Posted April 19, 2016 – Narrated by Carmen
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One year ago this week we were sitting in our CRV, parked on the corner of 1st and Orange Avenue in Coronado listening on speaker as my daddy, Allen Perry, inspected an Airstream in Alabama. That Airstream is ours now thanks to Jaquie and Larry Cook, her previous owners.
At that time, our plan was to leave bricks and mortar behind and live under an aluminum roof full time beginning when Jim retires in July of this year – and even though that’s still a couple of months away – we will move into Beauty this coming Saturday!
There just aren’t enough Woo-Hoo’s! to express our excitement!
Sunday night was our last maintenance day and Happy Hour at the trailer – we haven’t missed a week since we parked Beauty at the KOA storage lot. After a nice play in Pico’s favorite dog park, Jim installed a nifty magnetic knife rack, adapted our music library for the long haul and then, we sat down to our last supper ritual of Costco chicken caesar salads.
No, we haven’t really sold our house … but if we do actually sell our two-on-one property this summer we will liquidate the furniture and move on without any property holdings in San Diego. But, if we are unsuccessful in this real-estate venture, we will resort to Plan B and turn both houses into vacation rentals for awhile – since Coronado is already one big resort hotel throughout the summer months anyway.
But our ideal plan is to not own or rent a property until we have completed our full-time Airstream travels – if ever. We may be ahead of our time, but in our efforts to simplify, we do not detect any advantage – tax-wise, economic nor sedative – for retired people under 65 – without pensions, social-security or medicare to own or rent a home – especially while traveling for an indefinite period of time. At this age – past our DIY years – we feel that property is a liability.
This week, the city has issued us a 48-hour resident permit to park Beauty on the street while we prepare her for travel. This might sound extreme for some folks, but in recent years, most beach cities in California have adopted draconian laws regarding recreational vehicles due to ever-diminishing street parking (related to ever-increasing density) and, of course, homelessness …
Wow. That word shakes me up a little. While growing up, I got the taste of homelessness in my mouth several times. As a navy brat, there were many homes left behind without any specific dwelling awaiting us at our future destination. But mom and dad were experts at inspiring us to focus on the adventure and once we were as far along into the move as Jim and I are today, the tremor of loss took its humble place well behind the thrill of what was to come…
What is to come?
Silly us. How long have we lived in San Diego? Forty-five years for me and sixty-one for Jim, and we plan this transition at the onset of tourist season?! We were lucky to score the last available site on a beach with full hook-ups for the next few weeks. By mid-May we’ll have to skeedaddle here-and-there for prime spots on a near-daily basis through July. It’ll be good practice though to stay frosty, agile and resourceful …
…like the wild birds outside, off our deck, who have returned, Woo-Hooing! in their own way while weaving nests onto the tall octopus trees. The oriole pair must be eight years-old, the finches maybe six or seven – the hummers stay year-round. They’ll have at least two nests each then break camp and fly to some other tree in late October.
Perhaps it’s just this unseasonal Santa Ana slipping me into an introspective mood, but lately I’ve recognized that when I leave a place – even a place I know well – I tend to see it as if for the first time.
This past week, as I lie in bed at night, I’ve been examining the delicate wood and plaster shell stretched over our own two heads. The ceiling! – our only shield these past twenty years to protect us from the effects of dust, pestilence, moisture, and the boiling universe – and, I imagine what it would be like to live beneath other types of roofs … like the travelers outside in the octopus trees and each one of their tiny new travelers with strength enough to make the break.