Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I think we are normal but lately I have second thoughts. Since we started traveling all winter in our fifth wheel our social life has changed significantly. We like to camp in remote, quiet areas. The sun disappears early during the winter. I tend to go to bed with the sun and rise with the sun - that sometimes means 10 hours! The problem is my husband wakes up before the sun, gets up, turns the local farm report on, and makes toast under the smoke alarm. When the smoke alarm goes off so do I. After I give him the hot tongue and cold shoulder for a sufficient amount of time, we have our coffee and try to figure out what we are going to do all day. At home we are always busy, but on the road I think we have too much time on our hands. Do others have this problem too?
--Cabin fever on wheels
Some people find the transition from a sedentary life to one on the road more difficult than others. Like many other situations people write to me about, your answers are probably parked right next to you. Talk to your fellow campers. There are as many lifestyles on the road as off. Some people are more social than others. Some are couch potatoes whether the couch is stationary or rolling. I’m in a beautiful National Forest campground right now. The neighbors I have met so far have varied interests that keep them constantly busy. I even met a couple the other day hauling a two-seater paraglider. That’s a room fan attached to a parachute. They fly all over the place and often boondock at small airstrips. Another guy is a wildlife photographer with a lens that looks like a real cannon. Then there is a lady who walks around with a pick axe all day. She is a rockhound. I asked her if she'd found anything exciting and she started feeling around in her bra looking for a nice agate she had just found. I didn’t ask any more questions. The woman one loop over is a thrift store scouter. She finds bargains and sends them home to her daughter who runs a resale shop.
The point I am trying to make is you need a hobby, part-time job or some interest that will keep you occupied whether you are at home or on the road. I have seen professional people retire, then sit at home watching soap operas all day until they keeled over in their la-Z-boy.
As far as going to bed too early, you might consider playing a card game, reading, campfires, watching downloaded movies on your computer, working on genealogy, or anything else you enjoy doing at home. If you can keep your husband awake until 10 pm, maybe the smoke alarm won’t go off until 7 am.
If your home life is more social because you have more friends get out and meet some. The world is full of wonderful, friendly, interesting people. You have some parked near you right now. Take a walk and meet them. Go on a ranger led walk and meet them. Grab your binoculars and pretend you are looking at birds, you will be surprised at how many people will wonder what you’re looking at and start a conversation. We were in Cottonwood campground in Big Bend National Park this winter. Every evening a crowd would gather at dusk to watch a Great Horned owl pair mate. They were like clockwork. As odd as that may sound, we made a lot of great friends watching horny owls. That’s how easy it is to change your lifestyle.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink
I get the impression that CFOW and husband are boondockers, like we are, and just don't come across a lot of neighbors.
My partner and I get along just fine, but we don't always want to do the same things. That's when I make a lunch, kiss her goodbye, and head out to look around somewhere.
Hopefully, they have a toad so that parting company for the day isn't a problem. By evening, I've taken way too many pictures and we're pleased as punch to see each other again. Bonus: when I'm gone, she gets it into her head to tackle a project. Win-win!
We are not yet Full timers, but my husband loves to watch sports on TV but I don't. In January we stopped in Santa Barbara and stayed at an RV place that had good TV cable so he could watch the playoffs. I took a ride, went to see a Mission, brozed thru downtown, and found a Art and Craft show.
We were both happy. My husband is often up and down during the night on the computer. I have learned to sleep thru the flushes of the potty etc.
It may sound odd, but foam ear plugs do wonders for the couple that have very different sleep/wake schedules.
We learned this while working graveyard- the earplugs are very comfortable, and it allows even light sleepers to sleep through normal activities. The smoke alarm is different- but if it actually happened more than twice, smacking him -hard- is in order.
And why DOES toast set off the alarm so reliably?
There are times when I'm social and my boyfriend isn't so he stays in and plays on the computer and I go out to socialize. He is a history buff; I am not as much. We recently were near Charleston SC for 4 months and I would take him downtown, drop him off, and I went geocaching. He got his 'city-fix'; I got my 'country-fix'. We are currently in Woodbine GA and today we'll go to St. Mary's for a visit for him and I'll pick up some geocaches along the way.
People who like the outdoors really should try geocaching. Lots of fun and you get to places you wouldn't see otherwise.
Our smoke detector goes off almost as soon as the toaster comes out of the cupboard but I wouldn't be without it. In my 5th wheel, I run the range hood, which isn't vented outside, and that helps a bit but should the smoke detector, which is above he stairs going up to the bedroom, start screaming at me I remove it and lay it on the top step. That low it stops beeping and I see it when I go up to bed and put it back up on the ceiling where it belongs. If you don't have stairs, you could put it on or under the pillow on your bed and you'll be sure to see it and "reinstall" it before sacking out. Don't put it anywhere like the kitchen counter where you might go to bed and not see it.
A move like this could cost you your life.
Your man is either incredibly dense or rude, playing nasty with the smoke alarm. If he can't / won't learn that his desire for toast creates a raucous noise, then move the toaster or move the alarm.
Buy a metal detector! Or two!
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