Nature in 3-D and surround sound, without electronic gadgets

By John Toth

I am watching a dozen deer from my RV door, as they come out of the woods late afternoon. At my feet is a squirrel who doesn’t show any fear. It’s used to raiding picnic sites.

I’m sitting at a picnic table at Brazos Bend State Park near Houston, enjoying the best Mother Nature has to offer. A weekend here will recharge anyone’s batteries. It’s a short drive from my house.

This is the place to come to do - nothing. Or you can walk the nature trails, the hike and bike trails, and enjoy the Nature Center or the George Observatory.

I am here to do nothing. Sort of. I have some work with me, but for the most part, my goal this weekend is to do as little as possible.

I still have my data card and 4g phone. It’s not like I am totally cut off from the world or my toys. And the TV receives 66 channels. I wish I could get DISH out here, though.

I am a happy camper. Everything is set up, and now I’m ready to enjoy nature and stay connected to the rest of the world.

Wait, there is a problem. The little 4 at the top of the phone is gone. I can’t believe it. There is no 4g out here? How am I going to post photos on Facebook? This is disturbing.

But, I still have my data card. And, I am still getting a good enough signal to send text and make calls.
I am walking with my wife on one of the trails. The scenery is gorgeous. This is the way to get away.

The other park we stayed at two weeks earlier was in Austin, and the big city drew me to it each day. There was limited time for nature appreciation.

But this is truly the way camping should be, being one with nature, watching it from my doorstep.

It’s time to get some work done. Oops, I’m not getting an Internet signal. Now there is a weak one, now it’s gone again.

Now we have a problem. I need a signal to get a few things done.

Nature is great, but where is that darned data card signal? I’m begining to feel like Robin Williams in the movie “RV.”

I am connecting the card to an extension and sticking it through the RV blinds. There. I am getting two bars. That was scary.

Now the bars are gone.

Now my download stopped. That’s just great.

We are walking around the park, talking about nothing important. Then we decided to drive to the little store near the entrance for some supplies. I almost always make breakfast tacos in the morning.

There is no better smell than the smell of breakfast cooking in an RV. It tastes better than if it had been prepared at the house.

When my kids were little, I took the boys camping one weekend, and it started raining. I made breakfast inside the tent that morning - eggs and turkey bacon on white bread. The aroma of that special breakfast was the same as the smell inside my RV every time I make the tacos.

My older son, John, for years said it was the best breakfast of his life. Memories and time do tend to enhance an experience.

Back in those days, there were no 4g phones or data cards.

Those were the days, but I am getting two bars again, so its time to stop reminiscing. I need to send emails and download some wire stories.

There goes the signal again. Dead to the world.

I’ll get things done later. No sense fighting the inevitable. At least all the Houston TV stations are in HD.
We’re watching old TV shows and some old movies I brought with me. It’s relaxing.

We’re exploring this huge park by foot. I’m getting a lot of walking in. It’s starting to drizzle. It feels good.

I’m getting used to this primitive, out-of-touch existence.

A bunch of deer are running across the road right behind us as we walk. We’re sitting on a bench watching the water lilies in a pond in front of us. I’m sipping coffee.

Birds are singing behind us; a bullfrog’s mating call to the left; a crow joins in the melody on the right.
Nature in 3-D and surround sound. You can’t beat it.