By Joan Connor
I happily bicycle up to my trailer, climb the three fold up steps, fix a meatloaf sandwich and wonder if I will go home tomorrow. Home to a house that holds me hostage to my stuff. Is this truly how I feel? Or will I breathe a deep sigh of thanksgiving for my belongings, pay the HOA fees for this month, and then quickly unpack the trailer of its perishables and dirty laundry. I don’t aspire to receiving another phone message from the HOA president, “When are you moving your trailer? We have rules and it has been three days. I am getting calls about it.”
As I munch the delicious meatloaf slathered in no-sugar ketchup, I count the RVs (recreational vehicles) out the windows of our very temporary site. Twelve units are within my vision, some motorhomes and some trailers. My nearest neighbor told me which ones were parked permanently, not just for the winter as in snowbirds coming south for the Texas sunshine. She meant year-round, including sizzling summers, in this Lakeway RV park northwest of Austin. La Hacienda is home for many.
Some spaces have garden-like plots tended to by their permanent proprietors. We are nestled within a shady grove of trees with trailers circled about like covered wagons around a campfire. Several residents have canopies covering the designated picnic table assigned to each space. BBQ grills dot landscapes that also claim four-wheelers, tow trailers, cargo trailers, baby swings hanging and wooden fenced decks. Bicycles lean expectantly along-side the campers. I pedal my cruiser on the parallel streets to check out the neighbors’ patio furniture and plant collections, pumping hard on the small inclines.
The outdoor rooms appeal to me – temporary gazebos housing comfy cushioned furniture. I cruise past the couple working on several motorcycles under their temporary gazebo. I admire the flowering red geraniums on the picnic tables. I view empty spaces soon to fill with folks passing through, parking for a night or two and visiting the area just as we are doing.
My husband and I are temporary occupants in this RV park taking our new 29 foot travel trailer on its maiden voyage. As seasoned RVers, we are familiar with hooking up the sewer hose, water hose, electricity and cable connection. Both of us are retired and finding great enjoyment spinning our wheels. Our previous camping expeditions were in a small motorhome I bought as a single woman. However, as we unhook the trailer from our 1995 Ford 150 we are quick to conclude that the 150 had to work hard to get us here. “Going up hills will be a process in slow motion,” Hubby remarks. If you “give” the old folks a new 7000 lb. trailer to pull, it is likely they will need a bigger truck for their next journey. The retiree’s version of If You Give a Moose a Muffin.
This trailer is definitely not going to be traveling the “off road” adventures that pull me to camping like the little box of colored magnets I had as a child. Traveling into forest service parks and onto BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) for boondocking, free camping with no hook-ups, might occur. However, with this “home on wheels,” we need to be more “on-road” as in black topped paths with no sharp curves. The boondocking set-up pleases me. I like the aura of camping as I place a propane stove on the picnic table, fry up the bacon and percolate coffee in the blue speckled enamel pot. La Hacienda is not conducive to such primitive behaviors. This is RV suburban lifestyle at its finest.
My mind conjures up new thoughts. What if I put a truck camper on the bed of the “new to us” bigger pick-up that we now must acquire? Then we could leave the big trailer, go off into the wild woods for a night, and then back to the luxurious trailer with its shower, two recliners, all hook-ups and a queen-size walk-a-round bed. So if you give the old folks a new trailer, then they must acquire a bigger truck. If you give them a bigger truck then they will want a camper top to take into the woods. And if they have a new camper top then they will need sleeping bags because the bed in a truck camper is really difficult to make up.
And then, with all this stuff, we come back to the townhome with its HOA rules and limited parking. Is the truck camper considered an RV and not allowed in the driveway for more than three days? Guess we’ll find out, and no, I don’t want to admit that if you give the old folks too many toys then they must find a bigger driveway.
Hostage to stuff? Surely not!
© 2021 Joan Connor
Joan is currently pursuing an MFA with Lindenwood University, Simultaneously she indulges in various online writing classes, painting by number (or not), learning the fiddle, and RVing with her very agreeable husband and furry four-paws, Ava.
Joan, I love your piece. So happy to see your photo and know that you and your husband are still RVing. Take care, Suzy Beal