Part I LIFE IS…
Once my challenges improved, and I looked forward to enjoying my retirement, finally. Now, after what had been trying times, I was two months to having my dream realized. In anticipation of days of fishing, I had managed to purchase a tired, old Dolphin cab-over recreational vehicle. I had been invited to several spiffy named recreational vehicle group outings and I knew I wanted to purchase a time-share at one of the recreational vehicle park. That’s what kept me going.
It had been several years of rough roads. I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, spinal arthritis and fibromyalgia several years before. My physician had agreed that I needed to change my highly stressful career. He suggested that I seek alternate employment, given the toll job stress had caused over the more than thirty years of hard work. Better yet, he opined that if I did not change careers, I would surely die. Die? I had not even begun to live!
So, on a leap of faith, I retired early, and returned to work as an annuitant. I re-entered school and took on two additional part time, less stressful consultant assignments at my somewhat mature age. It had taken me three years, working these three part-time jobs and attending school, but I had finally reached my fourth and final year.
I was on my way to school toward the final year when two kids, as a prank, dropped a very large rock over the freeway railings and hit the roof of my car. I was more than shaken, recoiling so that something in my neck and back snapped. I managed to somewhat adjust over time to this new pain. I somehow survived it, learning to adjust to the added pain set. I finished school with the intent to start a new career.
I still reached for my dream of getting a time-share recreational vehicle park. However, an unexpected set of physical symptoms later ended with successful cancer surgery and recovery. It took a while, but I resumed my search and refurbished my Dolphin in anticipation. I even learned that the Dolphin had a recall from past history. I had to pay the labor costs and wait a while, but the Dolphin was finally tip-top. I was ready to go.
One of the RV groupies, let’s call her Stella, came to me with a hope to die plan. She told me about a time- share that was just what I wanted. She had just purchased a time-share and wanted me to be a part of it. I asked what I thought were intelligent questions about her new discovery. I was particularly wary of these purchases because other groupies had been “tricked” into buying a time-share that had ended in a bad credit report.. She assured me that the company carried its own accounts, reiterating that they were carrying her account. I knew that her credit was much less than good. I had worked at paying off my cards and did not intend to get in any credit card debt. She offered to meet me at the location and to introduce me to her salesperson.
My very good friend, Eva, uses the term “ignorancy alert’ to describe people pride themselves on being more than just simply ignorant. They are smart people who pay their bills and have good credit. These folks think they know enough stay out of trouble. But swindlers, crooks, and greedy folk see them coming. “Ignorancy Alert! They said when they saw me. “Here comes a real good fool! Let’s go and get her money!”
After Stella’s testimony, I remained curious and excited. Trusting her, I drove my car to K Ranch, the RV site that was located about an hour and a half from the city of San Diego. When I arrived, my groupie friend and the salesperson, Ed, met me at the entrance. They were seated together on a company golf cart. Ed was friendly and essentially restated what Stella, my RV groupie had told me. He shared that he was recently married to his “computer” wife and very happy. He telephoned her several times during our tour and discussion.
While Stella, the RV groupie, Ed and I toured the park, I asked what I thought were intelligent questions. I pointedly asked him about racial acceptance, aware that it was sometimes an issue. He assured me that everyone was welcome. I told him that I was not interested in a credit card purchase, and would only do business if the company carried their own account. “Oh, we carry our own accounts.” he said. Seeing gargantuan RV’s in the park, I described my small putt-putt. He named several members who owned a small RV. I would be welcomed he assured me again. My friend Stella chimed in that her RV was only a bit larger than mine and she would soon bring her RV to the ranch.
Reassured by Stella’s testimony and assured by Ed that that K Ranch carried it’s own contracts, I eagerly signed up. No, I trusted Stella, so I did not read the small print and the 20 pages of legalese. I was congratulated by the office manager and spoke to the finance department by telephone. A company official welcomed me to the RV community with perks that included the ability to visit other sites throughout seemingly everywhere. Fully intending to take advantage of my new time-share, I planned a trip to Arizona to visit a member time-share. However, a particularly painful bout with fibromyalgia and physical therapy prevented me from RV travel for a year. I paid my bill in keeping with my agreement for a more than a year.
It was early summer when Stella, two ride-alongs and I were finally on our way to the long planned trip to a member park in Earp, CA, right on the Colorado River, just across from Arizona. My little old Dolphin was pitiful among the hundreds of home sized RV’s. Stella’s RV was years newer than my frail twenty-five footer. Yet, hers also looked like a roller skate next to hundreds of boxcars. The RV park people were less than friendly. I took it as a put-down that I was assigned a rough and uneven parking slot with ruts in that made the RV tilt. Neighboring slot dwellers finally told me to go and complain so that the workers could smooth out the space for me. We managed to survive there four days. What hurt most was that I needed technical help with a dumping problem, but the person who generally serviced others was not available to me. To read more, click link.