Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction
Tom Week – Fuzzy Plans

Fuzzy squirrel with plans


Plans change, and I love it when they do. The Florida panhandle is overrun with spring breakers so we’ve fled to Georgia. We are in Valdosta, which is apparently a college town. We’ll be here for a week while we let our mail catch up with us and I go to lens crafters to get my long-overdue new glasses.

The park is nice but the cable service is weird. The lowest channel is 66.1 and the highest 101.125. Whole numbers are not allowed.

At the RV park’s dog park Abigail made a new friend. A four year old pit bull that still thinks it’s a puppy. He managed to play with Abbie without her having to do anything.


Picked up a rental car today. Actually a rental truck. There was a long line, only one clerk, two people had just returned damaged cars and three more scheduled returns hadn’t shown up.

When it was finally my turn she apologized because mine was one of the no-shows. I told her I didn’t care what I got. She took my license, looked me up and noticed I was in the “plus” category.

She told me that I didn’t have to wait in line like I did. I told her I’m not that much an asshole. Oddly, a pickup truck was magically available with a free upgrade. Which pissed off the guy behind me who was downgraded from a Nissan Altima to a Hyundai Accent.

Then on the way back to the RV park I was flipping radio stations and heard one talk radio station claim to be the only place where you’ll hear the truth about Chappaquiddick. I thought I was bad at letting things go.


A wrong turn took us miles out into the Georgia wilderness. Turns out I missed a turn about 100 yards outside the RV park. Then I wound up following Business 41 instead of regular 41. But it was all worth it as we found the “better” WalMart.


Took Abigail to the groomers. Now she’s all clean and cut.

The leaf-blowers came today. They were the least efficient blowers in the history of blowing. Only they didn’t take the leafs away. They are sitting in piles here and there around the park, ready for the slightest breeze to return them to their original places.

We are in the short-timers row at the park so we get to watch people come and go. It’s amazing how many people are unaware of their rig’s girth. My favorite was the guy who put the same number of leveling blocks under each wheel.


It was Tom day today. I took a shower, got a haircut and had an eye exam for new glasses. Not use to that much attention.

The weird thing about Georgia is that we are north of Florida but people here have way thicker southern accents. I barely understood the woman at the hair place.


Breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Pat and Tonya got haircuts.

Tonight I went to a local professional wrestling show. It was wonderfully terrible. Much of it wasn’t so much wrestling as piles of flab crashing together. The guy to my left kept explaining things to me. Who was the good guy, or bad guy, or whatever. One of the wrestlers had to be over 60.


Took Abigail to the local dog park today. She almost played with one dog and gt to bark at a greyhound that was definitely running way too fast, endangering the other dogs in the park.


Abigail in her bed

I carelessly left the towels in Abigail’s bed. She adapted.


One of the worst and most fun wrestling shows ever.

#journal #plans

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 21, 2019

100 Words – Lost

lost dirt roads

The last time I rode my bike on a dirt road, everything went fine. Not today. None of the roads were straight and the sounds of the nearby highway echoed from every direction. I knew I was truly lost when I came to the intersection of County Road 232 and County Road 232.

After some weird macho attempt to be above being lost I peddled about a hundred yards, then gave in and got out my phone. The GPS map showed that there were indeed two CR232s, and I was on the wrong one. From now on, check maps first.


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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 17, 2019

Tom Week – Flatlands



Laundry day again. Then a bike ride, 14 miles, averaging nearly 13 miles an hour. I love the flatlands. Some people use there bike rides to map out pictures. My route today drew a perfect right angle. I’m so talented sometimes.

On my ride I also saw a cottonmouth snake. (From a distance.)


If you are a critter of any kind do not ever attempt to cross Florida highway 60. Om my bike ride today I saw more than a dozen squashed turtles, uncountable flat squirrels, three freshly-dead raccoons and a goat. Yes, a dead goat!


We are in the woods. No cable. Only one channel through the antenna and it works for five minutes then doesn’t for ten.

We are in spot 47. We were supposed to be in spot 44 which is a pull-thru and right next to the showers, but there is somebody in that spot. So we had to park here in the lesser back-in spot far away from the showers. C’est la vie sur la route.


Sometimes random park-picking works out. We are in a place that actually lives up to the name “resort.” Abigail likes all the squirrels. Also, we are in spot 440, which is one of my favorite Chrysler engine sizes.


I use an app called Strava to track my bike rides. Many people use this to make drawings out of their rides. This week I’ve managed to three drawings. The first is of a right angle. The second a bicycle spoke. The third a triangle. I’m so talented.

On my ride a horse came running over to the fence by the road. I had to stop and say hello. While I was petting its forehead a cow came trotting over. I went to pet it but it ran away. A curious coward.


Today we found a place to give Abigail a proper bath at Scrubbs Car and Dog Wash in Gainesville Florida. Gainesville is the home of the University of Florida. You have never seen so many scooters in your life. You may think you have, but you haven’t.

Tonight we are back at our favorite park of the three we’ve been to in Lake City. It’s the one with the alligator in the pond.

We don’t know where we’re going tomorrow.


It’s Tallahassee time.

Strange experience checking in today. The woman behind the desk looked up and said “Hello Mr. Flanders.” I took a second and realized that I’ve seen her before, but we’ve never been to Tallahassee before. Turns out that the same people own this park and the one we said in last night, a hundred miles away. The woman came to work on their computer system.



This cow was curious but cautious

dead turtle

One of the dozens of turtles that didn’t make it across FL60

street signs

Venice Beach was nice but Briny Breeze stunk


The friendliest horse in the field

old police car

There was one of these are both ends of the RV park

TPO magazine

Yes, that’s Treatment Plant Operator magazine

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 14, 2019

100 Words – Disoriented

disoriented at the bar

Disoriented was too weak a word. Smiley seemed to wake from a deep sleep to find himself sitting at the bar of a strip club 50 miles from his last waking thought. Then he noticed Martha in the doorway arguing with the bouncer. This was bad.

He took a couple deep breathes and tried to remember what happened. Nothing. So he made up a story to tell Martha. There was a drink sitting in front of him. He swallowed it.

Then Martha was sitting next to him, only she was smiling. “That was fun.” She said, waving for the bartender.



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Tags: | Comments (1) | Author: Tom | Published: March 9, 2019

Tom Week – Marching Into March

Campground streets in March


It’s March already!

We moved spaces to try to get away from the smoke. That helped a little. The downpour helped a lot more. Though at one point the guy was out there under an umbrella trying to keep the fire going. He either has some deep nostalgic connection with campfires or he’s clinically insane.


Rainy lazy day. Stuff to do, no energy to do it.

Abigail got to meet another cocker spaniel. She was very excited at first. Then she just wandered away.

After staying at so many parks with mostly permanent residents it’s odd to be in an overnight campground. It fills up every evening and empties every morning.


We changed plans at the last minute this morning. Pat happened to look at the weather forecast for where we were going and it’s going to be below freezing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. So we headed south in search of better weather.

Tonight there is a tornado watch for the Florida panhandle. Yes, that’s where we were going to go. Lucked out on this one. Tomorrow we’re going to Tampa where the low temps will be in the 40’s. Much better.

The stop at WalMart today was one of the best ever. There was a guy in the next checkout lane buying a 25 pound bag of sugar and a 10 pound bag of brewer’s yeast. He freaked out when I said, “Making moonshine?” Seriously, what else would he be making.


We’re in Tampa. Well, not really Tampa, but it’s close enough.


Abigail let us sleep late this morning. Didn’t get up till 11AM. Nice.


Same park, different spot. We decided to stay put for another day. We were in space 215 down with the short-timers. They were going to move us to 184, among the one-nighters, but the people who were supposed to leave by 11AM were still there at 1:30PM. So they put us 102 with the weeklies.

There are many dogs at this end of the park. I took Abigail out to meet another cocker spaniel, but she wasn’t impressed.

Between spots we went shopping and wound up at the smallest WalMart ever. What kind of suburban hell have we gotten ourselves into?


We’re now in Dover, FL. Six miles from where we were yesterday. We got lucky. One last cold night and then the weekend. I was looking to the south but everything was full or $100 a night. I finally found a park that had one space left. I jumped at it.

The park has some bad reviews so i was a little nervous. Turns out those reviewers were either delusional or assholes. It’s a very nice park with very nice people.


rundown building

Not all campgrounds have scenic views


Go away. You can’t see me.

dead locust

The big yellow truck is not always insect-friendly

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 7, 2019

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