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Campfire Stories

I'm learning to adjust to the Glamping thing. Our coach is everything I'd hoped it would be. Coming from a large two-story home on acreage, where I had my own bedroom, now sharing a bed with my husband and usually Tucker, our dog, has not been as difficult as I feared. Helps that the bed is wonderful to sleep on. The room is dark, which is something I never had in my old bedroom. I mean, even the stars would keep me up at night and the moon used to glow right into my window. I could hear animals in the brush all night long, and even the sounds of owls would keep me awake. I was opposed to black-out shades. Stubborn, you know.

But our tiny bedroom is cozy, and always smells like laundry since I do a load nearly every day. That's a pleasant smell for me, and brings back memories of my mother, who liked to do laundry like I do! Something about clean clothes and things fresh from the dryer with those wonderful scents. I use lavender for my delicates and sleepwear, and cool breeze scents for my jeans and shirts.

I also wasn't sure what it would be like to live so close to so many other people. I rather like it. I've met folks from all over the country — including a woman from the UK who was a hippie and just this year finally made it to San Francisco. Some people come in million dollar rigs, others in little tear-drops. Since we walk Tucker 2-3 times a day, we've socialized with other dog owners. Met a guest conductor, several horse trainers, a retired Pentagon official, retired cattle rancher and a bank manager. This week met two couples from Virginia and Texas, both who had sold their big homes, and were permanent travelers. And more and more of their friends are doing the same.

Last night I was struck with the sounds of children playing. I remember those days, with our four. I'd forgotten what a lovely sound it is. Growing up, I used to love family gatherings in the Central Valley, (my grandmother and two of her sisters married my grandfather and two of his brothers), where I was one of the oldest cousins. My favorite cousin, Ronnie, and I would run that little band  of ruffians all over the ranch. We had a ball. I can remember going to bed at night all sweaty and breathing so hard I wasn't sure I'd ever catch my breath! Last night I watched teams of pre-teen boys chasing pre-teen girls — that age-old game of cat and mouse. It was so refreshing that it didn't involve any politics, or religion or international affairs. We barbequed hamburgers and made somemores. It felt just normal.

 

I love looking at people's set-ups, how they set their tables, how they arrange their lawn chairs, what activities they do. This one picture with the small chairs and small table all set up was priceless!

 

 

People decorate their coaches on Saturday nights with lights and solar flamingos — it's kind of a contest. I love the smell of the campfires and the music or TV programs coming from the coaches, the families or baseball teams roasting marshmallows over the firepit. Before dark the park owner drives a small tractor through the park, pulling several “buckets” of kids he picks up along the way. They brought in a couple of minature horses yesterday, and the jumping pillow (trampoline) was full. So was the pool.

Living so isolated, I had missed all this. I have to say I'm thoroughly enjoying life. I find it's stimulating for my writing as well, as well as soothing to my soul. It's almost like I've plugged in. Oh yes, I'm still behind on some things, but part of my routine is to daydream, to dabble, to wander and get lost and find myself again. It's like being in an airport for me. I love watching the people and their interactions.

I thought of myself as a recluse. I've proven that I'm more connected, and need that connection. And, especially these days, it's way more fun to watch the campground drama than just about anything else. It's humorous, colorful and bursting with life!

 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 42 comments
theresa carle - September 16, 2018

Thank you for sharing.Sounds so lovely. I have a dream of selling my home and living in a tiny house. Hubby not on my same page but… maybe someday!

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 16, 2018

    Thanks, Terri. In my case, it was the other way around. But I always love an adventure. I can always adjust afterwards, and I guess that’s what I like about it. I’m learning how flexible I am in my old age!

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    Barbara Lack - September 16, 2018

    Barbara Lack
    Theresa I want to live in a tiny home too. I think when we retire my daughter said we could put a tiny home on her lot.

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      Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

      Barbara,
      You should do this! Funny how it makes the whole world bigger because your private space is so small. Really an interesting phenomenon!

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Margaret Lord - September 16, 2018

Thank you for sharing Sharon such a wonderful adventure you have embarked on one to admire and cherish. x

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 16, 2018

    Margaret,
    Yes, these memories are very special. Funny how it all circles back to past times, even though the experience is new. Everything is indeed a circle.

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Cathy Christensen - September 16, 2018

Hi, Sharon! This sounds so wonderful. I am so glad you are enjoying yourself. Continue to grab as much gusto as you can from life. xxoo

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Sharon Hamilton - September 16, 2018

Cathy,
Count on it! I will!

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Janelle - September 16, 2018

It’s a lot of fun getting camper ready to head to indiana dunes for a week

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    That sounds yummy, Janelle! I’ll tag along vicariously!

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Gale S. - September 16, 2018

It sounds wonderful…and your adventure is turning into everything that it could be, and more! Amazing.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    My whole life has turned upside down, and nice to know I can handle it. Learning all sorts of new things, but the people are what make it so much fun.

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Sandy Scheer - September 16, 2018

I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through you since I’m not physically able to do that. But it sounds like so much fun and I really would enjoy being out there and meeting new people. I guess I waited too late to start living.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Sandy,
    There are things I’ve waited too long for too. Got too busy, and didn’t keep up with my skiing. I was reminded of that as we drove through Lake Tahoe yesterday. I love to ski, but now I’m too afraid to fall! Sucks being more fragile. We decided to do this. I doubt in 5 years my husband will be able to drive and move about, so the time is now. Always can rest later…grabbing what we can.

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Julie - September 16, 2018

So glad your enjoying it all. Sometimes we don’t realise it’s the little things in life that bring us the most joy.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Julie, you are 100% right. That’s been the interesting thing about it.

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Helly - September 16, 2018

I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself and meeting so many different people. I knew you would, but you have to experience it yourself first. So keep enjoying you new life style.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Thanks, Helly. And it’s been fun to have the little apartment project to work on too. This isn’t like jet-setting all over the place. More like Turtle Travel. Slow and steady. Can’t wait to hit the open road in November.

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Beth Barany - September 16, 2018

Sharon, What a wonderful adventure you’re on! I love your story! Your childhood memories brought good tears to my eyes… all my childhood memories of running around like a hooligan with my siblings and friends. Hugs, Beth

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Beth, so happy to see you here! Yes, you know that hot sweaty feeling being a kid and just using all our little muscles and bones. What a time that was! Thank you for sharing that with me.

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Dawn M. Debold - September 16, 2018

I love your writing have ALL your books, but absolutely adore your blog and all the stories here. Good luck with it all and keep smiling.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Ah, bless you, Dawn. You say the most wonderful things. It really touched me this morning. Thank you.

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BARBARA LESH - September 16, 2018

Right on girl. Sounds like fun and enjoy every moment. I’m sure you will pickup lots of ideas for your books on your travels.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Barbara, LOL, I’ve already heard some juicy arguments. Better than being in a thin-walled apartment complex, you know? Some of these rigs are amazing. Have fireplaces, all the bells and whistles. Yes, lots of great ideas already. Not a lot of Navy SEALs here, though, but lots of families with all those wonderful interactions!

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Kathleen Bylsma - September 16, 2018

Excellent column. Thanks.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Thank you!

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ILONA WILLIAMS - September 17, 2018

Such a different lifestyle but sounds very relaxing and no more daily rushing around. Enjoy every moment!
Ilona

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    It is. We do have the remodel going on, which involves more Don than I. Biut it is delicious not to have so many things to do. Now I can focus on my writing. And I’m left alone more during the day. No more movers, workmen, animals (we have our dog) or the big gardens. It’s time in my life for this type of slowing down.

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Tiffany Ahmed - September 17, 2018

Good for you for embracing such a beautiful opportunity and all the richer for it. Thanks so much for sharing and being an inspiration to remember good things can come from stepping out of our comfort zone.

Peace, Love, & Smiles!

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Thank you, Tiffany, for those warm thoughts. Yes, all the important things: Peace, Love and Smiles. I’m trying hard to do that every minute.

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Ruza Rebel - September 17, 2018

So happy to hear you are enjoying this next phase of life. I’ve been visiting my sister in Missouri, and she owns a campground. It’s very quiet here, but I miss the city where everything is close. Driving 15-20 miles to go shopping or out to eat is a little frustrating. The scenery is beautiful, but my daughter and I are looking forward to heading home to my husband tomorrow.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Ruza,
    I understand! Because this campground is full, it’s like a small city. But I do understand when you’re used to all the activity, and you don’t have it anymore, it is a shift. I want to be on the road, and we will be when the remodel is done, but for now, I’m just enjoying this. No, wouldn’t live this way forever. But there are tender and juicy moments I’m taking with me along the way. Safe travels. No place like home, that’s for sure.

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Cindy Heining - September 17, 2018

Reading about life in a coach brings back wonderful memories of camping at the beach with my grandparents and traveling with my parents. What fun we had around camp fires roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. Visiting with other campers. We also loved to see the lights around each site.

Thank you for bringing those memories back to life.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Oh, thank you, Cindy! My grandfather (the preacher) had a trailer at Santa Cruz and he used to take time to stay there and walk the beach, and did this until well into his 80’s. It was a permanent fixture. We used to love visiting him during the summers. Yes, fond memories, for sure. When we got so upset when we couldn’t get down to the beach by 9 AM even though it was foggy!

    My grandma traveled at one speed, and we all had to adjust. But we never lacked for food, snacks or any possible item when we were on the beach all day. I’d hit the water first, and stay there until lunch, and then stay there until it was time to go home! Great memories for me too! Reliving part of my childhood, for sure.

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Mary C Silvestri - September 17, 2018

Your travels sound like very good times. Keep in having fun!!

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Thank you! I plan on it, Mary!

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Karn - September 17, 2018

Sounds like you’re adjusting well. We enjoyed meeting new people, etc.also. Always laughter. We lived by the ocean and I enjoyed my 3-4 times a day walks with our dogs. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Oh, don’t you love your washer where you put dirty clothes in and they come out washed and dried!

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Yes, Karn. I love that washer-dryer. An amazing machine. We’re considering putting one of those in the apartment I love it so much! Little workhorse!

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Brenda Sims - September 17, 2018

Sharon, My husband and I are full time RVers. We live the life. Right now we have stopped and are managing an RV resort in Texas. If you get down to the Rio Grande Valley come visit a place that is different from campgrounds. I am at Texas Trails RV Resort in Pharr. We would love go have you visit.

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    Sharon Hamilton - September 17, 2018

    Brenda, I’ll have to remember that. We will definitely be going through Texas at some point. I keep having to change plans as the remodel gets bogged down here and there with unexpected things (not complaining), but for sure, would love to. There are also Country Coach rallies, as well as some Newmar ones (you know these are brands), that might allow “imposters”. Some of those trips sound like fun too. So, we’ll be exploring lots of things. I hope I can ask questions and get advice from ladies like you who do this full time. I would love to explore the Rio Grande Valley. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, and so filled with history. We met a couple who have a house in Mexico, and keep their RV in Texas. Lots to explore. Remind me when we start rolling. I’ll bet you meet some interesting folk as well.

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J.D. Hart - September 17, 2018

Love to hear these stories about traveling, camping and interacting with so many different people and their life situations. You are a true pirate in the best sense of the word. You are free to travel, explore, daydream, dabble and wander! Isn’t that what the greatest author’s do? Sometimes, losing your yourself is the best way to reinvent and find yourself. I am so happy for you my angel. You have embraced this new way of life and it will embrace you back with new adventures beyond your wildest dreams. Nobody does it better than you. Life is all about those peak moments when we least expect them. Thank you for sharing your life story as well as your amazing stories of love, life, and romance. xoxoxoxoxoxox, YP

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Beverly Tavares - October 9, 2018

Susan,
If you haven’t already been to San Diego to see the “Seals” there, it’s a great place to visit and enjoy the view, then watch some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

I’m delighted that you are having so much fun with your travels. New memories and new outlooks for future books sounds great, too.

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