My husband and I just returned from a trip to Tennessee, to see family. My family, to be specific; my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and their children live there. As always, we had a lovely time and as always, we left feeling that we wish we lived closer to them.
Alas, reality dictates that we remain about 6 hours apart, but that’s OK. The distance makes our time together even more special.
Hubby and I have always enjoyed traveling together. I had quite a case of wanderlust as a young woman, traveling to many states and a few countries by the time I reached my mid-thirties. Children came along, and then single motherhood came along, and my desire to be at home began to outweigh my desire to see new and strange places. Still, the “bug” has never completely left me.
My darling partner, on the other hand, has never had the slightest inclination to set foot outside the great US of A. That’s OK, because there are so many splendid sights and places here that I believe we’d never run out of exciting adventures. Our kids are all grown now, and we do hope to be able to travel often as we embark on this new “empty-nester” phase of life.
For right now though, we are limited to no more than one-week chunks of travel at a time, so we haven’t ventured too far into the belly of the country. We’ve traveled far north of here, and of course we’ve traveled south of here. We’ve cruised together, flown together and driven together. And while Memphis, Tennessee is about as far west as we’ve made it, traveling together, we’re hoping that will change.
On our way to Memphis this time, hubby pitched an idea to me; it was the first time I’d ever heard something like this from him. He told me about a friend of his who, after a family meeting, sold his house and cars and any property that wasn’t portable. He and his wife bought an RV (they have two young children!). He quit his job here in Atlanta and accepted an offerfrom a company in Virginia. Next week, the whole crew will pull up stakes and head north. Here’s the kicker: they plan to live in that RV for several months, just to be sure they like the job and the state, before investing in a house up there.
Even more interesting to me was my husband’s fascination with the whole idea. He asked me what I thought about it. Frankly, I found it fascinating and on paper, rather smart. For couples like us, who bought houses in Gwinnett at the peak of the housing market and are now praying to just break even should we ever sell, I imagined the freedom of having a house on wheels. Mowing the lawn? Who needs that? Just pull up stakes and move a little bit to the right or left of where you’re parked. Don’t like your neighbors? Put it in DRIVE and move. No $15,000 furnace and air conditioner replacement, no roofing, no painting. Frankly, pretty smart.
However, the reality of doing something like that just isn’t in our future. While we enjoy traveling, one of my favorite parts is returning home because, after all, there is no place like home. I love pulling into our driveway after a few days away to see our house standing tall and gracious, to see how our gardens have changed in our absence, to be welcomed by our big,sweet dogs and their sloppy kisses. I love the fact that home is always in the same place, always comforting and safe, always happy to see us return. No, I’m not an RV kind of gal.
I think hubby was a bit disappointed at my lack of excitement about the whole idea. He gazed wistfully ahead, driving just over the speed limit, and (I imagine) daydreaming about the freedoms of living in a big bus with no lawn and a fraction of our current mortgage – perhaps no mortgage at all. I had actually begun to feel bad about raining on his parade, when his eyes lit up again as he pitched another idea my way.
“How do you feel about motorcycles?”
I got the feeling that that’s where we were headed all along.
Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. Her fourth book, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, was published in 2016. It is the true tale of a crime that took place in Gwinnett County nearly 40 years ago. Her previous three books are written with Southern humor. Carole often appears on network television talk and news shows, as well as on national true crime radio shows. Her books can be found in bookstores, on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and at www.caroletownsend.com. When she’s not writing, Carole travels throughout the southeast, talking to groups about women, writing, family and life in her beloved South.