Monday, August 16, 2010

The Times, They are a -changing

Do you feel it too? There is a shift going on among our fellow RV bloggers.

Bruce and Margie are feeling a coming change in their relationship with family as their "Grands" are growing up.

Joy and Phil are taking a one-year-plus break from their traveling while remodeling a new nest for themselves.

Mike and Ms Pat are building a summer cabin in Custer, South Dakota, and have sold their fifth wheel and it's puller.

Even Al and Kelly up in Bayfield, Ontario, are unsure about this winter's travel, as Al's Uncle Harry and Kelly's Dad are aging.

The times, they are sure a-changing. And how about Jerry and Suzy?  With some health problems, we have slowed down, although we are anxious to get out again next year. And yes, we did buy a park trailer for our lot, and we did have our casita remodeled.

We've been pondering this situation for a few months now, and are ready to talk it out among our family and friends. Family has already had a chance to weigh in, and they'll have more to say, and now we'll give you a chance to hear our thinking. We first wrote this back in May, and have made a few alterations for this post.

We called it "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions:"

Suzy and I have been having an ongoing discussion for the past several months. Most RVers need to come to grips with an "exit strategy," how, when, if, and to what degree to get off the road, "hang up the keys." Most of these two years we have stuck pretty close to home with Suzy's medical situation, and additionally this year my knee.

My knee is getting better after the surgery, but Suzy's spine? That's going to be the big issue. It's not getting better. Although she is getting bi-monthly epidural injections for pain, the period of effective help is getting shorter and shorter. Spinal surgery? Out of the question. Yes, there is physical therapy that gives some relief, but that can't go on all the rest of our lives.

We have found a possible way to travel and get Suzy's epidural shots on the road; it would take careful planning months in advance, but it could be done. But, if the effective relief is getting more short-lived each time, that may not be enough for any long-term RVing.

So we are discussing the spectrum of possibilities. At the "exciting" end is getting things so well under control that next year we can get back on the road and tour the country, visiting our family and then heading east to visit all the states we've missed (the entire eastern seaboard). We also have a dream to visit the Maritime Provinces as well as other Canadian provinces. That's a pipe dream as far as we can tell right now.

The other end of the spectrum is to simply hang up the keys after this year's fall trip to Nevada and California to visit our family.

We'd still expect to be able to take some two to four week trips within a pretty close distance from home and doctor.

Reality will probably be somewhere close to the latter end of the spectrum.

So how will that affect us? Are we prepared? We are OK financially. In fact, driving the motorhome all over the country costs money. Staying home less so. Our home here is pretty much complete, with the trailer in place, the casita finished, and the yard just needs periodic maintenance. Socially we're in pretty good shape here. We have a lot of friends, there's plenty to do in the park most of the year, we're active in Chapter 21, and if we know we are going to be here most of the time, we'll be more active in our church.

Emotionally we aren't ready to hang up the keys. There's a lot of country we want to see, there's a big case of hitch itch to be scratched. Our bucket list is still pretty long. And there's a lot of catching up to do with family that won't be satisfied by our trip this fall, which will have to be shorter than we'd prefer.

Hanging up the keys, whether partially or completely, is going to be a gut-wrenching decision. But it's a decision WE have to make before the State or an accident makes the decision for us. The question is ... when... not if.

We have what we need to live our lives. We will adapt and adjust, whatever the decision. We want to discuss this with our family some more and do a lot of praying over it. We need to consider every option, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and so on.

So that's what we're looking at in this stage of ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Jerry, this post is something we will all be writing about at some point. You have addressed your concerns thoroughly and it seems like you and Suzy have an idea of what needs to be done. Taking a bit of time to make the final decision on this issue is the best way to go (in my humble opinion). I wish you lots of luck in figuring this all out. I'm sure you will do the right thing for matter what it is.

    Thanks for the mention on your blog!

  2. You guys are doing the best thing... talking over the choices, bouncing them around and including family members in the loop for different thoughts. It "ain't" easy but I know after all the thoughts, talks and prayers, you will make the right choice. We all will face this sometime too.
    Whatever the decision will be remember all the things you have done and all the different things you can still do... maybe a little differently.
    Good luck with your decision and know we are thinking of you guys.
    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri

  3. I agree with Margie - you seem to be tying to cover all the bases. And yes, we all come to that point where we have to change our lifestyle to one of less mobility. That is probably the most difficult choice for most of us who have the gypsy in our souls. Good luck to you.

  4. Sounds like you have some major decsions to make..we wish you luck as you figure things out!

  5. What a thorough job the two of you have done in thinking out your possible future plans. Of course you are not ready to decide anything right now, and you have your trip to Nevada and California to look forward to. That trip may help you with your decisions. But, as Margie said, it's something we all (even we part-timers) will have to eventually face.

    Thank you for letting us in on your thought process.

  6. It's a difficult decision to be sure. One's health, it seems, must be the number one concern for all of us. It's good that you've been giving this matter the thought and consideration it deserves. We'll be watching to see what, and how, you decide what to do in the future.

  7. Good job of putting your thoughts on paper Jerry. All this has gotten a little stressful for me.. things are just happening mighty fast....I need to slow down, I can't even think anymore... I guess our father has it all under control, I'll just have to learn to relax and let it happen. What ever it be! Cheers to you two!

  8. It seems the topic, 'hanging up the keys' is one that is not easily or readily discussed in the RV community. Just as aging & death are skirted around in everyday society, so is 'end of days' for RVing. It was good of you to post the subject & bring up another reality aspect of the RV lifestyle. You guys will do whatever it is you have to do when the time comes. And, as those days approach for the rest of us we will all approach the 'end of days' with our own set of circumstances & knowledge of those who have gone before us.

  9. Margie said it best - we'll all come up against this decision sooner or later. Don's recent accident has kept us in one place longer than we wanted, but we know he'll recover and we'll be traveling again. But we have a long-term plan to gradually stay off the road for longer periods and eventually hang up the keys. You and Suzy always look at all aspects of big decisions, and I know you'll make the right one for you. Thanks for bringing up this inevitable 'passage' that all of us will eventually face.

  10. Boy, you hit the nail on the head...for all of us..My only regret is that we didn't start this adventure of RVing sooner..We have only been doing this for 7 years, part time...So far, we are pretty healthy, but we never know when we could hit a brick wall...It's really good to discuss it together and weigh the options...Our Uncle Jr. said it best..."My brain knows what my legs should be doing, but my legs won't listen"...and so it can happen to any of us...I'm sure you will find a solution just right for you and Suzy....Good Karma coming your way!!

  11. Certainly tough questions and ones that will take a lot of thought. We have barely started our fulltime life but there are always medical questions that make us think "what if". As Canadians we have a great medical system but to access it we need to stay home, and that does bring up the ugly subject of winter, not really a great time to spend in an RV, even over there with Rick on Vancouver Island.


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