Slow Gypsy Life of Lynda and Bob travel blog

Before I begin my latest tale let me apologize for the absence of photographs for this and the previous entry. Without my technical support (i.e. Lynda) being here, no pictures until she arrives. I don’t have a clue how to enter them into the computer and then upload them to the journal. My technical knowledge as an aerospace engineer has not followed me into the digital age.

After a pleasant visit in Scottsdale, AZ with long time friends Richard and Ann, a “no problem” dental check-up, and a delightful lunch with Oak and Maxine, I drove my final leg west to our new home at Jojoba Hills. As I approached the front gate I had a feeling of satisfaction about being back on the West Coast and look forward to having a home base in Southern California. I last lived in the LA area in 1967. I’m sure much has changed in 44 years; not all for the better. Lynda has only visited California so this will be a new experience for her; but she seems excited about this next phase of our lives together.

We have no regrets about our RVing adventure; some disappointments for sure, but mostly it was a memorable experience. Yet, both of us have a sense of relief that our days of hauling a 37’ trailer around and spending time in boring, and often cramped, RV parks are over.

Whether settling at Jojoba will be a long term situation or merely a few years transition before moving to a permanent place remains to be seen. Right now it feels like the correct move for us. After being here for a week now, that feeling has been reinforced for me. Hopefully, Lynda will feel the same when she arrives, most likely in another week or so.

After stopping by the office to notify them of my arrival and to pick up a gate opener and some information, I drove up the hill to see Site 516 for the first time. We had been told during our three-week stay in April, 2010 that the first site offered was often an interim site i.e. one of the less desirable ones. We were urged to take it anyway since once you’re a resident you have preference over those on the waiting list as other sites become available. Sitting at 2100 feet elevation and surrounded by mountains, the view is often the primary differentiator among sites. Arriving at our new home I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.

Although “a picture is worth a thousand words” I’ll describe the site with far less words than that until photos are available. Site 516 is 70’ wide and 50’ deep; the standard size here at Jojoba. The rig sits on the right side along the 8’x30’ concrete patio and the shed (probably 8’x10’) is on the left, both are standard. The site is graveled with a western style planter (e.g. cactus) in the center front and a lovely shade tree at center rear. There is also a scalloped brick pathway containing small green gravel along the patio and between the rig and the shed, and one-foot square concrete pavers around the shed and between the patio and the street. These latter features (gravel, etc.) have been added by prior occupants and come with the site. At Jojoba site improvements generally come with the site at no additional cost.

Happily 516 is a low maintenance proposition except in the fall when leaf removal is required. The views from the outdoor sitting areas are not spectacular but you can see portions of the surrounding hills. However from the inside there are nice views of the coastal range to the west. As Marsha, our neighbor across the street said, “Good neighbors are more important than the view!” She’s probably right. I’m very pleased that our first site doesn’t encourage me to want to immediately move. Maybe we won’t want to move at all.

Following a brief review of our location I did a quick walk around the rig to see if there was any damage. Nothing caught my eye but in time I observed a small dent at the front of one wheel skirt and a small stress crack in the fiberglass near the front. Neither requires immediate attention but I’ll try to get something from the transport company, Showroom Transport.

It was the mess inside that suggested a sudden braking and swerve that really caught my attention. Two bungeed cabinets in the kitchen and the living room were partially forced open so that some of the contents were strewn about. In the bedroom, a portable three-shelf set of drawers where Lynda keeps spices had tipped and deposited some of its contents on the floor despite being surrounded by pillows. In three and a half years as a novice driver nothing close to this had ever happened. Oh well! Fortunately, the actual damage was trivial.

At least our home is here in one piece and all the major components are operating; the slides all came out, the satellite system is working fine, etc.

Two other problems presented themselves. First, the lock cartridge came out when I unlocked the door. My first thought was that someone tried to break in; but the door handle lock was still secure and there was no evidence that anyone entered. Again, this is not of immediate concern since my next door neighbor, a retired police sergeant from Long Island said nobody locks their doors here. I think the lock just broke from use.

Next, when I opened one of the windows that we had resealed in March the lower panel dropped to the ground and broke off the two narrow metal pieces that make it open and close. This was the first time since we left Florida that the window had been opened, so I think it wasn’t put together properly after the new seals had been put on. Fortunately, the glass was not damaged and I was able to use my limited mechanical talent to reattach the window. Replacing those two metal arms is a task for the future.

The combination of these issues would have definitely pushed me over the edge had they occurred in April. Lynda and I would probably be in Portland, OR looking for an apartment by now. But I was so pleased to be in this lovely park, with the nearby mountains and beautiful weather that I was able to take these relatively minor aggravations in stride.

During the past week getting settled and the tasks of daily living have consumed my time. With Lynda still in Oklahoma I’ve had to learn the bachelor way. It’s definitely not my cup of tea; but I’m getting by and establishing a routine. I have completed one “To Do” list and written a second that includes this blog entry. I never prepare an exhaustive list (never more than 15 items) because it is too daunting, and I always limit my tasks in a given day to no more than a handful. It’s the “eat the elephant a bite at a time” principle.

This afternoon I bumped – so to speak - into Pat, the woman who is responsible for volunteers in the library. Being responsible for books and DVDs seems like my kind of job here at Jojoba; at least I think so. She’ll be gone for a week, so we have tentatively planned to meet upon her return for my training. You may recall that volunteering is part of the deal at these Escapee Club parks.

As I conclude this report I’m waiting to hear from Lynda about Betty’s visit with her heart doctor. She came home from the hospital on Monday. I’m sure her recovery will take time, but today was not one of her better days according to Lynda. When I talked with Lynda earlier she was projecting to fly to Atlanta to see Rick and Deb sometime around the 10th or 11th and then fly to CA on the 12th. Of course this depends upon Betty’s progress and flight availability.

Hopefully, this schedule will work out since Richard and Ann are coming to Palm Springs and will come see our new world on the 13th. They have already seen enough of me for awhile, so Lynda would be an added incentive for them to make the hour plus drive across the mountain.

Well, that’s about it for now. Until next time I’ll close with a special poem sent to me yesterday by my dear friend Howard.

An Unlived Life

I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid, more accessible,

to loose my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance to live;

so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom

and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.


The author is unknown to me. Perhaps it was Howard.

I just received ad email from Howard. He did not write this poem. He thinks the author is Dawna Marakova.

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