Part 3 is the “I don’t want to come home” part. We are seriously considering buying a used camper and plunking it down alongside Jim’s cousins on the campground. We have some real thinking and pondering to do about this. It’s an 8 hour drive for us and, of course, I still have 3 yrs and 8 mos. till I expect to retire. I do have a lot of vacation time (about 9 weeks right now) and I am currently earning it at a rate of 5 weeks per year, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that I could take two weeks at a time about 3 times a year for the next few years and just go sit by the stream in Cripple Creek, VA….then as often as we feel like it during summer months when I’ve retired.
Jim’s cousin is a “caretaker for life” of the property that we would camp on and he has installed showers, running faucets for handwashing and male and female outhouses that are clean and kept pumped when needed. There is electricity for cooking, refrigeration and–necessary for us–air conditioning. There is a sheltered area for group meals that includes a large refrigerator and pest-proof storage. These are actually kept locked. The entire campground is also gated and kept locked when not in use and the family members who camp there all have keys.
We talked about what we would do with our time there. Jim loves to fish and can see himself hunting and fishing, both there and in surrounding areas. I can see myself with my Featherweight sewing machine and quilt pieces cut out that I could work on if the weather turned nasty or it was night time and I was bored, and I’d also have books and crocheting with me. But mostly I’d be outside sitting in the shade by that creek listening to the water rush by. Reading or not, sewing or not. Just sitting and maybe birdwatching. I can see late afternoon naps in a hammock (a string one, of course), simple meals cooked on a grill, in a crockpot or in a frying pan. A trip into town on Saturday to re-stock the groceries and do the laundry, maybe a stop at the local library for reading materials.
Jim has started checking out used campers for sale, so I think he’s considering doing this. If it weren’t for the site being free (family campers help with the electric bill and help cut grass and such) we wouldn’t think of it, but it’s almost irresistable. Lot’s of thinking to do.
Our trip home was uneventful and we had a lovely early dinner at my favorite restaurant just east of the Chesapeake Bay bridge, Fisherman’s Inn. Going back to work was crappy, but hey, at least I have something to dream about and maybe look forward to, even if it’s just next year’s reunion!