Spring-Like Break

With high temperatures in the low 60s, mild breezes, and clear skies, our weekender was more like a Spring Break than a winter getaway. Plus, with five Airstreams on our camping loop, it seemed like we had stumbled upon a rally. We had the opportunity to meet some of our fellow Airstreamers while walking the dogs–a couple based in Waxahachie and some full-timers from Florida. As usual, we shared tips and tricks learned on the road. As a result, we’ll be purchasing a tire pressure monitoring system with a dedicated monitor (more reliable than our previous system, which we monitored through a smartphone app).

Jon spent most of Saturday and Sunday mornings researching his family’s connection to Davy Crockett, the folk hero, soldier, and politician known as the “King of the Wild Frontier.” As it turns out, his second great grandaunt married into the Crockett family back in 1882, nearly 50 years after his death. By that time, he had already attained mythic status, thanks to the popularization of his larger-than-life exploits in stage plays and almanacs. He is often portrayed as a heroic defender of the Alamo, where he fought to the death against the Mexican Army in the Texas Revolution. Recent scholarship, however, has confirmed that he did not die in battle but was among those who surrendered and was executed. Regardless, he is only one of many colorful characters we’ve discovered in our family trees.

On Saturday, after enjoying an exceptional turkey kebab feast, we settled in to watch “The Dig” on Netflix. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by John Preston, it reimagines the events of the 1939 excavation of burial mounds on a rural estate in Suffolk, England. The landowner, Edith Pretty, hired a self-taught archeologist-excavator, Basil Brown, to do the digging. Ultimately, he unearthed an undisturbed ship with a wealth of early medieval treasures and artifacts that is considered one of the most important archeological discoveries in Great Britain. We thought Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan gave exceptional, emotionally piercing performances as Brown and Pretty, with the gorgeous English countryside also in a starring role.

Speaking of exceptional performances, instead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, we enjoyed watching “Palmer,” an original film on Apple TV+ starring Justin Timberlake as the title character, an ex-con and former football standout struggling to make a life for himself. Its themes of redemption and acceptance are thoughtfully presented against a backdrop of a community and culture in transition. We found Timberlake’s portrayal compelling, complex, and utterly believable. Ryder Allen, as the kid who’s “different,” was excellent (as was the rest of the cast). It proved to be a salve at a time when our souls are aching for human kindness.

Monday morning found us preparing for a long stretch of frigid temperatures, which included clearing our water lines and reservoirs in addition to our routine maintenance. We’ll likely be staying home next weekend, considering the weather forecast, but it will give us the opportunity to celebrate our 20th Valentine’s Day in style, snuggled warmly at Hampshire surrounded by our dogs. Our spring-like break ended, we now brace against the coming cold.