A column by Fran
Published in Yuba/Sutter Senior News
August 15, 1996
I used to live in a
to live in a house. When I was about 45, give or take, the
church building at the end of my street was sold and
converted into a "Senior Center".
"Great!"I said. "In
five years, when I qualify as a 50 year old senior I will be
able to go down there and get lunch for 50 cents"
About the time I
reached 50 the age of a 'senior' was upped to 55. When the
whole senario repeated itself as I approached 55, I decided
the heck with being a senior citizen.
If I waited around for
a cheap lunch until I reached 60 I'd be missing a lot of
experiences that were waiting for me out there beyond the
street I had lived on for 26 years.
So we sold the house
and moved into our fifth wheel. That's the first step. Now,
as soon as we can find a way to make a living on the road,
we plan to hit the open highway. Gas prices being what they
are that may take a while.
In the mean time we
get to take a trip about once or twice a year and inbetween
times we are shuffled about in trailer parks so we are
learning about packing, hitching up, towing, etc.
Steve, that's Steve
Fletcher, my husband, business partner and tow-vehicle
driver, is taking a course to become certified to repair RV
air conditioners, refrigerators, awnings, etc.
All that may not
finance our travels, but it's bound to come in handy keeping
our own equipment functional when we are forty-umteen miles
We like to go to RV
shows and Good Sam gatherings from time to time to see what
is new in "stuff" for RVs. And it's fun to visit the
recreational vehicle supply stores. It's fascinating to see
all the ways everyday things are adapted for use in smaller
Some things are
definitely not the same as living in a "real" house, but for
the most part Steve and I have adapted quite nicely to our
One thing that is
difficult for me to get used to is grocery shopping.
A friend commenting on
this recently said "I bet getting groceries is easy. You
just hitch up and drag the house to the store and say 'fill
The major problem is
that grocery shopping is not one of my favorite passtimes.
In the old Air Force days I would shop at the commissary
only every six weeks. I'd stock up on everything but
perishables. I had room to store stuff and then I didn't
have to shop as often.
'Course now days you'd
have to take out a loan to shop for a six week supply of
Even shopping monthly
or twice a month cuts down on trips to the store, but as a
full time RVer I'm slowly getting the message that my little
refrigerator just doesn't hold what my 16 cubic foot freezer
and regular sized frig held.
Fitting much more than
a week's supply of canned goods and staples in the narrow
"pantry" is a challenge also. But you do learn to step aside
quickly when you open a door and an overstuffed shelf starts
to toss things out at you.
The good side of that
is no meal planning... you just cook what falls out.
Actually that may be the origination of the expression
"catch of the day"!
But all in all, living
full time in an RV is quite an adventure. I'll be telling
you more about it as time goes on... and maybe you have some
stories to tell also. If so, send them along to me in care
of the Senior Review.
Copywrite 1996 -- Fran