Well, this toon by Clint Norrell is certainly representative of how most of us must feel by now. Putting 2020 in our rear view mirror and heading into 2021 – hopeful for a return to the simpler times we all know and want so badly. I for one certainly would like to get back to my nomadic lifestyle and pick up where I left off in my travels. Let’s hope 2021 gets us most of the way there, so that in the spring of 2022, I can resume my cross country trek to see old friends and to experience all this wonderful country has to offer. In the meantime, I’ll continue to hunker down here at the Florida home base, and enjoy the leisure lifestyle of a more semi-permanent full time RVer. December was a great month for celebrating Christmas and attending virtual gatherings, with a mix of local exploration and project updates. So, let’s get into what has happened during the month of December.
What’s Happening at Home Base
A few interesting items to report from here at home base. First, I’ve been blessed with other visitors besides the Sand Hill Cranes – notably a couple visits by a variety of Ibis, to include some American and Australian Whites, and the Glossy varieties. They are cool looking birds that plunge their long pointy bills into the ground slurping up who know what. It is said that they are effective in improving the arrogation of the soil, which makes sense since they leave behind a bunch of tiny holes in the soil and grass. They are certainly fun to watch.
The other excitement I’ve noticed here in the community recently was the arrival and placement of a shiny brand new Park Model RV into an open waterfront RV spot. I believe this is a natural transition for an RV lot when the nomadic travel ends. In fact, I see myself possibly doing this as well. These park models are towed like a travel trailer, but usually only one time, and then setup on a permanent basis. Once delivered, the front hitch component, along with the wheels and axels are removed, and the home leveled and rested on a cinderblock pier foundation. The accommodations differ from an RV in that they would have standard residential appliances (fridge, stove/oven), a central split and ducted AC unit, and most importantly, would have standard residential water flushing toilets that dump directly into the sewer facility, and not into a holding tank which must then later be drained and rinsed. I like the particular style and size of this park model, and believe a similarly configured unit would be well suited on my RV lot someday. But, I’m getting ahead of myself as I’m certainly no where near ready to give up the RV, and the associated freedom of travel that it offers. But, someday!
The last item to report is I’ve finally rid myself of the useless, peeling double recliner setup in the RV. Being solo most of the time, having a double recliner was pointless. Add to that the fact that the cheap vinyl covering was beginning to split, crack, and peel, making it due time to rid myself of this setup. I also hated having to use a TV Tray so that I had something to rest my coffee and/or meal on. So off I went to a bunch of furniture stores in search of something better. One of those stores was actually a furniture consignment shop where I located this Haverty Walden recliner beauty! Once paired up with a nice side table and lamp, it was a total remodel. Now I’ve got something comfy and practical, with a covering that should long outlive the RV.
Merry Virtual Christmas
It was a very merry virtual Christmas this year, and in the absence of actually being there, the virtual element was absolutely the next best thing. So, from the comfy confines of my yuletide-decorated RV, I enjoyed spending upwards of six hours online with my daughters and grands on Christmas morning. I got to see them digging through their stockings for their small Santa delivered holiday treasures, as well as several sessions of present openings, separated by food and or bathroom breaks. It was a wonderfully, sometimes chaotic, view into the eyes of the young on Christmas morning. It truly was the next best thing to being there.
The other remote event that I participated in was a virtual cooking session hosted by Mike and Helen, my brother and sister-in-laws. They provided a shopping list and preparatory steps in advance, with emphasis on being sure to get our pre-show homework completed (cooking some bacon, chopping up some herbs, etc.). With that, the cooking commenced as a half dozen of us, each in our own physical kitchens but connected virtually through Zoom, did our best to follow the lead of our virtual head chef as he walked us through preparing an amazing meal. This gastric festival consisted of Shrimp Louie Salad, Medley of Roasted Vegetables, Jumbo Lump Crabcakes, and for dessert, Apple Tarte Tatin. It was an absolute blast working through the roughly ninety minutes of prep and cooking, after which we all got to share a virtual meal together. What an absolutely amazing way to share some holiday time together, to learn some cool cooking techniques, and to have a superb meal at the end. I truly appreciate being invited to participate, and was proud of the fact that I could prepare a five-star meal in an RV kitchen. Who knew?
Finally, I thought I’d share a few memes that are representative of a Florida and/or RV Christmas. A tree made up of RV is certainly representative of the Christmas season in an RV. Having sunshine, palm trees, and beach sand are certainly all things associated with Christmas in Florida. Actually, I remember my mother when she lived in Florida used to put Christmas lights on her artificial palm tree in her condo, noting it was a Florida Christmas tree! Too funny. Lastly, there is the quandary of how Santa delivers his gifts to those who domicile in an RV. For sure there are no chimneys, so Santa is left to his wisdom and skills to get those presents into those homes on wheels. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to how he actually does it!
Before I get to my final thoughts, I wanted to recognize the wonderful holiday talents of my two daughters. Samantha loves photography, video, and all aspects of post production. She did a terrific job photographing and assembling this wonderful and funny holiday montage. She definitely has a keen eye for photos. Then, my other daughter Ashley shares a picture of a gift she made using wine corks. Truly Amazing! It reportedly took several hundred corks, tons of hot glue, and upwards of six hours to complete. It really turned out incredible. Well done both of you!
Lastly, I’m thankful that my RV got me through another year of full time living, despite the fact that I resided in a significantly reduced number of places this year. I look forward to a new New Year, with hopes and dreams of a better, safer life for all of us. Let’s be done with this damn pandemic, and get back to the many offerings life brings us. Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful New Year, and I look forward to returning to getting out there to visit many of you in person soon. Till then, be safe, and safe travels.