Well, here it is, folks….this is my new life, explained–I have had so many people ask me lately about this new life of mine: what is it like? Where do we stay? How do we decide where we go next? No end to the questions,so I thought I would give you the low down on this nomad existence…
Handsome Husband and I are traveling, not in an RV (no Robin Williams adventures for me!), not with a trailer (think Lucille Ball in the “Long, Long Trailer”) but in our Saturn SUV. I made some sheepskin armrests because it got annoying for me to rest my arms on the hard shell), and we have maps handy, our GPS, camera, phone–all the technology is at my fingertips!
We have learned to travel lightly, at least lightly compared to what we could have. I suppose it doesn’t look light when we truck everything into our hotel room, but we are living out of our car! We aren’t the typical traveler, just doing a couple of nights and then back home again. I’m happy to say we have gotten it down to pretty much a science at this point. Handsome Husband is always telling me to let him carry things in, but I don’t listen terribly well sometimes, so I’ll load myself up with the light stuff for the first trip in–camera bag, pink makeup bag (I save him the embarrassment of carrying that in), pillows in pink pillowcases (raspberry pink-and you KNOW how hard it is to find a good pillow, so we make space for our own). Inside the pillowcase, I stuff the Atlas, any current newspapers, calender for tracking travels, and anything else light), my backpack, one of the computer bags, his shoulder bag-and by this time I’m staggering under the weight of it all!
Second trip is up to Handsome Husband-he gets everything out of our back seat–my pink suitcase, his case, our toiletries bag, the other computer bag, the cooler, the cafe on wheels (it also carries our handy-dandy hobo tool -spoon, knife, fork, can opener all in one. That is the best investment we made for this trip!) and our smaller, water only cooler. While he totes, I organize in the hotel room. Check, check, check–it takes no time at all anymore!
The very back of our car is now called the closet. Back there we keep any extra clothes we may need as we travel, cooler weather gear for when we get to New England, tools in case the car breaks down, a bag of reading material for me, extra shoes, the popcorn popper (kind of gives us a Clampett type of feeling when we truck THAT into the hotel!), and a bag with medical emergency materials, all sitting on top of our egg carton bed liner that we use when visiting family so we don’t have to sleep directly on the floor! All that pretty much fills up the back but I actually know where everything is….
We’ve been staying with family and friends along the way, and in hotels. Handsome Husband has quite a few friends from his time in the Air Force, and they are scattered around the country, so we stop and see them or we head to OR to visit our younger daughter, or VT to visit our older daughter, or AZ to visit our son, or NH to visit our other son. I actually prefer NOT visiting family, but that’s my own particular preference (by that I mean family of origin) As I used to say in the groups, the meeting for family dynamics is down the hall! Both of us are history buffs, WW2, the Civil War, western settlement, so we are the weird ones who stop along a road to examine wagon tracks left by the settlers of the 1800’s–can you spell G-E-E-K?
Its been an adventure. We’ve stayed at military bases when we can-you can always count on clean, professional surroundings, and I’ve listened many nights to the sounds of “Retreat” on the bugle, and “Reveille” in the mornings. I’ve seen the western coast of OR and WA states, seen incredible rock formations in UT, wind farms that extend for mile upon mile in NM, lavender farms in the hill country of TX–the list is endless. This has all been a fascinating lesson in letting go for me. I was never materially minded, and even less so after experiencing the deaths of my mom and brother, but this has been a real lesson in living simply. We have things in storage-its mainly personal family stuff at this point. We sold most of our furniture when we sold our house last May, and when we stopped at our storage unit a few months ago, we got rid of the rest of it. There are some things that I remember we have stored, but much of it I don’t, and doesn’t that say something? I know that when we go there again, we will rid ourselves of even more. We will donate it, or pass it along to someone in the family. I have learned a great deal about letting go of hurtful relationships, and being ok with it. My life is very much about seizing the moment, about LIVING in the moment, and making it count. I thought I would miss my gardens-there were so many joyful hours spent in them, but I miss them not at all. There are gardens everywhere in this country for me to enjoy–and I DON”T HAVE TO WEED THEM!
Especially when I see pictures posted of various events for Tapestries of Hope, and all my angel sisters–that’s when there is a ping in my heart! I do miss my community. Really, though, when I think of it, it is only the physically not seeing any of them that is different–other than that, I am in such regular contact with everyone that there is no time to miss them-phone, text, email, fb, our website–thank goodness for technology! I miss not knowing all the daughters who have joined our groups since I left, but I have managed to make connections even with some of them, and I love that. AND, a huge shout out to all of you who call to tell me about the get-togethers, and how much you cherish the connections you make with each other–it does my heart good to know that the threads are continuing to weave in and out, forming yet another section of the tapestry.
Handsome Husband and I plan to continue doing this as long as our health and our money hold up. Hopefully that will be for years yet! We have no desire to own a house again, with all the inherent responsibilities that go along with it. There is a HUGE country out here to see, and we intend to see as much of it as possible. The thing is, you really don’t need a whole lot of money to do this. We’re not wealthy by any means, we have learned to live very simply, and I am learning to think outside ALL my comfort zones, challenging myself to meet new people, venture out to see what this world is made of….it is a fantastic adventure, I am young enough to grab every second of it, and I am doing it all with a man who loves me more than his own life. Can it get any better than this?
So, this life, these moments that make my new life, have been some of the best parts of my life. And the beauty of all of it is that I have been able to carry the important parts of my old life with me-my cherished angel sisters, who have loved and supported ME as much as I have loved and supported THEM–it is a beautiful tapestry of life that I have!