|In all our years as traveling gypsies, the questions most often asked are: What is your favorite place? .. And .. How can you be away from your families? The first is simple, there is no one favorite place and purely depends on the time of year one visits. The second is not so easily answered and one I ponder, often with a tad of guilt, especially after the absolute best Mother's Day weekend with almost all the gang in attendance.
When, 15 years ago, we moved from my home of 25 years into our first motorhome, having had 3 weekends of garage sales in January 1995-Half Moon Bay weather, rented our house to a good friend; my kids were just beginning their adult lives. Daniel was born June 1st in Sun Valley, ID and we, and the RV, were there running between the hospital and parking lot where we stayed, later moving back to Hailey in front of Terri and Dave's house (we had no tow car in those days). Soon it was time to move on...
Six months later Noelle was born in Redwood City, capping off an horrendous December storm that had caused power outages and made our driving efforts to arrive "on time" a serious hurdle, but we made it for her grand debut! Three and a half years ago we welcomed Christina into the world in San Rafael and recently, while parked in front of Terri & Clint's, Liliana arrived! A special trip was made to Grass Valley to witness the choosing of Annie, the granddog, from the great litter of Lab pups.
We were in Shediak, New Brunswick one year just after the lobster fest and Canada Day when Norm called and said "we plan to rent a motorhome so let's meet somewhere for Labor Day weekend...How about the Columbia River Gorge"! Sure, why not, we have a couple of weeks to travel 4,000 miles, we'll be there! And we were, even with a few days off to replace a fuel pump in Baker, OR.
There have been "emergency" calls for health or family reasons when we packed up and headed "home" to help out in anyway we could. Yes, I'm concentrating on all the reasons being mobile has afforded us, but....
I rationalize my guilt for missing out on many birthdays, holidays and "state occasions", so I contemplate the "Mother Gene". Some, many, of the grandmas I meet on the road feel they need to give up their travels to be with/near their families, around whom their lives revolve. I don't have that "gene". We, personally, need to push our limits and live each day to the fullest and not go down feeling stones were left unturned. Even on a limited budget, there is a lot of the world for us to explore, many Jeep roads calling, but also a lot of family time to enjoy. Somehow, for now at least, it seems we can do both. In other words, maybe they, the gene and the gypsy, are not mutually exclusive!
I know on a deeper level we won't be able to keep up this pace forever, but I pray that at some point, possibly posthumously, our explorations of cities and counties, countries and cultures will be appreciated. But for now, the few months each year we spend here, in and around the Bay area, is priceless!