Getting Ready


Why is it that when we’ve been in one campground¬†for an extended stay, we start getting ready to leave further in advance of our departure date¬†than if we’ve just been hanging out there for… oh… say just two weeks? When we first started RV’ing that was about our schedule: 14-days-in-one-place and then move on. ¬†We’d set up our campsite the afternoon of our arrival; then we’d be fine until about 5 p.m. the day before departure, at which time we’d do some preliminary storing of gear and then an hour or two the following morning were all we needed to be packed-up and on the road.

“Every man can transform the world
from one of monotony and drabness
to one of excitement and adventure.‚ÄĚ
‚Äď Irving Wallace

Now, it seems, the longer we stay in one place the longer it takes us to get ready to leave. Five months at Highland Ridge and we’ve been picking away at departure preparations for 10 days. ¬†It’s not that we spread out all that much; perhaps its fear that we’ve forgotten how to do this? ¬†While here, we had our sunroom out — never sat IN it all summer — used it to keep chairs and sundry things dry. ¬†We had up our¬†antennas (for the cell booster) but other than that our campsite footprint was pretty much the same as in any other campground.

I suppose there is some tendency to leave things a bit untidy inside the coach — ¬†as my dad would have said, “Not replacing the divit.” But, my goodness, there aren’t that many things IN our coach to be left out and not put away! ¬†Still and all, ¬†at the end of 10 days we’re ready to go. ¬†The travel prep chores fit in among our volunteer duties without much fuss and bother and it’s been a¬†different couple weeks.

I wonder, is it easier to keep life exciting and adventurous on a more frequent travel schedule? ¬†Hmmmmm……

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This is a sort of statement on the summer. ¬†The Camp road is bordered by a forest of thistles. ¬†At this time of year blooms are few and far between, the spikes are fully mature, and everything looks a little bit past it’s prime. ¬†That’s about how we felt ¬†Sunday night after cleaning up the day’s departed sites and turning in our gear. ¬†Happy to have been here; tired and ready for a nap, and feeling a little prickly after a socially exhausting summer.

I don’t¬†pose the question¬†because we feel any¬†lack of excitement. In the first place we aren’t particularly “exciting” people — we like a quiet life. ¬†But… I’ve been reflecting¬†on the summer and the way our travel pattern has changed over the five years we’ve been retired. ¬†(Starting our 6th year at the end of this month) ¬†Our routines have changed significantly during that time; fluctuating back and forth between short stays and long stays.

“Routine” is not a favorite word. Prior to retirement I went to extremes to avoid monotony and routine. ¬†I realized early in life that I had a low threshold for tedium.

“Everyone can transform the world
from one of monotony and drabness
to one of excitement and adventure.‚ÄĚ
‚Äď Irving Wallace

Let’s take another look at that quotation. ¬†When we first married I put a premium on being able to react to impulse; ¬†whether it was deciding to take a roadtrip on the spur of the moment, or going to help a friend. ¬†We gradually (Peggy might say, not so gradually) worked on getting ready to leave the house without a lot of fuss. ¬†We got good at it, and have stayed good at it. ¬†And we didn’t need to do grand¬†gestures¬†in order to keep life interesting. ¬†Heck, the first few years we hardly had two nickels to rub together but we still found ways to be spontaneous, to have our little adventures, and to keep life interesting.

As we got older, and more settled, our adventures took on a grander aspect but still it was more about being able to respond to the moment than to be able to do things First Class. Even now, we don’t travel First Class. ¬†We still prefer budget accommodation and reasonable prices. ¬†We’d usually prefer to to more, and pay less than to do less and pay more.

I’m sure I move more slowly now than I once did, but I’m not dead in the water. ¬†I’ve always been a “Think it, Do it” kind of guy. I’m not about to change that now; ¬†it’s pretty much who we are. ¬†That was how we got our first volunteer gig; ¬†reacting to a spur of the moment opportunity. Spontaneity was also¬†why we took two years off after our second gig, not wanting to be trapped in work during our retirement.

Spontaneity is rare. ¬†Every time I visit a physician I think about just how rare it is. ¬†When I leave my GP next Friday I’ll make an appointment to see her again in 1 year. ¬†And when I do I’ll find that already her schedule 1 year in advance is not empty, I’ll have to fit myself in among other patients who have already scheduled that far in advance. ¬†I can’t imagine living life month after month, year after year with people knowing my schedule that far in advance. ¬†Or in having to fit my life into quarter-hour segments. ¬†When I was still working as a photographer I cringed when I had to schedule weddings 6 months or a year in advance and that was just for an entire day! ¬†Not hour by hour.

I say it many times, but it’s good that there’s room for all kinds in this world. ¬†There are a lot of jobs I’d never want in a million years. ¬†And more importantly, I’m glad I’m past that time in my life. ¬†I love being able to go when we want, and stay when we want. ¬†I love staying here for 5 months, then moving to Milwaukee for a month, then spending a month on the road, and then a few months in S. Texas. We’ll see what happens after that. ¬†We might go back to 2 week stays, or we might plop someplace for 5 months again. ¬†We don’t know, and we don’t have to know. ¬†Choices are good. ¬†Choices are a luxury. And we are living luxuriously even if we don’t spend lots and lots of money.

And so it is, we’re ready for whatever comes next. ¬†Long stay, short stay, in-between stay. Here, or there, or anywhere. ¬†All that matters is that we’re together. And when we are, we’re inevitably smiling and laughing.

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Thanks for stopping by this morning, why not stop again tomorrow.

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5 Comments

  1. Where did those young people go?

    LOL
    I too was once a Pro Photographer, and I don’t miss those wedding days/nights.
    I wonder how many of them are still married after 40 years?

    Like

    1. Norm, Weddings were the part I disliked most. So many spoiled children pretending to be adults‚Ķ They say that there is an inverse relationship between the money spent on the wedding and the longevity of the relationship. Not sure if that‚Äôs scientific but it sure seems possible. I still find it hard to believe how reluctant I am to get my good cameras out nowadays. I hauled around so many pounds of gear around my neck for so long‚Ķ and now I just ‚Ķ don‚Äôt. I sort of still ‚Äėwant‚Äô to make images but I just can‚Äôt bring myself to do the hauling and setup and such. Go Figure.

      >

      Like

  2. I love the retro picture of the two of you! And, I agree…your new haircut is much better than the old one!

    I too, have marveled at the many possibilities available to call one’s profession. I used to look at some of the main streets in awe with the reality that each individual store owner decided to open up shop and start a business…there are so many different types it truly amazed me. So many choices in life…yet the majority of people fell into their careers…not by choice but more time and circumstance.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The greatest lesson I learned in life was the one I discovered when I quit a job that made me unhappy. Change is not always bad…sometimes it’s invigorating!

        Like

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