The end of May marked my one year anniversary of living full time in the motorhome with my pets. During that time, we visited 13 states, some more than one time around, and over 55 RV parks. We stayed as little as 12 hours in a few places and as much as six weeks in one place over the holidays while visiting family and friends. Other than the six week stay back home in Sacramento, we stayed a little over three weeks in Myrtle Beach and almost four weeks in the Sacramento Delta. But those were the longest stays in 52 weeks.
So, needless to say, there was a lot of packing up and driving around and unpacking. At first, it was an adventure and the adrenaline of new sites kept me going. But somewhere along the way (I think it was the third time passing through Arizona), I realized “I’m tired.” Not only was I starting to feel the strain of constant moving and driving, but I started feeling like there was something physically wrong as well. At first, I had a cough I couldn’t shake that persisted for about two months. During that time, I would have days when I was sure I had the flu or a cold, then it would disappear, and then mysterously reappear again. So, in about a three months’ time, I was never feeling 100% for two days in a row. During this time, I was self-treating for allergies but never saw a doctor. I also have kidney disease that has caused me to have surgery twice. The same kidney that had been plagued with stones two years previously had started hurting on and off recently.
As I progressively got weaker and had more days when I just couldn’t do everything I needed to do, I realized something needed to change. By April, I had already made all my summer reservations, with a big trip planned to Lake Huron in Michigan after visiting my son in OKC. I wanted to stay in Michigan for the summer and the state parks only allow two weeks maximum so I was booking places here and there willy nilly to stretch out to two or three months. In addition, I wanted to take my time driving up there so I booked a lot of places every couple hundred miles along the way. I had to consider Memorial Weekend and 4th of July in those plans and make sure I was somewhere safe and wouldn’t be around too much craziness.
I don’t know the exact day I decided, but once I made up my mind, I took action. I decided I couldn’t go on like this, whether I needed surgery, or just to rest for awhile, I starting canceling all my summer reservations. It turns out that Huron County Parks doesn’t give refunds. And they don’t take deposits either, they charge you in full when you make reservations. I was able to cancel all the KOAs and little state parks along the way but got dinged for $700 nonrefundable by Huron County! Oh bother. But what was I doing to do? Sacrifice my health? Once that decision was made, I now had to decide where I was going to park it.
I know, I know…May and June are tornado season in Oklahoma. But my son and his wife live in Oklahoma City and I thought, if I park for the summer, at least if he’s nearby I can visit and we can have some fix-it projects together. So, back to Roadrunner RV Park in South Oklahoma City (see review from last summer). They were able to accommodate me for four months, it’s only 10 miles from my son, and it’s a nice, safe place with lots of grass for the dogs. Major tornado warning not even a week after I arrived and, this being my first, I panicked. This was a more serious warning than usual, with even Tinker AFB moving planes and taking precautions. I took the dogs and the cat and we checked in to a hotel about six miles away. $100 for the room, $30 for take out food (dinner and breakfast) and lots of anxiety, and you know what? There was no tornado. A week later, two people were killed in a hotel about 35 miles from me but that time, I decided to stay put.
As time passed, I realized that the people who live here don’t do anything when there’s bad weather or tornado warnings and there’s a good reason for that. 85% of the time, the weather changes before it gets to you. I started thinking, what’re the odds that a tornado is going to hit exactly where I am and would I even have time to get me and the animals to the shelter? In the one in El Reno where two people were killed, witnesses said that the siren didn’t even go off until after the tornado hit, so there’s not much you can do. Once I realized that the norm here was to just ignore the weather, I was able to relax a lot more. And since then, there have been a number of tornado and severe weather warnings and I’ve been perfectly safe in my motor home. Maybe next year though, I’ll wait til the middle of June to book. Although Texas didn’t fair much better in the tornado area this spring either so what’re you gonna do?
I’m here relaxing in OKC for the summer and have a few projects planned. I applied for Oklahoma medical insurance right away as my California insurance didn’t cover anything here except emergency room visits. Funny thing — once I was settled here and knew I would be staying for awhile, the pains and medical issues all but disappeared. I am still sneezing a lot and my cough hasn’t completely disappeared but the stomach and kidney pains are gone. I’ll still go see a doctor eventually and take care of other things like dental and vision too while I’m here.
I bought a tow car just two days after I arrived. I was very lucky to find a late model, low mileage fully manual little car that was in my price range and even had the tinted windows like I wanted. I had been looking online for about six months so when I spotted this one, I knew it was a great deal. I had actually gone to look at two other, similar cars the day before and one had been sold and the other had a huge dent in the side. They were both much higher mileage too so I knew I had to grab this one. I’ve been here one month now and I’ve already put about 300 miles on it with running errands and sightseeing. I’ll schedule it for a tow package installation later this month.
I’ve made some exciting plans for the fall. Escapees RV Parks are usually more affordable than the average (about $350 to $450 a month as opposed to $600 to $800 in private parks) and so I investigated where those might be. They have one in Branson, MO that looked like a nice place to stay for the fall. They even have a dog park. Then, I found out that Branson has all the shows I want to see. Now that I have a tow car, I have the freedom to do lots of sightseeing. There are about four music shows I want to see, plus the scenic train tour, river boat tours, and a number of museums. So I booked two months there. Can’t wait. Then, I’ve got two months booked on Galveston Beach, then two months back at another Escapee park in Texas. That takes me to spring 2020. I just have to decide where to park myself until all danger of tornados is passed, then head on back to OKC.
Last Month I self-published a little guide book on Kindle called “Full Time RVing with Pets.” I had fun with this project and decided, since I’m retired now, I might spend more time with my writing. So, I bought a new Apple laptop and I’ve been spending a couple hours a day on writing projects. I joined an OKC writer’s club and my first meeting is today. The future is looking bright, as they say.