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Old 12-01-2008, 03:49 AM   #1
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I do not know if this is the proper place to post this little narrative but after talking with my mother as I drove her to a church function last night , I felt it was a relevant topic. If it is too long or in the wrong place do with it as you will.

Many individuals who are on the fence and/or waiting for that special day to take the leap need to understand the consequences of waiting too long. This is a true story I wrote after the delivery of our new MH in 2007.


A Tale of Four Dreamers

Do I wish we had purchased our new RV when we were in our 30ís? I do. Nevertheless, as Betty and I hover on each side of 50, we can only hope to enjoy our explorations of this beautiful country half as much as my parents had hoped to achieve during their retirement.

Growing up, I watched eagerly as my father returned home with each of our families' new RVs. It began with a Cox popup for a family of six in the 60's and my last trip with the whole family was in a 28' TT in the 70's. My parents truly enjoyed the RV lifestyle, waiting for the day all of the kids were gone so they could move up to the class A of their dreams and travel with their best friends Max and Dot. As my siblings and I removed ourselves from the nest, my father continued his journey though a few class Bís and C's while looking for the perfect class A to take them on the road. Within 6 months of buying their dream motor home, my maternal grandmother's health required my parents to put their plans on hold to become the primary caretakers of their aging parents and guardians for over 20 years. My mother and father never complained or said a word about putting their dreams on hold and never will.

I did not hear the whole story about the revision of their retirement plans until Betty and I made the transition from our old 5'er to our new motor home last year. While my father was expressing his concern about the cost of our new second home, mom only smiled and mentioned all the places they had hoped to explore. She also told me about the final disposition of their dream home that seemed to disappear while no one said a word. Mom told me that after more than five years of watching the motor home sit patiently in the back yard, she asked dad to sell their dream home because she could no longer stand to see it sitting idle with no end in sight. As I assisted mom into our new Bounder, I could see the joy in her face and only wished I could take her everywhere they had hoped to go. Mom expressed no regrets or displeasure with the course of her life but I know there was a void that once waited in her back yard.

As Betty and I travel, there will always be a photographic link back to Mom and Dad. I am sure it will not be the same but at least I have the never-ending list of places for us to see. Be it tailgating with a group of old friends, sitting around a campfire with new friends or sitting beside a mountain stream with my DW staring at the heavens. We can just hope our early start gives us many more years of pleasure. We can never go back but we can always remember. On our last trip, as Betty, Bailey and I fought for space on the bed, my mind raced back to my brothers and I fighting for space in one end of a Cox camper while understanding the final arbiters were only about four steps away if we failed to resolve our space issues quietly. At times, those memories are stronger than others, rewarding us with both smiles and tears.

Betty and I plan to camp anytime we can and as long as we can so in the end we can again sit down with Mom and tell her all about our travels while assuring Dad we did not go bankrupt in the process. Some things will never changeÖ. tcm
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:49 AM   #2
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I do not know if this is the proper place to post this little narrative but after talking with my mother as I drove her to a church function last night , I felt it was a relevant topic. If it is too long or in the wrong place do with it as you will.

Many individuals who are on the fence and/or waiting for that special day to take the leap need to understand the consequences of waiting too long. This is a true story I wrote after the delivery of our new MH in 2007.


A Tale of Four Dreamers

Do I wish we had purchased our new RV when we were in our 30ís? I do. Nevertheless, as Betty and I hover on each side of 50, we can only hope to enjoy our explorations of this beautiful country half as much as my parents had hoped to achieve during their retirement.

Growing up, I watched eagerly as my father returned home with each of our families' new RVs. It began with a Cox popup for a family of six in the 60's and my last trip with the whole family was in a 28' TT in the 70's. My parents truly enjoyed the RV lifestyle, waiting for the day all of the kids were gone so they could move up to the class A of their dreams and travel with their best friends Max and Dot. As my siblings and I removed ourselves from the nest, my father continued his journey though a few class Bís and C's while looking for the perfect class A to take them on the road. Within 6 months of buying their dream motor home, my maternal grandmother's health required my parents to put their plans on hold to become the primary caretakers of their aging parents and guardians for over 20 years. My mother and father never complained or said a word about putting their dreams on hold and never will.

I did not hear the whole story about the revision of their retirement plans until Betty and I made the transition from our old 5'er to our new motor home last year. While my father was expressing his concern about the cost of our new second home, mom only smiled and mentioned all the places they had hoped to explore. She also told me about the final disposition of their dream home that seemed to disappear while no one said a word. Mom told me that after more than five years of watching the motor home sit patiently in the back yard, she asked dad to sell their dream home because she could no longer stand to see it sitting idle with no end in sight. As I assisted mom into our new Bounder, I could see the joy in her face and only wished I could take her everywhere they had hoped to go. Mom expressed no regrets or displeasure with the course of her life but I know there was a void that once waited in her back yard.

As Betty and I travel, there will always be a photographic link back to Mom and Dad. I am sure it will not be the same but at least I have the never-ending list of places for us to see. Be it tailgating with a group of old friends, sitting around a campfire with new friends or sitting beside a mountain stream with my DW staring at the heavens. We can just hope our early start gives us many more years of pleasure. We can never go back but we can always remember. On our last trip, as Betty, Bailey and I fought for space on the bed, my mind raced back to my brothers and I fighting for space in one end of a Cox camper while understanding the final arbiters were only about four steps away if we failed to resolve our space issues quietly. At times, those memories are stronger than others, rewarding us with both smiles and tears.

Betty and I plan to camp anytime we can and as long as we can so in the end we can again sit down with Mom and tell her all about our travels while assuring Dad we did not go bankrupt in the process. Some things will never changeÖ. tcm
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
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Your words were an inspiration to many of us who may question our travel expenditures in this current economy. As my father once told me around a campfire. " I may go broke , but nobody can ever take these memories away from me." KEEP ON CAMPING
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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Great story...it's cool to go camping with your parents who got you hooked on camping. I love it when Mom and Dad are able to join us for a weekend.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:58 PM   #5
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My wife and I looked at it similarly as you did. Why not enjoy the time with our kids while we still can and they still enjoy being around mom and dad. Yes itís a large investment but the memories will last long after the MH is gone or replaced with another one. Thank you for the very enjoyable story during these difficult times for many.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:06 AM   #6
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We had the same delay with a parent that needed someone to help her in her illness for 5 years, but they were a good 5 years. Two years ago we started our travels around this great beautiful country.
We have seen many things that our family, friends and former co-workers dream about doing, but for some reason or another haven't or just can't do.
What we do is send pictures[2-4] to them of whatever we have seen or done that day with a little story.
It started with about 5 and now is at 23 families and if we don't do anything for a few days we get e-mails making sure we're not sick.
My whole thing is let your family, friends and former co-workers live the American Dream with you.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:45 AM   #7
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Although dad is limited to local driving and mom now uses a walker, they still have an open invitation to use the MH

We have a portable decking system to assist mom and are willing to deliver them to their destination. Betty and I can either stay or leave them and return for the MH when they wish to return home.

Mom is very concerned with her current mobility issues. She wants to get away from the walker and become more comfortable with her cane before scheduling any new trips.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:59 AM   #8
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tmar10;

Great article and a great reminder. When my children were growing up I was not able to camp with them. After our kids grew up and left home Bev & I reached a point we could think about a RV lifestyle. A friend and mentor told me that I should start out with a class A because that is where we would end up anyway. My DW has arthritis and can't stand to sit in one place too long.

We have been able to take all of our grandchildren (7) camping with us on several occasions while trying to make up for lost time. What a great pleasure it has been.

I have told my children that when Bev & I die if we have any money left it will be as a result of poor financial planning.

Don
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:46 AM   #9
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Great story. I would like to add my experience. While my Dad was alive we would nvite my parents to join up with us camping, which they did often...us giving up the bed and sleeping on the couch. My Mom is now 88 and enjoys our RV when she is with us (again giving up the bed) She is not as mobile and it takes time to get in and out...but we are not in a hurry. She especially likes eating outdoors and the friendly talk around the campfire with us and anyone else who happens along. She has seen the Coast from Ca. to Wa., in-land Ca, the old route 66 in Az, Tx, and Ok., the Grand Canyon, the Cowboy and Indian museum in OK city. It has been her pleasure and our joy.

Ronnie
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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Ronnie, your input is a one of several significant additions to this tread. As a member of a large family with numerous visiting relatives you learn to sleep anywhere, so I know the feeling of giving up my bed; but everyone must bring their own pillows...house and MH rule #1.

Spending much of my early years inspecting, repairing, and flying aircraft, I now prefer to slow it down and be able to see life pass by from ground level. Flying from town to town and living in transient housing is for the birds.
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