The reason I write

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.

I’m Gretty, and welcome to my blog.

My life drastically changed at 57 when my husband and I hit the road full-time in an RV. Trust me.

It was highly unlikely that I’d be a full-time RV’er (more on that later) but here I am. Here’s the deal.

I really really love my new lifestyle. I enjoy adventure, change, meeting new people, experiencing different climates, visiting new communities, etc.

And, I love my man. Really.

He is kind, sweet, honest, full of integrity, and willing to watch chick flicks with me.

But honestly? John is a guy.

His brain thinks differently than mine. Since we have been full-time RV’ers,

I miss hanging out with my girlfriends. If you are a nomad like me, I bet you are shaking your head!

So, I thought, if I want to connect with girlfriends on (and off) the road, and I have some funny stories to tell, maybe I should begin a virtual coffee shop where we can gather to chat, laugh, commiserate, and do life together?

Plus, last year I felt a tug to share personal stories of challenges and joys in my unique RV life.

It’s like you can peek inside my diary!

This blog is for you if

  • You are a woman, (but guys you can read it too!)
  • You are an Unlikely RV’er like me.
  • Your shining ‘dream life’ has had some hiccups.
  • You’ve experienced divorce or loss of a long term relationship.
  • You and your partner (at times) see life through different lenses.
  • You’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the challenges of living in an RV full time.
  • You like blue nail polish (just kidding!)
  • You occasionally feel untethered to the real world.
  • You need a good laugh.

It’s the truth. Men just don’t think like we do.

They are waffle thinkers. We are spaghetti thinkers.

Men stay in their square until it’s time to move to another topic or task

.But we girlfriends? Our thoughts, feelings, and activities weave, turn, and circle around as we process a topic or task.

My brain says this:Hey-I-woke-up-and-have-so-many-things-I-wanna-research-but-must-dump-the-tanks-first-oh-hi!-new-neighbors-walking-their-cute-dog-back-to-dumping-the-tanks-listen-to-that-bird-up-there-um-what-was-I-doing?-back-to-checking-out-that-hike-adventure-but-look-what-splattered-on-my-cute-sanuks-where-did-I-store-those-paper-towels-kind-of-day.

My man’s brain says: I am going to research a hike that we can do this week. 30 minutes later (after ignoring my interruptions, the phone ringing and the dog bringing toys to him)….Oh, here are three options for that hike, and let’s make a decision so I can eat breakfast next.

I hope to encourage you by

  • Promising to be real and vulnerable with you.
  • Giving you a voice to respond.
  • Letting you know you are not alone.

What you’ll learn

  • You are not alone!
  • How to see the joy in the small things in life.
  • The importance of deepening our relationships on and off the road.
  • How to have fun wherever you are.
  • Finding the balance of work and play in the RV world.
  • How to laugh at yourself and not take life so seriously.  More about Me
  • I LOVE Fritos.
  • I am 59 years old and shocked at what the lack of estrogen has done to my skin these past 7 years.
  • I am an encourager – I love that part of my life.
  • I admit I get distracted ALL the time by life happening around me, and it drives my husband (a lot) crazy.
  • I am a people person and find you fascinating.
  • A Cougar by age standards alone. Yep, I was born in 1957. My husband John was born in 1966.
  • A divorcee magnet. I run into you all the time. I’ve met you in line at Starbucks, in campground laundry rooms, dog parks, and I love talking with you.
  • I talk to God all the time- and he never seems to tire of my rants…
  • I am crazy proud of my two adult sons and my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, but I won’t be embarrassing them here with stories of them.
  • I’ve got a ton of insecurities, that I will be unloading (and uploading) regularly.
  • I am vain…I color my hair and freak out when my jeans are a bit snug.
  • I admit I am more comfortable asking about you than telling about me. (sigh..)
  • I am all about cooking for large gatherings, and then usually I forget to put one item on the table.
  • I love boots and shoes and will check yours out when I meet you.
  • I’ve been on Mission trips to Peru and India and have never seen the world the same.
  • And lastly, I love my dog, Penny, the Cockapoo!

I blame my brother Paul, Part I

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.

I pretty much blame my brother, Paul, for our RV purchase and here’s how it happened.

It was the day-after-Thanksgiving in 2014.

You know, Black Friday, when Americans dutifully drag their hung-over-turkey-stuffed-too-much-pie selves out of bed in order to feed the cyber-addiction of I-must-be-first-in-line-at-4am-to-beat-the-crowd-and-save-10%-off-this-electronic-device-shopping.

But not John and I (insert snobby face here). We aren’t Black Friday shoppers. We are Black Friday loungers who choose to linger over good coffee till late morning. We pride ourselves on what we have saved, and haughtily judge those who cannot contain their shopping mania.

Camping World, here we come

But this 2014 Black Friday was going to prove to be different. John and I gave up our cozy fireplace, comfy pj’s, and coffee shop, to join my siblings at the Camping World parking lot in DeForest, Wisconsin. 

My brother Paul and my brother-in-law Dan had it in their minds to travel the country with my sister and sister-in-law in an RV.

They were going to share an RV and spend time visiting their adult children and grandchildren, vacationing together (like they had frequently done in their younger years).

Just tagging along

Paul had researched this RV idea for a few months, but this would be the first time he and his wife Jane, and Dan and his wife (my sister) Julie, were going to actually STEP INSIDE an RV.

John and I knew this outing would be entertaining.

Now mind you, John and I were tent campers. We poo-pooed all those big honking RV’ers who pulled in our campgrounds. We frequently referred to “those people” as sissies.   

John and I considered “upscaling” our camping experience to a pop-up camper.  But that was a big “maybe”.

Gasp!

As we walked across the parking lot I chuckled- noting Paul’s checkbook jammed into his jeans back pocket.  He was super serious about this!

Then, it happened.

We stepped into a Diesel Pusher.

It was a 2009 Berkshire by Forest River.

I gasped!

My judgemental jaw dropped as my preconceived notions about ‘glampers’ flew out the oversized windshield!

The 6 of us spent 2 hours gleefully galavanting between RV’s, photographing massive beauties, and imagining what life in a rolling hotel suite would be like.

My sister-in-law Jane particularly liked the ones with the curvy couches.

My sister Julie could be heard calling out from the kitchens about the nifty storage nooks she had found. My brother-in-law Dan liked the bunk bed models- perfect for taking some of the grandchildren on trips.

None of us had data or knowledge about engine size, storage capacities, safety ratings or other semi-important stuff.

And frankly, during that first Camping World experience, we didn’t care. We were too busy swooning over the full-size fridges and swivel front seats.

Eating Humble Pie

Before we left Camping World, John and I dutifully sauntered over to look at those darn pop-ups.

Begrudgingly, we stepped inside.

Ugh.

It was like comparing an old VW Bug to a Lexus. We quickly exited…laughing out loud at ourselves, surprised by the swift rush of our newly found addiction into this RV world.

The Dream begins here…

Eventually, my foursome family fizzled on their RV purchase plans- but John and I were set on fire with dreams of owning an RV.

We got home and began dreaming of the RV lifestyle.  We were hooked, and wanted to buy one!

Read I Blame it on my brother Paul, Part II, to see what we ended up with.

In conclusion, I’d like to shout out a super-sized THANK YOU to my brother Paul. His 2014 Black Friday shopping plans paved the way to the adventure we now live.

How about you?  Do you have a shopping experience similar to ours?  Please share your story with me in the comments below.  I love to hear from my readers (and honestly hope you become a subscriber.)