It feels like Terry and I have been going in seven directions at once, greeting and visiting with rally attendees and doing everything else that is involved in running an RV rally. Yesterday Terry was up at 5 AM and out the door an hour later to get the coffee made and get her donut serving crew organized. Then she spent most of the day working the registration desk, making sure everything was running smooth, and putting out all of the small fires that come up during an event.
I slept until 7 AM, then headed out the door to grab a donut and visit with folks for a while. Then at 9 AM I presented my Gypsy Journal FAQs seminar, in which I talk about how we got started on this wild adventure, how and why we do things the way we do, and answer any questions people may have about the paper, my books, and our rallies.
Then I had to run back to the motorhome for a telephone call with the fairgrounds in Yuma about our Arizona rally. As soon as that was over, I helped park a couple of RVs that arrived late, and pointed the people toward the Junior Fair Building to get registered. Then from 1 – 2 PM I did a seminar called Laugh Your Way Across The USA, which is just a chance to share silly stories from our years on the road and have some chuckles.
Terry shooed everybody out of the building just after 5 PM so we would have time to grab a bite to eat, and by 6:30 we were hauling door prizes up to the stage for the evening’s presentations. We gave away a lot of excellent door prizes, including campground stays, RV accessories, a $100 gift certificate from Makarios RV, and an Amazon Kindle e-book reader.
As soon as that was done, Larry and Melissa Beahm, better know as One More Time, took to the stage and presented a wonderful concert full of foot tapping, hand clapping music, with everything from show tunes to golden oldies, to appearances from Elvis, Cher, and Nancy Sinatra. I’ll tell you what, if you haven’t heard this husband and wife couple perform at an RV rally or campground, you’re missing a good time!
We finally got back to our motorhome sometime after 9 PM, and spent a couple of hours getting the blog written, catching up on the day’s paperwork, and getting things ready to do it all over again today. Like I said, seven directions at once!
And now I have a difficult announcement to make. As most of you know, we have been burning the candle at both ends for way too long, between running the Gypsy Journal, writing and publishing my books, traveling to gather stories for the paper, and holding two rallies a year. It has taken a toll on our motorhome, on our finances, and even on our health. We’ve known for a while now that something had to give. Just as we were toward the end when we were teaching at Life on Wheels and trying to maintain that crazy schedule, we are burned out and not having any fun.
After a lot of soul searching, a lot of talk, and many, many tears shed, Terry and I have made the difficult decision to stop holding our Gypsy Journal rallies. We love the interaction with our extended family of RVers, we feel there is a real need for the quality of the educational seminars we present, and we know that a lot of people will be disappointed with this news. But our first obligation has to be to ourselves, to our marriage, our health, and our business.
We have no intention of stopping our travels or of publishing the paper. And who knows? If we take a year or so off from holding rallies, we may come up with something new. We have talked about holding some informal get-togethers, where we will be at a campground for a week or so someplace and anybody who wants to can show up and hang out with us, sit around the campfire and swap lies, and not have all of the pressure and responsibility of a rally to deal with.
But first we are going to take some time to rest and relax without having to be someplace or be locked into a schedule, and to return to the reasons we became fulltime RVers in the first place.
Thought For The Day – Let your past make you better, not bitter