By Chuck Woodbury
Gail and I live in a 32-foot motorhome. With one full-wall slide-out and a smaller one in the bedroom, we have about 300 square feet of living space. There are three rooms: main cabin (dining room, kitchen, living room all in one), bedroom and small bathroom. A sliding door separates the main cabin from the bedroom.
We lived in the RV for two years in 2017 and 2018. Then we bought a home. A year later, last November, we loaded up the RV for a two-month trip, just to get away in our comfy little mini-house with a stop at my aunt’s home near Fresno for Christmas.
Then the virus hit: The nursing home in Kirkland, Wash., where more than 40 people died, is only a few miles from where we live. It was not a good time to return home.
So, now, more than five months since we departed, we are self-quarantined in Kingman, Arizona, in a sleepy little RV park just off Route 66. We’re booked here through May.
Living in our small space is easy for us because we get along so well. Still, we both enjoy “alone time.” One way to get it is to walk the dog in the nearby neighborhoods, or on trails in the nearby desert. In warm weather we can relax outside on lawn chairs. I do a lot of reading out there.
But in the RV itself, we have a great system. Gail is a night person and I am definitely a morning person. So, what we do is this: I get up early in the morning, close the bedroom door, brew a pot of coffee, and begin my day. She usually sleeps for another two hours or so, which gives me time to think, reflect, plan, and do some writing. Sometimes I just sit and stare into the distance, and I don’t think there is much on my mind at all. I remember a poster from my college days. It said: “Sometimes I just sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” That would be me.
The opposite happens at night. I go to bed early, where I read for an hour or so and then with the lights out do a little thinking before heading off to sleep. Gail stays up for another two or three hours and reads, watches videos, or plays solitaire on her tablet. Then she comes to bed.
So, in a typical day, we each have at least a few hours all to ourselves, where we can do whatever we wish, without interruption. This works great for us — plenty of time together, but private moments as well. You might want to try it.