Having been born in 1946, I certainly am old enough to have plenty to reflect upon. But, before anyone asks, “Then aren’t you too old to ruminate on much”, I should mention that I plan to live to be about 100 and die at the hands of a neighboring camper who thinks my Mobile Suites takes up too much space.
Alas, within the reflections category, I distinctly remember a simpler life. While I can’t remember exactly when it was that my parents got a telephone, I do remember that it was on a “Party line”. In those days, in the small town where I grew up, you had the options of paying a bunch for a “Private Line”, paying less for a 2-party “Party Line” or even less money would get you a 4-party “Party Line” phone. I think we started out with a 4-party line.
But, it being a 4-party line didn’t bother me. I didn’t have anyone I needed to call. In our small town of less than 600 people, all I had to do was to run (or hop on a bicycle later in my youth) to my friends home to discuss all the “important” things in a young man’s life. You know, like how much string did you have or how big was your pocket knife.
It was an age when a youngster, male or female, learned to shoot a .22 caliber rifle and/or a shotgun. Since most fathers owned .12 gauge shotguns, most of us waited a few years for that one because of the recoil. At about 10 or 12, I plunked down $16 in the hardware store for my very first rifle, a .22 caliber bolt action single shot. While not usable anymore because of a broken bolt handle, that rifle still resides in my home.
As life went on, things got more complicated. High school introduced one to the need to learn to dance so you could attract the girls. Playing sports in my case was a non-issue because I was anemic as a youngster, and hard physical sports were difficult. I could handle baseball, but that was about all. So, my interests ran to listening to music (listening only – can’t read music) and reading. The Hardy Boys series were great. Plus, I was raised at a time that those books were actually being written. One had to wait for new ones to come out.
That reading led me to an interest in high school of going into journalism. I was even a co-editor on the school paper and responsible for writing all of the “editorials” for the paper. One of which got me beat up in study hall by my own classmates in front of one of the coaches. Seems he didn’t like what I wrote. Huh!!! Fancy that!!!!
But, college was something that I could see wasn’t going to work for me. While I had a journalism scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, it wasn’t enough for a “full ride”. Mostly it paid for tuition and a few books. Living expenses were going to be a burden upon my folks. Also, it seems I changed my major from journalism to “P-A-R-T-Y!!!” That led of course to a suspension for a semester. That being in the time of Vietnam (1965), I was pretty sure that I would be drafted before a semester suspension would be over. I was pretty close to right.
However, the suspension and early send home, allowed me to meet Jo and that was the beginning of a good life, although with a few rough struggles. My one regret was not getting a degree, but I’ve certainly gained a good education simply by continuing to read. Life went on and since Jo and I married while I was still in the U.S. Army, my pre-occupation was going to be on providing for my family. They were my priority, and I was going to be a father.
Many years of working different jobs and getting to see Jo get her degree and finally seeing both sons get their degrees has brought me pleasure. But, life continues to go on, inexplicably towards an ending somewhere.
While I’ve had a longtime interest in photography, I also had a dream to travel the country and take pictures of the beauty provided by God and to perhaps even write about what I had seen. But, since we weren’t (and still aren’t) rich, I never even mentioned my dream because I never felt that we could afford to do such a thing.
Then, along came 2008. When driving home from work, we drive by the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds, where twice a year they have an RV show. While we had a 26’ fifth wheel, Jo mentioned that we should drop by the RV show that evening. We stopped and went in and Jo immediately went to this 36’ fifth wheel. (I had thought, “OK, maybe she wants something like a 30-footer.”) So, I immediately went to her and asked her what she was thinking. She said that we ought to look into the idea of selling our home, selling about everything in it, buy a luxury RV, and live in it until we retired. Then, upon retiring, we could travel the country.
Well, do you suppose I was definitely interested? That led to a bit over 2 years of researching, looking, researching, test-driving motorhomes, researching, pricing all kinds of equipment, researching, and then finally deciding. We now own a 38 foot luxury fifth wheel and the house is up for sale.
Ruminating has led to the plans of traveling to an area of the country, parking for anywhere from 3 to 6 months, and traveling around that area seeing all the sights before moving on to another area. Towards that end, we have sold a lot of our furnishings and other unnecessary items in preparation for the period of living in a home without a lot of space. Have you any idea how liberating it is to get rid of STUFF?
While we don’t expect everything to be rosy and perfect, we aren’t concerned. If necessary, we will “workkamp” either for just our RV lot rental and perhaps some utilities or we will work part time for extra cash. Not have a lot of expensive needs helps a lot with the idea of being able to accomplish what we wish.
The future of this blog will likely include planning for and taking some trips with our RV, thoughts and philosophies of myself and Jo, and whatever happens to come our way. So, I invite you all to join us in our journey and hopefully, I won’t make it too boring.
At the time of delivery of our new unit. DRV Suites is the brand name and the model is a Mobile Suites 38TKSB3 with a Ford F450 pulling it.