Sometimes life gives you exactly what you need. I have honestly spent a lot of time crying in the last few weeks because Kenny and I got it into our heads that we were going to just do it –Sell our new house, get an RV and just live free on the road.
I was looking around my house trying to figure out what I could and could not bring, and all of you who know me know that my life is a holiday and I’m not kidding when I say that. My home is like a store that changes the window with each holiday and I have had 56 years of collecting things which I proudly display, from vintage post cards to my painted furniture which I price so high so I don’t have to part with any of it. So when I tell you I kept crying and felt very confused and between dreams, I mean it.
Kenny and I just moved into our dream home. The perfect size, on the water, with a pool, in a beautiful neighborhood that’s NOT an HOA, with great neighbors. We have the Met’s Spring Training at Tradition Field a hop-skip-and-a-jump away, as well as the most beautiful Bathtub Beach and Tuesday Night Tacos, what more could anyone need? Oh, and we both, miraculously have decent jobs –Kenny is the cable guy (to the Met’s haha) and I am a substitute teacher at a local school. So there you have it. Kenny retired early in years so it’s not been easy since you’re not allowed to touch your money until you’re close to 60 and every time you do the Government gets a cut…he’s only 53 (yeah, I married a younger guy lol). Neither of us collect Social Security yet so our income is what he gets from his pension and though it’s very nice it’s not enough to stand alone as a salary so we were going to work from the road thinking I would sell on eBay and we would begin our up-and-coming new venture –selling Organic Gardening Devices for RVers, Apartment Dwellers and people with little place for a garden (but that’s a story for another time…..), also, I sell plantable seed paper and it is possible to do that from the road but no guarantee. We were spending days and nights picking out possible RV’s, went in person to see some for sale on craigslist, and even went to an RV show to get up-close-and-personal with some of those we fancied in YouTube’s which we watched deep into the night. We were planning our big adventure though all my tears….
And then suddenly, I met a man who gave me sage advice…. What’s amazing to me is that through our conversation, and I never asked his name, he had he said to me “They had even written an article about me before he hit the road, I was famous!”, and this morning I searched the internet and FOUND IT! (you gotta love the internet!)
It was our first time attending Met’s spring training at Tradition Field and as we drove up to the field we spied that there were lots of people and cars there before us. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were excited. I remember looking around for a parking spot and the first thing I noticed was an RV which I remembered in my research to be a Class C and it was called a SunSkeeter –somehow when you’re looking for something you start to notice them everywhere 🙂 Lo and behold, while hanging out to get ready to watch the Met’s train, I met a weathered older man with a great smile sitting in what looked like his favorite camping chair. He started talking to me about how he was from Maine but he loved the Met’s and loved coming to spring training every year and that he lived on that RV over there….. The SunSkeeter.
So now I got all excited and started to ask him a million questions about what it was like living on the road and he proceeded to tell me his life story. Everything from having Cancer and two major surgeries right before hitting the road to how much he loved his cat that traveled with him. I kept asking questions and he kept answering….. Where does he stay? Is it expensive to live on the road? Does he boondock or stay at places where he pays a fee? and on and on…. He told me about his travels, where he had been and what his original purpose of going on the road was “to find the perfect retirement place to spend the rest of his life”.
I was taken aback by all his information. I told him our plan to sell the house we just moved to but that we were worried if our income was enough to sustain being on the road. I told him about our jobs and our home and how we had just moved here and that this was our first time ever at Spring Training. I told him our ages and how worried we were about whether or not we could actually afford to live month to month but that I was trying to figure out ways to make an income on the road….. and he looked at me and he said “The road it not what it used to be, it is a very dark place”. And I looked at him to ask why he said this….
He told me about how there are people who don’t mean well out there and how you have to protect yourself. He told me about the places where he stayed and how to work out places to stay and get showers and how he had met lots of wonderful people who respected him and gave him the things he needed when he asked, but still, underlying, there were people and places you had to worry about and that the road had changed since he first got on it in 2013.
Now the advice he gave me was something I never expected to hear. He told me that we should do it and that it was the best experience of his life and he was having a great time but that we should wait until we are older and are collecting Social Security so that we have a better income. But what he said after this really hit home…. He told me that we both had pretty decent jobs and were lucky to have them and that we sounded like we had a beautiful new home. But it was what he said next that really blew me away, he told me that he had been everywhere in this country, drove thousands of miles, crossed many things off his bucket list, and of all the places in the entire country that the best place to live was right where I was standing, Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce. That it was the perfect place to live with the best of everything from fishing to weather to the people….and I should probably not want to leave it too quickly.
Sometimes….you get just exactly what you need. He dried up my tears and when I went back home I somehow appreciated it even more than I already had. Kenny too. Kenny and I still have this dream of living on the road –and after announcing what we were doing we learned that it was also the dream of so many of our friends!– but we’ll put it off for now…wait until we are older and more financially secure and perhaps by then I’ll be ready to give up my stuff. He also told me to start getting rid of my stuff little by little so it would not be so hard for me down the road to living on the road, so I’ve begun doing that and I have started going through my things and getting rid of some of my stuff on ebay.
I’m ever grateful to this man who had no name until I found him on the internet today. The man with the SunSkeeter with the lived-in smile and the sun-kissed skin in his comfortable camping chair who touched my life in so many ways 🙂 Thank you.