On the Cusp


It’s Monday morning.  We’re 330 miles from home, Serendipity is with us, and we are awaiting our appointment to put her on consignment in Houston.  It’s a weird, weird, feeling.

We made the trip yesterday (against 15-20 mph headwinds — the longest sustained headwinds we faced in this coach) fully content either to leave her in Houston if the appointment goes well, or to drive her back to Los Fresnos and devise another  plan. Although I think this is the right move at this time I have to admit to mixed emotions.

We spent 5 1/2 years on the road as full time RV’ers.  Selling the coach would mean the end of the lifestyle and who doesn’t face a new chapter in their life with a few misgivings?  Not regrets, mind you.  But the RV does represent a sensation of freedom unlike most other lifestyles I’m aware of.  No matter what happens today we aren’t going to stop traveling.  We’ll just do it differently; and for differing lengths of time.

Skills lost over time compared to time enjoyed in one place over time.

On our way North yesterday I got to thinking about how RV’ing and Aging are like crossing lines on a graph. As we age we sort of get to a point where we like staying in one place for a while and our urge towards continual movement is replaced by an urge to enjoy where we are.  But at the same time we are getting comfortable with spending more time in one place the need to maintain one’s skill at driving, at maneuvering the RV, at setting up camp and taking things down again without doing damage to anything demands that we move more often to keep our skills honed, rather than less often to enjoy our surroundings.  It’s a Catch-22 as it were.

Our two RV’s

All that being true, we’re at a comfortable point right now.  I’m not sure it’s the point where the two lines cross — perhaps we’ve overstayed our time, perhaps we could have wrangled another year or two before we needed to make a change — but it’s comfortable right now.

I have thought a lot about whether we should have made a firm decision to keep the coach and get a seasonal site in Wisconsin/Minnesota.  As a matter of fact I even had the website open yesterday as sort of a last ‘think-through’ but whereas at one time the idea of wandering around the U.S. was a real kick — right now it’s not nearly as compelling an idea.

Why is it that we humans change in those ways?  I’ll be doggone if I know.  There are aspects of my life that I have never questioned, and that have been constant for over half a century.  And there are aspects that live a life of a few years and disappear.  That’s part of the unscriptedness of life.  None of us knows what we will be tomorrow — or whether we’ll even still be here.  Certainly living with a heart condition makes one think about things differently than before a diagnosis — as it is with cancer and a gazillion other conditions that highlight the elusiveness of life.

Of course at the same time that we are reflecting back, we are also looking forward.  Later in the day I fully expect to stop at IKEA to purchase some picture frames.  One thing ends, another begins, don’t get caught in the middle.

I’ve seen a great many folks sitting on their front porch just watching the day go by.  There are a few times when I’ll sit and watch life pass me by — usually when my feet are tired or my sciatica is acting up.  But I’m not one to sit around for long.  I have a hard time identifying with that sort of passiveness.  Maybe as I age I’ll get to know it better.  I once knew an old woman who’d had a stroke and lay there in her bed motionless for years.  I wondered what was going on inside?  It’s a state I cannot imagine; and yet it was her life for the better part of 10 years.  And it could be mine if time and chance happened to me in that way.  There’s so much we have no control over; yet so much that we think we command.  Scientists think they are going to change the world.  Politicians try to change society.  Parents try to change their children.  Lovers try to mold their intended into the person they want them to be, rather than the person they are.  There’s a lot we have no control over.  So, learning a healthy respect for the things that we actually do have some measure of influence over is a good thing.

I appreciate that we are able to have a choice about our future.  I appreciate that we had a choice about the past five years, about the past 50 years, about the live we’ve lived.  We have not been pawns in someone else’s game. None of us is, or are.  Whether we have made good choices or great choices — we have still made our choices and we get the opportunity to live them out for better or worse.  Sometimes we guess right; other times we guess wrong.  But it’s all part of life.  It’s all part of our Life Unscripted.

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