As WilleR and I wake up each day, whether it be in the middle of December or the beginning of February, this question is answered in a heartbeat. I peek out of my small bedroom window without even lifting my head. First, I’m looking to see if it is light enough out to walk and second, to see the sky. What kind of day will this be?
Day after day, week after week, month after month we can with complete unobstructed honesty say that 90% of the time, the sky is clear, blue, very little clouds (if any) blanketed by God’s amazing ball of sun. When we do have clouds, they add to the already glorious sunrises and sunsets. It is that nice. With that comes the main reason for this little family to vacate Ontario at the end of October and not return until the beginnings of April.
Sure, when I was a child and even a teen-ager, I loved the snow. I don’t remember my thoughts on the bitter cold winters, but I took it all with a grain of salt because I never thought of anything different. When I began driving in my late teens and for the rest of my working career, I began to despise it. I still had never given the ‘south’ any thought but I didn’t like having to bundle up in the coat, scarves, mitts and boots.
The road conditions, no matter where I resided, country, village or city, left a lot to be desired and getting into a freezing cold vehicle to drive to work was nasty! That doesn’t even touch on the ‘fun’ (NOT!) of scraping windshields and cleaning the snow and ice off of said vehicle. Now are you beginning to get the picture? Our frame of mind?
WilleR had even more justification under his belt for making this move. He shoveled a whole lot more drives and sidewalks than I could ever imagine. Even after buying our snow blower, I took pictures of how uncomfortable a chore that was. He’d be covered head to foot in white and come inside the house with his body temperature so high that I’d be concerned as he took layers of clothing off.
In 2013, after minor discussions about what we want to do in retirement, we made the wonderful decision to sell our house and travel full-time in our Mobile Suite 5th wheel. It wasn’t an easy decision, at first, as we fussed over how can we go south and still keep our house? With a mortgage still outstanding on our home for another 15 years or so we couldn’t even feasibly cost out going for as little as a month. Really, it came down to ‘why do we want to?’ ‘why are we trying to hang on to a house, it’s just a house, so we can return to the upkeep of property and sticks and bricks?’
Between the two of us, it came down to a very easy bottom line, ‘sell the house!’ Retirement for us came in the year 2016 and when the house sold in February of that year, with a closing of April 2oth, we began our full-time lifestyle. Two years have passed. I think of the house in London on Metcalfe Cr. Periodically but it is almost as if it was someone else’s home. I don’t miss it. WilleR doesn’t miss it.
I mentioned earlier that our 5th wheel has all the comforts of home and it does. Even more than what we had in our sticks house. Mr. 4 Paws doesn’t miss it either and doesn’t even seem confused at where we are. No matter where we move or how often we move, he is home and has the same little bed each time.
There are no beaches, for the most part, which is something I thought I would crave if I came south but there are beautiful desert lands for us to park on with as little ‘conveniences’ as you want and also gorgeous parks to camp in with swimming pools and every bit of social life you can imagine. If you want that. I’ve seen a new relaxed attitude in my partner, my love, my husband. WilleR has read more books since last October and he has learned how to sit still for longer periods of time without having to do something. I love that.
Me? I’m in my glory. I’ve never been a stressed out type of gal and that is mostly thanks to our wonderful Mom who dealt with everything in a matter-of-fact manner. Life is great. I always thought of myself as shy, to a point, and didn’t know if this life of meeting people, sitting and getting to know people on a daily basis (if we chose) to be something I would feel comfortable with. Well, surprise! I talk to anyone, I am the one to strike up a chit chat with a stranger and it is me who goes to the pool, the clubhouse and explores the area first.
This might give you some understanding of why we chose this life. We have no regrets over the house, the winter departure or the lack of shoveling we have to do. It is 11 am, Mountain Time, in Yuma, Arizona. It is a clear blue sky, the humming bird is drinking from my feeder, he visits often, WilleR and Mr. 4 Paws are sitting outside beside me, one reading, one sleeping and it is already 66F/19C.
Did I mention that there are NO bugs and as little as 18% humidity?