Since my husband, Jim, died from metastatic cancer four years ago, I have found myself being shy of people and groups of people. I bought my SS Agile 8 months after he died and traveled throughout the country and visited friends. It was an instrumental part in helping me to begin to heal.
When I became a guest reporter for “Roadtreking, Celebrating the RV Lifestyle”, I tried to remain incognito. I wanted to be a guest reporter and still maintain a distance from meeting people. Grief is a strange and interesting companion. I was more comfortable being entirely alone than being around those I did not know.
My favorite places to travel have always been those places that are the most devoid of people. This past year I decided to make a change and start meeting more people that are celebrating the small motor home lifestyle.
I planned on attending the FMCA annual rally in Indio last January. Unfortunately I had to cancel as my “sticks & bricks” home developed a roof leak, during one of the only rains of the season. When I heard how many people attended the rally, I was somewhat relieved that I could not make it. I was not ready for more than a few people at a time.
In July I sold my home and moved into my RT full time. I have met over 10 people in a period of four months. Most were driving Roadtreks and a few were not. I have discovered that people are kind and fun to be with. Now I enjoy meeting people in small groups. I am extending myself a bit more and it feels good.
In February I met up with Mary Z. in the Anza Borrego Desert. We explored a few of the slot canyons and got to know each other. A month later Mary and Linda P. and I met up in another area of the Anza Borrego. After a few days of birding, hiking and exploring, this trip ended with a fractured ankle (mine). It was such a good weekend that the ankle seemed just like a minor by-product.
- Upon learning that I had broken my ankle and had to spend 7 weeks “non-weight bearing”, Gary H and Penelope C, came through with a knee scooter. We had a delightful lunch together. I am so grateful for their very kind generosity. We have remained in touch since.
- While I was getting my house ready for sale I had a surprise visit from Juanita T. on the weekend of my garage sale. She drove all the way from the other end of the county just to say hello and meet me. This fall we met again for lunch. I hope we connect again, in the near future.
- MJ and her husband Jeff have put me up twice in their lovely home. If you ever get the chance to meet them, do it. I am glad to say we are now friends. Hopefully I will see them in the near future or at the RTI Rally in Monterey.
- Before I could even make it to BC (my goal)this summer, I had an accident and had to divert to Medford, Oregon. I was offered two places to stay. Mary Z. won. Miss Elsie the Cat and I moved in for a week while my RT was at the collision hospital. Mary was a wonderful hostess. Thanks to her I had my own private tour guide, showing off the sites of southern Oregon. This was such nice opportunity to firm up a friendship with Mary, one I hope continues for years to come.
Jane D. discovered I was in Oregon and invited me to visit her in McKenzie Bridge. I spent a lovely time with her and Ed. The area was absolutely lovely. I certainly got my fill of water falls at this stop. Jane is another wonderful tour guide.
- I met Pat G and her husband, George in a pull off at one more beautiful lighthouse on the Oregon coast. We took time to check out each other’s rig. They were on their way home to Eugene.
- As I was leaving San Simeon State Park there was another SS Agile waiting behind me to get fresh water. Curt came up and asked me if I was Janet Arnold. My first mystery meet-up. Henriette Curt and I talked for close to an hour. We compared RV’s and our lives. The world appears small when you meet strangers who live in the same county as you. We are definitely planning to meet again.
I returned to San Diego, my home town in early November 2016, for a few months. I am becoming best friends with the dentist. Our relationship means that I will spend at least one more month here before I get back into the traveling mode.
I am planning to head for the deserts east of town when I leave. I know that I need some me time when I leave, yet I also know that adventurous RVer’s are never too far away if I decide I need or want company.
I, however, am not quite ready to tackle Quartzite.