2015 ICE, Gaylord Hotel
Phew, what a journey we have been on since we first attempted to leave Myrtle Beach. Since purchasing our 40 foot Class A motorhome this past May, we’ve really tried to travel at a leisurely pace. But things keep coming up to hinder our desire – or to cause us to hasten our journey. While we do completely enjoy our new spacious and luxurious home (but with a minimalist theme), we miss our nibble X-tra Lite 5th wheel that handled speed a little better.
Here is a synopsis of our journey from mid-November to today (December 9, 2015.)
Arrival: We wrote about our difficulty getting out of Myrtle Beach here to arrive at our current location. We are near our daughter and her family (including our two precious grandsons). Our total stay will be about six weeks. While we averted a major disaster (and those of us in the lifestyle know that is always a possibility), the worst part is we arrived here a bit un-rested to begin helping our daughter as she returned to work after three months of maternity leave. The oldest is now two years old and three months and the baby is three months old. At our age (eligible for social security), we don’t have the energy we would prefer to have as we care for these precious boys. We’ve heard being grandparents helps keep a person younger. We are sure hoping for this! Anyway, we wanted to arrive a day ahead to set up camp and get “acclimated” to our new environment – from the beach to a forest-type campground. And REST from the trip. Since we didn’t have that luxury, we set up “camp” quickly and then headed off to pick up our two-year-old grandson from daycare. Once at home, we packed his overnight bag and he spent the night. He loves our motorhome and we love having him spend the night. Rest is over-rated, right?
Getting in the swing of things: Aside from wanting to be with our daughter and her family for the holidays, our main reason for being here is to take care of our infant grandson while our daughter returns to work. We don’t want the baby in daycare until as long as possible….so we hope to have him ready for daycare by the end of December/early January. While we wished we could keep him out of it, his parents both work and we just can’t do it at this time. Bill told our daughter before she had children, he would not help her raise them….but he is eating his words a bit….he can’t get enough of them and time will tell what happens down the road….
New adventure: In the past 10 years, at any of our church congregational events, I was usually seen holding a baby. What a great legacy to be known as a lover of babies! And the greatest privilege was to be asked to help take care of 6-week old infant twins. That really got my juices going to one day be a grandma. And people told me frequently I would be a wonderful grandma. So when our first grandson was to arrive, we did change our lifestyle to see him more (sold everything and began traveling full-time). Aside from being present at the birth of #1 grandson (and subsequently #2), we also took care of #1 for a month to also keep him out of daycare a little longer after our daughter returned to work. What a time of joy and special bonding that was! But at this same time, Bill was beginning to live his dream of traveling. And I was on board, but I’m very torn….I want it all!!!
So we are now watching #2 grandson as we did with #1. But we are two years older. And sadly, we are now 30 minutes away from their house, rather than the 10 minutes the first time. So all that to say, the JOY of this new baby is like an adrenaline rush! I am getting up very early to be at my daughter’s house by 6:15. In essence, I put in a 12 hour day, not including the commute. While here at the house, since he does sleep a lot, I help with housework, laundry and shopping. Bill is the chief cook! And then we play and enjoy our grandsons to the fullest.
We love our daughter tremendously, but honestly, we don’t remember all these fun times with her as we are having with our grandsons. Since we both also worked full time, we just don’t remember much about her early months and years. So how wonderful now as grandparents, we get to experience the awe and wonder as we watch these babies and toddlers go through as they explore life. We are cherishing our time here, but it is winter and cold….so we will depart the end of December or first of January for warmer climates.
Grandson #2 is helping us etch into our minds the beauty of birth and dependence of precious children on the adults around them. It is like a new adventure with #2!
How is our new home handling winter? When we bought our 5th wheel, a sticker by the entrance door said, “Polar Pack.” And we latched on to the statement while the salesman warned us, it didn’t mean it could go much below freezing. And we discovered it didn’t like freezing weather as our pipes froze on us as we fled south last January. Remember the polar vortex that hit the east coast of the US? We couldn’t outrun it….
We are happy to report we are very pleased with our new home. While it doesn’t have any type of “polar pack,” it has better insulation. We have been able to keep it toasty warm for our grandsons when they come to stay overnight. That is huge! We also learned a few lessons last winter. For one, we now have an insulated and heated water hose. We also did learn a few other tricks for surviving in freezing temps. I’ll save that for a later post….after we bonafide survive this winter!
What are our fun adventures besides our Monday-Friday routine? During the week, we also still have our own responsibilities, like processing the mail, balancing the checkbook, seeing doctors for routine stuff us older folks have to deal with, grocery shopping, and for Bill, to keep our vehicles clean and shiny! We are constantly asked if our home is a 2015 or 2016! Everyone is shocked it is a 2010! Yep, Bill keeps it polished! But come the weekend, we do want to have fun with the family.
Here are some links for a sneak preview about the fun we have been having: We started out with our visit to the ICE 2015 Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort; a day trip to the Shenandoah National Park to hike; a return to Williamsburg, a family tradition; and more!
We are also enjoying our Sunday morning times of corporate worship at Spotswood Baptist Church. We especially love attending church during the Christmas season. It just makes it really Christmas, singing Christmas carols and hymns about the birth of our Lord and Savior! I wrote a blog, here, about this past service.
So that is all the good. Sadly, we also experienced the sad part of life. I remember being told as a child, there are three things you can count on in life: births, death and taxes.
Bill and I have already experienced the death of our dad’s. I was so blessed to have a dear step-dad, Cliff Duncan when my mom remarried after being alone for five years. Mom did pretty well, but she began to lose her sight. And then my middle sister and his oldest daughter “fixed” them up. He had recently lost his wife.
Cliff loved traveling in an RV. He and his first wife traveled extensively around the country, including to Alaska in a motorhome! They started small and owned about every type they make. My parents owned a travel trailer, but they kept it at an RV resort. Mom always wanted to take it on the road….so she finally got on the road with her new husband. My tribute to him..
There is A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.