This week has not been hell, but I’ve felt the fiery roaring of it nearby, threatening to pull me down into that burning ring of fire Mr. Cash sang about so many years ago.
After nine weeks of living in an RV, we’ve decided to call it quits – not us, but fulltime RV-living, that is. I’ve tried; I really and truly have tried. Some days the stars have aligned just right and I’ve been totally at peace, but most days I’ve been a ranting maniac just trying to figure out how to live in such close quarters with another human being and the two of us survive the experience without shooting the other one dead. Now, in case you’re feeling a bit disappointed in me and my inabilities to complete what you and others may have considered a fun adventure, join the crowd. But let me first set the record straight. There were parts of living in a state park that were wonderful: endless trails to hike; a beautiful lake calling my name; moments of solitude and reflection; nature and wildlife abounding; sweet, fine campers to meet with campfires to gather ‘round. But the cons eventually won out over the pros and, for my sanity, I simply had to get the heck outta Dodge. One huge disappointment in the RV experience? The constant rocking (even if ever so slightly) wore on my nerves. One does not get up to pee at night without rocking the boat a bit and waking up the other. And it was dark…so dark. Most of you know that I am a creature of light – and lots of it. The low ceilings, tight quarters, and dark interiors were not conducive to my need for space and light. It was a pressure cooker, and the lid was about to blow (the hubs would say yes, it did indeed, definitely and without a doubt, blow). But I gave it an earnest shot. And maybe in a different time and a parallel universe, I might even could enjoy the RV experience…for short periods of time and after retirement when we have nothing else to do except sit around that campfire and invite everyone who passes by to join us. So exactly seven days ago, we pulled up stakes and began the next leg of our journey, which very simply is to find a new place to live while we continue to search for a house to renovate. The last seven days have been a flurry of hotel stays (heading to my third one today) and continued beating of the bushes to find a house into which we will infuse new life, and an apartment while we house-hunt. Sounds like a crazy week, right?
Yes. Yes, it has been. I officially once again feel like a vagabond, searching for a place to land, carrying everything I need to exist packed into my car with me, as we wander from place to place wondering what pillow my head will land upon next. Let’s pray that it’s a fluffy one and the sheets are extremely fresh and comfy; that always helps. Hopefully my poor houseplants will survive the chaos, but they’re looking a lot like me right now…withered and weak with their tongues hanging out, a tad bit in shock. This morning I put an open umbrella over them in the car to protect them from the unusually hot June heat. I’ll bring them in tonight for a drink and a few days of a temperature-controlled environment. I love my little plants and they love me. Well, maybe not…I have put them through a lot. But hang on, babies, mama will find you a landing spot yet.
So I might have just aged another five years in one week. It is entirely possible I believe. The pouchy bags under my eyes testify to that. My weary body too. My cloudy mind as well. Even though I am usually a snorer, hubby said he almost poked me last night because I was so still and quiet. He wanted to make sure I had not given up the ghost completely. Or maybe he’d hoped I had – who knows?!! But by the time we checked into the hotel around 10:00 pm, I was done. I had completely exhausted every last ounce of energy I could muster up, except to crawl into bed. I climbed into the fluffy king-sized wonder and let sleep catch me as I watched The Middle marathon on the telly. I just love Patricia Heaton in that show, don’t you? She played a similar role in Everybody Loves Raymond years ago, and I can totally relate to her in both programs…a mom who loves her family desperately and wants the best for them, while constantly trying to tame her wildly crazy life and survive, just trying to do the best she can and attempting to make ends meet somewhere at the crossroad of self-dignity and compromise. Aren’t we all there?
But there is always a silver lining to every storm cloud, you know. One of those silver linings for me is the hotel-hopping we do sometimes for weeks at a time: large beds; large TV at the foot of the large bed; eating dinner in that large bed; housekeeping to make that large bed and change those large sheets; endless shampoo and soap; endless hot water; the list goes on and on. But even though too much of it can definitely wear me down, it’s usually quite fun and we are able to enjoy some pleasures along the way that only hotels can afford. The Graduate Hotel in Athens is one of those delights, so you’re getting a free hotel review with this post.
You’re very welcome.
The Graduate is just as its name says. It is housed in the college town of Athens, Georgia in a historic building built in the 1800’s and has been totally renovated with college-themed memorabilia. Not so unusual maybe being in solid Bulldog country, except that the college theme is married to a retro theme and it makes for a very quirky place to stay. I’m talking vinyl headboards, bulldog lamps, rotary phones (they really are push button, but totally look the part), vintage radios and artwork, all tied together with a mix of plaids and bright hues for what I consider a lot of fun and quite different from anywhere I’ve ever stayed. The staff is friendly and accommodating, there is a spa and restaurant on site with live music some nights, and the bed is extra comfy. What else could you want? Oh, yeah, free wifi too. I could’ve spent a few days in that bed with my laptop, napping inadvertently.
It’s getting close to check-out time and I must gather all my belongings and head out, continuing the search for a place to land for more than nine weeks this time, and trying my very best to count my blessings as I go. Sometimes when you’re tired and in the midst of troubles, trying to muddle through the thick sludge of life, you can see in the distance a glimmer of hope that soon things will return to a normalcy that you’ve grown to depend upon and thrive in the midst of. The experience with living in an RV has been yet another of life’s lessons on our way, and it has taught me yet another thing about myself as well. This experience has revealed to me that, even though I would like to consider myself one who embraces change and adventure, I have to do it on my own terms to be healthy and complete and also that, when I see something is not working, I have to let it go. And sometimes I have a way of taking others with me in the chaos but, hey, that’s not by intention. Sometimes folks don’t understand and sometimes you struggle to even understand yourself, but you just know it’s something that you have to do. But as long as we’re doing our best to move forward, our best to embrace growth, and using our gifts no matter how small to bless others, we can’t ask for a whole lot more than that.
Except maybe an extra-fluffy pillow to sink into at night. A good pillow will take you a long, long way.
"All who wander are not lost..."
Posted by CC
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