Balancing Balancing


I love people; I really do.  But there are times that the both of us just have to go really slow and preserve our quiet time.  This is one of those. And — even at age age 67 I still struggle knowing how to handle that.  I always feel guilty telling people who are eager that I need time to unwind, or time to catch my breathe.  I can tolerate someone not liking me; I can tolerate someone being completely upset at me but I get hung up on courtesy, polite behavior, and little white lies.

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Serenity looking mighty serene in Galveston!

Today’s Friday and we’re spending some time with family while here.  A more controlled amount than they might like but that’s just self protection.

Which brings up another topic:  I always do the same thing when I’m planning a trip.  I plan for the trip, I fail to plan for the stops-along-the-trip.

Let me explain.

I can kind of feel in my bones how much effort and stress the route is going to take — I know the routes, the cities, such as that — so I know which routes will stress me out more than others and I know my stamina level.  I’m not so good about anticipating how much time we’ll want to spend one we arrive in a place:  for touring, for family/friends, for resting, for simply living and enjoying a new location.

On the travel side of the planning equation, we prefer to insert non-travel days between travel days to give us chance to 1.) enjoy the place we’ve arrived at, 2.) recover from the previous day’s travel, 3.) catch up on anything left in the lurch whether it be a blog or research about something coming up — you know what I mean. It’s not that we cannot travel multiple days in a row — we do it from time to time when it seems the right thing; it’s not our preference. Last year we took 3 weeks to make the trip from Milwaukee to Ocala.  It took us 2 1/2 months to travel from Milwaukee to Los Fresnos the first time. And we did Junction City to Milwaukee — over 2200 miles — in 5 days.  The freedom to decide what’s right for this particular moment is a big part of what full time RV’ing is all about.  At least it is for us.

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You never shoot into the sun.  Well, sometimes you do — for effect — and I kind of like the way this turned out.

Knowing your own pace is a good thing. It’s not necessarily automatic though.  The two of us are both early morning people; perhaps not quite so “early” as in years past, but still, early!  We’ve noticed when we have spent time at seaside resorts that we are always up and doing long before the locals.  They’re accustomed to morning haze and little local weather oddities; we are not — when the sun comes up — so do we.  A lot of folks are night owls — family members included.  I remember my mom telling me a story about my paternal grandfather from back in the 40’s.  The grandparents had a house full of company and my grandmother who was a bit of a grande dame in her own mind was telling stories and enjoying the social moment.  About 8 p.m. gramps got up and excused himself saying he had to get up early in the morning and go to work — and all the other guests thought he was bonkers; maybe he was; but I’ve been tempted to do the very same on many an occasion —  and I’m a habitual early-to-bed-er.  I guess there’s something to genetics.

I cannot seem to learn how to predict whether the next group of people are going to be easy to be around (it seems to me not many people are easy to be around) or are they going to be the kind that wear us out!  It would be nice if we were amiable social folks who can’t wait to meet new people; we aren’t.  I’ve learned to plan for the stresses of travel, I’m still learning to plan for the stresses of people.

Being ‘fit’ to drive is important to me.  All the driving I’ve done in a lifetime has convinced me that too many accidents happen when people aren’t paying attention, when they are fatigued, etc.  I try hard not to mess with my GPS while driving — though I’m truthfully not as good about that as I should be.  Peggy answers the phone for me when we’re driving — though why we bother I’ll never know: it seems the only calls we get are telemarketers!  And neither of us drives with pets on our lap.  We take safety very seriously.

This will be a good visit though.  Peg’s second cousin is a mariner.  He’s (at last check) rated as a first officer — so he knows his stuff, and although much of his career has been spent on car haulers going back and forth from the West Coast to Japan, since their earthquake there hasn’t been as much of that business so he’s back to taking whatever gig comes along through the union hall.  We’ve known him all his life and when he was old enough to join the Coast Guard he was stationed in Milwaukee on a Buouy tender on the Great Lakes — we would pick him up on leave and spend time with him — so now he wants to do the same for us — shoes on other feet! 😏 He lives right here on the island with his lovely wife and three firecracker kids!  I wanted to post a picture of Dan, but alas, I have him only with “selected” children — and I don’t want to post him unless it’s just him, or just him and ALL the kids.

Peg’s cousin lives in Houston.  She’s a dear and we both love her to death, but it’s no surprise that she runs us ragged.  She has a different energy level than either of the two of us and it’s both exhilerating and exhausting to spend time with her, and her husband Todd who is a lifelong Texan.  Peg’s cousin moved down here from Utah, after having moved there from Ohio as a lot of young folk did when they wanted to marry young and their parents and local ordinances frowned on young marriages.

As a side story to that, a friend of our family did the same thing.  The son of one of the Scoutmasters in our troop wanted to marry at age 18 or 19 (I forget) and his parents didn’t like that idea, didn’t like the girl, and the next thing you know their son was nowhere to be found.  It took some 18 years before they heard from him again — he and his girl-soon-to-be-wife took off for Utah, got married, made a life, had kids and only after he was a successful businessman did he return to Wisconsin (100 miles from his parents) and let them know where he was.  I suppose there’s a life-lesson there about the fine line of balance when parenting.

Anyway… Peg’s cousin has been here most of her life now.  I came to visit them decades ago when my truck brought me to Houston. I still remember bundling into the car with her three kids and coming to the beach here in Galveston on a hot muggy day.  Not a lot of memories, but very fond ones. Peg & I have seen her and her family more in the past 10 years and she’s a far more social person than either of us; always up for something.  A lot of fun to be around — if you can keep up! I can say it lovingly: she wears us out with her enthusiasm!!!!!!

We’re keeping busy and making memories.  What’s better than that?  There’s not a crucial rush though; as we think Kathryn will be coming down to visit this winter and she’s already polling the family members for dates and activities and locations so I’m sure we’ll have another chance to see each other (and maybe more of the family) during Kathryn’s visit so we don’t ‘need’ to rush everything into this couple day visit.

There’s our Friday! The weather’s in the low 80’s during the day, the low 70’s overnight.  We’re getting used to that 70’s overnight bit — I’m not sure we had 70º nights all summer long.  I don’t want to be running the A/C just to be able to sleep.  It will be part of the test to see how we really cope with a warm winter.  The beaches have had sun-bathers on them, the restos have been busy, traffic has been Ok.  For a short visit in town we like it here.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to live on the island full time;  there are some folks at the local grocery who look like they’ve been ridden hard and put away wet if you know what I mean.  Island time can be different; not just here.

Thanks for stopping and check in again tomorrow to see what’s happenin’.

 

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15 Comments

    1. You know, I’m not sure it’s all that ‘normal’ — when I was younger I didn’t have a “slow” speed and I wore people out. And some of the Millennials seem more hyper than I ever was. I don’t even think that’s because I’m old and they are young. I can remember the things I did, and they seem to have even more energy (maybe blame it on the “Energy Drinks”)!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not that day, but yesterday, YES we did. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely. Have to find a place to soak where I don’t get into political discussions…. I’m sick to death of politics… but lovely.

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      1. I’m ready for next week. Not for the outcome — either way — but eager for it all to be over.

        One thing is sure though. After the depths to which this campaign has plummeted — Politics in the U.S. will never be the same.

        It’s funny, that with one candidate promising to make ‘america great again’ he has already done more by the campaign he has run to change it forever for the worse.

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      2. Sadly, no matter the outcome…the chatter will not end on election day. The US is too divided. It is up to the individual to spread sanity to the world…hey, maybe if enough people do it…we might get, as they say in financial speak…a correction.

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      3. Right — The good part of it all is….

        The sun will rise in the morning, and it will set in the evening. My happiness does not depend on politicians!

        LOL — not always sure what I have to spread is ‘sanity’ but what the heck — share and share alike!

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        Liked by 1 person

  1. According to family lore, my Grandpa used to say, “Well, Ma, do you suppose we should go to bed so these good people can go home?”

    I loved living in our RV in my Dad’s driveway. We could go home so they could go to bed then the next day we’d come into their house in time for lunch. Plenty of time left for visiting without wearing out any of us.

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    1. I love your grandpa’s way of doing it!

      Family here are in two different neighborhoods, one where we would be outlawed to park, and the other where we could park on the street but the city street is so strongly crowned for storm flooding that we’d never be able to sleep, or even walk straight! Which is why we love the State Park on Galveston Island. For a short term we don’t get too salt-sprayed and I don’t see us staying ‘long term’ so that’s good too.

      Isn’t life nicer when people are just direct and tell you what’s on their mind. I love it when family is comfortable enough just to say what they’re thinking!

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  2. Peter, your words strike such a chord with me! You are a fellow introvert! I have only in the past year discovered so much about what this means. There are some good Facebook groups relating to being an introvert I found most reassuring. I always thought there was something wrong with me, but not now. (Took almost 70 years to figure this out) Certain people exhaust me; others are the opposite. Time alone to recharge a necessity. I could go on and on!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Liz. I’m not much for groups but for many they are a great help in understanding so that’s good. Help is good.

      I understand completely the exhausting people, and the empowering ones — though truth be told I don’t find many of the latter.

      Fortunately, Peg & I make a good team and we have been together long enough that most of the time — any more — we can be what the other needs at the time. Not always, mind you — no one’s perfect. But enough that life hums along most of the time.

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