Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I hope wherever and however you celebrate the day, you are with people who love you.
When I think of what Thanksgiving is all about, I remember our first year as fulltime RVers. We were staying at an RV park in St. David, Arizona, a few miles from the Escapees RV Club’s Saguaro Co-op park in Benson.
We had spent the previous week at a dealer in the Phoenix area trying to get work done on our motorhome, and we had completely lost track of time. We were making the rounds at RV parks in the area, dropping off bundles of sample copies of the Gypsy Journal RV travel newspaper that we used to publish. When we stopped in at the Saguaro Co-op someone asked if we belonged to the club. I said yes, we did, and they asked if we were coming to Thanksgiving dinner that afternoon.
Terry and I were both surprised because we had no idea that it was Thanksgiving! We explained that we were new to the RV life and were staying at another nearby campground. With a welcoming smile, the lady we were talking to said, “That doesn’t matter, you’re part of the Escapees family, and we expect you to be here.” We tried to beg off, saying we didn’t have anything to bring to the potluck, and then a gentleman spoke up and said, “The only thing we want you to bring is yourselves. You’d better be here or we’ll come looking for you.”
That was our introduction to the Escapees, a large extended family of RVers, be they fulltimers, weekend campers, or snowbirds. We did go to that dinner, and we immediately felt like we were with family. That’s a pretty special feeling when you’re new to something and away from everybody you know.
Over time we joined several other RV organizations, as well as clubs for people with converted buses, which we later had. But we always told people that we might belong to FMCA or Good Sam or Bus Nuts, but we were Escapees. And even though we don’t RV anymore, we are still lifetime members.
I’ve had a lot of Thanksgivings in a lot of different places in my life. Sometimes I’ve been surrounded by family or good friends, and sometimes I’ve been all alone. I spent one of them in a bunker on the other side of the world and another at a hospital with a dear friend as his wife was fighting a losing battle with cancer. The one thing I learned in all that time is that it’s not about the turkey, or the dressing, or the pumpkin pie. It’s about the people you are spending the day with. I hope you have a good day wherever you are.
We will be leaving Tuesday to make a quick trip up to Alabama to take care of some business, and I’m not sure how long we will be gone. Maybe a few days, maybe as much as a week or so. Because it’s too hard to keep up with the free drawing entries when we are away from home, I won’t be holding one this week, and possibly not again next week, depending on when we return. But we will be back with more, I promise.
Thought For The Day – As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy