We met some of our neighbors Tuesday night. The small travel trailer next to us that has sat empty since we came a week ago is owned and now occupied by Cliff and Grace, who live in Albuquerque. They store their trailer, boat and pickup at the RV park and only occasionally come to stay. During the winter, they live in their 33′ fifth-wheel in Mexico where they own their RV lot as a condo. Jim, on the other hand, came to spend the night at Center Court RV park and never left. That was 20 years ago and he’s still here among the mostly senior population of permanent and temporary residents.
Cliff and Grace love to dance and for lots of years they enjoyed fishing. Now they have given up fishing–too much work to clean and cook the catch or when they were really lucky, can the excess salmon. They’ve been married since 1957. He moved to Washington, D.C. after graduating from Texas Tech but didn’t have enough money to bring her along. She did, however, and purchased a bus ticket for the 54 hour ride. They were married the day she arrived.
In the park where we lived in Kansas, our neighbors were John and Wanda, temporarily transplanted Texans. John oversaw a huge pipeline project and Wanda was designing and getting ready to decorate the house they were building in Texas. John had back surgery the same day as LeRoy had another less major surgery and we visited him in the hospital. Another neighbor, also John, and his wife Donna had been full time RVers for a number of years after an early retirement for both but had been drawn back into the workforce by her former boss. They helped us sell an extra vehicle while we lived next to them. They landscaped their “patio” with trees and flowers in large pots and their campsite was the gathering place for many of the residents as they walked their dogs or took out the trash.
I can’t help thinking that I didn’t know some of our neighbors that well in the house we owned for 20 years before we retired. What made the difference? Proximity, for one thing. RV lots are much closer than the wide lot on which our house sat. A lack of fences, for another. A six-foot privacy fence surrounded our large, comfortable house. Which brings me to another point. When space inside is limited, we tend to spend more time outside. And now when we do, we aren’t busy mowing or spraying weeds. We actually take time to visit.
I owe the following to Nick Russell, another blogger whose writing we follow. He said something to the effect that in the RV campground, it doesn’t matter what you did in a past life or how much money you had. All that matters is where you were yesterday, where you are today and where you’re headed tomorrow. So, just out of curiousity, where are you headed?