It’s been one of those days where it’s only Friday but feels like Saturday because it’s Good Friday: no stock market to watch, just writing, wandering by the stream in the soft breeze, watching the young hawks watch me back, and now the time out of time evening with ear buds delivering a mix of vintage Van Morrison, Patti Griffin, Jackson Browne, U-2, Santana, and my old buddy Bob Dylan. There’s a small circle of light in the dark study. It’s illuminating my hands. I love the click of keyboard as words appear. Sometimes the love of words is so overpowering I lose control of conscious thought. That’s when the magic happens. You know it. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely been there.
I haven’t told you about our travel trailer saga. That Santana song stops me cold, but I’ll try anyway. It’s kind of a mundane tale with an interesting ending. Buck is two rooms away working on his book. I can almost see the black ink filling yellow legal pad pages, and it’s a sensual trail vastly more enticing than bread crumbs.
I think this waiting game with the county and the road and feeling like we’ve always been in control and now we’re not quite, led us to a certain impulsiveness, a feeling of damn, let’s just haul off and do something, even if it’s off-kilter and outside the circle. Who knows why? We took a big flying vicarious leap into the recreational vehicle sub-culture. We learned about the gargantuan Class A motorcoach, the Class B dolled-up camper van, Class C campers/mini-motorhomes, daunting 5th wheelers with cherry wood cabinets fitted with washers and dryers, and travel trailers of all sizes, descriptions and personalities.
We made the rounds of local dealers and even ventured to a Camping World across the state line in Robertsdale, Alabama. Ran into a super finance and sales guy there named Jim Richards who gave us a tour of their units. He rode us around in a golf cart. Jim’s a good guy, knows his product, and is smart as a tree full of owls. We both agreed. If we were to ever buy one, it would be from him.
We came close, we sure did. Buck did his research, even drew out a floorplan for his idea of the perfect travel trailer. I lurked on a couple of owner forums, joined the Good Sam RV club, and bought a Woodall’s Campground Directory. We had this idea of trailing our own Residence Inn room all over the country. What made it tempting is that we have a 2004 conversion van, 4-wheel drive with a V-8 engine and a towing package. We bought it back when we thought we needed such a contraption to go back and forth from Pensacola to our place in Western North Carolina. That was a few months before the coyotes attacked and killed our pup and we put the mountain house up for sale and high-tailed it back to the flatlands where there are plenty of coyotes but the ground is level and we can see them coming.
Anyway. We have this great silver gas hog with navy blue leather captain’s chairs that seemed to have been born to drag a portable Residence Inn room around.
We researched ourselves blind. We narrowed the field to three models. We learned all the lingo. We got pretty heated up over the whole deal.
And then, Sunday morning two weeks ago, Buck and I walked down to the gate to get the morning paper. We started talking about campgrounds, how it would probably be really nice, to pull in, unhook, plug in, engage the automatic awning, put out a couple of folding chairs, pour a drink, sit down, relax, and “Hi, folks! I’m Stan! Nice to meet you. Where are you from? I’ll go get Barb. The potluck’s tonight. Newcomers don’t have to bring anything. Come on over. Barb? I’m over here! Yeah, bring my drink over. You come, too.”
I stopped my running imaginary monologue. Buck stopped in the middle of the path and stared at me. I stared back.
“Huh,” he said.
Then we broke into grins, shook our heads, and moved off toward the gate in a slow jog.
So, we don’t know yet what our next act will be. Whatever it is, we’ll have a good time, I can tell you that. When Buck Westmark gets up to something, a girl can have some fun.