T- 3 months – HapppyThanksgiving!

Travel date: 11.23.2016

Destination: California City, CA

I used to think that family and holidays went together. I still do, but not in the steadfast way I used to believe. Back when I hosted holiday dinners with my kids and their dad, and my parents and his parents, and both our brothers and their wives and kids.  Every holiday and birthday was a family gathering. 

That was before the splits. First my parents, then me. And holidays became much more complicated. For me and my family and also for Tom and his.

And now that we’re together and our kids are grown and branching out with their own extended families, it makes it even more complicated. It is a rare treat indeed when my whole family gathers, as in this precious picture:img_5277-2

So Tom and I have created our own traditions, and one of them is going to the Mohave desert to spend Thanksgiving in the middle of nowhere with friends.  Last year my kids joined us and we’ve had Tom’s youngest daughter go with us a couple of times which of course makes it even more holiday-like.

This being our last thanksgiving before going full-time, I was kinda hoping to spend it with family – especially with all the new additions: a new grandson and a couple of new fience’s. But no invites were extended and I’m just happy to know that everyone is where they want to be.

Including us. On the way to the desert. With pumpkin pies and a green bean casserole for the potluck.

I think of all the other full-timers that I know about or have read about and how I’m coming to understand, as many of them already do I suppose, that the holidays don’t have to be about spending time with blood relatives. A sense of family can be created with any group of like-minded people. (Which can also make for less volatile conversations around the dining table!)

We really appreciate our desert friends – those we are breaking bread with joined by a love of adventure and motors.

We go out to the desert for the endless miles of trail-riding. As a group, we have dirt bikes, quads, and razors. Tom & I have a 2-seat razor. At first I thought we would sell the razor along with all of our other vehicles – since we can’t take both it and the jeep behind the motorhome. But we realized this desert community –  along with Tom’s brother and nephews and my two kids (who all have razors) – isn’t something we wanted to break away from.  So our plan is to keep the razor (and trailer) in a shipping container on my son’s property in Tulare. Along with a few other things we’re not ready to part with yet and plan to keep in storage.

That way as we’re visiting family here locally, we can drop off the jeep and pick up the razor and be off to an adventure. Tulare is only 3 hours from the Mojave Desert, less than 3 hours to the mountains or central coast, and about 9 hours from the Oregon Dunes or Southern Utah’s National Parks. Add those up and that is a LOT of trail riding –  so not too bad a location!

So that’s our plan –  present and future –  and I’m okay (reluctantly) with the idea of not spending traditional holiday gatherings as I had in the past.  Besides, now anytime we can spend with family seems like a holiday anyhow!

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy