We’ve had a good run


Wow — we had a whole week of mostly sunny weather!  It’s been so crummy down this month that friends who don’t regularly read my blog are expressing sympathy for how bad the weather has been here.  I don’t know what the forecasters up North have been saying — but we’re still having a wonderful time.  We knew what to expect and we’re getting it!2016012107380301

And a little bit of rain today is a nice chance to go grocery shopping.  And do some more reading.

I’ve been noticing that there are numerous sites here at Ocala North RV Park that seem never to have RV’s in them.  And yet our ‘row’ stays pretty full, consistently. Someone moves — the next evening the site is full again.  I’m glad to see that this place has some consistent clientele even if it does make it hard to get an available site when you want/need one.no effect on your spirit

While we may have had some sunny weather no one has yet dared the water in the pool.  The buoy line has made an appearance in the pool.  When the water heater was malfunctioning the buoy line wasn’t even in the pool.  So, someone thinks it’s getting close to being swim-able.  But I guess we’re all chickens.  If we end up leaving here at the end of the month we may never have made it into the pool.

Do you ever get stuck in a rut? I was telling Peg yesterday that I realized I’d gotten stuck in a masculine/testosterone-driven rut lately.  Let me explain. We both enjoy our walks but she’s the more avid walker.  I can easily get ‘stuck’ with a good book and not get out of my chair for a longer time than I should.  With her, she needs her walks more regularly and she’s pretty good about making sure she gets them.  And what happens is that being a good husband, I like to make her happy.  So there is always this part of my back-brain that wants to please her.

Knowing that she likes her walks there are these parts of my psyche that say, I should plan something for us to DO whether or not I am the least bit inclined to do anything.  Now we have a good relationship, and she will tell me when she has a hankering to go somewhere, or do something in particular.  And, being the wife that I trained her to be ( a guy would get killed saying things like that! ) she’s used to my making spur of the moment decisions to go places or do things — so she likes a little fair-warning if I have something brewing; so “Do you have any plans for today” is more about her knowing whether she should plan something on her own or stay flexible.  She isn’t hounding me about something to do — I know that.  So then why do I have these guilt feelings that I’m not providing enough interesting stuff for her to do?

Sometimes I still can’t believe that she ever agreed with the whole RV’ing decision.  This life was not something that we hoped for, planned for, and anticipated for decades before retiring.  It was — in the grand scheme of things — something that we sort of fell into. We started out looking at vans and the next thing you know — about 4 months later — we owned a 32’ diesel pusher.  I had always been the more camping oriented guy.  She was always willing and she enjoyed herself but I don’t think she ever came up to me and said, “Why don’t we go camping this weekend?”

I should clarify something here.  It’s our ‘thing’ to do everything we can together.  We aren’t the kind of couple who are always going off on our own doing stuff separately.  Oh — when we were working there were times that I had to travel for work — but once my work-a-day duties were done we were back to togetherness. We always talked about jobs where we could work together — and never found one — but togetherness was always our goal.  So this RV life is just the thing for us — we have the opportunity to be together all the time if we choose.

But the reality of life is that it’s not my job, and it’s not her job, to keep the other amused.  We both know that;  but there are days when the ancient-male-prototype raises it’s head and says,  “I have to make my wife happy; what can we do today.”

Yesterday we ‘did’ nothing (at least nothing worth writing about) and I actually got around to a couple small chores that I haven’t touched in months.  They’ve been there waiting on my attention — and we’ve been too busy for me to think about them.  “Busy” is a funny concept.  A person can be busy without moving.  And a person can be relaxing while being quite active.

If you’re thinking about RV’ing it’s worth your time to think about how you function as a couple (if indeed you are a couple).  Some of our RV friends travel together separately.  By that I mean that they occupy the same RV but they are always off and doing things independently.  I’m glad that works for them.  It doesn’t work for us.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the process of how a couple decides on where to go can be far more complicated for other couples than it is for us.  Because we aren’t into touristy activities all we want is a place to park with adequate square footage between us and our neighbor and temperatures within our preferred zones.  We want to experience living in that area.  We don’t care a lot about tourist attractions; but we do care about the same kind of goods and services you might avail yourselves of if you were longterm residents in the area.

ROADTREK 190 Newmar 45The subject of togetherness is also a function of your RV.  Togetherness takes on an entirely different context if you travel in a Roadtrek 190 than if you travel in a Newmar 45’.   Space makes a huge difference in how much time you spend ‘together’ in an RV.

You know, we bought this 40 footer because we wanted more space but I’ll confess to you that even though I have that office in the back of the coach, most of the time I’m using the dining table at which to write.  I love that office — but I love being in sight of my wife even more.

Some people just want to be able to see their loved ones over their newspaper
Some people just want to be able to see their loved ones over their newspaper.

 I had an uncle, Ralph was his name.  When he and aunt Helen built their house he insisted on a floorplan where he would be able to sit in the living room — in his favorite chair — and look over the top of his evening newspaper and see his wife whether she was in the kitchen, the dining room, or the living room.  And that was just the kind of house he built.  Sometimes cute little things like that mean a lot to people and just because you go-a-RV’ing does not mean you have to give them up.  You just have to think creatively about how to accomplish what you want.

Another ‘complication’ of RV’ing is that a lot of us have been 2-car families for years and the shock of going from the freedom and independence of being a two car family to being a one-car family (if you tow) or being just an RV family can come as real surprise.   We were one of those families, and things like being able to go to the store while your partner is getting the other car serviced just can’t happen anymore.  We’re glad we decided to tow our CR-V.  That was a serious consideration when we were deciding what sort of RV’ing we wanted to do.  We considered purchasing a Spinter conversion and getting along without a toad.  And we considered a 5th wheel — and needing to drive around in a pickup truck whenever we wanted to run errands.  For us, we’re happy we made the choice we did.  The coach with a toad makes the best sense for us.  Having a car made the transition from sticks & bricks to RV’ing easier.

Raincoats for Golf Carts

golf cart raincoatAs a guy who doesn’t golf — I have to say I have been amused by all the raincoats for golf carts I see down here.  Because of all the rain we’ve had it seems that most of the golf carts here at the campground have been fitted out with their ranger and I have to say I don’t know if I have ever paid attention to golf carts with raincoats before.  I sure don’t remember them from S. Texas.  With all the rain we had last year the rain must not be enough of a ‘thing’ that people down there bother with them — because I sure didn’t see any.  Here — they are ubiquitous!

In any event — I’m glad for those who have them and need them.  When we get to Highland Ridge this summer we’ll have a golf cart — but I know there won’t be any raincoat.  sigh… I guess we’ll just have to get wet. 😀

Our friends Bob and Janice tell us that they are volunteering in Iowa at Saylorville.  That’s a campground we stayed at on our way to Oregon.  I hope they have a great time.  We know other friends who are considering workamping for Amazon next year.  As nice as it sounds to earn a bunch of money in a short time I’m afraid our days of considering something like Amazon are over.  I know my legs won’t tolerate that much time on them.  So, it’s nice to hear about their hopes and prospects but I’m glad to do something else.

That’s it for our Friday.  Nothing special going on but we’re staying dry in spite of the severe weather for

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8 Comments

  1. I like you, worry sometimes if I’m keeping my wife entertained. Fortunately, she very good at entertaining herself, and many times quite happy to stay around our 40 ft house. I’m a lucky guy!

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    1. Dave — I think anyone with a good wife has more than enough reasons to be thankful! In my case my wife has a much simpler view of life than I do and she can probably amuse herself much more easily than I — and yet I see the world through my own colored glasses and make her life a lot more complicated. Poor gal! And like your wife — most of the time she’s quite happy being at home.

      Except for her walks. She needs her walks. Where we are isn’t the best place in the world for walking. So we do have to find ‘places’ for me to ‘walk her.’ Better not say that too loud — people will think I treat her like a dog. 🙂 🙂 But I don’t.

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  2. I’m another who likes to be in sight of my spouse. My desk is in the living room where we spend most of our time but it is also under the pass-through to the kitchen so we can talk when Dave’s in there as well. That ability to chat at will is the thing I missed most when I went south solo for the winter; while I enjoyed living in my van, I could hardly wait to get back to Dave.

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  3. Ha! We too enjoy being in close proximity with each other in the evenings…but in the daytime we often do our own thing. We used to talk about working together but I found that we work differently, Rick likes quiet and concentration, I like music and talk. On the few occasions that we worked together I saw that I quickly got on his nerves. Saving the relationship is more important than working together. So we handle working together by doing it separately. He’ll work on the inside of the house and I on the outside…of course taking frequent breaks to admire each others work.

    I can easily get absorbed into what I am doing and Rick has his own sense of schedule. He has routines, where I have duties but like to mix up the order…breaking up routines. I have learned to interrupt my activities to accommodate his routines. It also keeps me from individuating into whatever I am doing…I guess he has greater self-discipline that I do but I am more carefree than he is and it helps us both stay balanced.

    Rain in Florida usually isn’t a day long activity, except for short periods of the year and rare circumstances….in 2009 it rained 10 days in a row and we couldn’t leave the house for four days. Florida rain usually is short burst of heavy rain that blow over in fifteen minutes….sun shining again, as if nothing has ever happened. Not a good thing when you drive a convertible with a manual top. I completely understand the raincoat idea.

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    1. Like you, the concept of working together sounded better than the reality of doing it ever would have for us. We too work very differently. And, yeah, saving the relationship IS better than working together. Which is why we never followed through — plus the fact that my businesses never made enough money to rival the healthcare we could get from her employer. (always the pragmatists)

      For us, retirement came at the perfect time — spurred on computer changes (complete software replacement of the corporate system mandated by the HIPPA regulation) she decided it was easier to retire than to teach her department how to use a computer system she knew nothing about. In fact it was over 6 months after she retired, and after they implemented the software before the department figured out how to send out the first refund against overpayment — and her department WAS the refund department.

      We haven’t gotten tired of each other, we haven’t threatened to shoot anyone, and we are enjoying life more now than when we worked. We have changed in many ways — in large part because of living in such an intimately close space as an RV — but I think in many ways we work better as a couple. What you ‘want’ isn’t always what you ‘need’ and vice versa.

      Peg is very task oriented. She needs to eat at regular intervals, is very aware of her surroundings in completely different ways from me. I’m more of a conceptual guy. When I’m working time is irrelevant, temperature is unnoticed, hunger is displaced. During my working life I almost NEVER ate breakfast and rarely ate lunch — now WE eat three meals and I enjoy them.

      Not sure about the “rain is…” In Ocala we seem to have been having (atypical though they have been) a lot of 1/2 day rains. Not to the minute — but quite frequently 5 hours and then nothing. The last weeks life has been better though. And yesterday was terrific. We did go to Blue Spring — will tell you about it tomorrow.

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  4. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I like what Peter says about marriage and the little sign that aging doesn’t affect the spirit. I’ve been told I don’t look my age, but I think I do; however, I don’t act my age. Age is nothing more than a tracking number and should not make you feel older. Age is how you feel. I feel 50 most days and closer to 100 on others!

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