We Never Know

 Posted by at 5:08 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 172010

I got a call from my daughter Tiffany the other day, telling me that her grandfather, Jim Zipf, had passed away. Even though I had not seen the man in almost 25 years, and even though Tiffany’s mother and I had parted company long, long ago, I was still sorry to hear the news. I always liked Jim, and we got along very well.

Tiffany and I were talking about families, and how she has now lost all of her grandparents, her aunts and uncles on my side of the family, and other people she loved. I hated to tell her that as she gets older, it will happen again and again. We never know when our own, or somebody else’s time on this earth will end.

One of the things I love about the RV lifestyle is that it gives me the freedom to visit family and friends in every corner of the country. Since we hit the road over twelve years ago, I have been able to reestablish relationships with cousins I had not heard from in years, high school and Army buddies I had lost contact with, and recently, my nephews and a niece, right here in Florida, that I had not seen in over 25 years. It is amazing that so much time can pass, yet with many of these people, we have been able to pick up right where we left off, and the connection is still just as strong.

In one case, I’m glad I did, because I was able to visit with one of my best friends from high school several times before he died suddenly earlier this year. Like I said, we never know.

The RV lifestyle also has allowed Terry and I to see places and do things that we had only dreamed of before. How many people can say that they have paddled their kayaks in the Florida Keys, or ate fresh lobster in Maine, or watched the leaves turning on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or been serenaded to sleep by coyotes in the Arizona desert?  How many have been able to walk the hallowed ground at Arlington, or roamed the narrow streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans? Many RVers have done all that and more in the same year!

Sometimes I burn Miss Terry out, because I want to be going and doing all of the time, and once in a while she needs some down time to recharge her batteries. I need that too, but I have known so many people who were always going to do something “someday” and never made it, because their calendar ran out before “someday” arrived.

I know that we need to stop and smell the roses now and then, but there are so many new adventures and old favorite places waiting for me just around the next bend in the road and over the next hill. I want to get to them all while I still can!

Thought For The Day – Making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life’.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  13 Responses to “We Never Know”

  1. YES! YES! Do everything you can do while you are able! Many times we have really had to pinch and sacrifice, but we traveled by motorcyles and RV’s, and saw all the states(except Hawaii), plus Canada coast to coast, some of Mexico and have traveled to Europe twice and have been on two Carribean cruises and we are so grateful that we did all these things. Many wonderful memories! Our deceased family members always use to say they would go when retired, but then died.

  2. Absolutely true!!! One of the great things about RVing is seeing the people you love. With so many families and friends scattered all over, we can go and see them. Before we were tied to jobs and had to stay in one place. Now we are FREE to go to see them. And we do see them much more than when we worked.

    And we, too, love to see what’s over the next hill. Until we went RVing, I didn’t realize I had gypsy blood in my veins. Love to see everything and share everything I can. The one thing most RVers say to us is, “Wish I had done it sooner!!!!!!!”

    So if you are thinking about it, do it. If you don’t like the RV lifestyle you can always find a stick and brick house and settle down. But the worst regret in the world is, “I wish I had done that.”

    When I hang up my keys I will have no regrets. I will be able to say, “Been there, done that.” And what memories!!!!!!!

  3. What a beautiful blog to read on the 7th anniversary of my husband’s death. He enjoyed rving and especially meeting all the wonderful folks that are on the road. As you know I have kept on. Travel even more than he & I did. Especially love the boondocking lifestyle. Thanks for this blog, Nick.

  4. I bought a t-shirt that says “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Fridary, Saturday, Sunday–There is no Someday.” I quit work the next day.

  5. I’ve never posted a comment on this blog, but my husband, Bob, and I have been reading it daily for over a year. We’re not quite ready to retire, but we’re already discussing and planning for that day (he’s 47 and I’m 50). This past summer we took our fifth wheel and spent a month touring the great Southwest. It took a lot of planning, but we were able to see a number of things that were on our “bucket lists”, and, best of all, I got to visit some relatives that I’ve not seen in 40 years. Both Bob and I have lost our parents, and we understand the need to do, see, and visit now before it’s too late. Thanks so much for your blog. We hope to meet you in the fall when you come to Ohio for the rally. Celina is my hometown, and we live about a half hour away!

  6. Hey Nick, a year or two ago you said you had a new book coming out, but I haven’t seen it yet. You said a week or two ago Miss T was proofing a book. Is that the same one or a different one? Inquiring minds want to know (and buy)!

  7. A new book by Nick????? Yay, I want an autographed copy!!! Where can I order it??

  8. Nick, truer words were never written. My wife and I always wanted to see Alaska. Her dad and mom met there when he was in the army and she was born there, but they left when she was a year old. Her parents always said they would go back someday but life got in the way and they never did.

    Leslie’s one dream in life was to go back to Alaska and spend a year there to see it in all the seasons. She was almost obsessed about it, bought Alaska videos, read every book ever written on Alaska and planned and re-planned our great trip over and over for 20 years.

    Well, we never made it. Leslie died last month of breast cancer. This coming summer I wil be making that trip to Alaska she always dreamed about. I will find a nice meadow beside a pretty river or stream and spread her ashes there, which was hewr last request. But I know it’s too little too late.

  9. Quite a few of the people I know are trapped in their houses. It seems they have spent so much effort over the years making their houses perfect, that they can’t let go. Some actually never even went on vacation but stayed home to work on the house or yard. Each to his own, but I always felt that there is more to life than a house. It’s almost like the house owns the people not the other way around.

  10. I teach inner-city high school and I encourage my kids to forget the word “someday”. Their lives are tough (I’ve had 5 student funerals since 1-1-10) and so few of them dare to dream. For me, it was nursing my father, mother, and then my husband through horrible cancer deaths. DH and I had always said “someday we’ll sail through the Panama Canal, we’ll visit Asia, etc.” Well, I did take him to see the Northern Lights in Alaska one year for Christmas, but the rest of our dreams were lost to a brain tumor. Finally, after that one, I learned the lesson. I took a leave and moved to Asia for 2 years to teach English and travel. Last Christmas I spent my vacation in Panama where I rode the Panama Canal Railroad from one end to the other then sailed back through the canal on a small local touris boat. And this spring, after I sign my retirement check and trade my sticks/stone home for an RV, I’m heading toward all those somedays dreams. I really envy the Gypsy lifestyle you and Miss Terry lead.

  11. Ok….. I’m sold! I can’t stand it any longer. My family and I are taking our first RV trip. I’ve worked in the industry for 4 years and this is my first time taking a trip in one. I want all the experiences that I have just read (even the ones read from “Bad Nick.”)

    I am super nervous. From where I sit in my office 5 days a week, all I see are the horror stories. No one ever comes in, hands me a bunch of $$$, and says “the RV is great, everything works GREAT, thanks for being here.” Being the paranoid mother that I am, I’m already convinced that my roof is going to leak, at least 2 tires are going to explode, and my fridge is going to catch fire.

    Oh well……. we are still going! Cali here we come!

    P.S. – BTW I’m an official Gypsy!!!!!!! I got my subscription now I want a shirt and a rally!

    LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

  12. Howdy Nick,
    HOORAY!!! A whole blog without a snivel about the weather!!! When you get to Livingston ask Mark ‘ where your chili is,’ he gave Dennis some for Aladambama, so
    y’all ought to get some for Rockport or Q or Tucson…
    Enjoy the ‘heatwave’ there’s more cold on the way…..

  13. I just finished reading Chuck Spector’s comment above to my wife while she was back in the bathroom of our rig getting ready for the day. I was just barely able to choke my way through that heart-rendering story. A couple of minutes after finishing reading it to her, I heard her say “it’s awful hard to put on make-up when you’re crying”.

    We are so happy that we adopted this way of life!

    — jc&bev

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