While you are busy making other plans…”!!
And so it is with the gypsies …. While we were planning to gypsy on for the next several years life happened and our plans got changed. Due to the severe arthritis I now have, it became apparent to us last summer that my work as a camp host needed to end, and we had to find a less physical way to support our life style.
At first, it seemed like we would be staying in our niche at Union Valley Reservoir, only instead of camp hosting, Buff would be in maintenance and I would be “retired”. This came with the opportunity to work for a longer season – April through October – which left us with six months to find a winter gig….. and we did…. We were offered the opportunity to camp host at a R. V. Park in the Napa/Sonoma area by the same folks that we worked for in Carson City years ago! Since we loved working for them back then we knew we would be happy working for them again. The park is located in the coastal mountains 30 miles North of Santa Rosa in a quaint little town named Cloverdale.
We arrived here September 8th and realized we had hit the jackpot! This is beautiful country with very moderate winters – away from the large city atmosphere – and close to the ocean, redwood trees, wineries and even the big city if one is inclined to visit it. So lots of day trips and overnight weekends to explore all that is offered. Therefore, it appeared that we would have the Sierra Mountains for six months of summer and the wine country for six months in the winter… we were doing our happy dance within a few days of landing here.
The park is older and not a cookie cutter R. V. Park, having only 42 sites and tons of rustic charm. There are “permanent” residents and several sites for overnighters… all nicely separated so the overnighters do not really mix with the more permanent residents. The park has amazing views, is far enough off Hwy 101 that there is virtually no traffic noise, you can hear crickets at night and see a clear and starry sky. The grounds and buildings have lots of little maintenance projects to keep Buff entertained for hours…. The pace is slow, the folks we work for/with are wonderful and best of all – NO FIRE PITS TO DIG OUT AND NO OUTHOUSES TO CLEAN!!!
The little town of Cloverdale is delightful, about the size of my home town in Wyoming in the sixties, folks are friendly and in no hurry. Several of the older buildings have been converted into boutiques and restaurants …. all in all a lovely place. And for Jeff…. A picture of the post office……..
We settled into our hosting job and were happily unaware that life had still more changes to our plans ….. Two months ago the park owners approached us with an offer to be permanent managers here… a great offer with free site, utilities and a nice income to supplement our social security. Buff was eager to accept this new plan right away, BUT, it took me a few days to process the fact that my gypsy feet were going to be planted in one spot again. Then one morning, sitting outside having my coffee, looking at the amazing view from my front “yard”, I realized there are lots of folks that would give anything to be able to retire here! I would have to be crazy to look this gift horse in the mouth!! We negotiated two weeks a year vacation time to gypsy around the area, Buff threw in the enticement of motel weekends at Bodega Bay from time to time….and that is when I gracefully accepted the gift that life had just presented to us.
The days go by easy…. Buff is up with the sun, having coffee on the patio, planning his day of repairs, improvements, and basic puttering that he so thoroughly enjoys. He is his own boss, a situation he has always aspired to, and sets his own schedule. I, on the other hand, wander out about eight o’clock, have coffee, then start my day slowly as I don’t really get busy until late afternoon. I do some minimal office stuff but mostly check in campers. Just enough to give me purpose in life and a reason to get up in the morning. Perfect.
While I jealously guard my days off, Buff finds lots to do on his that keeps him busy and happy. He hates it when we have to go to shopping or some other silly thing I come up with that forces him to leave his “kingdom“.
There are some wild life creatures here and lots of birds to watch…. We have a hummingbird feeder that keeps us amused, as there is one male that has taken possession of it and challenges any other hummingbird to dare take a sip of his personal stash… unless, of course, it is a female who is allowed to sip nectar and watch him perform his dance for her.
For trees, we have Live Oak, Black Oak, several types of pine trees and copious other trees and shrubs that I have no idea of what they are… and vineyards all around us. Since fall is my very favorite time of year I am truly enchanted with the variety of colors that are vividly on display right now. I have been promised that spring is amazingly green and just as beautiful, since it does not snow here we have no worries about winter and we have A/C and a swimming pool for summer.
Sometimes we wake up to fog in the valley with the mountains peeking out … a very dreamy landscape to behold. Speaking of mountains, of course these are not the Rockies, Sierras, Big Horns, Uintas or Wasatch mountains of Colorado, Wyoming or Utah… but when you start at almost sea level in the valley a 4400’ mountain looks pretty majestic after all!
Life is a circle sometimes and my circle seems to be closing … I was actually born in San Francisco during WWII where my parents were staying until my father shipped out for Germany, at which time my mother and I went to Evanston, Wyoming to live with her parents until my dad came home. All my life I have claimed Wyoming as “home”, so little did I know, that after 68 years of wandering, I would end up less than one hundred miles from my birthplace! ”California Here I Come.. Right Back Where I Started From”…..
So…. In our case, Life happening while we were making other plans has worked out well. We are content to make this our final camp with short forays into the gypsy life on weekends and vacations. I have spent the past hours looking back at our blog, all the excellent adventures we have had in the past five years, and am so grateful for each and every one of them. So many wonderful memories to think of whilst sitting in the rocking chair enjoying this time of our life….
If you are feeling sorry for us – you are wasting your sympathy – We are now happily settled into this stage of our life, are truly contented and daily grateful that life happens the way it is supposed to sometimes.
Our new address is:
230 Theresa Drive
Cloverdale, CA 95425
Go to DUTCHER CREEK RV PARK.COM to see why we were so happy to have landed here…
Come and see us sometime…