We found ourselves stopping at a state park and staying several days before moving on. We came upon places of interest and stayed a few days and then ventured on to the next discovery. By winter of that first year we had made our way to the Rio Grande River Valley where we anticipated spending a short time in one place and moving to another, and another, and another. Instead, we discovered an RV park that we liked and made that our winter-time home base and did a lot of exploring of the Rio Grande River Valley from that location -- in our truck, on the bicycles, and by tour bus.
|Lake Hope State Park, Ohio.|
But when spring arrived, it was always time to hitch up and travel north -- visiting family in the upper mid-west and exploring the sights of the United States and Canada. We saw a lot of beauty and met many fascinating people.
|Malaquite Beach, Texas.|
But from time to time we would ask ourselves, "How will we know when it is time to "hang up the keys?" (That phrase is RV jargon for giving up full-time RV living.) Will we know when it is time? Will it be determined by faltering driving skills? Or will there be other considerations?
Ten years has passed! Where did that time go?
|The Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.|
Once again this year as April came, the trailer was prepared for travel. The itinerary for at least the first month was well prepared. But MarySue's dentist discovered that she had an abscessed tooth that needed attention before we could travel. About the same time Bruce was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. That, of course led to a consultation with a hematologist, a gastroenterologist. Then there was an endoscopy, a CT scan, plus an endoscopic ultrasound.
Eight weeks later -- 8 weeks! The tooth has been extracted! Bruce's hemoglobin is back to normal. We are finally on the road.
But during the delay of those eight weeks, we began to ask ourselves the hard questions. What if there were a serious medical problem while we were so far away from family? Now that we are in our mid-seventies do we really have the energy to continue the full-time RV living with all the work that goes with it?
And some time during those eight weeks we both came to the conclusion that now is the time to say "good bye" to many friends in our winter location and to make one final trip back to Ohio.
The list of friends includes people in the RV park where we spent our winters, people we met at many different places where we went dancing. people we know through symphony concerts, people whom we knew at the church we attended during winter months.
Saying farewell is tough. It is emotional. It is draining of energy. There is a deep pain in leaving behind those whom we have loved and whose presence we have enjoyed.
But already we have received an invitation to be part of a church group in Columbus. Already we get almost daily emails inviting us to the Country Western Dance meetup group activities in Columbus.
We look forward with eager anticipation to spending holiday times with our son, Joel, who lives in Ohio. We also look forward to giving up the increasing amount of care and maintenance required by a fourteen-year-old fifth-wheel trailer.
We don't know all that is in store for us in the months to come. But we do look forward with hope.
And we say with Dag Hammarskjöld, "For all that has been -- thanks. For all that will be -- yes."