In 1997 We Took a Little. . .

Oh, wait, this is 2016. My how time flies. In 1997 we put our house in Maryland in the hands of a real estate agent, gave power of attorney for the sale to a friend, and off we went to wild, barren, desert west: Quartzsite, Arizona. Back then the town’s population was just over 800; yet, at the height of the winter season over 500,000 RV’s and tourists would come through. The rock and gem show coincided with the RV show and lasted about two weeks. That was then.

This past winter (the first trip west since winter ’99-2000) things were quite different. Sweet Darlene’s restaurant was no longer in a tent; it was in a metal building. There were three semi-permanent RV sales lots in town, plus the RV show came in about the first of February. The rock and gem show came in during the second week of the RV show and it lasted about ten days.

The population, according to the librarian, is now around 2500. There are fewer vendors in the desert area, more RV parks, and JJ’s New and Used RV Parts, sad to say, had moved to Apache Junction.

Our first two trips out, our primary source of communication was the CB. That was before cell phones. Now we use cell phones and don’t get together for CB breaks so we can meet the people we’re talking to. We already know who we’re talking to. Many of our old friends had passed on to the next life or had developed health problems that prevented them from coming back. Still, it was good to catch up with a few that had settled there.

We sold our Airstream travel trailer three weeks ago and will drive our motorhome out this winter. Change is inevitable, but so is the fun. Thanks for reading along and taking a little tour with me.

I would love to share some of my photos but I don’t seem to have an option for that anymore. Sorry.

 

I Love This Lifestyle!

This is day two of my “Things I’m Thankful For” series.

While my husband was in the military we never had a place to call our own. We rented apartments (our first was a roach infested complex, which we were unaware of until we moved in, and couldn’t afford any of the other complexes in town) or other domiciles. When he was in the army, stationed in West Germany, we started out renting from a German couple, but ended up in base housing (really nice).

When we got back to the U.S. we ordered a brand new mobile home. I loved it. It had a buffet in the kitchen, a bay window, washer and dryer, and a built in wood-burning fire place. It was beautiful. I had built in book shelves with glass knick-knack shelves above.

We had to move from West Virginia to North Carolina a few years later in order to find work. That meant moving the mobile home. Due to storm damage my hunsband had to replace part of the roof and it leaked thereafter during every rain storm. There was no way to fix it without replacing the whole roof, which the insurance refused to do, since only part of it had been damaged.

When we moved back to Maryland (where I graduated from high school) we decided to just sell the mobile home and buy a house. We got an FHA loan and bought a house. It was a nice house, in a neighborhood where a couple of my former classmates lived. What a surprise to find one of them living across the street when she brought a homemade coconut cake to welcome us into the neighborhood.

It was a nice area, mostly quiet, and great neighbors. We even had jobs we liked. Until. . .

My dad died in 1991, my mom in 1994. Our son was grown and living in Indiana. Our daughter was nineteen and creating a life of her own. In 1992 or 1993 (I forget which) my husband’s parents returned from a trip to Alaska and dropped off their 26-foot Airstsream travel trailer in our driveway. They said we could keep it if we wanted. If we didn’t want it and decided to sell we just needed to give them back what they had put into it.  That winter I was homeschooling our daughter and we decided to take our vacation in February or March and go to Florida for a couple of weeks to visit my in-laws. We took a boat tour in the Gulf of Mexico and watched dolphins play in the boat’s wake. We toured the Everglades, and the best news of all: we missed the biggest (at that time) ice storm to ever hit the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Wow! That was pretty cool. Hmm.

We began to talk about selling the house and living full time in the camper. We found a used one for sale at a price we could afford–a 31-foot Airstream travel trailer 1973). We parked it in the driveway, put the house on the market (our daughter was moving out anyway), and tried living in it as much as possible to see if we could get along in such a small space over the long haul. It also helped me to figure out what we needed and what we could do without. We had a yard sale for three weekends.

In 1997 we sold the house and became full-time RV’ers. We spent a couple of winters in Quartzsite, Arizona (a fascinating place, quite unique), then started spending our winters in Florida. Then we went to work full-time and stayed here year round for a while. Now that we’re retired we’re back to snow bird status.

Wherever we’re parked we’re home. If a hurricane threatens we just hook up the camper and go. No problem. If we don’t like the neighborhood we just move. Everything we have is paid for, so even though the government says we are poor, and yes, we do have to make sure bills are paid before frivolous spending, we have a great life.

God has allowed this little nobody from the wrong side of the tracks to see parts of Germany; Paris, France; Holland; Alaska, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and most of the Canadian provinces. How amazing is that! GOD IS SO GOOD! I am thankful for my life on this earth, but even more thankful that my Lord Jesus Christ is preparing a place for me in heaven. We may be economically poor, but we are so blessed.

Dialogue and Foreshadowing–Writing 101

Chandra and Marigold were standing by their lockers after school. Chandra’s blond curls bounced around her oval face as she rushed to put her books away for the weekend. “What’s got you so excited?” Marigold had never seen her friend so animated. There was something different about Chandra lately. She seemed happier than usual. She seemed to be smiling all the time.

“Do you have a crush on someone, Chandra? You’ve been acting like nothing could ever ruffle you. What’s up?”

“I’m going on a trip and I can hardly wait.” Chandra’s eyes seemed so bright. Marigold wondered if her friend was on drugs.
“Really? Where are you going?”

“Someplace I’ve never been before. I’m so excited. What if it happens tomorrow?”

“Wait. You’re going someplace you’ve never been before, and you don’t know when you’re going?”

“That’s right. But I know it will be beyond anything I could imagine.”

“Chandra, you’re not making any sense. How can you plan to go somewhere if you don’t know when you’re going?”

“It’s easy. You just have to make the reservations.”

“No, Chandra. It isn’t that simple. When you make reservations you have to have specific dates for the airlines and hotels. I think you need me to come with you. I helped my parents plan vacations before.”

“You can’t come with me, Marigold.”

“Why not? I can get you the best prices and the coolest places to stay. I’m good at this.”

“Because you have to know the travel agent personally. He makes all the arrangements.”

“Right. And he won’t tell you when you’re leaving? How are you supposed to be ready?”

“He said to be ready at a moment’s notice.”

“It sounds like a crazy adventure. It might be fun. How do I get to meet the travel agent?”

“Come with me to the meeting tonight and I’ll introduce you.”

aletakay.wordpress.com/writing 101

On The Road Again. . .

This will be a short trip. We’re heading to Bluestone State Park for our annual family reunion. We’ve been informed that the road at the main entrance is closed due to damage from blasting so we’ll have to go in the back way. That means not taking the camper. Oh, well. It will still be a great time and we’ll stay in the main cabin, which is really nice.

The main core of the family arrives today so we can start getting the shopping done for food and get everything ready for our weekend arrivals. We plan our lives around this weekend. Wouldn’t have it any other way. I actually left a job because the manager said I couldn’t go. I said I could get a new job but not a new family. I worked a two week notice when I returned from reunion, having secured another job while we were away.

My brother-in-law goes to Israel every year to teach basketball to the Palesinian children. There is a group from FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) that goes every summer. Every year we see new slides from the trip with more stories of people he has met and found good fellowship with. Perhaps he’ll let me use some of those photos on my blog. 

I started a Pinterest site yesterday. Hope to see you there, as well.

There are no photos for this post but I hope to be able to post a video later.