Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lustful Eyes At Rice

Yesterday, I was actually in the neighborhood on business.  So I took a quick trip over to the Casita plant in the suburbs of beautiful Rice, Texas to check out the Don Pods on the lot and in the showroom.
Don Pods In A Cage!!

There they were, all in a row, in a cage!   I didn't ask what these particular Don Pods did to be locked up in time-out like this.   Sometime when teaching 5-year olds, I could have used a cage like this for a couple of them.  It would have come in handy after lunch for several of the second-graders!

Yes, Don Pods were everywhere.  I turned around and there were a bunch of Don Pods all in a row.  I guess these Don Pods were ready to go home with their new owner.  Each one had a different owner's name on the window sticker.
More Don Pods Ready To Go
It is true, they all look alike to the naked eye of the unbeliever.  It's kinda like church had to see it to believe it.  But when you get one home, you can personalize it and make it your own "pod away from home."

Suddenly I looked straight ahead and saw all of these Don Pods staring me in the face. They look so warm and welcoming, don't they?  The Don Pod may call you any night, any day.  In your heart you'll hear it call you, "Come away...come away." (Yeah...right!)
Don Pods Lined Up and Ready To Go
And all these Don Pods are waiting for the owner to come take them to RV freedom, to the lake or to the mountains...or even to sunny Sarasota!!
Don Pod...Take Me Away!
Yes it was worth another short trip to Rice, Texas to examine the Don Pods at their birth place.  There is peace in the world again!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Why Be Normal?

(This memo was supposed to be the second post.  But I changed my mind and made it the third post.)

So here are some thoughts about being unique.  This elaborates just a bit on post number two.

When I want to do something, make a purchase or do something I consider an important life change, I start with plenty of research before taking action. Then when I make my decision, it is almost always the correct choice. This questioning behavior  really annoys some people who do not like to be bothered. I know other people who will make a move or purchase with little if any research, then grumble when it is the wrong decision. And we have to listen to their grumbling. All they had to do was ask a few questions before buying the wrong car or buying the wrong house or making the wrong move or getting the wrong satellite dish or whatever.
City traffic is stressful.  After several years on the ground in Dallas, I realized I missed the road, getting away from city life and seeing the countryside.  So as usual, I began doing research and discovered three interesting RV clubs. I quickly joined the Good Sam Club and Escapees to read and learn what I could learn. I "researched" for several years before buying my '86 Argosy and I have enjoyed it since 1997. It was the right decision. When I bought the Argosy, I also joined the WBCCI, the Airstream club. Since I was not able to travel on any WBCCI caravans at all and because their magazine was little more than a schedule of rallies, I let that membership go after just a few years.  Had I kept up my WBCCI membership, it would be approaching fourteen years.
Why Be Normal?
Ya see, not everyone is "normal." Not everyone does things the same way.  Not everyone lives the "husband, wife, two kids" lifestyle. Not everyone even lives the house-in-the-suburbs lifestyle, although I did own a house in the suburbs at one point. Not everyone is married. Not everyone is even part of a couple. Not everyone has a "regular" nine-to-five job. Not everyone goes to work on Monday, works five days and takes off on weekends for camping trips. Not everyone lives the same normal "lifestyle" that the vast majority of Americans live.Not everyone has a spouse who works. Not everyone works fifty weeks a year, then takes a two week vacation to the mountains or to the beach, then returns home to start the cycle again.

You Don't Even Go To Rallies! 
I haven't even had a chance to go to any RV rallys at all except for a Region Nine WBCCI rally before I bought my Argosy. I don't do weekend trips now because I ALWAYS work weekends, two or three jobs. Monday has been my "day off" for several decades. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are my big workdays every week.

I am a musician, an entertainer, a teacher. I didn't choose it, it just happened that way. I have shared the stage with some of the greatest entertainers in America yet my family thinks I am going through a phase. It is difficult when people do not understand that some folks don't "fit" into life the way they do. My sweet Mom and Pop indulged all three of their sons, even when they did not completely understand.  But some of my family and friends think this RV lifestyle is a bit strange. 

Here's a thought for ya:  those who march to a different drummer are usually fairly content in their lifestyle, even if they live in an aluminum tube or a fiberglass egg.  Now where did I put that road map??

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You're Not Gonna Live In A Trailer For The Rest Of Your Life???

You're Not Gonna Live In A Trailer For The Rest Of Your Life???

"I didn't say that!!   I said, I'm gonna be a full-time RVer.  The rest of my life isn't here yet."

That is how most of my conversations became with relatives and friends who are not RVers.   They do not have a clue unless they are RVers.   Most people are "normal" complete with all the accoutrements, spouse, kids, house, mortgage, car-payments, etc.  I have never been quite normal.  A friend said I was a changeling.  A changeling is a infant born to the fairies then left under a stump in the forest.  Humans find the infant changeling and take it home to raise it as a normal human baby.  But the changeling is never really a "normal" human.   

Mom and Pop Visiting Yosemite Around 1990
My parents had a wonderful life of sixty-two years together.  They loved traveling in their Grand Marquis and staying in the local Holiday Inn or La Quinta.  But remember, they also raised a changeling son...little ole me!  Not everyone lives the traditional life with spouse, kids, etc.  Some people march to a different drummer...and enjoy it.   Not everyone has a 9-to-5 office job or wants one.  Not everyone wants to own a home or do yard work.  To some folks, relationships are very important, even more valuable than possessions.  Most of all, not everyone wants the same thing every day or every year.  Some folks enjoy change and adventure.  Some people enjoy the adventure of traveling to new places, seeing new things and meeting new people.

I have a brother whom I love.  But we are so different.  He has a beautiful home and yard.  His house looks like a photo-spread from Better Homes And Gardens magazine.  He loves his yard work and loves his immaculately decorated home.  And he doesn't like traveling.  On the other hand, I could be very happy traveling all across the USA, living in a different town each month!   Indeed, that sounds like a great way to enjoy life, especially when traveling in an RV.
My Sweet Mom Enjoying My Argosy in 1997
Around fifteen years ago in preparation for my new lifestyle, I had become a member of ESCAPEES and THE GOOD SAM CLUB, both RV clubs for serious RVers.  Escapees has a wonderful magazine with most articles written by Escapees members.  I photo-copied articles from the Escapees magazine about baby-boomers who are full-timing.  Thinking I could share my desires for travel, I gave the articles to my family members who usually responded with a puzzled look.  

I wasn't seeking their approval.  I only wanted them to have an idea of why I wanted to do this.  I also wanted them to know that other people, plenty of other people felt the same way.  No, they don't quite get what the changeling was trying to tell them.  

So I did it anyway.  I am happy and they still think I am a little nuts. 
Winter On Anna Maria Island January 2010
Winter In Dallas January 2011
Listen to me. If you are considering living an alternate lifestyle, the RV lifestyle, do not expect anyone in your family or broader circle of friends to "get it."  For the most part they will not understand what you are doing.  They will not get excited when you describe the procedure for dumping your tanks.  They are not thrilled by your 3-way refrigerator.  Nor are they as concerned about your anti-sway device as you seem to be.  Don't expect them to understand, because they never will.  

But I say to you...go ahead with your ideas.  Do your research, set your time goals and work your plan.  Don't be discouraged when they look like you have lost your mind.  You will find like minded people who have been there and done that.  They are the ones who will encourage you along the way.  From their experience, they can help you to avoid the pitfalls and have a better time.  
Wally Byam Caravan 1958
So I say, do it now.  Don't wait.  Adventure lies ahead and you don't want to miss it!  You are not getting any younger.  You can't take it with you.  Enjoy it while you can.  Take plenty of photos and keep a journal, even a blog to keep the memories fresh.  Do it now!  Don't wait!!