How Long to Form a Habit?

Today we wondered if the smokey fires would push us from this campground before our checkout time Tuesday morning. We can’t see the fires. We are enveloped in a smokey haze. We see specific plumes of smoke rising from the nearby hills as we drive to the grocery store in Grants Pass. There was a little rainfall this afternoon, just enough to spread the dirt a little on our truck and not enough to settle the dust on the ground or on the gravel roads. So the fire danger remains very high and, evidently, fires are burning in many places not so far away.

We looked over our calendar for the next six months to see what our options are. We’ll look forward to spending time with family when we’re in town. There a few hundred places wonderful to visit in Autumn. Our Carolinas Unit of NC has a pair of rallies coming up we’d like to attend. We have reservations on the Atlantic coast of Florida. And we’d like to go backpacking. That’s enough for the next year. We’ll have to watch and keep as much flexibility as we can.

Our campsite in Valley of the Rogue State Park, Oregon, has water and electric service only. For the first time in six weeks we showered and washed our hair in a campground’s comfort station instead of in our camper. Campground showers are almost always roomier than ours. Water pressure is often higher in the comfort stations. Their showers don’t use our propane (to heat the water) or our water filter. And since we lack a sewer hook-up in this campsite, the comfort station has unlimited drain provision for the water compared to our shower.

I stepped in the shower, turned on the water and found a sharp, full water spray. I wet my hair, washed it and rinsed it, and started soaping up. Stop! I had to turn off the water. It was running so strong and wastefully and I just couldn’t bear it. I soaped up and washed everywhere then turned the water on again. As nice as the spray felt, we are so conditioned to the conserving habit of turning off the water any time we aren’t using it. Why would I want it running when I’m not using it? How long to make a habit? Seven months makes a strong habit of conserving water, propane, and electricity.

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