Approach life gently. Treat life kindly. Live life fully and with enthusiasm.
Respect life--always.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How Low Can You Go?


Showers are a modern marvel. It is said that the first private man-made showers in use in the United States were at the Hearst Castle. It is rumored that when Mr. Hearst’s guests were faced with needing to freshen up and found this oddity instead of the normal bathtub in the guest rooms, they tried to plug the drains so as to make the shallow drain pan of the shower into a tub. How bizarre, considering that the shower is one of today’s necessities of life.

Even more bizarre is all the different forms this modern marvel comes in today in our campgrounds and other public facilities. There are pay showers, as if manipulating a coin into a tiny slot with soapy fingers and shampoo in your eyes was suppose to be easy. There are showers with preset temperatures, where one will scald you and the next will freeze you. And there are some with controls even a rocket scientist would be hard pressed to figure out.

The campground we just left, Beverly Beach, had showers which seemed only appropriate for children or anorexic midgets. Please forgive me if you fall into the second category. I mean no disrespect by the reference. I, myself, am a distant, blonder cousin of the Amazon women (or so it seems). I am large and have incredibly long legs for my 5’ 9” frame. The shower heads in the Beverly Beach showers hit the middle of my back. In order to wash my hair, I had to limbo Louie, while at the same time trying not to touch the tile walls which where incredibly close together. And forget trying to dry off within the tiny designated “dry” area within the shower stall. I finally had to give up and forego any shyness and my fear of being nude in public, leaving those claustrophobic confines for the larger community area. Luckily, every time I went to shower, I had great timing, as I had the four-stall room to myself.

Behold, however, the glory of the Devil’s Lake State Park shower stalls. Each shower on B loop has its own room. Each shower head is at a  more appropriate level for adults. I could wash my hair without stooping, craning, or squatting. And each tiled shower stall is large enough that I was even able to safely bend over to shave my legs, something I was definitely unable to do at Beverly Beach in the H loop showers. Though I later found out that one loop over, they had “good” showers.

My long legs are great for many things, such as taking long strides and covering more distance in a shorter time. My height has been a benefit most of my life, being able to reach top shelves from an early age. I was even taller than many of the boys in my sixth grade class. In high school, they caught up with me, though.

Even though Ken is about an inch taller than I, I have longer legs. He often complains when he has to drive after me because the seat will be all the way back, and he has to readjust it.

The other day I drove the Raven for the first time. It was technically not much of a test on my part, as I only went 5 mph, with little to no obstacles or traffic, and my destination was maybe half a mile through the campground to the dump station and back to our site (no sewer hookups in most of Beverly Beach State Park). Ken backed it in. I had barely mastered backing our king cab Chevy truck before we sold it, so there’s no way I am ready to try backing this beast, especially without a rearview mirror or backup camera (which is on our wish list).

With the driver’s seat as far back as it will go, I am still way too close to the pedals. Now I know why Ken sits on two pillows when driving (it raises him sufficiently to get him far enough away from the pedals, since our seats do not adjust up and down). My calf and foot were cramping even from my tiny little jaunt. I cannot imagine driving a couple hundred miles without taking steps to fix this issue. We may have to put a new driver’s seat on our wish list as well.

So, limbo Louie in the shower and pillows under my bum to drive. Height does have some disadvantages. At least I am not as tall as my son, who, when standing upright, grazes his spiky hair on the ceiling. At 6’5”, his legs are easily 3 or 4 inches longer than  mine. Can you imagine him trying to drive our chariot?

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