I cannot begin to tell you the number of people (non-RVers) who scratch their heads and raise their eyebrows when they hear of our retirement lifestyle. Their response goes something like this:
Non-RVer: "Let me get this straight; you drive a 16-ton bus all over the country for weeks or months at a time, pulling a car behind you and staying overnight in trailer parks?"
Me: "Well, we call them RV parks, but some folks don't even use them all the time. They just park on public lands and camp off the grid."
Non-RVer, eyes widening: "What do they do with their houses?"
Me: "Some RVers known as fulltimers don't have a regular house. They elected to sell it and live fulltime in their RVs."
Non-RVer, after audible gasp: "But you still have your house."
Me: "Yes, but we're not sure why; we're rarely there."
At this point, he or she probably has raised at least one hand, palm to the side of the face and mouth agape.
I then try to offer an explanation, perhaps by describing some recent RV travels. I could easily use a description of the simple pleasures Sandy and I experienced today:
Before dinner, we sat quietly on a bench near a wooden pier overlooking Aransas Bay. A dozen or so seagulls wandered nearby on the beach, some flying away and others swooping in to take their places, their screeches unintelligible to all but their preening brethren. There was a light breeze, so the bay was not quite as placid as usual. The fronds of the palm trees, acting as windsocks, pointed ever so slightly to the southeast, revealing the wind's direction as from the northwest. The latest cool front had all but exhausted itself, having been denuded of its clouds and ushering in the bright sunlight and impossibly blue sky that we sometimes take for granted in Texas. Although we were in our shirtsleeves, a light jacket would feel good at nightfall. It was a beautiful and peaceful place, and the world's ugliness and strife seemed very far away.
We can't help but marvel at our having been blessed to arrive at a point in our lives where we can follow the sun and not have to be entombed in the massive snowfalls of the frozen north that we've seen on TV. Or, if we're not trying to escape the heat or cold, we can merely change the scenery whenever we wish.
Some don't understand it at all, and that's fine. I know so many people who cannot imagine themselves in such a vagabond-like lifestyle, just as I cannot fathom the boredom I would be forced to endure while imprisoned in a house, awaiting the end of my mobility that old age will bring. The window for going, seeing and doing is open for now, and no one but the good Lord knows when it will close. But close it will, and I do not wish to regret the adventure not taken.
Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful life you've given me;
please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough each day.