Sep 162014

An idling diesel engine woke me up about 7 yesterday morning, and though I tried to roll over and get back to sleep it kept running for a long time before finally pulling out. I guess the guy owns stock in an oil company and didn’t mind sitting there burning up money.

We got up a half hour later and puttered around for a while, trying to get online to check e-mail without much success, and then I went outside to start getting ready to unhook things for our trip south to the Chesapeake Bay Thousand Trails preserve.

After getting everything ready to go and stopping to say goodbye to our friend and current neighbor, Larry Sazama, we hit the road about 10 a.m. It was an easy trip over mostly two lane roads and we made good time, getting to Chesapeake Bay a little before noon.

The ranger at the gate told us that they are having a big bluegrass festival this coming weekend and that a lot of the 50 amp sites were reserved, though there were a few still available scattered around the park, as well as a lot of 30 amp sites. He warned us that it was going to be busy and noisy over the weekend, but that the musicians and a lot of the crowd would be leaving Sunday. He added that once they were gone we could move to another site if we wanted to.

No problem, we unhooked the Explorer and drove around looking at what was available, settling on a nice back in full hookup RV site with a good shot at the sky for our rooftop satellite TV dish. It’s only 30 amp, but the folks here said it’s been comfortable during the day with windows open and they haven’t really needed to run their air conditioners. And the neighbors on both sides are friendly, too. Life is good.

Winnie at Chesapeake Bay

Fiver at Chesapeake Bay

Unfortunately, life isn’t good for at least one RVing couple I’ve been exchanging e-mails with for a while. Yesterday I got an e-mail from the husband saying that they have been fulltiming for three months now and are not happy. He said, “I don’t know if we are experiencing growing pains, remorse over the change from working and living in a house to retired and living in an RV or what, but after 19 years of marriage we suddenly realize that we don’t like each other very much. We love each other but we don’t enjoy being together all the time. During our working days we were both very career driven and usually got home in time for a quick dinner, not always together, watched a little TV or read, and went to bed. Weekends were always busy with family, friends and plans. We realized that we never had all that much in common and never spent enough one-on-one time for it to be an issue. Is this common with other newly retired RVers? Do we need marriage counseling or RV counseling? Have your other readers dealt with this?”

I can’t relate to their plight because Terry and I get along so well and love spending every possible minute together, to the point that somebody once told us we were co-dependent. I don’t think that’s true, we just like doing things together and being together. How about you folks? Does anybody have any input to share with these people?

Thought For the Day – To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.

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  14 Responses to “Settled In At Chesapeake Bay”

  1. That could be our story Nick. My DH retired and suddenly he was there underfoot all the time 24/7. My routine was totally messed up and he was lost without a job to go to every day. We had about two years of bickering until we settled down into a routine that worked for us, but we even talked divorce for a while. My advice would be to talk about it, and to give each other some space now and then. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, make a new friend in the campground.

  2. When Kathy and I were working with a Marriage Restoration ministry, we dealt with a lot of folks just like this. We had a demographic for them as well, Married Singles. It certainly is possible to get through this as we have seen many couples do it. We dealt a lot with feelings and the fact that they just are, neither right or wrong, they just are. We also looked back to why they got together in the first place. The primary tool we used with them was teaching a crash course in Marital communications. The program is called Marriage Restored and is given on weekends all over the country. Here is the website

  3. Each partner should have space to retreat to.

    Also eahc one needs to develop a hobby that is pursued alone.

    That is about all I can offer.

    I started camping to be close to my wife, because that what she did on weekends.
    I married her to be close to her.
    We had our own businesses where I could be close to her.
    We full time RV, where I can be close to her.

    I guess I can’t understand the problem fully.

    If this couple does not develop way of having their own “space,” either mentally or physically, their full time adventure is over.

  4. My husband and I had no problem adjusting to the full-timing lifestyle. Did so for over three years before my stroke took us off the road. Bummer !!

  5. Nick
    We can relate. We have been RVing for 4 years and full timing for past 18 months around the country. Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. Sometimes we just need a little break. Sometimes it’s one of us heading off for a day trip or a week or two someplace to visit friends or family.

    I know you are not a marriage counselor but I would advise them to head your thought for the day.

    One little thing we have consciously worked on is to practice kindness with each other.

    Hope this helps

  6. I can’t totally relate as I travel and live alone and sometimes have issues with me… but I do have several fulltime friends who travel together but once they get set in a park each mostly live their own lives. One couple, retired teachers, once they are parked separate their activities. He is totally engulfed in music as a piano and guitar player and in cruising the parks with his golf cart (he has some mobility issues) and making friends. She is very involved in crafting and social activities and walking their 2 large dogs. It seems to work for them.

  7. The statements from this couple are not good: we don’t like each other very much, we don’t enjoy being together all the time, we don’t have much in common. While my hubby and I both worked different jobs and were not with each other a lot during the working years, we were not only lovers but friends. We have a lot in common: things we like to do, habits for living. This couple sounds like while they may “love” each other they are not friends and they don’t share much in common.

    Yes, I think that counseling is necessary for this couple. They really need to communicate with one another about who they are and how they want to live their lives. Without working out some solution, there is a divorce on the horizon.
    And has been stated many times, living in a sardine can of an RV, you quickly learn whether the two of you are compatible or not. Liking as well as loving and sharing a life in common is really necessary for the RV life. Fortunately like Nick and Terry we are friends as well as lovers and really like to share our lives.

    We have been part time full timers for 18 years now. We are as much in love and like as we ever were. I wish this couple well but unless they fine more liking and friendship in their marriage, it doesn’t bode well for this couple.

  8. We were a very close couple in that we were compatible in many ways. Please note the use of the word “many.” Our rig is big enough that we had space to be by ourselves to read or talk on the phone to friends if we wanted to and the weather was bad. If it was good weather, one of us read outside or took a walk or my husband took a bike ride to learn more about the area we were in.

    We could often disagree on things but we had learned that we could also talk about how to find the middle group and it meant that we each learned to compromise, especially if something meant a whole lot to the other.

    You have to want to make it work. If you’re not willing to work at it, then I would suggest you that full timing is not your best solution but that you base out of a town or area where you would have more avenues of different interests and then you could travel to areas you want to see.

  9. I believe having our own businesses as others have said is one of the keys to getting along. We have been use to working in the same room (office) for 20 years before we got into RVing for the first 18 months fulltime and work camping. Wife got injured and we pulled off the road for 25 months but to a friends ranch to work on while she recovered. We had sold the house and he had a 63 x 12 trailer with a wheel chair ramp that we say in while here. Wife is pretty much healed as much as she can be now and we are slowly but surely getting back to it. We get along because first and foremost, we not only are in love but we LIKE each other also. If you are not used to being around someone fulltime you will pick them apart every time you see something you didn’t know they did. Instead if you do just accept it and don’t try to change them. You got married because you thought this person was nice or cute or smart or you guys could work well together, it was something. Find it again. We have both been married 2 times before and the 3rd times a charm for 25 years and still loving every minute of it. We read a lot watch a little TV. When we do it is generally a DYI show or she is the football person in this RV.
    I played to much of it and only watch if it’s her team N.E. We take walks, She sews for to sell now but used to run very large companies. I used to be a Contractor but now work on our Bus when needed, Set up and pull down her sells at flee markets, fish and she go with me reads and we both like to cook. A lot of people that retire still can’t get out of the working mode or they are always trying to control all situations or the other person.

    Second beside liking each other you have to respect each other and their space, never assume they want you to do everything with them. Sometimes you need to ask.

    Third is the element of surprise if you have been married a long time and just retired you sometimes forget to say to your spouse as if you are still dating. Hey this friday I would like to take you out to …….. would you like to go? I will pick you up at 8 is it a date? Trust me guys that always stuns the wife and she giggles.
    change it up every so often and not all the time if will get boring. You really have to work at it. How many years did you work for a company or your business to get ahead well your marriage and fulltiming together is going to take a lot more work but if done right a fun type of work. Buy the way the Benefits are well worth all the work. HTH

    Dave Walker

  10. Where are you guys staying at? Or heading to? You may be close to us. Maybe the 4 of us could grab dinner some where.

  11. Nick, As you know, my wife & I are much like you & Terry, happy almost all the
    time. The 1 thing I don’t agree with was the “nothing in common” statement.Jean & I had nothing in common. Different age, different race, different culture, different economic background, etc, etc, but we love & celebrate these differences.
    By the way Nick do you have plans for Christmas? Hahahahah.

  12. We are at the Chesapeake Bay Thousand Trails and headed south along the coast from here.

  13. As Nick knows, Larry and I are also like Nick and Terry — love to be together and get along great. We’ve been working and living together 24/7 for 16 years. And I love it so much, I hated it when he took a temp job for a week while we cared for my father. However, there is definitely a need for quiet time. He needs it first thing in the morning…doesn’t like to talk for a good half hour or more. So, 😀 , I sleep in a little longer and then take the dog for a walk. Solo shopping trips help to create space. And then, we both can enjoy our job and fun stuff throughout the day exploring or just hanging out together. I was very happy to read that the couple with the problem LOVE each other, because that’s a conscious choice. As for liking each other, I hope they can find some totally new, mutually fun activities to bring the spark back! Best wishes to them.

  14. Not only husbands and wives, but friends and sisters can have the same problem. The close confines and constant contact can get on your nerves, little things become big issues. Some people aren’t meant to be together all the time or for lengthy periods. Try modifying the routine, giving each other space and time apart not just a few minutes or hours but DAYS apart. If that doesn’t work do something else don’t suffer life is too short for that.

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