Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunshine on my cheesehead makes me happy

Dear R.V. Shrink:
We bought a new fifth wheel this fall when I retired, with plans to spend the winter in a warmer part of the country. I think my wife is getting cold feet (no pun intended). We live in Wisconsin. It has been a mild November and early December, with little snow. However, it is colder than a well-diggers lunchbox and I am ready for that warmer clime. My wife keeps dragging her feet. First it was, "We'll leave after Thanksgiving." Then it was, "We'll leave after Christmas." Now she has fallen in love with the month of January's winter wonderland. Her argument is that January and February are cold months even in the Southland. She thinks we should not leave until we are assured of warm temps in March. I am fit to be tied. Please give me some debate maneuvers that will help hoist anchor before spring sets in again. --Frostbitten in Fond Du Lac

Dear Frostbitten:
Okay, let's put on our cheesehead hats and work on this problem. First, your wife is right about January and February being the coldest months in the South during a normal year. The difference is you won't need your snowblower, the days usually climb to high sunny temps and the closer you get to the sun the less your gooseneck's heater is going to kick on.

I will admit I have had my water and septic freeze for a few hours as far south as Rio Grande campground in Big Bend. But by noon I was birding in my shirt sleeves. In Wisconsin you will still be hauling wood to the stove at noon. I think you both need to head south, if that was your original intent, and feel the difference yourself. You can't gauge North American weather by staring at a laptop AccuWeather map. If you don't believe me, compare it against the weather outside your door vs. what is on your computer screen. They will never match.

Often, recently retired RVers have a hard time adjusting to this new found freedom. It is not a good idea to force an agenda or time schedule on your maiden voyage, but you need to discover the reality of this type of travel, and the only way to do that is to get some experience under your belts. You did not give me an indication of your compass reading. You will find the further you go south in Florida and Texas the warmer your average temps are going to be. In the West it is all about elevation. I can only think of about a million beautiful places in the sunbelt that will allow you outside every winter day to hike, fish, chase birds and bike without your woolies making you itch all over. So, if it's not family holiday commitments that are keeping you in Fond Du Lac, and you both agree that RVing is something you want to try, there is no time like the present. Your wife has had many years to discover Wisconsin Januarys. It's time to experience and experiment with new and exciting climates all over the southern tier states.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

12 comments:

Merikay said...

Being from Wisconsin myself, I can say that even a cold day in the South is warm by comparison to January in in the North!

I haven't won a winter jacket in 30 years.

Anonymous said...

it's like this, she will always have an excuse to not try anything new when it comes to leaving. It starts with we have to stay for the Thanksgiving meal tradition, then it's the being home for Christmas with the grandchildren, then IT'S maybe after the new year, then it's well it's not too cold outside, then it's, well "I CAN'T SEE THE REASON TO GO DOWN ALL THAT WAY FOR ONLY TWO MONTHS" and if your going to Florida or somewhere it's popular, February is he most sought after month for reservations and occupancy. Get the rv ready, pack it up, pack the animals, hook up, and hear the "complaints" down the interstate for two-three days. Or Keep the rv and trade her in.

N4NSS Kyle said...

I left the frozen tundra back in 1987 after a winter of minus 70 deg. wind chill temps. I haven't missed that kind of cold since. Although, after being here all these years, when the temps drop in Dec.,Jan.,Feb.,I look foreward to basking in 'ol sol's rays. I will never shovel, chip ice, or slide on icey roads again. Get your butts down here...P.S. I'm still a cheezehead. Go Pack!

George said...

I am retired and wanted to go south. We had not used our rv for a winter holiday before. My wife is self-employed and as long as she has her computer she can work. I suggested I would drive down, get set up and then she could fly down and join me. If she felt she needed face to face contact with her clients she could fly home after two to three weeks, then fly back south. Also, she could fly home when we decided it was time to return north and I would drive back with the rv. A few days later I was informed, she decided to semi-retire. We spent two glorious months in Arizona where it does get very chilly at night but no snow. We timed our golf games according the weather forecast and we are heading out tomorrow for our third winter away from the great white north. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree and if you want to go south nothing says you're spouse has to go although it would be nice. We enjoy each others company but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Janet said...

Janet
It is a huge decision for a woman to leave the comforts of family and friends, and a home she has enjoyed for many years. There is always positive and negatives in all of life. I go home to the grandkids and their parents once or twice in the winter months, and then am glad to get back to my husband. He is happy to have me back. Life changes, it was you try to make it. Best of luck

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

ahhhh but people in Fond Du Lac cut holes in the ice and plunge in the freezing waters of Lake Winnebago every year (if you don't believe me, google it) so perhaps she don't wanna miss out on the dip in the lake?

Unknown said...

I agree with Anonymous. Trade in the hen-pecking, hung-up wife for an adventurous and unihibited 18 year old, keep the RV and drive it down south and start enjoying your new freedom. There's nothing like starting all over again.

Sunny One said...

Hubby is still working (self-employed). I decided to quit waiting for him to have time and split for Florida one February three years ago by myself. Been doing it ever since. This year, I'll be spending January, February and March away from winter. Hubby has gotten used to it, and flies down every couple weeks to spend a few days. Last week, he spent several hours a day cyber working, and declared it was a partially workable. He;s coming around gradually, and I am delighted not to be fighting snow and ice for my outdoor time.

Anonymous said...

Pack up the RV and tell her you are leaving in 3 days. Ask her if she wants to join you. If not, head on down the road.

Daniel said...

Hit the road Jack, and don't you look back.

I'd like to help you in your struggle
To be free
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover

Song Lyrics: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/50-ways-to-leave-your-lover-lyrics-paul-simon/ec7bdc207c7395d04825698a001079b4

You could have a heart attack or stroke next month - time is a wasting.

Hit the road Jack. Regrets come easy, time is short. Life is a terminal disease. Go forth and explore. LIVE LIFE. Get busy living or get busy dying. LIVE LIFE.

Anonymous said...

I had a hard time getting my husband to RV and leave his garage full of toys and yard work. After several trips we sold the house and have been fulltime for four years. We are headed to the beach and warm snorkeling waters of the Yucatan again this winter. Good luck

Tom Boyte said...

We do the opposite and enjoy it. We live in Arizona nine montho of the year and head to Door County Wisconsin where we also have property in the summer months. works for us!
Tom