As the days grew shorter and nights grew colder, I knew our time at The Cherry Hill RV Park was coming to a close. Moving on is always fraught with emotion. Life marches forward, but, as always, I was hesitant to leave family and friends. At least our last few weeks in Maryland were chockfull of Halloween hijinks, fall baseball, and an opportunity to temporarily return to my old office and put in some productive time with some delightful and dedicated coworkers.
Our initial plans, when we moved into an RV, were to have a completed house by December of 2022. We anticipated hanging wreaths on our new windows, finding the perfect spot for the Christmas tree, and decking our brand new hallways with boughs of holly. Fa La la la La…. Instead, we were hit with the awareness that we would, unless we did something drastic, be spending another Holiday Season, stuck in a truck, with no family, no friends, and insufficient warmth.
My very kind, very brave, very gracious sister, offered us a two-month respite in her beautiful, Western Pennsylvania home. I was eager to accept her offer, as it meant an opportunity to partake in family, holiday traditions, in a home without wheels, a home with a fireplace, and a fully functional furnace.
Shortly after trekking west, and parking Bertha in an indoor storage facility, we jumped on a plane for a brief jaunt to New Orleans to join some dear friends for a Ravens versus Saints, Monday Night Football game. The weather was spectacular, the sightseeing was amazing, the company was, as always, delightful, and the Ravens did not disappoint! If you ever find yourself in The Big Easy with an afternoon to spare, I highly recommend a visit to the WWII museum. All in all, it was the perfect excursion before settling in to a new chapter in this weird journey.
Thanksgiving was graciously hosted by my eldest niece. Her home was warm and inviting. The food was abundant and delectable and the fireplace was pleasantly glowing. I am so appreciative for the time spent together, telling tales, playing games and making memories with the folks that mean so much to me. Our dogs were a bit over exuberant in their eagerness to roughhouse. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we were sincerely grateful for the large, fenced in yard. Muddy dogs are preferrable to indoor, crazy-canine calisthenics.
“No matter what the situation is…close your eyes and think of all the things in your life you could be grateful for right now.” — Deepak Chopra
Yes, there is a part of me that is a trifle malcontent about the home building debacle. I would be remiss if I did not confess to feeling a bit out of sorts about our dispossessed lifestyle, especially at this time of year. BUT, I am truly, truly appreciative for the continual love and support that has been shown by family and friends.
I am thrilled to have a home for the holidays; a home that is welcoming and provides not only shelter, but companionship, and shared joys. There are games and music, and love and laughter. There are seasonal movies and homecooked meals, and gift wrapping, and preparing for Santa.
It would not be the same if we were trying to pull off this Yuletide magic in an RV. It’s hard to be cousin Eddy.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”
― Norman Vincent Peale
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we recognize that our setbacks are temporary, and that, through the uncertainty, we are still blessed beyond measure. Our house has been released for construction, and although we will remain vagabonds for several months, we hope to be settled in the spring.
Peace to you and yours. Santa is on his way. Stay tuned…