Deciding What We Want


We’ve got another day here before we move on down the road, but I’m not sure the basement is going to see any improvement during this stay. It’s there on my list, but I’m not getting to it very quickly.  It’s been raining overnight regularly and that means the ground is still wet even in the afternoon when the temps reach their daily highs; so I don’t want to be strewing storage tubs all over the damp ground.

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We did get out and about to do some exploring on Monday.  I can see us returning to this lake again in the future.  The other campgrounds are just as lovely but different and this lake is wonderful.  If we were fishermen it would be even better, but hey, you can’t be all things to all men!

new orleans
Still going to spend time here — just not at the time we originally thought.

Our daughter and son-in-law are waiting on further testing to find out what kind of surgery Michael may need for his foot.  This is something that’s been going on for nigh unto 2 years — the result of a single fall that resulted in a really bad combination of fractures in his foot.  He’s been in a lot of pain and he’s finally getting to the point that their house is habitable enough that he can afford to be off his foot for however long the recuperation period might be after yet another surgery.  The ‘upshot’ (in a strange way)  is that our daughter realizes that her initial idea of meeting up with us again in New Orleans is unworkable.  Which in turn opens up the possibility for us to change plans made with her in mind.

It’s a funny thing, this mobile lifestyle. There are voices from the edges of our life that have no concept of the realities of mobile living.  It’s easy for them to think, you have an RV, you can go anywhere, any time, for any reason.   And those of you who do RV know that’s far from true.  Like everyone else we have financial constraints we live within, we have practical limits — often dictated by one’s health or illnesses — that say what we cannot do; and we have likes, dislikes, and bucket lists.  We love listening to the ideas and suggestions of those who live in sticks and bricks but we still have to run real plans through our list of constraints.

Peg and I both like to be accommodating.  We have  been that way;  And, we have but one daughter with whom we are very close so it’s obvious that we’ll go to great lengths to facilitate opportunities to see each other.  Between her and us we have good communication and I trust that neither of us ever feel put-upon by the other to do things they don’t really want to  do.  So what I say about people putting burdens on you is not about Katy or Michael.  But I do think we’ve been trying to please too much and not listening to the voices within.

Being accommodating, by definition, suggests compromise.  But accommodation isn’t always about compromise — sometimes it indicates that prior to accommodation there wasn’t a strong sense of direction to be deflected into any direction.  I think even though we have been retired for 3 years we are finally starting to feel as if we actually have a sense of direction.

Let me explain.

When we bought Journey we had never RV’d. The RV was the best tool to get us the lifestyle we were aiming at.   We had camped, a lot, in the early years.  And then there was a while when I was driving truck and to be honest I felt like I was camping out every night — sleeping in your truck gets to feeling that way.  So, Journey was our re-entry into camping, and an initial entry into the world of RV’s.

For Sale Sign
I’m so glad to be done selling houses!

We loved our coach but at that time we still had a house to be sold.  It took us 6 months to get the house on the market and another 18 months to get it sold. The result was that we never really felt free to take off in the Coach without regard to time or expense.  It was always about, “what if we get a buyer for the house; and will we have to be there for the closing.” After the house was sold,  we could have been ‘free’ but what did we do?  We went and spent 10 months volunteering in one place!  By choice, mind you, but still we consciously chose to plop in one place and stay there.

In a way it feels as if we weren’t finally mobile until July of this year.  We have enjoyed every bit of the last three years, but at least for me  the last three months have meant a different kind of freedom than we have known until now.

But having traded coaches only 6 months ago and not ever having driven the new one more than a few miles the last three months have meant freedom but also trying  to figure out how to live in this coach.  Almost like starting out our RV life all over again — mostly because this coach is so much longer than the other one.  We’ve been learning about the advantages and drawbacks of living in something 40′ long — something that doesnt’ fit into a lot of places where our 32′ coach did fit, but offers us comfort the 32′ er didn’t.

Bayou_Segnette_State_Park_Sign grand-isle-welcomeWhen we left Oregon we already had a vague plan to meet up with Kathryn in New Orleans.  We had planned to take 2 months from the time we left Milwaukee to arrive in New Orleans, meeting Kathryn around the first of December.  Now, without having to worry about  connection, we’re going to compress that and arrive in NOLA near the middle of October.  That will allow us to spend longer at two Louisiana State Parks that have intrigued me:  Bayou Segnette and Grand Isle.   Besides, I wasn’t all that keen on dawdling through Mississippi. I would rather dawdle in Louisiana!

We’re also planning to spend a week at Galveston and another in Matagorda.  Those stops are on our way to Los Fresnos / San Benito TX.  There, we are going to plop down and veg for a few months.  We’re going to try acclimating to a warmer clime (not sure how successful we’ll be at that — neither of us has ever been super keen on REAL HEAT). While we’re there we’re going to reconnoiter the valley to see if there are parks, campgrounds, or anything thing that really calls our name to get us to return. I don’t see us returning year by year to the same place — but we’ve never tried this kind of rv’ing before either.  There are enough wildlife refuges to hold my interest — for sure.  But whether it’s an area we’ll feel comfortable has yet to be determined.

The plan is to find out:

  • whether we like being in one place (without a work gig) for that long.  We never thought we would — we still aren’t sure — but we’re going to give it an honest shot.
  • whether we like being with a bunch of RV’ers for an extended duration.  We aren’t super social and in general we don’t care for organized activities — can we be ourselves in that setting?
  • whether we care for S. Texas.  Culture, food, climate, all that and more.
  • whether we really can tolerate warm temps (our Journey handled heat so poorly that anything over the low 80’s was really uncomfortable.  The Ambassador does much better with heating and cooling and maybe, just maybe we may be able to enjoy the heat).

We have a sense of direction for next spring as well.  More on that when we get closer.

Some people always seem to know what they want from the get-go.  That’s not us.  We have always been willing to adjust our wants to our circumstances and so our wants have never been all that important — if we don’t do a thing this year, maybe we’ll do it the following year.  Except now the number of following years is dwindling and maybe we’re willing to say, Yeah — I really want to do it — This Year!

There is no ‘right way’ to RV.  Just yesterday we were talking with a couple who live 20 miles from Shelbyville and they’ve been here to this park 4 times this season.  They are spending their winter partly in Texas, partly in Florida, and then back in Texas.   That is not for me.  It works for them.  Good for them.  As long as I don’t have to live their retirement and they don’t have to live ours we’re all happy.  We haven’t been doing this RV thing long enough to KNOW what we want — so we’re taking it one step at a time.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow (briefly as it’s a travel day) 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. I have stayed at Bayou Segnette 3 times over the past 4 years, usually a week or more each time. All back in spots with water and elec laid out in a couple of loops with nice spacing between the paved spots. A nice spot to explore the area from.

    I love Grand Isle State Park, have been there twice. Level paved pull throughs, and in the winter season, you may well have it to yourself. Nice beach to walk.

    I do a lot of bird photography, so both places have a lot of appeal to me as a wildlife photographer. The drive over the water going down to Grand Isle is something to see for the first time.

    Like

    1. Bob — thanks for the info. Folks who have been to both have given me similar reports and that has been part of my push to visit both of these fine parks.

      I’ve been pretty lazy about getting my cameras out; I’m hoping that as we get back into our own rhythm maybe I’ll be a little more disciplined. 🙂

      I’ll let you know when we have been there a while!

      Like

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