I have discovered a major downside to my new carefree lifestyle. A dear friend back in Virginia has been dealing with a husband who has been fighting a major illness, and I can’t be there to help her. Another friend’s husband is undergoing surgery for cancer soon. And I can’t be there to support her.
I can call them. Write emails and texts. Be available with open ears and heart. But I cannot drive my little house back up north until the potential for ice and snow is past. I cannot be there, at least not during the cold winter months.
Then I have to wonder what would happen if my son or another family member–all of whom live in northern climes–has some kind of emergency? I suppose I would find a kennel for Dawny, park my rig somewhere safe, and take a flight to go help. It would be very hard being away from Dawny and our little house, though. And expensive.
This is a challenge faced by anyone who moves away from family and friends, not just someone who has swapped the stability of a long-time home for the fluidity of life on the road. And even if we stay put, friends move, family members move. Children grow up and move on with their own lives. Sometimes those we love the most are the furthest out of reach. And they live next door.
I have no answers to any of this right now. I can only hope that if and when something happens that requires me to travel, that it waits until warmer weather. And if it doesn’t wait, then I will deal with that when I must.
Meanwhile, I am grateful for new friends I am making here in my winter campground. Tonight my house door locked by itself when I went outside briefly for something (the gremlins are back!!). My keys, my purse, my phone, my doggie–everything was inside. Heavy rains started coming through, and the Friday jam session was underway.
My best dog-walking friend (she has a sweet little puffball of a doggie) got drenched with me as we sought help and made calls to Roadside Assistance. Before they came, she found a fellow camper who works for an RV shop and possesses a magic key ring full of master keys. Wallah! Success! Access!
It sure is nice to have people watching out for you. Near and far. And when we are too far from each other to be of immediate help, it is not all that uncommon to find another gem of a friend nearby. We just need to look. To be open. To be grateful.
(Picture is of a Trumpet Lily transplanted to the edge of the swamp behind the campground by my friend’s husband a few years ago. My friend and her dog welcome newcomers and help new doggies and their people get comfortable and acclimated. Dawny and I love our walks with them!)