I have been a part time (random) blogger at FMCA.com since 2009. This is a slightly revised version of my very first post there. I am posting it here at the suggestion of my daughter Jeri, who wanted to read more about her Mom and Dad's life, as well as look at pretty pictures.
Well Jeri, your wish is now granted. This is the first of what is sure to be more "reposts" of my stories, jokes and who knows what.
"What's it like owning a 38 foot long motor coach?"
I was asked that question the first time a few years ago. I had to stop and think for a minute or two.
I have always thought that having that big thing sitting in my driveway is nuts. It really is crazy. It cost too much to buy, to own, to keep on the road, and to pay the taxes that come along with it. It is insane to own it, but at the same time owing it keeps me sane. How can that be? Owning a coach, or any RV requires a certain mentality, a different perspective, or philosophy as it were. Maybe it requires more than a philosophy it requires some rules. I have set a few for myself anyway. I will cover rule one. If you remember it, all the others will not be as hard to keep.;
1. Remember owning a coach improves one's life, if you let it.
Well, a coach allows you to get away, to visit God's handiwork. It will take you to all kinds of places, some of which you might not go to otherwise. Rving provides friends, life long friends. Some of them will stick closer to you than your own family. Rving not only makes friends, but RVers become friends with each other really fast. It's almost magical how easy it is to make friends when you own a coach. I can talk with people on the road, at a rally, campground, RV show, or at a rest stop and after just a few minutes its like I have known them my whole life. How can I put a price on that? I can't. It is part of the priceless experience of being part of a unique community that loves the road and the people who travel it. I know from first hand experience.
One Tuesday around five years ago , I received an interesting e-mail. It was from a gentleman named Gary who lived just a few miles down on US-17 in Suffolk, just west of us. In other words, he was practically a neighbor. He and his wife Janis had been shopping for a new coach for almost a year. He wanted a diesel pusher, she didn't. She didn't want the front coach entry but he wanted the quiet ride and handling of a diesel. On the internet they found a coach like my Vacationer. With only pictures to look at, she loved the floor plan so much that the front entry door was no longer a problem; he found a chassis with a quiet engine and good handling. At least they hoped so. They needed to know more about this coach, so after searching "UFO" and "Vacationer" on MSN they found our FMCA profile and emailed me wanting to know if I would contact them and answer a few questions. I did just that. After talking on the phone with Gary for about an hour, I hung up, and my wife said to me "Silly man, why didn't you invite them to come over and see the coach?"
It never occurred to me. But not being totally stupid, I listened to her, called back and suggested to Gary that he and Janis come over to walk through our coach before going to New York to see the one they are interested in. He didn't hesitate to accept, just wanted to know what time.
So at three pm that same day, I started giving two people who have never owned any kind of RV the complete skinny on owning a really nice 38 foot motor home with a gas engine in the rear, made by a company that was in Bankruptcy. Three hours later they left with plans to travel to Buffalo and purchase a new coach that the dealer anxiously wanted to sell.
Gary and Janis consider us a Godsend. They were so nervous about this crazy thing they are about to do and having friends close by, especially ones with the SAME coach, who can answer questions, share experiences, and help them, why that is just too wonderful for words.
God works in mysterious ways. He provides new friends to you in most unusual ways. And these new friends give you the opportunity to improve their lives and at the same time, they do the same thing for you.
You must have gathered by now it was Gary and Janis who asked the simple but at the same time complex question.
"What's it like owning a 38 foot coach?"
My answer is its great. It has helped make new friends, taken us to places we have dreamed of going to and allowed Diane and I to be closer together. It has improved our lives because we let it.