It was a full week this week with lots of friends visiting. Ted and his family stayed the weekend and then Brian and his family came as well. Lee has been friends with Ted since he was 14 years old, and it was very nice getting to know his kids. Ted and Julia have adopted two children (Hailey and Nathan) and since we have lived in New Hampshire since they came into their lives, we haven’t gotten to see them as much as we would like. Brian and Susan have two beautiful daughters (Maggie and Sydney) and we really enjoyed spending time with them as well. Sydney and Hailey are only one year apart in age and quickly became fast friends. Hailey even bought (with her own money) a two piece necklace set that said “Best Friends” so they would have a remembrance of camping together. So sweet, and I think us grownups could really learn something in how the kids treat their friendships. At the end of the weekend they did exchange email addresses (we couldn’t do this when we were kids) and I really hope they stay in touch!
Ted, Julia and the kids left on Sunday morning but Brian and his family stayed through until Thursday. It was really sweet that they went to such an effort to see us. Brian and Lee worked together at Mills James Productions before we moved to New Hampshire, and have remained in contact through the years. Even though the kids had almost daily activities at home, and Brian and Susan had to work the weekdays, they left their camper at the campground and then came out whenever they could. Had a wonderful time getting to know them all better and I really appreciate the effort they went to. Sunday during the day I went to see my mom and Bud her husband (who just finished a 10 day vacation in Ireland) and after spending time with my family Lee and I hung out with Susan, Brian, and the kids and played Yahtzee. Oddly Lee has never played in his life and we all tried to teach him. The rules are pretty complicated when you take strategy into account. It was great fun and I barely beat Sydney who had great rolls.
Monday we just chilled and watched some Game of Thrones…we are very behind. Tuesday, Brian and Susan got their parents to watch the kids and they came over for some grownup time. It is really great hanging out with people who are really interested in the lifestyle. Their kids are intrigued by it also and asked some great questions including Maggie’s “How do you get your mail” (from a mail service) and Sydney’s “Why do you have work clothes in your closet if you work from the RV?” (because sometimes I work in one of our offices). I thought their questions were awesome and loved sharing a little bit of what we are doing with them. I also loved catching up on what’s been happening at Mills James. Lee worked there for years and it has undergone some major changes including becoming an employee owned company. Brian is their Director of Technology now, and I was so happy that he has been so successful there. We also got to take a trip to see the new house they are building and it is absolutely gorgeous. Have to say I have no idea what I would do with all that space though. Everything we own at this point would probably fit in the kitchen. It’s great to see them doing so well and again I can’t say how much their hanging out with us meant to me.
Wednesday and Thursday I drove to Louisville and spent some time working with the manager of a major project I am working on. One of the things I like about moving around is sometimes I can visit offices without huge travel expenses. Had a great couple of days including a bath (always a luxury now that we only have a shower) and an hour long conversation with Kay my youngest who is doing great in her Air Force linguistics program. When I got home on Thursday, Cory and Emily were here to visit and we had a nice time catching up. Cory and Lee have been friends since they were 11 years old (when Lee makes a friend they stay friends) and we had never met Emily in person. She was as awesome in person as she is on Facebook and we had a great time catching up. Cory, who has been a diabetic since he was a child, shared that he is on the insulin pump now and it was absolutely life changing. It was so cool to watch him dial in what he was eating and instantly receive his shot. Emily is a nurse and works part-time at the Columbus Museum of Art, plus they are both active in local theater and we loved hearing the story of how they met. He played a patient in a mental hospital with PTSD and she was the nurse who was also his wife and even though he didn’t recognize her she stayed so she could be close to him. During the play they fell for each other in real life…I mean seriously how romantic is that story??
Mom and her husband Bud tried to come on two separate occasions since Bud has not seen the RV yet, but both days it thunder stormed so they had to cancel last minute. Neither of them is comfortable driving anymore in the rain due to health issues and while I understood it was a shame that Bud didn’t get to see my new home.
On Friday my friends from college, Sandy and Michelle, came to visit. When I asked what they wanted for dinner they volunteered to bring something which I thought was incredibly sweet. I did chill a bottle of wine I’ve been saving though and Michelle brought another and we had a wonderful time catching up. They were very curious about what we were doing and had a list of questions which I loved. I have known them since we were in the same dorm freshman year at Miami University. That year of my life was a pivotal moment, not unlike this year of my life has been. I met people during a major life event and since we were all going through the same thing at the same time we formed deep bonds that at least in my case last until this day. Despite a 30 year span since we first met (and limited contact throughout the years), I feel very close to them and was so grateful they went to the trouble of coming to see me.
So I could just leave things here on a high note, and maybe I will write all of this down and delete it, but I’ve been struggling over the last two weeks with some serious emotional turmoil and since I want to be as transparent as I can stand to be in this blog, I am going to try to write down what I am feeling. It’s another 4:30am morning and those generally happen when I have something to get off my chest so here goes. It’s been a rough couple of weeks here for me emotionally because of the lack of interest in what we are doing (in general) from the people in my life. There have been exceptions, of course, and those have been wonderful, but the percentage of people I know here versus how many people took me up on my offer to come see the camper is a bit depressing. I get that people have lives and I certainly don’t expect anyone to drop what they are doing for me, but here I am with this huge and unusual life change and I can’t share it. I’m really not sure why there appears to be no interest (truly I would have expected curiosity at least because it is so unusual), but I have spent a lot of time thinking about it. I have narrowed it down to a couple of alternatives. Either because I have not lived here for the last 14 years and didn’t put in the work in maintaining the long distance relationships or people are just busy and the timing is bad.
So here is where this writing becomes dicey so bear with me. Let me start by saying that I understand relationships are not an entitlement. I’ve struggled with them my entire life. I’ve always felt like an odd ball even as a young kid and leaving Columbus allowed me to finally grow into myself. So why does this matter so much to me?? Maybe because there are a few seminal moments in people’s lives that you can look back on a see CHANGE and this is one of them for me. There haven’t been many; marriage, birth of my first child, and uprooting my family to take a huge professional risk in moving away to New Hampshire. Selling everything and moving into an RV would absolutely be the fourth. So please understand I am not standing over here going “look at me…look at me”…although I am probably botching this post and it probably sounds like that. What I wish had happened is that people would have reached out and expressed that they see something is going on with me and even if they don’t get it they are glad that I am happy. Whatever that says about me as a human being I will own it. And I am choosing to write about it, because that’s what I do now. I am trying to be honest about how I am feeling and share it…so this is my attempt to do that.
Alum Creek State Park 3615 S. Old State Road Delaware, Ohio 3 out of 5 pine cones
The sites at Alum Creek State Park are large, well separated, and very deep. The campground has private access to a lake, nature trails, and it’s own small beach. The downside is the sites (we three exceptions) are 50 amp electric only and the AT&T cell service is very poor. The campground has no wifi and it was very difficult to use our AT&T hotspot because the signal was so weak. Although there are camp hosts there was minimal supervision and on the weekends the campers were very noisy until way past two. The area and campground have a lot of potential but I wouldn’t make a point to stay here again. It was $21 a night and we stayed in site E18 which was very nice.