Sunday, April 26, 2009


As a long time genealogist, I have read hundreds of letters and postcards written by my ancestors and their friends. One thing that stands out is the time these people spent together. Rarely, did anyone drop in to visit, stay an hour and go home. Usually, even though the distance was commonly less than a days travel by wagon or car the visitor came prepared to stay a week or even longer. These trips were often and normal (and frequently documented) in my family.

When my ancestors modernized their lives, acquiring all the “time-saving” devices like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and electric washing machines—these extended stays became fewer and farther between until in the 1960s, they nearly dropped off altogether. All that extra time in their lives quickly filled up with “things to do” and destination vacations to sensory overload places like Disneyland. While reading these historically valuable missives, I mourned the loss of those leisurely visits. Bemoaned a time when grown children, siblings with their own families, cousins, aunts and uncles spent extended time together and caught up on all the family news while happily lending their brain and brawn assisting with daily chores.

One of the greatest benefits of living full time in an RV and having the freedom to travel around the country is the opportunity to reestablish this rare and delightful practice. Since Wednesday, Phil and I have been immersing our days with getting to know our pals, Margie and Roger in Gallatin, TN. Margie and I met each other and became friends through our blogs, exchanging comments and e-mails then met for the first time, briefly in 2005. This year, we accepted their invitation to park our Penny the Pace in their driveway for an extended visit. We plotted our course to make sure we got to their town and we have been here since Wednesday. Getting to know each other has involved marathon visiting, sightseeing in the area and sharing meals. Margie and Roger are retired and in the process of selling out and going on the road fulltime themselves. Although we certainly are not experts in that regard, we have been living and learning the lifestyle for nearly five years and are happy to share our experiences.

It is going to be hard to pull up the jacks and head down the road when it is time to leave. Phil is doing some maintenance on Penny the Pace and his progress will determine when we’re ready to go. Today, Roger is taking him fishing so this morning, he was all smiles as they headed to the lake. Phil doesn’t get to go fishing as much as he would like so today is a special day for him. Margie has gone off to a friend’s garage sale and then to visit her daughter-in-law so I am home alone to share my thoughts with you, my valued and very much appreciated readers! As always, you are very good company!

Please leave your thoughts and comments for me … I love hearing from you!

Until next time …


  1. Joy, I loved reading your post this morning. You are SO right about the loss of those connections in families and society in general. I'm so glad you and your hubby have the ability to travel and visit like you do. What a wonderful thing!

    I too am very interested in genealogy... just a newbee to it though. I just lost my beloved Gma at age 95 and have inherited family photos and written history that I didn't even know we had! I'm devouring it and have begun a fun new connection with my 72 year old uncle... together we plan to update it all to current technology, and then pass it on to all our family!

    Thank you for sharing these preciously important thoughts about family, and your love for preserving it.


  2. Oh Joy, I read this blog and the last one and they are soooooooooo good. Glad that the riverfront worked out for you, one way or another. Reunions are wonderful. When you read my blog you will see that I had one this week---with my roommate from Freshman year. After all these years (40+) we could still talk non-stop. Enjoy your time with your "new" friends! :)+

  3. Joy - am so glad you got to see Sharon. I worry so much about her. I will go on May 25th. for just a few days. Need to see her. Have a wonderful week.

  4. Too true! We've just learned that our daughter living in the San Francisco area, will fly down to Tucson, rent a car, and come stay here for about 4 days. She'll stay in a local motel so she doesn't have to sleep on the floor in our motorhome, which will make the visit more comfortable for all of us, as well as giving both sides some breathing room in between.

    We don't get a chance to see our family often, but each opportunity is joy and a blessing!