Aug 272011

I had a conversation last night with my good friend Brenda Speidel, who has spent the summer in Missouri, caring for her mother during a health crisis. While Brenda is emotionally and physically wrung out, she is also grateful that their mobile lifestyle as fulltime RVers has given her and hubby Ron the freedom to travel to Missouri to be there for her mom. If they were still in the old sticks and bricks lifestyle, it would have been all but impossible to do that.

This has always been one of the big advantages of the RV lifestyle, in my opinion. If I don’t like the neighbors or the neighborhood, I can leave. If I’m in a place like the East Coast, which is in the path of Hurricane Irene, I can be long gone before the first raindrops hit. If a friend or family member needs us, we can be there as fast as our wheels will roll. And being mobile allows us to go to the best health care available for our needs, instead of being stuck someplace and settling for second best because that’s what is available.

After Miss Terry’s cancer ordeal years ago, we fled cold and dreary Michigan and went to Florida for her first post-treatment examination. Terry had a bad experience with the Florida doctor, and determined that she needed to return to Traverse City for follow-up exams, so that’s what we did, and what we still do, eleven years later. Sure, there are good oncologists all over the country, but we have to be somewhere, so why not be in Michigan once a year for her exam? Traverse City is a beautiful area, we have family and friends there, and Terry is comfortable with her doctor there.

A few years ago, when Terry’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, we were at the Escapees campground in Livingston, Texas when we got word he was going to have surgery. We unplugged out utility hookups, fired up our diesel engine, and three days later we were in Mesa, Arizona so Terry could help her parents through her dad’s treatment and recovery. How many people have the ability to do that?

Right now, the news is full of stories about Hurricane Irene, and I had an e-mail exchange yesterday with a fellow who is in the area affected by the storm, wondering what he should do. RUN! Point the nose of your RV west and don’t stop until you are well clear of the whole area! Even if you don’t have any damage, the area may well have power outages, water quality problems, and other storm-related issues. Why deal with all of that if you don’t have to?      

But it doesn’t have to be medical problems or bad weather that causes us to need to be someplace else. With so many families having kids and grandkids spread out from coast to coast, it is nice to have the ability to be there for special events, such as Terry’s son’s wedding, which we attended in Colorado last summer. We didn’t have to worry about booking airline reservations and hotel rooms, we just took our house with us and “moved” to Colorado for a week or so. There’s a lot to be said for leaving the crowd at the wedding reception and retreating home to your very own comfy bed at the end of the big day!

Yes, being mobile has benefits!

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  7 Responses to “Being Mobile Has Benefits”

  1. We chose Houston and MD Anderson for Terry’s cancer treatment last year. Better than spending a winter in Indianapolis, where he was diagnosed. The best part, however, was spending that entire 3 months at “home” in our RV. Although it was a bit of a grind, going in for daily treatments, we faired so much better than others who were staying in motels/hotels and going stir crazy from staring at four walls. . . away from family, etc. We retreated every day to the comfort of our home on wheels with all our “things” around us. And it was much better for me as we were not “displaced.” I had our taxes to file, sewing projects to finish, walks to take around the lake in the camp, the rodeo, etc. We took more advantage of the activities around us because that is how we live.

  2. We are in the Poconos currently waiting for Irene. While, we will get some wind and rain, we’re far enough west to just get the fringes of the storm. Our daughter, however is an EMT in NJ and will be out in this weather. Alot of our family and friends have been evacuated from their homes and those with RV’s are here so we’re having a hurricane party! It should prove interesting because they do expect the power to go out, but we have a generator. All of our awnings are in, our grill will get stowed after dinner tonight and all other projectiles have been secured. Our gas tank and fresh water tank are full and black tank empty. Now it’s just a waiting game.

  3. We are ste to travel today also. We have been this past week in Cody WY attendinf both the pre-rally and the Eagles International Rally. As a chapter of FMCA we welcome all FMCA members. 36 total coaches which included 2 Prevost and 2 GM.
    We are headed into the Great Plains to meet up for a couple family reunions. SE NE and near Wichita KS. I am hoping that Irene will send enough weather West to cool NE, KS till we are ready to hit AZ. The heat of the summer of ’80 was broken with the huracane season.
    RVing is simply wonderful.

  4. In Feb 2010 we were in Tucson when we received word that my 93 year old mother had been hospitalized in Florida. We were there within three days and were able to stay there with her, comfortable in our own home, until she passed away in June.

    We would not have been anywhere near as comfortable without the RV.

  5. Mobility can go both ways! I agree with your advice about Hurricane Irene: RUN! But let’s not forget those RVers who are Escapee DOVES, or in other helping groups, who will hurry into emergency areas as volunteers. You gotta admire those folks, many of whom are retired nurses, EMTs, safety personnel, etc. Hooray for mobility, whichever way you use it.

  6. Hooray for mobility! We unpluged in Bellingham MA (bulls-eye for Irene), at 6am today, and by noon we were in Syracuse, NY, on the fringe but out of the real threat area. Unfortunately, we left a whole bunch of family in their sticks ‘n bricks homes in eastern MA. Oh well…

  7. Very timely post. Last year Leonard’s mother was ill in Louisiana. We went there and helped with her care, left and came back only a day before she passed. Just in June we were in TX and felt it was time to return to NJ where my own mother health was getting worse. We got there one week before she also died.

    And now here we are also in the Poconos. We were to start a NOMADS project on Monday in Rhode Island. We were nearby the project in CT when Irene started to wreak havoc. So we came 250 miles west and will return to RI went we are notified it is okay to return.

    Mobile lifestyle does have its benefits! But we are somewhat worried about our family in NJ and MD.

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