Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Building an RV park from scratch: My job is done (regarding one son)

By Machelle James
After my last article, I received many heartfelt messages. The struggles, the fear, the finances: How can we overcome those obstacles, become an entrepreneur and make our campground venture work. I can feel the support we have and I can hear you cheering us on. I am so grateful for all of you to make sure we keep following our dreams. We are moving full steam ahead!

Since I’ve been in Florida the last 10 days, I don’t have much to report on our campground just yet. I do have quite the personal story to tell you though.

When you become a parent, you try your best to raise your children to be productive members of society. I wanted my kids to grow up to be successful and happy. That really was my goal as a parent.

When our middle son and his wife asked me to come out to Florida to help them with the birth of their first baby, I was so honored and I booked the tickets three days before her due date – because first-time births never come early, they say. Well, my granddaughter, Aurora, decided to make her debut into the world four days early. I missed her birth by one day!

Machelle, Mom, Baby Aurora

But my mother was in town, drove to the hospital, and was cheering them on, giving me text updates. As I was walking in circles, pacing the floor, begging for a minute-by-minute play-by-play, I had tears running down my cheeks. How could I miss this? Our son is becoming a father and we are missing it! How badly I wanted to witness this little one come into the world.

But I stepped back and realized that my son is an adult, a married man, and he is the one who needs to be there more than me. I had faith my mom was in the right place at the right time. I was with AJ at home and I had the phone glued to my hand. We were cheering her on in the background. Push, Push, PUSH!

Sweet Baby Aurora James

When we saw the pictures of our first granddaughter, we both cried. She was perfect with all her toes and fingers and oh-so-healthy. I jumped on my early morning flight the next morning and flew to meet Aurora and help the kids.

When I got to hold Aurora, this perfect little extension of our family, I was smiling with so much pride and joy. The kids were doing an amazing job with her feedings, diaper changes and burping. And, of course, lots of cuddles.

When we got to their house, it was almost surreal! My son has a family, a house and a dog – and it was all clean! Well hallelujah, we did something right!

Happy new family

We figured out a routine for them to sleep in the daytime and I would sleep at night. I cooked, cleaned and shopped for them so they could stay home with their new baby as much as possible. While I observed them getting into a new parent routine, I witnessed something so beautiful unfolding. My son was taking the lead of his family, taking care of his wife and daughter. The protectiveness, the thoughtfulness, the love for his wife. The love he has for his daughter.

That is what I took away from my visit with them. I walked into their house with a mission to help and guide them on their transition into parenthood. But when I left, I felt their connection, their devotion and love for one another. As a mother, I could not wish for anything more for them. They are continuing the James Family circle of life and love and we could not be any more proud of them!

Thank you for following our journey and as always, see you in the trees! And please leave a comment.

Read Machelle’s previous articles here.

Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.



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Ashley Pray
2 years ago

Wow! Amazing.

Vanessa Simmons
3 years ago

I too have a new granddaughter (9 months, my first grand) and I am amazed at how wonderful a dad my son has turned out to be. It is so rewarding to see that we did a good job as parents. At Christmas they gave me a plaque that says “The best mothers get promoted to Grandmas.” Over twenty years in the military and that is the best promotion I ever got. Actually her mother is Grandma (at least a half dozen older ones) so we had to find a name for me and I became Nana.

Good luck with the campground, hope to stay there someday.

Machelle James
3 years ago

Awww! That is so cool Vanessa! Congratulations Nana! My grandson calls me Nana as well. Aurora is calling me Grandma they told me! Thank you so much for following our journey, we hope to have you visit next summer!

Greg T
3 years ago

The birth of that first grandchild is when you find out what life is all about.
If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have skipped having kids and gone straight to grand kids.

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Greg T

Hi Greg! I agree, grandkids are the best! We have another one coming in October!! Oh Happy Days!!!

3 years ago


Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Don

Thank you Don! We appreciate you following our journey!!

3 years ago

Congratulations on the birth of a healthy grand daughter and on realizing your roll is to support the new Mom & Dad as they took those first steps into parenting. I’m a baby nurse. I recognize it is a wise grandmother who happily cooks and cleans thus freeing new parents from the mundane tasks of every day life. Many will say this weeks article does not reflect concerns of RVers. I beg to differ. Living in our RV and working on the road has enabled us to be there to babysit and help our daughter and her husband as they raise our grandson. It’s nice to return to our RV at night and then to our own life style. As you fill up your park you will meet many grandparents like us.

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  sherry

Oh thank you Sherry! I’m so thankful for everything that is happening right now. We also are living in our RV for a few more months until the cabin is done. So far everyone is still alive, Haha! I hope to meet you and other good families out there!

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