Several friends have been inquiring about how we’re doing and where we are. We are fine! We are healthy and for the time being, we’re hunkered down at Catalina Spa & RV Resort near Palm Springs, CA.
Lots of space at our RV resort right now. Canadians, mostly from B.C. and Alberta, have gone home.
I say ‘for the time being’ because the Stay-at-Home orders, first enacted by the states of California and New York (and followed by many others) have thrown a serious curve ball to the full time RVing community, folks who like us no longer have a sticks and bricks home to go to.
Stay-at-Home restrictions are left to interpretation by the hundreds of counties across the US. As a result, most national parks, state park campgrounds as well as many private RV parks have shut down because “camping” is perceived by people outside of our lifestyle as a non-essential activity—something one does on vacation for a limited time—thus discounting the nearly 2 million of us whose ‘home’ is on wheels.
At the time of this writing, there is a lot of confusion in our community.
Some people have been forced to leave due to campground shutdowns and are roaming to find a safe place. Lists of ‘open campgrounds’ have been hastily drawn and posted on Facebook and elsewhere in an effort to help people settle somewhere safe.
We are certainly grateful to the various RV industry associations and social clubs that are lobbying government bodies to keep campgrounds open. They have been explaining that social distancing is actually quite easy to practice in the confines of one’s rig! We’re all safely distanced anyway, whether hooked up to power, water and sewer on a campground site or boondocking on BLMs!
Generally speaking, we’ve been staying away from checking up on ‘the news’ every hour of the day—which only emboldens the sense of panic and fear. My sanity depends on keeping calm. I remind myself of our slogan since becoming full time nomads… “It’s all part of the adventure” and roll with it. I recall our parents and grandparents telling stories about life during WWII, the rationed items, the uncertainty. Then came post-war boomer years… and life went on from there. This is now WWIII, with the enemy on our doorsteps this time (and not in far away lands) and our soldiers on the front line are doctors, nurses and emergency care staff, for the most part working with inadequate equipment and risking their lives to save ours.
When this is all over—and it will be over one day—everyone will have a story-to-tell about “where they were when”, sort of the same thing as 9/11, another life changing tragedy. As in any dire situations, a sense of humour must prevail. It’s good to notice life little ironies. Here are a few of mine so far—do let me know of yours…
- The original topic for this blog post (which I had begun writing in late February) was about ‘staying put’ in one place, a different experience for us. A longer stay and calmer lifestyle (traveling can be hectic) allowed us to forge relationships and habits in a new community. For the past few weeks ‘staying put’ has acquired a totally different connotation… we are staying here in our ‘winter quarters’ to weather the corona virus storm, which means we may end up staying here throughout the summer months!
It’ll be hot but hey there are worse places…!
- Just when RVers are stranded ‘home’, unable to travel, fuel prices have dropped! That is cruel and unusual punishment!!!
- Everything is squeaky clean… starting with hands and faces, anything that looks remotely like a hard surface, digital devices, keyboards… these are items that we should keep clean at all times, but let’s face it, we don’t do as often as we should. Well, now we sure are! I even ‘learned’ how to wash my hands à la World Health Organization. Look it up on You Tube… you’ll see what I mean!
- We’ve come to appreciate the unappreciated… toilet paper, tissues, paper towel, sanitizer, wipes, aloe, soap. I never thought I would ‘panic’ at the thought of missing out on toilet paper (which should be of a special ‘quick dissolve’ type, never on regular grocery store shelves to begin with).
- Btw, as much as I usually dislike queueing up to get inside a grocery store, I must admit what a unexpected pleasure it is to shop in near empty aisles once inside!
- We spend less! No more visits to Starbucks or a quick lunch somewhere have much reduced our spending. We miss the social interaction to be sure, but our wallet is happier for it.
- I love the new social salutations… elbow or foot bump, or just a quick bow. At this time, Japan has one of the lowest incidence of corona virus cases in the world. Scientists are wondering if the Japanese normal greeting practices of bowing at a fair distance could be one of the reasons (or else, they’ve been extremely lucky!)
- This may be the most bizarro of ironic experiences… We found ourselves in the middle of our visit to Toronto to meet our 4-month old granddaughter when borders shut down between Canada and the US. So, as good Americans that we are, we headed back home as soon as we could (about 5 days ahead of our original return date). The Air Canada direct flight between Toronto and Palm Springs had a total of 7 passengers in a large Airbus 319 aircraft.
Even in ‘normal’ times, our lifestyle is a marginal one at best. When walking away from the mainstream, the highs are very high, and the lows can be quite low. It’s a bit of a roller coaster… with the unpredictable far exceeding the predictable. The advent of this virus has simply intensified this lifestyle but we’re well prepared for it. Home and a sense of belonging is and shall remain located inside Mr. Bond, our 200 square feet motorhome!
Keep safe wherever you are! Live by Carpe Diem… make the most of the present time while the future is still uncertain. Do a little fishing or a little hiking or biking, whatever strikes your fancy. Life does go on and deserves to be enjoyed! We’ve been chasing elusive road runners and marveling at desert flowers. Those small pleasures are still out there. I’m thinking that Seattle cherry trees must be splendid right about now! Go out and enjoy while keeping your distance from other people of course!
(Please, go ahead and use the comment button to let me know how you’re doing.