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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Some thoughts on becoming crotchety

When I was a kid growing up on the northwest side of Chicago, our neighborhood had some older folks that as a kid I thought were downright crotchety.  Mrs. Bites on one side of us thought I shouldn’t play baseball because I was confirmed.  Mr. Krawl, on the other side of us, called my sister and I G. D. Hoodlums because we played Canasta in the evening before bed, and laughed a lot.  (our bedroom was on the second floor and we had the windows open on hot summer nights… no AC in those days)  Numerous neighbors including those two had fits if we even set foot on their precious grass blades.  They were definitely crotchety!

It’s been a long time since I’ve spent any extended time camping in a very popular state park, and I have to admit that at times it’s been a challenge for me here at Harris Beach.  This place is jam packed every night with barely an empty site anywhere.  That’s a lot of folks making noise and enjoying their vacations.  I’ve become accustomed to the quiet and peacefulness of our National Wildlife Refuges over the last nine years, and this is a bit of a rude awakening.

Last night was a real corker.  Picture this:  A large family moves into a site a ways down the road.  Out comes a big speaker and microphone, and every person in that group takes their turn belting out tunes that can be heard over the whole campground.  I’ll just say they weren’t exactly the Von Trapp Singers, by the way.  Ugh!  During the several hours that they carried on, I was trying to prepare for my evening program presentation at the amphitheater.  It was hard to concentrate.

As that group took a break to eat, the five sites across from me began to warm up for the evening.  They’ve been here all week, and every evening is loud.  Besides all the adults, there are about 42 kids and 15 yapping dogs, and I’m honestly not sure that’s an exaggeration.  First there was the ear splitting belly dancing music, and then the screaming shouting and dancing began.  To add to the chaos, the diesel rig directly across from me began blasting its horns along with the music. 

As I set up my stuff for the presentation, Ranger Angela went over to speak to the group and ask them to tone it down, and stop blowing the horn.  We were concerned that no one could hear the program with all the noise.  They did comply. 

A family with youngsters arrived a little early, but were happy to wait until one of the members of the noisy group came into the amphitheater to confront Angela and demand that she give him her full name so he could lodge a formal complaint.  This man was in such a fury, that the waiting family was scared into leaving.  He accused Angela of discriminating against far east music.  Angela handled it very well, and got that guy out of the area.  Eventually calm returned, more folks arrived and the program was a success.

I find my patience wearing thin very quickly with all the noise and carryings on, and wonder if I’m turning into one of those crotchety old folks I was so frustrated with as a kid.  At least I haven’t called anyone a G.D. Hoodlum…yet.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

38 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lively area! Try some ear plugs or music of your on in headphones! I think as we age our patience wears thin and noises that we used to think nothing of become irritating:)

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  2. Having a good time is one thing, but excessive noise with microphones and horn blowing is down right rude!
    Glad your presentation was a success...not surprised though Judy!

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  3. What a delightful topic! But I'm sorry you had to experience what the world is sadly becoming. Either that, or I am truly becoming my Mother, who was truly a bit crotchety in her elder years after working hard all her life. Once when my boys and I were visiting she told them to be careful at the city park in the town where I grew up because that was where the hoodlums hung out. They told her "Grammy, we are the hoodlums." I digress.....

    You were much more polite and contained than I would have been. I was raised to be polite and courteous, but I expect that in others and when pushed beyond my tolerance I am not shy of standing up for what is right and has been common decency and courtesy in this country and has gotten us here to this point. If people don't keep doing that, we are on a downhill slope. I do understand that not everyone feels like I do nor feels comfortable taking that stand, and especially alone like you are. This is just how I feel.... Standing on my soapbox in the comment section of your blog!

    I do wonder though as you have about the age thing. I have tried very hard not to be like my Mom with my grandkiddos and I know I've succeeded but there are just some things that annoy the heck outta me! The difference between back then and now is then it was just some old gals being judgmental but now it's everyone expecting everyone else to just put up with whatever the heck they feel like doing whenever they feel like doing it!

    So now the question for me is, what is being confirmed?
    And thanks for listening!

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  4. I am very sorry to say I think Meowmomma is exactly right, especially in her next to last paragraph. We see increased rudeness daily. Around here, a beach town, that "me first, me only, you last" attitude is worse in the summer when a flood of vacation-goers hit town, leaving their manners back home. That irresponsible party-er blasting Ranger Angela is a prime example.

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  5. Yikes...not sure I would have the patience either. As people who like the RV boondocking style of camping all by ourselves, we know that we wouldn't be happy "camping" in a situation like that.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  6. wow, Judy that sounds just awful i now see why we dont go to state parks much in the summer ugh i was the same level of crochety whn i was 40 years younger no patience for rude and stupid people

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  7. If you are getting crotchety....So am I. I just got back from Stanley Idaho. I have always had a peaceful campsite, not this year.
    The campers next to me and the parents across the road ran their generators from 6 A.M. til 10 P.M. every day. I said something to the host and he said they were legal.
    The next day the........started his Dodge diesel along with the generators..
    Geez _Louize..I had to leave...
    Hope it gets quieter there for you since you can't leave..
    Upriverdavid

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  8. Wow. That sounds like chaos in the campground. I am amazed that the rangers allow amplified music, horn blowing, etc. to begin at all. We are very pleased to be staying on an out-of-the-way Volunteer Lane here at our state park, as I don't think we'd last more than a few days as one of the campground hosts. In the campgrounds kids seem to have a single volume, and it is full on screaming. It seems to go on from dawn to dusk, and it grinds on my nerves after a while.

    We are realizing that we are more comfortable at more remote National Wildlife Refuges where overnight camping isn't allowed. More peace and quiet for sure.

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  9. Hmmm...I would say it's a sign of the times. The "ME and only me" attitude. The no respect for anyone else attitude. I grew up camping (in the 60's & early 70's) nearly every weekend and I can't recall that on any of those trips this ever happening. Our parents sat in lawn chairs & visited. There were no radios or other electronics and all the kids played without screaming and bothering our neighboring campers. I remember the campgrounds being peaceful and we usually weren't even aware of the campers near us. We haven't set foot in a campground in years because of the rudeness and disrespect that is allowed to go on anymore.

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  10. In 2001 we were campground hosts in Alaska and Oregon State Parks.... didn't take us long to realize that campgrounds weren't our kind of place. Like Mark and Teri, we prefer remote wildlife refuges. I may get crotchety over mosquitoes, but there are no barking dogs, loud music or screaming kids to contend with. My sympathies are with you.

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  11. If you are crotchety, then so are we--both of us. I think that's one reason the cowboy didn't like the Oregon coast--we were staying in crowded, coastal campgrounds. I'm afraid I wouldn't have had the patience Range Angela had with the "you are discriminating against far east music" dude!!! And, I'm with several of your readers, when we camped as young adults, the campgrounds in Arkansas on the lakes were always full but they were quiet, especially at night. Summer is winding down Judy and I bet Jojoba Hills is quiet, North Ranch certainly is!

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  12. I'm definitely crotchety. That is one of the main reasons we don't really like to travel during the summer months. Spring and Fall when the children are still in school. And 55+ parks are there for a reason. My family didn't camp when I was young but we still learned respect for others regardless of the situation.

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  13. Crotchety? You? Naw, can't happen. With the way you're lovingly hugging that tree in your header photo, I don't think you have a crotchety bone in your body... :cD

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  14. How about renegades??? Know the feeling, we moved to the northwoods for quiet, and it is -- five out of the seven days a week!!!

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  15. Those folks' parents must not of taught them respect for other people. If I don't have shore power, I need to run the generator so that I have power to run my oxygen machine at night. Sometimes we don't know the reason for apparent bad behavior.

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  16. No you aren't turning into a crotchety old lady. We would have been furious at both those families. I know Paul would have been looking for some one in charge to complain to. Some people are just so inconsiderate.

    I have just about had it with all this discrimination crap. Everyone has an agenda now a days.

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  17. When I was well under the age of 40, my son and I went camping with our tent trailer. We were late getting to the campsite (first come/first serve) so we were put next to a group of East Indian families (I think there was more than one?). At least 30 in this family and lots of tents and smaller RV's. Their music and dancing went through the night (I don't know how the little ones slept!) and I complained to the camp host the next day. As I was the only one not participating in the fun, they knew that the person complaining was me. The male adults from the family group later came over to my tent trailer and asked ME to leave. I wasn't sure what do to, and since it was just me and my young son, I packed up and we left (we only stayed the one night and ended up paying for both nights). There was no other site we could go to so we left. I was so upset we didn't camp for almost a year after that. I did ask for a refund and some assistance, but the camp hosts just told me they couldn't do anything.
    I'm not saying that all East Indian people are not nice, but this particular experience with them at a campsite left a bad taste in my mouth for sure.
    Now at the age that I am, I would have brought out MY music (Ozzy or Iron Maiden) and blasted it LOUD for THEM to hear. Crotchety? You Bet!!!!

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  18. Yes, it is wise to avoid state parks in the summer, unless you are one of the belly dancers!

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  19. I don't think there is anything crotchety about you not liking what you just experienced. It's really unfortunate when people are so inconsiderate of others. They behave differently at the campground than they might in their own neighborhood because they think they have a right to "let their hair down and work off their own stress." The rangers should have started by telling the karaoke group to tone it down to their own campsite to start out. Once it gets started, it often escalates as it did with the second group. Since nothing was said to the first inconsiderate group, the second group felt like they were being picked on. Instead it was really all the other campers who were being cheated of their right to enjoy the park. I wish rangers and camphosts would intercede before things get so out of hand for the benefit of all.

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  20. I can't handle noise. Period. Loud music, barking dogs, yelling, souped-cars and motorcycles -- I can't stand any of it. Tender tympanums, doncha know. Most of us dislike complaining "to the management," but I'm getting better at it. I think rangers need to put the kibosh on shenanigans like you describe. As long as you pay the cost to get in, state parks are for all to enjoy. If your noise is disturbing my peace, CALL ME CROCHETY if you want, but you need to tone it down. Are rangers so overworked and state parks so understaffed that they can't enforce noise limits and/or violations? The ones who really get my goat are the ones who think the after-10pm-quiet hours don't apply to them ... and pass the vino! Send me into the wilderness, please!

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  21. Oh so much I could say here but to keep it civil let me just say I agree whole heartedly with you & all the commenters. Anyone thinking otherwise has obviously lead a sheltered life & is totally out of touch with reality.

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  22. Oh my goodness I don't think you are crochety at all!!! and discriminating against far east music, really???

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  23. I don't think I would have been as patient as you have been. I don't like state parks at all, in any state, although I've stayed in one or two that weren't too bad. My favorite camping months are September & October as the rowdies usually aren't out then.

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  24. Pretty sure you weren't the only "crotchety" person with regard to the lack of consideration on the part of those campers. I hope they at least followed the "quiet hours". I don't blame you for not wanting to volunteer in a place where you have to be in with the campers. Perhaps the park needs to know this is not an attractive thing for most volunteers.

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  25. Oh my Lord, you poor soul, I am sure I could not stand to be there. That is exactly why I would never go camping during the holidays. No fun at all,,period. Hope you don't go crazy by the time you are finished.

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  26. Good post....thanks for sharing.. very useful for me i will bookmark this for my future needs. Thanks.
    Kashmir Tour Package

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  27. Having fun is one thing ... doing it in the manner you described is unacceptable. This type of stuff is my greatest fear during summer travels. Have not described it yet, but it is bound to happen.

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  28. You are not being crotchety, they were being rude!

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  29. I understand this completely, I am in a 55+ (or I thought) Rv Park, their are kids running amuck all over this place screaming and running in front of cars or right in your yard. Crotchey maybe but what ever happened to respecting your neighbors?

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  30. Some people have no consideration for those around them. It's all about what they want. I had to tell some people to turn down their music this weekend too. I didn't even mention that in the blog because of the other more idiotic issues. I find that as the summer wears on, I get less patient. Right about now, they better not tick me off or they are going to hear about it. I'm looking forward to mid-August. That's when it starts to slow down again. People getting back into school mode. Our park is actually small and very quiet, but it just takes one or two to ruin it. Hope your weekends improve soon!!

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  31. Huh. I haven't camped in many state parks in a good many years, other than the 2 times in the past 2 years. Weekends are definitely louder, but nothing like you describe, and they have to be quiet by 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Still, now that I'm retired I do enjoy camping during the week and staying home on the weekends.

    I posted something similar, not about camping, but about turning into my crotchety neighbor some time ago. I find we are actually getting to be similar to the neighbors we hated as kids. Wonder how that happens.

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  32. I think you were just finding it hard to think nice thoughts about a bunch of idiots:)

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  33. As we get older time becomes to valuable to put up with many things. Normal and reasonable but only age brings that truth to most of us.

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  34. Ones "rights" end when it infringes on others. My own pet peeve is the apparent addiction to smart phones. Thinking I too have a topic for a blog. Let's be crotchety together.

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  35. Ones "rights" end when it infringes on others. My own pet peeve is the apparent addiction to smart phones. Thinking I too have a topic for a blog. Let's be crotchety together.

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  36. Usually at the state parks here in Wisconsin the noise is the kind you would expect like kids playing, a few firecrackers around the beginning of July. Occasionally you'll hear some music, but usually not loud and usually not past 11:00 either. I think the rangers here might be pretty strict, I know they are patrolling all the time and perhaps the word is out that our state parks are not generally the place to go if you are looking to "party". I find the private parks are more likely to be loud and offensive. And if you are crochety, what am I? I'm just a spring chicken at 47 and I've never liked that kind of behavior, when we were younger and camping we kept other people in mind and kept the camping experience a quiet one.

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  37. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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