Thursday, November 14, 2013

It Was Tempting . . .

 

So . . . for the past few days we have been entertaining a job opportunity as a management team of an RV park back in Texas.  In fact, it was my “old stomping grounds” of years ago.  I lived and worked in that area during the early 1980s and in later years cycled all the surrounding farm-to-market and county roads.  Yes, it was tempting, and we had several serious conversations about it.  We would be in an area familiar to me and closer to friends and some family there is left on my side.  The park itself looked lovely, a small park, and my conversations with management were pleasant.  I’m sure it would have been fine; however, after weighing pros and cons, we have decided to sit tight where we are.

Home sweet home

June 2013 – Home Sweet Home, complete with corn growing!

It is gratifying to be contacted and to know that we are marketable in the park management world.  Yes, we could do the job and do it dang well, and if our assignment here was ending with no other options, we probably would have jumped on it.  At some point in the future we may venture down that avenue, but not now.  So, we passed.

Long-term financially, we could have saved a bit of money annually by being back in Texas, but it would take at least a year to see that savings and, in the big scheme of things, there is more to consider than money.

Shocking to some, eh?  A bit more money saved, but at what price to the Spirit?  Isn’t that mindset part of the make-up of a full-time RVer?  That there is more to consider in Life than money?

Evening Walk July 29

July 2012 – Musconetcong River from back bridge on property

Yes, we’re on call 24/7 here and sometimes we get called out on weekends or at 2 AM, but not every week.  When it does happen, we are not irritated . . . it’s part of the job, and the folks we work with – the company we’re contracted to and local law enforcement – well, we really do work together seamlessly as a team.  We pull 12-hour days more than just occasionally, but it’s not hard manual labor work, and it’s not cleaning showers and restrooms or evicting someone because rent has not been paid.  Need a new shovel, broom or drill for company use?  Go to Lowe’s and get it.  There’s no “May we please get a new snow shovel?”  We know our responsibilities, perform them diligently to the best of our abilities and we don’t have someone constantly looking over our shoulders or micro-managing us.  Unlike other positions we’ve had as a team, here we not only have the responsibility but the authority to carry out those responsibilities.  We have had a couple of minor incidents lately and, when notifying our boss, it’s not being told what to do but being asked, “How do you want to handle it?”  I don’t have to call about every little decision, and that makes doing our job much easier. 

RV’ing friends have a place to boondock in our parking lot, and we appreciate being given permission to have visitors.  We were invited to the company Christmas luncheon last year – told to lock the office and gate and come join them – and we broke bread in a family atmosphere that is rare these days in the corporate world.  We were honored to be invited to share that, especially in our status of “just” contract workers.

 

1994 Chevy Suburban IPPE Work Truck

August 2013 – The company brought this replacement new-to-us company vehicle which we use on patrol, etc.  The previous company pickup was literally falling to bits.  Got four new tires put on this beast a couple of weeks ago.  This one has 4-wheel drive, which comes in handy!

Although one of us is on the property at  all times during business hours, when we are not performing our duties and it is quiet, our time is our own.  Dave can get a bike ride in the afternoons and I stay here; I can run an errand or go for a walk and Dave stays here.  Some days there are no visitors on the properties; other days it’s like Waverly Station in Edinburgh! 

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October 2012 – Office trailer in foreground; our rig parked behind it.  Short commute!  As with park hosting jobs, our site, utilities  and Internet are included.  Our propane is paid for during Winter months, and we purchased a washer and dryer which are in the office.

Overall conditions here are more harsh than being in an RV park set in a developed area.  We lose power (and, hence, water since we’re on a well) now and then, but have a construction-grade, big generator.  We have resources to tap into during natural disasters . . . where to get a shower, shelters, etc.  We have the mill in which to shelter during threatening conditions such as high wind, and have done so a couple of times.

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January 2013 – So cold the river froze!  Our propane tanks also froze during this week of single-digit daytime highs and below-zero wind chills.  That’s cold!

We have no real worries about personal property vandalism or theft.  Sometimes I miss having neighbors and being close to long-time friends . . . but it’s quiet (we sleep well) and we have our privacy.  That being said, we get the occasional honk and wave from one of the “locals” passing by on the road.  Cool!  I derive a sense of community as a volunteer with the local CERT.  (Click here to see photos from our drill this year, which was held here at the mill.  Awesome experience!)  We have established health care providers in the area; the care here is excellent, as I found out last year when battling cancer for the second time.  We are independent contractors, so we can schedule vacation time whenever we choose; of course, we have done so keeping in mind what is happening on the properties.

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Hurricane Irene 2011 – The shot of the frozen river was taken from this bridge.  Irene brought the Musconetcong River out of its banks.  We evacuated our rig to higher ground.  We also evacuated during Tropical Storm Lee and in 2012 took shelter at a local hotel during Sandy.

The skies here are among the bluest I have ever lived under, and now and then I watch an Eagle soar above my head.  We have deer, foxes, all sorts of birds, bear, skunks (eek!), generations of groundhogs, turtles, a trout-stocked river if I ever get around to fishing and the occasional beaver.  Oh yeah, and a hardy feral cat which is now seeing his/her third Winter here.  We have moles in the  yard and field mice looking for a warm nesting spot (like the basement of our RV) during Winter but no cockroaches during Summer and no bother with ants.  I can live with that trade-off.

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April 2013 – Honored to have a family being raised in our yard.  Momma and Poppa routinely proudly paraded their family literally right past the front door of our RV.

 

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October 2012 – The biggest “front yard” I’ve ever had.

Kinda hard to trade all these things for the hustle and bustle of a more metropolitan area.

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June 2012 – One of occasional passers-by.  We are on a balloon flight path.

To be honest, this place and our life here are Spirit-comfortable.  Sure, the thought of hitting the road for a long trip (back to Texas) was exciting, as were thoughts of a new environment and job, making new friends and spending time with old friends again.  I even plotted our route south on I-95, then west on I-10 in order to avoid nasty Winter weather and to see places we have not experienced together.  Figured if we were going to have to travel and then be sitting in one spot again for a while, why not make it a nifty trip.  I would have seen and overnighted in Florida for the first time.

I tell you, though, this place feels right for us, at least at this point in time.  We have so many memories here and continue to make more.  Thinking about departing from here the past several days, I experienced a sadness over leaving at this time.  We know this job will end at some point in the future; that’s different.  When that time comes, we’ll look forward to adventures at our new landing spot!

Hope you are Spirit-comfortable wherever you are . . .

Thanks for stopping by!

 

4 comments:

  1. yup... making those decisions have to be right for you, and not for what others think you should do.... our changes last year led us to a more harmonious life and we are happy too.

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  2. There's a lot to be said about 'Spirit-comfort'. I guess that's why I return to Anahuac as often as I do.

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  3. Texas heat is a deal breaker for us on any possible position in Texas. We can tolerate Texas winters but not Texas summers. This is one reason why we opted to try out Christmas in the Smoky Mountains instead of head back to Texas this winter.
    There will be plenty of time for us to settle nearer family when we are no longer able to travel. Meanwhile, we choose to see as much of this beautiful country as possible.
    You do have a unique setup and job that fits will for your interest. Blessings to you guys. Maybe next summer we will be closer to NJ and can share a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.

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  4. Glad to read you two made a decision that is right for you both. Would love to catch up with you before we leave NJ on Jan. 2.

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