the way I could look at each one and in the variations of colors and textures see the designs of nature and my imagination. I think everyone probably sees something different in each one. Well done.

      As to hobbies, I love cooking when my arthritis allows me to chop seasonings. I am your typical Cajun/Creole cook. I also crochet. A lot. I crochet mostly for my family, but I do love making baby afghans. Reading…the great escape! I cannot imagine a world without the printed word to take me to places and times in my mind where I can become totally engrossed in the fancy of it all. The next book I have to read on my kindle is called “The Saints of Lost Things” by C.H. Lawler. It was recommended by a friend who is an avid reader. When I get the chance to travel, I love to visit cemeteries. Yep, graveyards. Old ones. I love to read the gravestones and markers. Here is SE Louisiana, we have to bury our dead in tombs because the water level is so high. I love visiting them, praying for the souls of those I have never met. Weird, but somehow seeing names and dates and whatever loved ones chose to inscribe on their markers just interests me and sets my mind to wander/wonder about the person.

      It is cold and rainy here today. I have a fire going in the fireplace–one of the handful of days I get to use it–and coffee. I hope your day is as blessed and full as mine.

      Thank you again for the pictures that make my imagination go wild! Belly rubs and hugs for Reggie, prayers for you both.

  29. rvsueandcrew says:

    Congratulations, Chris and Dawn, on being first!
    Congratulations, Calvin, on placing second!
    Congratulations, Millie, on placing third!

    Great comments, blogorinos!

    Thanks for the compliments on my photos. I wasn’t sure if the sand ones would go over well. I’m enjoying your hobby ideas. I hope more will share.

    As I expected, you respond to the homeless situation with compassion. My heart goes out to those with family or friends (or any of my blog readers) who are suffering with mental disorders/illness.

    No, I didn’t attempt to start a conversation with the woman with the dog. I’m pretty good at “reading” people, and she seemed agitated by my presence, beyond her fussing with the dog, so I left. I’m happy to chat with people I meet if they are in a similar mood.

    You don’t need me replying to every comment. Enjoy the fellowship of blogorinos while I join the lurkers. 🙂

    Soon I’ll be going offline to continue reading Jeannette Wall’s “The Silver Star.” It’s good! So was her earlier book, “Half Broke Horses” which I finished yesterday. I appreciate the book suggestions!

    Good night! See ya’ tomorrow!

  30. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    If you look close at the sand photos you will see Black Sand. If you put that black sand in a bucket and use a miners pan you can pan out the Gold flakes and nuggets with water. Save the gold specks that you find in the bottom of the pan and put them in a clear glass bottle with a tight lid. Then give the Gold to me and I will see to it that the homeless get it. 🙂 Seriously I don’t think there should be any homeless in this country. How much tax payers money goes into building an Army Tank. Lets not go to war anymore and instead of trying to save the world, lets take care of our own.

  31. I love playing with the filters on my editing program, especially on photos of trees 🙂 Love the magical sand sculptures – you really got some great variety! Tessa is not friendly while on leash so it is harder to give her social time unless we’re in a fenced park or the other dog owner doesn’t mind her being off leash…..still, it’s so important to give them the opportunity when it comes along :-))))

  32. rhodium says:

    Thanks for sharing your photo experiments. Faulkner said there are no great writers, just great rewriters and it seems you do not need to take great photos, just great edited photos. As for the homeless, there is another quote I always think of when I meet one (its by some early church father, I wish I remembered which one): It is man’s duty to give alms; it is God’s duty to determine who is worthy.

  33. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Love these photos. The Sand art by mother nature is amazing.
    That little pup Reggie was wanting to play with seemed so sweet and acted like he really wanted to play. I would really like Angel to play with other dogs, but she just doesn’t. When we go to the groomer, she sort of socializes, but not play, and after she get her bath, she goes to a crate. LeAnn says she doesn’t chase off the other dogs, but doesn’t play with them either. I feel like she is bored, but I’ve tried toys, tug of war, playing toss which she ducks and acts like I am trying to hurt her, which I would never do. She only seems happy when she meets and/or sees people outside and she does love the kids. I even thought about hiring a couple of the neighborhood kids to play with her after school.

  34. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    As for hobbies, which I do & plan on doing when I can go RVing are crocheting, counted cross stitch, embroidery, adult coloring and hopefully quilting, plus continuing to read, and loving and caring for Angel.

  35. Linda-NC says:

    I love love love those photos! You capture nature at it’s finest when no one else is looking. Finding pleasure and beauty in the simplest things is a gift and you definitely have it.
    When I get out there I will be using my camera a lot, crocheting, reading and I like to make things out of found objects. Like unusual wood or stone or whatever comes my way. The finding is part of the fun.
    Maggie and I will be taking our walks and just enjoying whatever is out there.

  36. Love The Sand photos, they’re neat and I also love those Reggieman photos, especially with his reflection in the mirrors, he looks like he enjoys it too, likes to show off and it sounds like he’s got you figured out,, just like Piper, as soon as I grab the keys, she knows we are going for a ride, she did it today and we are now camped just a stones through of Bumblebee, Az,,,, waiting for the Call to look at a house for us,,, I figured they’d call and they did when we were camped 10 miles south of Havasu City today and so here we are, it’s raining now, but thats ok,,, have a pleasant weekend and hug Reggie for us,,,,,,,,,,,, 🐾👣

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Good luck on the house search, Rusty and Miss Piper! 🙂

    • Krystina McMorrow says:

      I hope the house is all you want it to be Rusty. Give Lady Piper a hug from me.

      • Will do,, Kristina,,, getting used to the cold up here, but still no heater in the front of the truck, so I hope all appointments are around noon, hard to drive dressed like a Askamo, must keep windows open to keep windshield defrosted ,,,,🌬 🐾👣

        • It’s funny,,, Sue has no AC but a heater and I or we have no heater,, air-conditioning to me is 50 mph and the windows rolled down or move to where it’s cooler,, it will change when we get our home,, then I will fix the problem with the truck heater,,, oh, I had a friend of mine make a steel and wire grate for a window, so Piper is cooler when I’m in the store or VA, looks like a NASCAR Drivers window, plenty of air for her even with her side cracked 2.5 in. open,,,, lol,,,,,, 👌 👣🐾

          • Now we are 28 miles North of Prescott, in a sunny area, now it’s dark, but feels warmer,, huh, we are at 4571 ft elevation, just east of hwy 89, between Drake and Paulden, Arizona,, praying for a home real soon,,,, he’s with us,,,,, 👣👣🐾

  37. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    N’nite, Sue,

    I love your macro study of the sandy washes. My favorite is the one after the comment “the sand is rippled from recent rains” – the patterns of the wash, shadows, and the tree shadow – nice!

    Sorry to hear that Reggie did not have a playmate at the park….maybe you will return one day and that pup will be there without booties, able to play. Reggie, you are just too cute!

    Trying to hit the hay early….icy road conditions are expected in the morning. Then a snowstorm will start tomorrow night, and continue until Saturday afternoon. I may end up in 3-5, 5-7, or 8+ inches….according to several of the local weather folks. A good weekend to catch up on chores, simmer something good on the stove, and just enjoy the beauty. Much of the country will be affected by this storm – please stay safe, everyone!

    Thank you for the trip summary for last year. I know that took a lot of time to put together. I could picture each place in my mind… 🙂

    Winter hobbies include cooking (heck, that is year-round!), reading, creating jewelry, and my latest creative outlet….card making. I will be making my first card this weekend – family birthdays are coming soon. 🙂

    Wishing you pleasant dreams, comfortable temperatures, and a peaceful night, Sue. Sending you and Reggie love and hugs from me and snow bunny, aka Gracie pup! 🙂

    • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

      Sometimes I go on to Pinterest and search cardmaking if I need ideas. There are so many on there. I need a birthday card & I don’t feel very creative at the moment so am heading there now.

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi Val,

        If you would like more inspiration, search for the following blogs: Crafters Companion and/or Simon Says Stamp. Good luck! 🙂

  38. Sunny says:

    Hi Sue, I absolutely LOVE your sand art!! Beautiful pictures! I oil paint and started pastels not long ago. Have been out in the desert below Ajo last week but had to come into town to have a couple mechanical problems looked at. I so love the desert, wish I could stay all winter but i have other places to be, see, and paint.
    On the homeless situation… I can relate because one of my daughters and her husband were living in a car for several weeks but lately have been able to secure good jobs and finally have a real roof over their heads again. It reminds me of the saying “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Thanks for your kind heart!! PS. This is the year I am deciding if I want to full-time and sell my house or not. I sure don’t need all that space anymore….

  39. Jan Johnson says:

    Amazing textures and patterns in the sand. God is a pretty wonderful artist!

  40. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Hello! I don’t know if the weather is headed for you, but from weather reports we are in for major rain and wind for a number of days. We need the rain!
    Just stay out of the arroyos and wait for all the desert blooms you will see in the spring. I used to love,the spring in New Mexico when the cold winds were gone and the desert blossomed. Good memories.
    One time when I was my moms caregiver we went to a local drug store and there was a very dirty, very pretty young woman sitting on the sidewalk asking for money and everyone was refusing. When we came out I asked her if she was hungry and she started crying, so I told her to hold on and I would get her food…so I went into a restaurant and got her a burger and water, what she asked for, and I got her some fruit, took it back to her. My mom was all sullied up and not speaking to me…I sat down on the sidewalk with her and chatted a little…she was a former drug addict, having hard times, trying to get home….so I handed her my phone so she could call home, which she did….when she got off the phone she was crying, said her mother was coming for her…I heard half the phone call so I knew she was telling the truth….my mother was sitting in the car and staring at me..and the homeless girl… my mother was all self righteous, so when I got back in car she told me every negative thing she could imagine…I learned from the masters knee how not to behave.. so Miss Sue, you are a wonderful example of compassion and a good mentor to us all. Thanks for sharing your good sense with us.

    • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

      ❤️❤️❤️ I bet that girl will never forget your kindness.

    • Barbara (Nashville) says:

      What a Christian thing to do, may God bless you. I donate to the Nashville Rescue Mission here on a quarterly basis. They do so much good.

  41. Nancy says:

    Sue, your sand pictures, indeed, all your pics, are so beautiful i believe i will buy a decent camera! Retiring in september, will buy a trailer and go on the road parttime with 2 pups. I have 3 cats, 2 desert tortoises, and a few koi at home. Can’t take ’em all with me, and could never give them up else i would go fulltime. I guess i’ve tied myself down a bit. Love having all my little critters around tho.
    So the ides of using software to play with my photos, sounds like a wonderful way to spend winter’s early darkness hours. And rainy days too.
    I do a little trout fly-tying now, lots of reading, and more than a little time on google earth, looking for locations of historical interest, ghost town remnants, petroglyphs, old mining activity and the like. Good hobbies for rv evenings, don’t ya think?
    And, sue and blogerinos, what a lovely bunch you all are with regards to your compassion for the homeless! It is so refreshing to read your comments. Thanks! Nancy in California

  42. Nancy in California says:

    Heehee, if i want to belong, i better get the name right! Blogorinos!

  43. MK Reed says:

    Photography is my hobby along with digital art work~ keeps my mind sharp.

  44. Eileen Dykeman says:

    Luv the beautiful sand photos. U cud make a sand calendar!

  45. Carol in Frisco, TX says:

    Fantastic photos!!!!!! Wish that you published, so many would make wonderful art for the walls, and a screen saver would be OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!

    You and Reggie have a Wonderful New Year, be safe and happy!!

    • Barbara (Nashville) says:

      You can make a screen saver out of Sue’s photos, with her permission of course.
      I tried it once, to see if it could be done, but took it off as I did not ask permission.

  46. Andrea in Glendale says:

    Hi Sue, I may have missed this in comments, but I would love to know where you purchased Reggies great harness shown above. Having a hard time finding just the right one for our little pup. Thanks…. And LOVE your photos !

  47. Ken wink says:

    Do u have unlimited data with ur phone plan? I always have to find a wifi to upload my pics when traveling. I do have a JetPack with Verizon like u have, but still watch my 16 gigs of data.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, Ken, I don’t have unlimited phone data. I use my phone 2 times a year if at all and no more than 10 minutes total. My main reason for having a phone is so people will stop bugging me to get one. I have a 10 gig plan, used mostly through my JetPack.

  48. weather says:

    It’s hard to judge distance from your photo taken during the longest hike with Reggie. I’m guessing that round trip it would be measured in miles (?). Wow, that’s great, both for your health and for the privacy such a secluded camp allows. I’m glad for you to be staying fit and staying there.

    When I read about the encounter with the dog not being allowed to play with Reggie, I thought “Well, I trust Sue’s assessment of the situation, because she is pretty good at reading people.” Then I saw in your group reply your using that exact phrase, neat coincidence or an e.s.p. thing 🙂

    The homeless being visible in town is giving them a break many places don’t. It’s common practice to create and enforce regulations that keep them away from sight. Then, of course, they don’t have access to kind hearted people like yourself that are willing to offer them something needed.

    My folks opened their home to young ones that would have been homeless otherwise. Their example was part of why I felt fortunate enough to have room in my homes for an occasional chance to let someone stay with us until they got back on their feet. My point in mentioning that is ours isn’t the first generation that’s seen times where it’s remarkably easy to not have the resources to keep a roof over ones head.

    Like you, I’ve heard it said that some will use money given to buy a drink.!?! Who among us had only made perfect decisions in life? And which of us hasn’t been helped in some way whether we “deserved” it or not? At least, in my life it’s by grace alone that I haven’t paid more dearly for mistakes I’ve made.

    Though I’m easily entertained and enjoy a lot of creative outlets for my mind and energy, I don’t call anything I do a hobby. If I was near the sand in your beautiful photos it’s unlikely that I’d use a camera there. I might ,after a rain wet things, make a sand castle and decorate it and paths to it with those pretty rocks, however.

  49. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Sue: the photos of the sand were all lovely, but I really liked the banner photo – it looks almost like a watercolor painting. Did you do something to that one or is it unedited? I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it here before or not, but there is a free app you can download for your phone or iPad called Waterlogue. You go into the app, select a photo from your library that you’ve already taken and when you run it through the app it renders it as a watercolor (sort of Impressionistic) photo, which you can then save. It’s a really fun app and you can print the photos and frame them as art if you like.

    Staying home today with my big baby pitbull. He had a mast cell tumor and some smaller “suspicious” tumors removed yesterday so he’s a little lethargic today.

    • Barbara from Camano says:

      It’s not free anymore.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      To answer your question, Cynthia…. The header photo has that watercolor look because it is out of focus (haha!) and I think I might have saturated the color in editing, if I remember correctly. The colors at Kenney Flats were vivid in June, so maybe I didn’t.

      Thank you. I’m pleased you like it. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Get well soon, “big baby pitbull!”

  50. AZ Jim says:

    Some of the sand sculptures would make nice wall paper maybe. Reggie made a friend but the owner took over and spoiled their fun. Oh well, I’m sure she meant well.

  51. DesertGinger says:

    A word about dogs wanting to play…..

    Chloe can’t have anesthesia because of her liver disease so I rarely let her play unless I know the dog. If she were to get bit she would have to be treated without anesthesia and I want to avoid that for her. So in some cases there may be a reason why that you can’t see.

    So…my hobbies. Reading is really big for me. I read a lot, a few books per week. I also do games on my iPad like words with friends and solitaire. I love travel and exploring but that has been limited by lugging oxygen around. I enjoy movies although I haven’t gone recently. And I enjoy my work on the Knife. And I often help on political campaigns. I would like to get back into painting but rarely have time and energy together. When I am in NY I spend a fair bit of time with friends. And I have my coffee group herein Tucson but can’t go often because of work.

    That’s about it. I work about 35 to 40 hours per week, then when you add dog walking, going to rehab, shopping and cooking, laundry….not a lot of free time! But I enjoy it.

    Now I am also doing research and planning for the Prius I hope to buy in the next couple months. It will be my mini-Rv! Because they are electric you can run them all night and have air conditioning, plus plug in my c-pap. I plan to stay in campgrounds with restrooms, so if I have a place to sleep, an ice chest and a Coleman stove, I am pretty well set. You can buy a habi-tent which expands your Prius and you have a good 10 ft of habitable space. So that’s exciting!

    That’s my story!

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Thanks for the update Desert Ginger! It’s great to hear you doing so well right now. I am excited for you and your Prius. The only drawback is not much space to sleep. However, I too get excited to hear that you can run them all night.

    • Hi! Desert Ginger,
      Camping with a hybrid vehicle and a habi-tent has often been seen in Japan. Prius has AC outlets as standard equipment. Anyhow that’s very convenient. No AC generator bugs RVSue. 🙂 Please take care of yourself!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, DesertGinger,

      Good luck with your search for the perfect Prius! I did not know about the habi-tent…I will need to check that out! Hope you and Chloe are doing well! 🙂

  52. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Hi Sue and Reggie………………..just loved your sand pattern photos………I am like you, a simple programme only to manipulate your photos is all you need to get the enjoyment out of photography. Just a little cropping, saturation etc makes all the difference and can be done so easily.
    41 Degrees here today, so I will turn to my hobbies as there is nothing else I can do in this heat. I like to write letters, a pen-pal hobby of over 40 years, I cross stitch, I read…………I make photo books on line of my holidays and of my grand daughter………keeps me well out of mischief.
    I don’t blame you in the least for giving whatever you can to the homeless people……..too bad if it just goes to buy more booze……… is the need and its something no-one can change for these unfortunate people…………I’d be doing the same…………..

  53. Chris(MN once but now AZ for the winter) says:

    I was wondering if there are any cardmakers in Quartzsite this winter? I would love to meet up with anybody who would be interested in a playdate. I have lots of toys with me so even if you are new at it, I can share what I have.

  54. edlfrey says:

    “Do you have a hobby that adds to your enjoyment while on the road?”

    About a year ago I started drawing geometric patterns on HTML5 Canvas with Javescript code. Began with simple quilt patterns then did some mosaics and floor tile. Also worked through a geometric design online tutorial that was for using a compass and straight edge to draw mostly Islamic and Celtic designs.

    Then found Euclidean tilings by convex regular polygons and stained glass patterns on the web and have done a lot of those. Just started doing a Penrose rhombus tile pattern that has been a challenge but that is what got me started – a mental challenge to retain what is left of my mind.

    Have learned more geometry in the past year than I ever did while in school!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve been watching your progress with this project, ed, and I’m impressed! This is the kind of thing I wanted to do when I taught geometry. Going off the plantation was not allowed. 🙁

  55. Elizabeth says:

    We live in a part of the country that has gobs of homeless…probably several reasons for that. 9 months of the year are pretty temperate…though this winter and summer have been extreme for here. We have been carrying gift cards from McDonalds with us…I realize you have to live where there is one…but they are in most places for the majority of us. And McDonalds has been working on having more quality food…prices are up too…but at any rate, we used to have $5 cards…we have gone to $10 cards, even though being retired our income has not gone up…well what did we get this year for a raise in SS? Time we have medicare increase…we are maybe in the hole…but any rate, we feel better giving out the gift cards because there is no alcohol or other substances sold at McD’s and you have to spend all of it there…no change given on gift cards. In addition to I shop, using sales, coupons etc…not only for us, but for the food bank which we give at different times of the year. Try to get things that are quick, easy and as nutritious as I can find. If I get pasta sauce…at least get one with lots of cheese, or meat or both, etc. We live right now in a very small (500 sq ft) apt…there are several reasons for so doing…but if you can cut your costs someplace, then you can give more…as well as have a few more shekels for eating out or whatever. Of course, we understand that lots of our RV friends are so doing for that same reason. Nice to hear what others are doing too!!

    • Krystina McMorrow says:

      Wow! McD gift certificates are a great idea Elizabeth! You guys are doing a great job helping the homeless. Keep on keeping on!

  56. Rhodium says:

    I recall that you were very complementary about Tioga George and his blog. I just found out he is back on the road, in a Scamp. Perhaps this is news to you. If not, sorry to waste your time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s not news to me, but it’s not a waste of my time. 🙂 I’m glad you mentioned George.

  57. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    🐾Go Reggie Go!🐾I liked the artsy sand pics too😃

  58. Hobbies While Traveling

    It will be 60 years ago this spring when I received my first amateur radio license as a young teenager in Spokane, WA. I still have the same call sign.

    Lately I have moved away from using radios in our house (because of so much noise caused by TVs, wall warts, and other assorted gizmos that do not conform to FCC rules) and turned to small, low power radios with portable antennas. Often operated in an “ad hoc” manner parked in my Jeep alongside a reservoir, on a hilltop or (the best) near a body of salt water.

    The license are easier to get now than they were in 1957 (no Morse code and multiple-choice answers – we had to do one minute of perfect Morse copy and actually draw – by hand – circuit diagrams!) and there are more “hams” than ever. I still use Morse (which we call “CW”) partly because of its simplicity and partly because it is very efficient at moving information using low power and simple (small) antennas.

    Since we RVers often find ourselves in areas with poor cell phone coverage; and hike to places with no cell phone coverage, a ham radio transceiver (they are shirt-pocket-size now) can make a wonderful safety communications device. Susan and I used ham radio a lot when we were cruising the Pacific in our 32′ sailboat back in the 1980s and it works just as well from an RV.

    The ability to communicate thousands of miles using my skills on a tiny radio and an antenna clamped to the bumper of my Jeep in this day of the Internet and Skype may sound archaic, but it also means that I can still communicate when the infrastructure we all depend upon goes away.

    Plus it’s fun.

    Craig K7EXJ 🙂

  59. Virginia620 (AL) says:

    Love the Reggie and sand sculpture pics. Absolutely beautiful!! Battling post holiday blues. Soon over I hope. Definitely needed a Sue/Reggie post. 😐
    Placed Amazon BluRay DVD order just now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Virginia,

      Thanks for the order! I immediately checked today’s report and I see it.

      We can’t have you feeling blue. A new post will appear shortly!

  60. Diane in NYC says:

    Hi again Sue! I am glad you are not one of those people who insist on only buying food for panhandlers. Sometimes it really is money they need, especially in places where there are soup kitchens and food pantries where they can get three free meals a day. I know someone who had to turn to panhandling once when she was dealing with a desperate situation in her life. She was never homeless, but was close to being evicted from her apartment. She ate in soup kitchens during the day while panhandling at night. Doing that helped her make small payments towards the back rent she owed. She only did it for a few months, but it was incredibly stressful and dehumanizing for her. She told me that some people would grill her about why she was doing it. Since she was clean, tidy, well-groomed, and well-spoken, I guess they had a hard time understanding why she was out there.

    It’s amazing to me that people still subscribe to the notion of the “deserving poor” and “undeserving poor.” People can be down on their luck for all sorts of reasons, and a desperate situation could happen to anyone at any time. My friend hated panhandling and says she never made much doing it, but with no jobs available at the time, it was the only thing she could do. She needed money to not only go to her landlord but for the gas and electric bill, cell phone, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, and all the many little things we need to get by day-to-day. She had been forced to let go of her internet service, and had to out her elderly cat to sleep because she could no longer afford caring for it.

    So, just because someone is asking for money in the streets doesn’t mean it’s a fraud, or going towards drugs. The way I see it is that people are exercising their freedom of speech to ask for gift. No one is obligated to give, but when they do, it is appreciated for the gift that it is. My friend was eventually loaned the funds she needed to avoid being evicted and eventually found a part-time job, and got back on her feet. We never know what life will bring us, but sometimes panhandling is the only way for someone to get by.

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