Freedom Isn’t free?
Most think that retirement means ‘freedom’ – freedom to do all those things that work and family responsibilities constrained over the years. Reality may present issues with that notion. Is it free in a monetary sense? Is it free in an emotional capitol sense?
Being able to recognize and pay for all the costs is pretty fundamental to gaining that freedom we worked for. Well, it’s pretty easy to do the accounting for the monetary issues. Money in – money out will define the options and limits.
Deciding to become house-less and full-time travelers in our new motor home brought focus to a range of other issues. It’s a test of priorities and relationships. We learn things about ourselves – not always as positive as we’d like. If we’re careful observers, we see a steady flow of changes that come with all the new experiences each day, and with introspection about our life’s choices. We discover there may be new and better ways to approach life given these new circumstances. And, we aren’t 20 something anymore, so limits on some activities can be frustrating.
Above all, the single most important quality to cultivate, when sharing the confined space of a 38ft motor home, is a robust sense of humor! Days will rarely go as planned. The second quality is patience, followed quickly by flexibility. New places won’t always be how the brochures and web pages describe – occasionally better, sometimes not. I’m reminded of a saying taught to me by my wise old dad … ‘patience is a virtue, seldom found in women, never found in man’ – thus the reason I place sense of humor first!
Lest this becomes a dreary post, here’s a bit of an update,. With these thoughts in mind, we arrived near Kansas City for a last family visit till the holidays. It was a wonderful two weeks filled with fun activities. We toured a distillery, a brewery, a zoo and a museum among other assorted activities.
We found a delightful RV park a bit south of the city that met all our expectations.
It was a quiet spot, clean with full utilities and pleasant neighbors.
The Kansas City zoo is spectacular with an assortment of interesting critters…
.. and fun for young and old(er) …
Too many pics to include of the tours, but learning how some of our favorite adult beverages are brewed was fascinating.
Both tours were very well done and generous with the sampling!
Long days were topped off with good visits with the kids and pleasant evenings. As it turns out, we were there for our wedding anniversary. Kids ‘baby sat’ the dog while we had a wonderful dinner at a delightful restaurant ……..
We’re now parked in Wamego, KS, a short drive west of KC, and a different experience….more in a minute. We stopped here to visit good friends who we hadn’t seen in several years – always fun to catch up. They are both experts on grasslands ecology and its denizens, especially upland game birds (one of my favorite topics) and local history of the Kansas Flint Hills.
Wamego is the capitol (or is it a portal?) for OZ and a classic mid-west small town. A beautiful town park, well done monuments and of course an OZ museum…
-Scarecrow was always my favorite…
Back to Calvin. He developed his RV park surrounded by Caterpillar’s largest factory, several rows of storage sheds and an active railroad line just across the street. The 4am train announces it passing with an extended whistle. And we got to sample the tornado siren test in mid-day….. just balance for the previous digs! In any event, all the local bird life and rabbits are keeping Cricket – our Brittany pup – quite busy.
One more stop, a bit to the north in Nebraska, then on westward…. more later