Updated: May 29, 2021
May 24, 2021, Pacific City, Oregon.
Samuel is on the wheel, Serena is in the back giving directions, I am on the left side, and Norden is on the right side. We need to make sure the sides of our RV won’t hit the branches. Backing our RV into a campsite takes the cooperation of our whole family.
And the length of our vehicles blocked the road, again. We have been living in an RV and traveling for 75 days by now.
This scene has been repeated many times.
“I am so sorry.” I turned to the tall woman who just stopped next to me, with two dogs on a leash, one big, one small. I noticed the big one had a service tag on him.
“Oh no worries! We all have done that.” She waved her hand. I noticed her bright smile right away, reminiscent of a child. “I drive a Class A with a trailer behind, so I know how hard it is.” She was wearing a blue flowery blouse, her long hair tied back with a few streaks of gray in it.
What is Class A? But I had no time to ask, my eyes trained on our RV to make sure Samuel was not hitting anything. For the duration of our trip, we had broken the sewer pipe on a rock, blown out the tire twice, wrecked a mailbox (which we fixed), but parking remained to be the most challenging task. Our longest record was a grueling four hours to make it into the lot.
Before I knew it, the tall woman stepped forward and started to direct Samuel. Her voice was firm and loud with such confidence.
A couple of minutes later, our mission was accomplished. I almost wanted to bow to her.
She looked at our license plate and smiled. “You drove from Florida? I will be in Orlando in November.”
“Oh, we live in Orlando!” Relieved from duty, I resumed my curiosity. “What is a Class A?”
“It is the biggest RV, like a bus.” She responded. “I am right there.” Following her fingers, peeking through the tall trees, I could see the tip of her large RV. “Come, let me show you.”
While Samuel and the kids unloaded the RV, I went to visit our new neighbor. Her name is Cindy and she has been on the road by herself for 11 months. Her husband passed away two years ago from cancer.
I observed the dragon-shaped wind chimes and several porcelain-potted plants outside the RV. “How long do you plan to travel?”
“At least another 10 years.”
“I will be 72 then. I worked all my life, then took care of my husband until he passed. Now I want to see the world. Well, the country. I don’t want to live with my sons. Not yet.”
I nodded and stepped back onto the grass. “How many sons do you have?”
“No girls?” Having one son is already a lot of work. I couldn’t imagine half a dozen!
“No, but 9 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.” The corners of her mouth turned up as she mentioned them.
“You have such a bright smile.”
“I have been told that a lot.” She smiled again, playfully.
“And you are so brave.” It just popped out of my mouth. But truly, I couldn’t imagine myself doing something like this.
“Well, I have them two.” She pointed at the dogs, “And a gun by my seat. I have a concealed weapon permit.” For the first time, I saw her face turn serious.
There have been many surprises on the road in the last two and half months. Somehow I feel the meeting of Cindy just expanded my horizon again. Nothing can stop a woman from following her heart's desire. Cindy, Goddess of Courage. I dedicate this blog post to you.