Wherever the Road Leads

Recalculating the Hare-Brained Scheme

Paradise is 38º?


Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….. it’s cold!!

I wonder if Dollar Gentral sells long johns? In this tiny South Georgia coastal town, Dollar Gentral is a lot like the General Store in the Wild West. If Dollar Gentral dutten have it, we locals don’t need it. But they seldom let me down. I am always surprised how much they manage to cram into that little store.

The beautiful sunny day belies the fact that it is is thirty-eight degrees outside today. And windy. Even the Fleabag decided that a warmish bed was a lot more fun than stalking squirrels in the cold.


He has his bed, and the electric blanket runs underneath it. When I got a delivery of his food from chewy.com, I used the carton build him a ‘dog house’. Home, sweet home!

Now, if you’re out shoveling your driveway, 38º might seem like a heat wave. But when you have nothing more under your house than the wind and your walls are an inch thick, thirty-eight degrees at 2:00pm means this…


I believe tonight will be the coldest it has been, dropping into the mid-twenties. However, anything under 33º means trouble when your water supply line is a 5/8ths inch garden hose. I wrapped it with pipe insulation and have not had an incident since.

Thirty-eight degrees mid-afternoon also means this…


The trailer is wired for 30 amp service, divided off into the air conditioner, the microwave, the electrical outlets, plus the inverter to charge the battery for emergency or boondocking power.

My electric heater is running full-tilt boogie most of the day. After a few hours I would get hungry, forget that the heater was drawing current – a LOT of current – then plug in the electric kettle or the toaster oven.

Pop. I had tripped the circuit breaker.

After doing it one too many times, I had a brainstorm. The site’s utility post has not only a 30-amp receptacle but household, 115-volt power as well. I removed the telephone jack from the trailer wall and ran a heavy-duty extension cord through the opening. I used pipe insulation to plug the hole and cut down on the heat loss. The electric heater now runs on a circuit outside of the trailer circuit… no more ‘pops’.

An additional benefit to being a ‘workamper’ here, is that I get a monthly allowance of up to $75 in electricity: that is why I run an electric heater. My propane furnace does a very good job of warming things up in a hurry but is a bit noisier and, I pay for propane, though at cost. Larry and Shari, the owners here at Lake Harmony, are very generous.

Almost every time I run the furnace I have to laugh at myself.

Talk about, “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

I had NO idea what I was doing when I first got going in the Hare-Brained Scheme. I bought this trailer knowing that the tires weren’t flat and hoping that because it had been owned by a County Maintenance Man, that most things worked.

The first time the furnace came on, I was thrilled. Just like when I filled up the on-board water holding tank recently and turned on its pump for the first time. When it also worked, there was joy in Mudville, believe me!

However, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Deal with it, learn how to fix it. The furnace is controlled by a nine-wire thermostat that also runs the roof-top air conditioner. The thermostat went bad a few months ago and I had to change that out. Even with the ‘oopses’, it’s been a lot more fun than sitting around a perfectly-working house, cutting the grass occasionally and then swearing at the television because there’s nothing worth watching.

Not since Mary Frann died.

I didn’t know that.

I brought down a television with me as this park has cable TV included. I watch very little as programming has certainly not improved any since I last had a TV. I have a bit of a supper routine. The People’s Court, Modern Family and then a ‘whodunit’ on ID Discovery. During the extended commercial breaks, I’ll switch over to The Big Bang Theory which I chose because I can’t believe people get paid for being such huge doofi.


One episode featured Bob Newhart as a guest star. I wondered if he was still alive. He’s 86 but indeed he is still going strong. From there, my mind went to his co-star, Mary Frann, on “Newhart”, the one where he was an innkeeper. The program ran from 1982 – 1990… yes, we are getting old!

On September 23, 1998, Frann died in her sleep at her home in Beverly Hills. She was discovered by her publicist. An autopsy later determined that she died of a heart attack and also suffered from an undiagnosed scarring of the heart muscle tissue.

I wonder if Larry, his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl were at the funeral?

I put Mary Frann in the same category at Farrah Fawcett… perhaps better remembered for the hair style than the performances. Included also, might be Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) from Dynasty.


Linda Evans is still with us but Farrah died of cancer in 2009, aged 62. Mary Frann was 55.

My floors are cold. The other day my stove wouldn’t work because I had removed the empty propane tank from the tandem setup, then closed the valve on the full one. A furnace the size of a carry-on suitcase makes me happy because it works.

Change the Hare-Brained Scheme? Not a chance, it’s too much fun.

And you’re a long time dead.



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  1. elayne  February 10, 2016

    what an awesome blog. thank you my friend for getting back in the routine.. we missed you and are glad you have no regrets.. Say hi to Tupelo

  2. Alistair Mair  February 11, 2016

    Feb. 10 2016

    Weather certainly has been cooler in the south. Here in the north (Toronto area) we are fortunate to have had a almost a snowless winter so far with temperatures above normal. However colder temperatures will prevail over the next week or so allowing lakes to freeze over and perhaps save the ice fishing season. Barrie and northward have had much more snow than the Toronto area.

    Our trip south was a success with no major snow interfering with our drive to the Sarasota area. Some snow fell thru Atlanta but nothing we could not handle. Cruise took us to warmer climates for a week and a return to Ellenton Florida for a few days was warm but not really beach temperatures.

  3. Rebecca  February 11, 2016

    Tupelo should “write” a post one day.

  4. Morag  February 11, 2016

    Thanks for the update Gordon. I get to hear some of your news from Jan or your mom, but you bring a special perspective to everything. Just to make you feel better it was -17 here this morn at 5 am. BRRRRRR. After just getting back from a 2 week cruise from Miami to the Southern Caribbean, it is a little hard to adjust.
    Keep well. Morag

  5. Ian W.  February 11, 2016

    Good blog Gordon…you are a born writer.

    Have you noticed if the ‘stuff’ at your local ‘Dollar General’ has bilingual English and French labels? I am just back from the south and went in one of the chain stores and again saw many packaged items in a bilingual format. They are all imported into B.C. first before being sent on to the U.S.

    • gordon  February 11, 2016

      Many, if not most, items here in the US are bilingual… English and Spanish. The Mexicans, legal and illegal, have a huge impact on the culture. “Press one for English, dos para Espanol.”

      Next time I’m in the store, I’ll look more closely to see if there is French on the label.


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