So…it’s a new chapter in life, and we’re deciding what we’ll do with the rest of it. One night, when we knew that it was time to move on from where we’d been working and living for the past 4+ years, we lay in bed, discussing possibilities.
As children of the 60s, we may have looked a little like our bearded and bell bottomed generation, but we’d missed out on the majority of the Hippie, turn-on, tune-in, drop-out counter culture. No drugs, no communes. Instead of “Blowin’ In the Wind,” we’d married at 18, bought a farm a few years later, raised our children, made a life among our extended families. In our heart of hearts, we may have longed for the open roads from time to time, but we chose a settled life and maintained a strong family tether.
We got about as close as we dared to an adventure by moving to Arizona in 1986. No one on either side of our families had ever left the family fold and relocated so far away. My mother decided our Ryder truck was “sort of” akin to a covered wagon and felt really fortunate that we now had a telephone to communicate. Keep in mind – this was pre-cell phone and internet. A conversation cost 35 cents per minute and email was a decade off. My computer was a dedicated word processor with an amber screen.
And now, in the 21st century…we feel like we’ve suddenly turned a corner, and it’s here – retirement!
“How about if we just train for a few weeks, load up a backpack and start walking across America,” I enthused, remembering the book by Peter Jenkins I’d read back in the 70’s. Larry reminded me of my knees (those two joints in the middle of my legs that the doctor swears will soon have to be replaced) and I reluctantly agreed, maybe that wasn’t the wisest choice.
“Well, we could always do bicycles,” I said, “that’s supposed to strengthen your knees!” The look on my husband’s face told me that idea, too, was a no-go. However, I did notice a slight flicker of interest at motorcycles, until he mentioned camping outside…in the rain…the hard ground…the heat….then he’d lost me.
“I’ve got it!” I gushed. “A VW bus! We always wanted to have one in the 60s, but we never got one. Why not now?” Yes! We agreed. That’s it. Let’s finally get one! We’d paint it some funky colors, invite everyone we met to sign it with a black marker and, for good measure, stick on a few big yellow and white daisies. We’ll make it a camper and just travel. It will be a riot! How fun! What a conversation starter!
Children of the 60s, yes, but we’ve kept up with the trends, so EBay and Google came up immediately. After a few days of grinning and reliving our wanna-be past, reality set in.
“Do you know how much these things cost?” Larry asked me after perusing several hundred Google pages of Vanagons. “And we’d still have to sleep on a hard bed, cook on a camp stove and not be able to stand up in the vehicle!” Reluctantly, I agreed.
“They sure are a lot smaller than I remembered,” I noted. Agreed.
“I don’t know about you,” he said, “but I prefer a motor home. Besides, you get cranky in a small space.” Agreed.
So…a motor home it is. We may be children of the long-haired sixties, but our bones and buttocks are now decades past their prime, and, let’s face it, most of society considers us way north of a mid-life crises. We’re (sort of) old!
But, Adventure it is. Yes! We’re off on a great one, and you’re invited. We’ll update the blog every couple days and share our journey with you.
We’re “Getting’ Our Kicks”, and you can travel with us. Along the way, we’ll:
- Share a few thoughts, photos and introduce ourselves to you.
- Take you along the Original Rt. 66 from Santa Monica to Chicago.
- Meet the man who “re-birthed” the Mother Road in Arizona and gave Larry a haircut
- Travel, explore, experiment with writing, photography and video and get better at what we love and do best.
- Make new friends.
- Recommend fun places to visit as you wander.
- Visit the Grand Canyon.
- Hike and drive the “Bi-ways (yes, we know it’s misspelled) and Back Roads of Arizona.”
- Discover our ancestry in Connecticut (Larry’s traced his all the way back to the 1400s in Great Bentley, Essex in England) and Ohio Amish Country of the 1700s.
- Photograph the fall colors in New England.
- I want to collect and write stories. Everyone has an interesting life – whether most consider it ordinary, bizarre or astonishing.
- Share tips and recipes we gather along the way.
- And…We’ve Only Just Begun…who knows where it will end, that’s half the fun!
We’ll see you on the Road!
P.S. Check out our links (as we add them) where you’ll find things like money saving/earning tips, travel advice or products and procedures we’ve tried and loved.