Monthly Archives: March 2020

Winter Wrap-Up

Up until March, our winter season was going beautifully. We found a wonderful winter home at Recreation Plantation. It was everything we hoped for: plentiful activities, friendly residents, and nice weather. (I’ll do my official campground review later.)

I would estimate that about 2/3 of the park sites are occupied by “permanent” units, either park models or trailers that stay year-round. A small cadre of residents are year-round, but most are snowbirds that migrate with the seasons. A majority appear to be from the Midwest, with a smattering from Canada and elsewhere. An overflowing  calendar of activity options facilitated integration into the community. We quickly made friends and established a daily/weekly rhythm. I felt entirely at home.

One new hobby I picked up here is Swedish weaving. Also known as “huck weaving”, the craft involves weaving designs with either yarn or thread onto an even weave fabric such as monks cloth or aida fabric. It’s not new, but is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Having done handicrafts of various types for years, it was easy for me to learn. Once you learn the basics, the possibilities are really endless. I’ve been making table runners and placemats for family members (since I don’t have any place in the motorhome to use for myself!)

Another true pleasure was finding a place to sing again. A good friend from South Florida (now living in this area) invited me to her church. She introduced me to her choir director and the next thing I knew, 2 fat binders of sheet music and rehearsal schedule were thrust into my hands. I was immediately embraced into the alto section, and within weeks I was also involved in a smaller women’s ensemble, sang in a trio, and performed as a substitute hand bell choir ringer. I didn’t realize just how much I had missed singing in a group and making beautiful music. Singing in the choir has been such a blessing to me.

The mega-retirement Villages community is literally next door, which provides a huge variety of dining, shopping and entertainment options. We got hooked on $5 movie Tuesdays, along with happy hour and free bands at the Village squares. Cart/bike paths stretch for miles along scenic green space. It was idyllic.

Until March. When everything abruptly shut down to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. No more theater or entertainment. No choir or church. No shopping, except for essentials. No restaurants. We get out and walk or bike on the paths, and shop for groceries as needed, but otherwise mainly hang around the bus. At least my Swedish weaving projects are coming along nicely!

We are packing up to head North first thing in the morning. We’ve already had to adjust our plans, canceling the planned Hilton Head Island stay. Everything is closed, so there’s no point in going there. We are headed straight up toward Greensboro, near our son. However, we may not be able to see him there. He is still working and his significant other is a medical resident, working in the hospital on the front lines of this pandemic. They don’t want to risk exposing us. For me, that’s the hardest part of dealing with this situation.

We’re currently booked to stay in Mebane NC for a month. We’ll reassess in a few weeks and adjust our plans as needed. It’s possible we may just have to hunker down there until this pandemic cycles through. The campground itself isn’t fancy, but it is in a rural area and an easy place to self-isolate …. for a while.

Stay healthy, my friends!

Looking back …. and ahead

looking back aheadOur time at Recreation Plantation is nearly finished! Our 5-month winter stay has gone by so quickly, it’s hard to believe we are already in mid-March.

I’ve posted a 2019 travel summary under the “Our Travels” tab. Last year offered a more relaxed style of travel. We drove fewer miles and stayed longer. We were able to spend a lot of quality time with friends and family. Our warranty issues were solved during service work at both Spartan and Entegra. We explored new parks and landed in a great spot for the winter season. There were a few challenges last year, including dealing with repairs from a fire at our beloved Gatlinburg cabin, and an invasion of stupid stinkbugs! While the bus was parked at our winter spot, we traveled back to South Florida in November, flew home for Christmas, drove up to our cabin in January (to complete repairs) and even went on a February week-long Southern Caribbean cruise with my sister! It was a great year.

But now the world has changed. We’re in the midst of an evolving public health crisis as the Covid-19 virus spreads throughout our communities. Activities in our area have been almost entirely shut down – no exercise classes, theaters, or church services. Stores are stripped of cleaning wipes and, of all things, toilet paper. It feels like hurricane prep mania, without knowing when/where the hurricane will hit or how big it will be. It’s hard to prepare adequately, when we don’t know exactly how all of this is going to play out.

So what will we do? We had already booked campgrounds for the year ahead and we are moving out as scheduled at the end of the month. We are currently healthy. RV parks aren’t closing (nor giving refunds) and our camping lifestyle lends itself easily to “social distancing”. We may not be able to do everything we hoped (like, visit museums and such), but I expect that forests and mountains will be open! This isn’t a vacation, it’s our lifestyle. After all, we have to live somewhere! We’ll be smart about it and follow recommendations regarding gatherings and hygiene. And we’ll continue to monitor the situation and adapt if needed.

We live in interesting times, friends!

Be well.