We’ve decided to leave early. There’s nothing here to hang around for too much now that the shuttle has been bumped. We’re excited to start heading north. There are a few things we want to stop and see – old forts, feral horses, etc. The time in this pop up is coming to an end. I have to say I’m a bit sad about that. It’s really become our home. And it’s been so neat to have everything we need with us at all times. We need to pretty it up and get it up for sale within the next few weeks as we move north.
The park has really emptied out and is so relaxing now. It’s pretty much like a massive back yard to the boys. The boys have enjoyed fishing, checking out the manatees, dolphins and sting rays off the dock. They’re still having a blast with those poor lizards (pictures below include them using the lizards as earings….seems to be big with the local kids too). Caelin is *very* traffic aware now – having slow moving vehicles around and being able to play in the road – I think it really helped him learn that even before we taught him. He looks like he’s going to swim soon as well. He can kick and keep his head up for a good second or two.
We met a lovely couple on the dock last night. They are purchasing their first boat and getting into sailing. They are retired, and also full timers. They highly recommended the sailboat route. Our discussions about it are becoming more frequent and we are starting the R&D process ever so slowly. There are also many families on the water. Some come back to land when the kids are in their teens and want to take on some form of corporate education. The woman was amazing….she asked about home schooling and I told her about not schooling and the R&D and learning they’re doing. We spoke for so long…and even on the topic of some spots we need to help Torrin with. Her creative solutions were incredible! She was just rhyming them off! No one in our school or school board mentioned any of these tricks, tools and techniques. I couldn’t keep up, or remember them all. It was mind blowing. I asked her if she’d been a teacher…and of course, she was! Grade 2 even 🙂 I’d even met a teacher a few weeks back who home schooled all her children and now her grandchildren were being home schooled. She still gets nasty comments at the school she works at about it all. Too funny. I’ll need to stop by the grade 2 ex-teacher’s trailer to get some of this stuff written down for future reference.
We met a man from Brockville who was on a boat for 8 years with his wife. Until…he had a few heart attacks and strokes. Now he’s been given a ‘clean bill of health’ and has turned to RVing to see everything from land that they saw from sea. I wanted to learn more from him, but they disappeared during the rainy days a few days ago.
Today, I spoke to a 44 year old woman with breast cancer and undergoing treatment. She wants to be full time. Feels the intense pain from the banks and the value of their house is now nothing. Worthless. She wants out. She wants to be nomadic and see all she can before it’s all over. Her husband is having a hard time parting with the house. It’s just the two of them. They have grand children and that’s all. She wants to go and explore. Who knows how much longer she has. I saw in her eyes how much she wants to be on the road.
Mike spoke to a neighbour who has stage 4 cancer…since the 90’s. He’s had a few strokes and heart attacks, but he’s plugging right along. Doing what he loves. He’s been super sweet to us – giving us fish he’s caught, and fire wood.
In Texas we met a number of people with cancer and undergoing treatment as well. I think there’s a big center there and they all RV whilst getting treatment.
There are many more stories of diseases we’ve encountered along the way. I am surprised by them all. I knew we would be among boomers and retirees, but I somehow expected that if they were traveling, it was because they were ‘healthy’. We have met healthy retirees as well – the ones with kayaks, bikes, and every other sporting equipment on the planet (yes, we are starting to collect these things as well!) – they are my absolute inspiration and I love love love their energy. But, I’ve been surprised at how many ‘survivors’ we’ve met as well. People who’ve had the wake up call and said ‘enough is enough’ and have come to realise what is truly important to them. People like our neighbour who have quit drinking, smoking, bar fighting, and the rest of it due to the wake up call. I suppose we’ve had our own wake up call. We really did. It wasn’t as extreme as a heart attack or anything…and I am truly thankful for that. But, I really give these people so much credit. Through the cancer, the heart disease, strokes, etc. they still had the guts to drop it all and do it. They are truly heroes! They could have sat on their couch, cried into their booze until their final days that life has passed them by. They could have given up. But, they didn’t, they grabbed life by the kahunas and did what was important to them. They are AMAZING and I am in awe.
People who tell me/us that we are ‘brave’ and that they could never do this. To them I say – this is EASY. The brave ones are the ones who have looked death in the face and flipped it the bird. The ones who know that NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING else matters in this life if you don’t have two very important things: RELATIONSHIPS and EXPERIENCES. Everything else is useless noise.
In my teen years I worshiped the 50’s/60’s…the music….the ideals….the mass of kids that were raised during that time. It looks like I’m surrounded by them now…I’m finally in my element….the true hippies (not the posers)…the ones that either sold out, but came back to their senses, or the ones that never let their hippiness slip away.
Below are more pix of this awesome park. Sunrise over the Banana River and the Space Center in the background, the kids with their lizards on their ears, fishing, a manatee, and a panoramic couple of shots of the park from our camp site. No, I did not have the time to put them together and make them look pretty lol – please use your imagination 🙂 As you can see, it’s pretty darn empty. This is just one little corner of the park though – it’s pretty huge.