Travels and Thoughts

You Want to Buy WHAT?

“Damn it, Michael. I’m not doing it. I won’t be one of those old coots tooling around the country in a pretentious RV. That is so not me.”

Driving around the country in a hot, bouncy tin-can house is not something I’d ever considered doing. Although I often saw those ghastly motorhomes on the highway, never had I looked at one and thought, Wow! If only I could do that.

“Take it easy,” my charming husband crooned. “That’s not what I’d want either.”

Famous last words. Little did I dream that in the near future I’d be dodging rattlesnakes in the Sonoran Desert outside Tucson, Arizona, watching dolphins in the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California, and fishing for halibut in the Cook Inlet off the coast of Homer, Alaska.

I considered my life rich, full, and meaningful. After forty years of social work practice, I’d finally retired and had no trouble staying busy with multiple interests and activities. However, I’d wondered and worried about how my husband would fill his days when he left his fast-paced, high-pressured job in medical sales.

Then one day, he proposed an outing that would turn my life upside down. Although I’d considered various possibilities for how he’d spend his retirement, an RV had never entered my mind.

“Look at this!” Michael had greeted me from the lanai one Saturday in mid-November. I’d slept late, and he was already up with the newspaper. Our weather in Tampa, Florida, was gorgeous, still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. But spending the day outside enjoying the delightful fall weather was not what my husband had in mind. “You need to see this,” he said.

“What are you talking about?” I’d stumbled outside and hadn’t even taken a first sip of coffee. “Hey, I need the section with the Sudoku and the crossword puzzle.” He should have known it was too early to try to talk to me.

“That Lazy Days RV place out on I-4 is having a huge sale.” He folded the Tampa Bay Times to the full-page ad and slid it across the table. “I think we ought to go out there this afternoon.”

I sighed as I dropped into my chair and picked up a ball point pen to begin the day’s puzzles. “I’ve never heard you even say the word RV before, Michael. What’s this all about?”

“We’ll talk after you wake up some more.” He grinned at me. I could tell from the sparkle in his eyes and the excitement in his voice that he had big ideas.