Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lifestyle Label: What is Ours?

In Spring, Texas (Houston)...

As we pass the two-month mark after my retirement, we’re still not sure what our RV lifestyle is.  While we have made a couple of short stays at our stick and brick house in Fort Worth, Phannie has largely been our home during that time.  Still giddy at my newly found freedom, we have just sort of decided to go wherever we wish to go and for as long as we wish to stay.  Our lack of a tether has been a godsend to us--and especially to Sandy, who doesn’t like being too great a distance from our daughter Mindy and her growing family in Houston.  It seems that Fort Worth indeed qualifies as too distant, so Phannie has become our Houston base for now.  With a few exceptions for some side trips, this will likely be the case until after our new grandson arrives in January.  

We are mindful that, in some cases, a too-close proximity of parental units can have some unintended and undesirable consequences for young families, so we make every effort to be extra sensitive to their need for independence, offering only as much help and companionship as they desire.  Having our own living quarters seems to be the key to making this work, hopefully without seeming to be underfoot.  Fortunately, Mindy has always been very close to us and seems genuinely glad to have us around.  Her husband, Tyler, has proven to be devoted husband and father, and he has never failed to make us feel welcome.  And then, of course, there is grandson Mason, who is always excited to see us; need I say more? 

Oddly, when we have returned to our house in Fort Worth, it seems a strange and unfamiliar place for a while. If we don’t bring Phannie with us, as was the case during our last visit, the empty RV port seems peculiar.  The house doesn’t seem visually complete with nothing to fill the large vacant space.  Even with the state-of-the-art security system and video surveillance equipment installed, we can’t help being a bit nervous when we are away. However, we can monitor the exterior and interior of the house on our cell phones via cameras linked via a video feed. Full-timers reading this must take some comfort in their freedom from this kind of worry and the expense involved, but we're still not sure if that is enough reason to give up our nice custom-built digs.

There are other issues.  For one thing, the refrigerators at the house are largely empty when we’re out on the road.  Leaving them running for the few items they contain seems pretty wasteful of electricity, but the freezers need to keep operating. The other charges for utilities continue as well, even though we’re not using them, either. 

There is always something that needs to be maintained or fixed.  Even though the house is relatively new and designed for minimal upkeep, something inevitably needs attention on the inside or outside. Full-timers really score an advantage here.

We have to stop and start the mail when we go away.  The post office will hold our mail for 30 days, so we haven’t yet elected to employ a mail forwarding service, as we make it home sometime during the 30-day period.

We will be heading to Canton on Friday for the First Monday Trade Days insanity.  Sister-in-law Brenda and our daughter Mindy and a couple of friends will be joining us, along with Bubba and LouAnn. We always have a good time doing this, but I'm going to have to pull out the couch cushions and look for some "mad money" for the girls' shopping spree.  If only it were that simple!

I don't know, maybe we don't need a lifestyle label.  I regularly read Al Bossence's blog, the Bayfield Bunch, and he doesn't appear to fret about a lifestyle label, even though he and Kelly have a home in Canada and one in Arizona, in addition to an RV.  Whew!

Ah, well, our lifestyle is what it is; there's really no reason to fret about it; we'll just keep movin' on and figuring it out.


  1. It is too soon for you to have figured out you "lifestyle label." We gave up our custom home . We knew....just knew that it was time to let it go. You too, will suddenly find your comfort zone/label. For now, enjoy where you are in your lifestyle and have fun with the grands.

  2. no reason to figure out what to 'label yourselves'..just enjoy your retirement!! and that, I am sure you will do!!

  3. I guess we are driveway campers, or RVers in waiting...


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