Well, we have been settled in an RV resort for a week or so now (sorry, don’t even know what day it is, let alone how long we’ve been here), and life is clicking along. This is a different time for us because we are usually always on the road, always moving from one adventure to another. But for now we’re settled, sitting in one spot, parked and enjoying long quiet days here in the sun. As we relax, I reflect. In doing so, it has occurred to me that a description of this life which is so different from what most people know may possibly be interesting for those of you who have never experienced it. With that in mind, here goes.
The first thing that is noticeable is the atmosphere here. Relaxation is the order of the day and everyone is of one mind: leave your home (usually in a rainy or very cold climate), travel wherever you want bringing your house with you and end up in a pleasant place with all kinds of people around you who have done the same thing. Conversations around the resort sound something like this:
“So where are you folks from? ” “Been on the road long?” “Are you living in your unit?” “Here’s where we’ve been, you should go.” and my favorite, “Welcome to the neighbourhood!”, usually heard upon arrival from complete strangers.
That’s the first thing you notice about living in an RV park. There are, however, many other notable things.
One of them is the favorite activities. Water sports are the best, and possibly because they accommodate anyone from fifteen to ninety+ years old. Old and young (except there are never any young, in fact, in most RV parks, I feel young. Hallelujah!) are in the pool all day. There’s lounging, reading your book on a noodle, swimming a few lengths, water volleyball, water aerobics and just plain hot tubbing. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a bunch of mature (not old) women jumping up and down in the water (and calling it “zumba”) in front of an instructor who is thirty years younger, ten times more vigorous and who dances around on the edge of the pool with a microphone attached to her head yelling “whoooo!” and blasting Proud Mary at full volume out of speakers on the sidelines. Tons of fun and tons of waves too (just sayin’).
Another resort activity is the eating. There’s free waffles and juice every morning at the Liar’s Club, community dinners three times a week. barbeques everywhere and yes, we had yet another Thanksgiving dinner last week. Turkey and a potluck and then, for those who dare, the beginning of Black Friday. No end to the fun and games, but a lighter wallet and heavier body will probably be the result.
And then there’s the other very important and most often seen activity: cocktail hour. Here in Arizona in November and December, the days are warm, even hot at times but at three- thirty or four o’clock, the temperature suddenly drops drastically. At this time, cocktail hour takes on an appearance not often seen in Canada. Quickly the propane fires start burning and the down jackets are put on, usually over shorts that soon get changed for sweats and socks. The lawn chairs get filled up, the awnings are out, twinkly lights are all over the place and gatherings are seen outside of lots of trailers, fifth wheelers and motorhomes. Snacks and conversation go on until its just too darn cold and then everybody goes home to their RV’s for dinner and to warm up. For us, the best part is the friends that are here again from last year and the new ones that invite us over occasionally even though we’re strangers to them. We’ve learned about so many different ways of life and interesting traditions. But mostly the comradeship is important because all of us are so far from home and family. It has a rare quality, again not seen when you are in your own environment, that of helping each other to enjoy this time in an unfamiliar place. It’s precious and it’s doubtful if any of us could do what we are doing here without it. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, ” I am a part of all that I have met” in the year 1833 and yet he could have been talking about now because his statement seems to be so true in times like this. Who knew that at this age, such rich experiences could be had? But I wax eloquent and am probably boring you to death. Suffice to say, it really is something and I find myself happy to be able to experience it. What a life.
Another awesome thing around here is the people from home. Lots and lots of Canadians are here in Arizona and they all get together. I’ve been meeting friends in restaurants, shopping centers, out for lunch and at exercise classes. There’s no end of activities. Jump in the truck, boogie over to the latest Canadian/American snowbird gathering and take it all in. Revel in the friendships that originated at home and are deepening here. Again, they are so meaningful because we really need and enjoy each other. Not a bad way to spend this down time.
And then there’s the leisure time and the adventuring. We have been touring around, hiking a little, going to Mexico for dental work and seeing the sights almost every day. Some of the sights are beautiful and some are just downright funny. In addition, Jim has managed to exhaust himself balancing on the very top of a tippy ladder to polish the Airstream and I’ve been having a grand time making corny Christmas presents with my paints and canvases and driftwood. Oh, everybody at home will be so happy that I had all this time to make these things for them; I just know that already. Wow, is this fun.
And so we are walking the edge in a different way at the moment. An apology to those of you who are looking for travel adventures, oh well, we’re smooshing in a resort right now and really enjoying it. Adventures are coming up, but right now it’s fun in the sun. Tune in soon for more action and new places. Until then, gotta go, zumba is starting and I can hear Proud Mary from here. Talk soon.