Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Time With Friends Goes By Quickly

At Victoria Palms RV Resort, Donna, Texas...

We sadly said goodbye to Jackie and Steve today. We had been roaming around the Valley here for a couple of weeks, enjoying the mild weather and having lots of laughs, culminating with a visit to Padre Island and lunch with Carolyn and Larry, another fulltiming couple about whom we've written in earlier posts. Although we've known them for some time, these two couples had never met, so our lunch at Dirty Al's on Padre Island was double the fun, as they got to know each other.

One thing we have in common is that we all own Tiffin Phaeton motorhomes. Sandy and I met these two couples by happenstance, in RV parks in different states. In both cases, we parked in a nearby space and, as they were outdoors when we arrived, we said hello and introduced ourselves, finding quickly that we had much in common. 

And now, as with many other friends, we can't imagine our loss if our paths had never crossed. Many other friends of ours are wintering here in the Valley, and even more are in the east Texas area and other places around the country. We feel the same about all of them. Our lives are made so much richer by such great people. 

We really couldn't leave Padre Island without a walk on the beach, watching the seagulls and listening to the roar of the waves coming ashore.

We've had Jackie and Steve over for tamales, and they invited us to their rig for a meal of shish kebabs. They were super good; here are Jackie and Steve, looking at the last of the kebabs that would become leftovers; we had scarfed down all the rest.

We've had great times trying favorite restaurants as well as new ones, and we've played many rounds of new games like 42, Rummikub and Mexican Train. The girls have done some shopping, and I've even been able to do a flying checkout at the McAllen airport. We'll be doing some aerial sightseeing pretty soon; maybe some of our friends will tag along, who knows?

And so it goes. We've been here at Victoria Palms for six weeks, and it seems like six days!  For those who wonder what we do with our spare time, well, we don't sit around and look at four walls, that's for sure. That's why we traded our four walls for four slideouts and a big windshield. If we get tired of the view looking out of the windshield, we pull in the slides, crank up the diesel and find another view. Life is good.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.

You don't stop playing when you get old; you get old when you stop playing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Amateur Psychology: Retirement Happiness is Sometimes Being Silly

At Victoria Palms RV Resort, Donna, Texas...

I suppose it probably gets old for readers to see more photos of a bunch of older RV folks sitting around a restaurant table, laughing and chatting as if we don't have a care in the world:  

Well, that's pretty doggone close to being right.  We may have some cares in our world, but what others think is really not one of them. 

Frankly, we've already made our contribution to society and the world of work, and we're now living our retirement years on our terms. That doesn't mean we don't have problems, of course; everybody has these. It's just that most of us don't need to include holding a job as part of our daily activity. This gives us a lot of extra hours in the day to think up solutions for little problems  before they get to be big ones. If we can't solve them ourselves, there is always support available among friends like these who have come to know each other through our common interest in RV travel. 

It also gives us time to act silly like Larry and Marilyn in the photos below:

By the way, Larry and Marilyn have never met; they represent friends of ours from different areas of our travels who happen to be in the RGV and whom we will try to bring together while we're here, if possible.

Merrymaking of this sort is hardly silliness, of course. Well, maybe it is, but it's the good kind. It certainly represents the ultimate in a positive attitude regarding the inevitability of growing older and the kind of mindset we choose to have in the process. I think Sandy and I find this lifestyle so attractive in no small part due to the refusal of most of the participants to 'go gentle into that good night.'  Our movement about God's creation will be circumscribed for all of us at some point--a limitation we will need to accept with as much grace as possible--but not until we have squeezed out every moment of awe and wonder and heard the very last laugh of friends like these.

Maybe you are still working and wondering what retirement will be like for you. Well, it will be whatever you choose it to be, in my view. While it may not be the nomadic style we have undertaken for now, you will have with each new day the opportunity to seize it with gratitude, gusto and a merry heart. That's what Larry and Marilyn do, and that's why we love and admire them.

Steve and Jackie have joined us now at Victoria Palms, and we will have more stories to share as we roam around far south Texas.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I don't appreciate it as I should each day.

You don't stop playing when you get old; you get old when you stop playing.