We have about a week before we hitch up trailer and begin migrating north. As I take a few moments to reflect, a variety of thoughts come to mind.
First is how “time” has changed. For the first seven to ten days, it seemed like we had time which begged for a response to “what should we do now”. Four or five weeks later, it seems we have very little extra time. Some is because we have met a lot of nice folks and whenever we are out walking conversations arise or we are invited to do something. Or we are playing volleyball or wallyball with an occasional bike ride thrown in (Jenny does more riding than I do) or I have the opportunity to play music with others and or on my own. But mostly I think our interaction with time has changed and we are more relaxed towards it and don’t feel like we have to fill every moment like we did when we were working. We have often heard retirees say they are busier now than when they were working and I understand now what they mean, time is different now.
We are getting to know the towns surrounding our park and what each have to offer. While it is an adventure to seek out where to get a haircut or oil change or find a hardware store or an infusion of dairy fat from an ice cream cone, it is also a bit “settling” to know where to go without thinking about it (like at home). We also are getting to know our trailer. When your living room is your kitchen and your kitchen is your dining room, simplicity is a must and you realize how little “stuff” you need. There is a need for tolerance of your spouse and kitties (and them of you). Having a private spot all your own is not an option. Striving for a “go with the flow” attitude is helpful.
Some of our lessons learned won’t be realized until we are back in our routines at home and have some time to reflect on our life in the trailer. But I think there are a couple “for sure ones” to share. Being “newbies” at RVing, we have had “how to” and “what is best” and “where have you stayed” questions. Every time we have posed a question, anyone within hearing distance is willing to offer help or insight. That is community! Another observation is how people approach life. It is amazing to see folks who I would guess are in their mid-60’s and find out they are in their upper 70’s or older. Either they were blessed with good health and a positive attitude or they are healthy because of their positive outlook and ongoing physical and mental activities. I think it is more the latter than the first after meeting them. Jenny and I hope we can model them as we age.
So as our time here draws to a close, we reflect on how well this first year of venturing out into the unknown of leaving year-round jobs for a couple of months down south has gone. Now we have to see how the rest of the year in Wisconsin goes with finding seasonal work for Jenny and being reconnected with my interior painting business. For sure more changes, reflections and lessons learned are coming.
Kurt and Max are Travelin’
One of my goals of our “snowbird experience” was to work on music. With what I perceived as having lots of unstructured time, I was planning on exploring some new styles, practicing what I haven’t mastered and write some new songs. In each case I have come up a short. How our day disappears is somewhat mystical. Each day we try to get some extended exercise which is good for the waistline (I haven’t given up eating ice cream) and invariably, we get into conversations with folks in the park (visualize sitting on the porch in rocking chairs and sipping tea). I participate in a music jam on Friday nights and there is a couple in the park that I have played with in their RV, but all in all, I haven’t made the grade on my main goal. That said, I did write a new song, one that has no social redeeming value, no hidden message if played backwards, but it does speak to traveling in an RV with Kurt and Max, our two cats. I have attached a “very”, and I mean “very” rough recording of the song for listening. Hopefully it will give you a bit of the flavor of what Jenny and I have experienced. To listen, click on the title, “Kurt and Max are Travelin” and when it links to SoundCloud press the start tab. If I did it right, it should (fingers crossed) play.
Note from Jenny: I have found that this tune sticks in my head as an ear worm.
We start the second month at Golf State Park. It surprised both of us that we plan to stay in the same place for the entire 2 months as we originally thought we would be moving every 2 to 3 weeks this first year to check out different parks and see other places.
Instead when we got here we liked both the park, the other “snowbirds”, the paved bike trails leaving right from the park to ride to the Gulf or into town. Also the park offers big sites with lots of greenery between each site compared to a lot of RV parks that are mostly blacktop. The town of Gulf Shores has been very welcoming to the snowbird ‘s as their presence allows them to stay open during the tourist off season. The other campers have been welcoming, have invited us to do things with them and are willing to share their knowledge about RVing. We might have found this same type of community at other campgrounds but since we found it here first, this is where we decided to stay.
Now that it’s starting to warm up we are finally starting to see animals. Of course birds have been plentiful but Jenny saw an armadillo and red headed woodpecker on a bike ride and we both saw a bobcat just strolling through the campground near our site yesterday. We are still waiting to see our first alligator sighting. Our cats are kept quite busy watching everything and probably don’t sleep a whole lot unless we are around because of all the different noises and people walking by but they have adjusted well to life in the trailer.
So even though we miss our friends and family back in Wisconsin, it’s nice to have new relationships developing in Alabama . We are thinking of you all.