Friday, April 10, 2020

During the Virus Posting

April 10, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

For a couple years before going fulltime in the RV I started reading blogs of those who had been traveling for years and others who were just getting ready like we were. Lots of different experiences, but all in similar circumstances. We were all in the US, and all excited about the amazing freedom of living on the road. Lots of adventures and lots of plans.

So different from today. 

Over the last 18 months there were already a lot of changes for many of us. Two couples have moved their travels to RVing in Europe. Two couples have sold their rigs and moved into permanent sticks and bricks again. Some of us have purchased properties for winter or summer bases. A couple already had bases they maintained after hitting the road. Only a few are still RVing fulltime. Most of us are still blogging :-)

We've shared so much over the years beyond just our travels. Weddings, new grand and great-grandchildren, deaths of family, friends and furbabies, retirements and new jobs, and lots of other life experiences. We've enjoyed wonderful meetups all over the country as well as "copied" routes that we learned from each other. 

And now we have very different blog posts. I'm grateful that everyone is still sharing their experiences, keeping us all "in the loop" on how our new normal is being played out in their lives. I'm grateful for the comments on all our blogs from others checking in. 

Again (or still) we have a variety of experiences under similar circumstances. Those in Europe and Canada remind us that the whole world is impacted by COVID-19. Those still fulltiming are faced with very new challenges finding safe and long-term answers to staying home. And certainly those of us who now (or already had) have a stationary house are grateful for the unexpected value of safe and permanent. 

All of us have cancelled, altered, postponed and lost months of planned routes. Some remain optimistic that some summer travel will still be possible, others like us have decided to transfer all of this year's plans to next year. The exception for us is we haven't cancelled our September houseboat trip on Lake Powell. I'm sure there are other exceptions as well.

In the meantime we continue to enjoy our desert with the added bonus of a little boy and his parents. Being told "I love you Nawma!" and "You're my best friend PopPop!" certainly make up for a lot of postponed adventure :-)))

Unlike the deserts to the north of us, our wildflowers are slow in coming.

The power of the sidewalk chalk!

Keeping the bird bath full of water.

Checking out the Sycamore's new sprouts.
I'm still deciding if reading my posts from past years is encouraging (we will return to the road eventually), or just depressing (it's hard knowing I can't yet make plans). Certainly I'm happy that I and my fellow bloggers have captured both our amazing past travels and our current surreal experiences that we can all access whenever we want!

In addition to traveling fulltime, all of us agree that the friends we've made through our blogs has been a wonderful bonus of this life. I feel a continued, even enhanced, connection with my blogging buddies and our readers through this crisis, giving me incentive to keep posting!

Everyone be safe, stay home, remain positive - and definitely keep posting, reading and commenting!!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Considering Freedom

April 4, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

And I thought having a winter home base was weird!

This new reality is beyond strange. For so many reasons.

We have a lot of saved TV programs and watching pre-Corona commercials highlights just how different our world is now. Car and furniture advertisements - we used to be able to stroll through all the choices and buy them! Drug commercials - are people able to get their prescriptions mailed, or is it safe to visit a physician to get new ones? Fortunately we personally are able to do the former, and hopefully the latter won't be necessary for a long time. Restaurants, new movies in theatres, concert tours, and sporting events - we certainly spent (or had the opportunity to spend) a lot of time in crowds of others. It's a wonder this pandemic didn't happen sooner. And of course all those online dating sites - people still have the online access, but that "getting to know you from afar" stage is going to be much longer now!!

In our post-Corona world commercials are much more limited. And sensitive to our new reality. No bears singing about how their "hinies clean" since we can't find toilet paper! Of any brand!

We're enjoying our sunsets and wide open spaces, continuing to be grateful for where we've so recently landed. Having Ezra and his parents here is an added blessing, time we've been given that would not have happened otherwise. 

A rare red sky over Sheepshead in the Dragoon Mountains.

Sure glad we got a big recliner!

Building with Daddy.

The big bubble wrap is always more fun than whatever was in the box.

Asking the ants where they're going.

Enjoying quiet cuddle time.
Making mud prints is good clean fun! All gone the next day.

TV watching buddies.
One warm evening sans wind, PopPop builds us a fire to enjoy in the setting sun. Dinosaur beans for dinner and marshmallows for dessert make for a perfect outdoor evening.

Ezra prefers his own plank chair by the fire.
Soon it's his outdoor bed. Less appealing when the sun went down :-)
People have already started asking "What's the first thing you want to do when this is over?" You know who is asked that question?  Prisoners. 

Which brings home the reality of what all of us have temporarily lost. Our freedom. We're staying safe and are able to get food and basic supplies. Many are still fully employed, and either staying at home or performing essential services. We can still do a lot.

But we can't do everything we want to. Can't go anywhere we want - can't go most public places. Can't see our friends. Can't see our family. Can't buy everything we want even though we might have the money. We just can't.

In some large cities, in counties and states, people are fined or arrested for violating sheltering in place rules. Some European countries require permits for leaving home, and those are only given for specific reasons. 

And we have no release date. Freedom will return in the future, but we don't know when. Unsettling at the very least.

If you've visited the Japanese Internment Camp, Manzanar, in the Eastern Sierras of California you may have thought - wow, "they" didn't have it so bad. Food, shelter (inadequate, but shelter), education, entertainment, security, gardens, weddings and births, stores, even a newspaper.  Beautiful, natural surroundings.

But they didn't have their freedom. And they didn't know how long it would be before they did. It mattered a lot.

Our situation isn't as extreme and everything we own wasn't taken from us, but it does raise the issue of how completely unreal this is for all of us who have never experienced a lack of freedom (since we moved out of our parents' home). And how much it matters.

On top of the fear of the actual virus for those most at risk, and the hit on individual finances, this impact on our freedom takes its toll. Some are resentful, some look for answers to the "when" question to lessen their stress, and still others are rebellious to the detriment of everyone's health.

I don't imagine I'm the only one considering what freedom really means, along with all the things most important to us. I'm confident we'll get through this and regain all we enjoyed "before". We'll be grateful for our simple freedoms.