Camping Retirement Style!

Camping conjures up all sorts of images, many of them wonderfully whimsical.
There is the early morning sounds of birds chirping their musical wake-up calls. Or the delightful sounds of children raring to get a head start on their vacation day. If one listens very carefully, there is the sound of the lake’s waters brushing the crisp shores, or even the gentle swaying  of trees in the nearby woods. In the distance a lonely train whistles and slowly the campground comes alive.  Outside my sleeping place, there is the scurrying of chipmunks playing in the cool ashes of last night’s campfire on their search for some meager scraps. In the darkened confines of my camp bedding, I look over at my still sleeping mate and wait for the sounds of morning to hit our own campsite. Ben & Jerry, our canine camping mates, are still snoring softly in their bed. By the time the coffee smells waft throughout the campground, we, the retired 60 year olds are still stealing another few moments in our oh so cozy little nest here on our 37 foot Class A Motor Home in our King size Sleep Number bed. As the greetings of another fine day are echoing around us, we bestir ourselves enough to have a shower and begin yet another day of excitement and adventure. Gathering outside with my tea and still in my robe and slippers, I marvel at what fun it is to “rough it” here in the wilds of New England. I wave at a couple returning from the outdoor shower center and smile cheerily at children drawing in the sand by the lake. A young girl squeals in delight as she, with her proud dad watching, pulls in her catch of the day from the cool waters, a lovely perch which perhaps they will fry up for breakfast.  By now our dogs have to be coaxed from their beds for their morning constitutional and Ray drags them across the park.

Oh these are the times of our lives.

Retired and really quite lazy.

Welcome to a hint of the RVing life of an RVingGirl!

Ready, Set and Go?

So today was a big day. We are down to final preparations for this RV trip. And lists have been checked twice, at least.

Linens….clean and fresh

Pantry….stocked

Various Games….on board

Books……loaded and ready to be devoured

Computer…..just waiting

Screened porch….ready at a moment’s notice

Storehouse with tales of adventures and excitement……ready to be compiled

Dogs…….ready to sniff their way around campgrounds

Bible…..by my side

AND

CPAP machine…….(oh the pain….) yup, ready to force feed me air to keep me breathing at night! Cheech! Aging is SO much fun.

And then when we had just finished stocking the refrigerator, the rains came again. The musical sound of rain in an RV could be recorded and make someone lots of money. Wow, what joy there is in being retired and having a lovely home on wheels.

We plan on spending some time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and then time in Maine. We want to revisit Kennebunkport and spend some time around picturesque Bar Harbor before driving to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We hear the weather has not been particularily kind but we don’t mind at all. To be on the road is our purpose and then meeting up with friends our main goal.

Let the good times begin!

7 Lessons from 7 Brothers

I am reposting this from August 8th…partly because I have been a wee bit under the weather and am not feeling particularly inspired to write much just now and partly because I just LOVE my brothers….all SEVEN of them.

(My three sisters are FABULOUS too but this is for the guys)

Rob………taught me to dance, I mean REALLY dance. When I was about 10 ten years old, he would pull me into his ‘space’ (with 13 in the house, we did still manage to have our own space and that was closely guarded!) I learned to “Rock around the Clock” and I have been doing it ever since. He taught me to “feel” the beat.

Michael…..taught me that in life there are always consequences and if I sassed my mother, he was there to ensure it never happen again, at least on his watch! He was loving but firm and direct. He taught me to respect and honor my parents.

David……taught me about helping others. Ever since I can remember, he dedicated his time to others. Whether it be teaching the dishwashers at a local chinese restaurant English or inviting the mentally challanged into our family circle, David was the helper.

Don…..taught me to laugh out loud, even before the expression was popular! He showed me how to find humour in every situation but not at the risk of hurting another person. And he taught me to laugh at myself!

Ed……taught me to know that Jesus is real. Ed taught me how to love deeply and to forgive completely. He taught me about sweet precious love for others.

Jimmy……taught me first and foremost patience. Jimmy was a wonderfully brilliant brother, a gifted musician and a not so easy brother to live with. He delighted in making every day a challange and taught me to challenge myself. He taught me about perseverence and loyalty and taught me to become more humble.

Bill…………taught me how to love! He taught me to cherish family and to see the good in all of us. He taught me how to respect others. He taught me to appreciate all that we had and he taught me to be more thankful. Bill was always my cheerleader and always will be, no matter my many flaws!

Sisters

I have been blessed with 3 sisters! The fact that I also have brothers is; of course, a wonderful thing too, but for today I want to say a few things about sisters.

Growing up there was always someone to listen to me; someone to guide me along the way; someone to be totally honest with me when I most needed it; and someone to scold me at just the right time…..I had sisters!

I don’t recall ever having any sort of ‘mushy’ feeling when it came to my family but I knew without a doubt that we loved each other. Now I was the sister who was labelled a “spit-fire” and that is a fair assessment of me all through the years. I fought the loudest; I also cheered the most. I cried the hardest but I laughed the longest. I learned from each of them some of life’s most valued lessons.

From my older sister, I learned loyalty and dedication.

From my younger sister I learned how to forgive myself as well as a deep sense of sharing.

From my baby sister, I learned about faith and perseverence.

I cannot say what they may have learned from me, but I suspect some of them may include:

how to fight boys;

several colourful new words that I brought into our family discussions;

how to protect and defend the underdog;

how to stand up for one’s convictions;

and how to love in spite of weaknesses and flaws.

Thinking of my sisters reading this, I am quite sure that because of their kind hearts, they would add many other fine qualities but the fact is, I was the student 99% of the time and each of them were my life-lesson teachers.

Today I love and cherish and admire and treasure each of my sisters and I thank God that He saw fit to include me in this wonderful group of girls!

By His Side

Today my husband and I spent some delightful time assembling and putting together our new screened-in attachable porch for our 37 foot Motor Home. Well he did all the work and I sat on the steps and watched. I was keeping him company and this is a very important job. I am there to listen to him discussing with himself the whys and why nots of following the instruction manuel. I am there to offer him encouragement when I can see that the measurements may not be quite right. I am there to offer him a sip of my ice cold water. ( It is a hot day and so I am rather overheated sitting there, after all….) I am there to applaud him when I see that he indeed does know what he is doing and finally I am there when he realizes that they have sent the wrong size side panels! Now this is why I do what I do….why I listen and wait and watch and help…..because invariably things do go wrong and what kind of wife would I be if not there at his side. So I come inside and attend to him as he calls the company and it is finally decided there is nothing to do but uninstall the whole thing, pack it up neatly and get it ready to mail back for a full refund!?! There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my husband……there is no way he could have managed without me by his side……Surely this is obvious to all.

Alas now the RV trip has to be delayed some more until together we work out this little wrinkle in our cross country trek…….TOGETHER, we will do it!

When in Vermont…..

One of the best parts of visiting any new country or town is to experience the culture of that place. I live in Bermuda but have a vacation home in Vermont. Although we have been visiting this wonderful State for years, I am still enthralled with new discoveries. The people are wonderful; the views are breath-taking; the culture is warm and friendly.

Recently, being in that “I’m retired now so let’s cut back” mindset, I decided that throwing hundreds of dollars away at Hairstylist Salons was a total waste of my money so I stepped back into time and made my way into the Village Barbershop. One should note that I am not blessed with luxurious long flowing locks so the job at hand is not a hard one. I do not need to pay ridiculous amounts to tend to my “crop” And so, earlier this week, I walked into Anne’s Barbershop with my husband. Sitting in her chair I was immediately intrigued with the conversation that ensued after she ran to answer the telephone mid-cut. No receptionist or telephonist here…..Anne runs the shop alone and a sign on the door advises all, “Closed on Saturdays when my son is playing football!” So back to the conversation. Anne reported to us that all was fine on the home front; the call was an update on her cow. Yes, her COW! You see, two hours before she had to close the doors because her cow got out. She climbed in her truck and raced to her nearby farm to call Bess home. I take liberties in naming her cow for her but the point is….my hair “stylist” had to go home when her cow wandered off. It doesn’t get any more Vermont than that. Or does it? The next day we stopped at Gillingham’s country store in Woodstock Vermont and while looking  through the home made jams and jellies and smelling the delightful aroma of freshly baked peach pie, a sudden movement at my feet startled me and lo and behold, the store cat presented me with her catch of the day, a tiny little darling mouse who was still quite alive and perhaps not to thrilled to be there. He scampered off only to be brought back within 5 minutes, this time perhaps a wee bit injured, and much to every tourist’s delight, caught and henceforth set free out back by the store owner herself.

Welcome to Vermont……………..

Pure Gold

Today as I was co-piloting our 37 foot Motor Home along the I 89, I was listening to those wonderful “Oldies”……..50’s on 5 on satellite radio and I thought…there are some very few singers/groups/bands/performers or whatever you may call them who can be classified as PURE GOLD!

In my opinion, and this is why it is MY blog, I can make my case for anything and not apologize…..I henceforth shall name the all time winner of the PURE GOLD award!…. The Platters!!! WOW! Everything they ever sang was PURE GOLD. They could make the hardest heart MELT; they can still do that all these years later. Listening, I am humbled; I am inspired; I am filled with love and joy and hope and longing. See? In my 60’s and still inside beats the throbbing heart of a Sweet Sixteen little darling from Small Town Canada!

I must add to this list……dear dear Elvis. Precious sweet Connie Francis with a pure voice of diamond quality……there are more but for today, I shall leave it with these few.

And so as I softly hum, “Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling; It’s Twilight Time…..” I bid you Happy Memories as you tune in to one of my favorite radio stations!

Why not Me?

I have heard “why me?” far too many times to even shrug my shoulders anymore…..my mindset has always been “why not Me?”
Who do I think I am that I would be immune from any of life’s trials and tribulations? Why not? why not ME? I have endured and had more than my share of pain and sorrow but….I lift up my eyes to the Lord from whom comes my strength and so….
Hey that can be said about the good things in life too and that is what I aim to focus on…..at least for today. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
But for today, let me share a few “Why not Me’s”….
Millions of people die daily from cancer. Why not me? I am a bilateral breast cancer survivor!
People live in cold unforgiving climates. Why not me? I live in beautiful lush Bermuda!
People are childless and barren. Why not me? I have an amazing family surrounding me.
People are lonely and forelorn. Why not me? I have friends and family in many different places.
People are lost and know not love. Why not me? I know my God is my fortress and strength.
I can only surmise that I have been blessed beyond measure. Why not YOU?
Realistically I know that we ALL will have troubles and difficulties and there is NO reason as to why some suffer more than others. There is no right or wrong answer. I can only say that to seek first God….then He will make a way. Because, you see, without Him, none of these things matter. All the riches in the world are nothing. All the friends and family can not bring peace to a grieving and lost soul. Only He can fill us and bring us true peace in the midst of anything.