The year before Charles died, we put our house on the market (it was a great time financially) and bought a 40 foot motor home (is there ever a good time financially?) We were both working and, to this day, I don't know what brought that on. We knew nothing about that kind of travel and less about problem- solving during that kind of travel. But if ignorance is bliss, we were blissed up.
We did know we could hook up all the technology needed to work from the road, and since that worked, everything else just somehow seemed like a good idea. We shopped for the right vehicle, wanting enough miles to get the price right but not so many that we couldn't sell well at the end of our travel year. Our sales guy assured us this was a lifestyle and we would do this forever, and we assured him it was for 2006 only and he would have another sale to handle at the end of that year (we had a blast, we were right, and he did good!) And we did have a bit of a goal. Along with prior travels, we wanted to take our bus to all the states left so we could know we'd seen all 50 (mission accomplished). But first our guy had to give us some basic driving lessons in the big parking lot across the street from the dealership. Charles drove the thing like a pickup truck. I took out a couple of tree limbs. But they were low so, once on the road, we agreed that I could handle some straight interstate time. My husband promised me I would never get put in the position of having to drive through any town. That lie is a story for another day. When the time came for my inaugural interstate gig, we had stopped very near the exit so, at first, my confidence was high. I slid behind the wheel, pulled and punched all the right buttons, and headed down the entrance ramp. All of a sudden, and in real time, I realized I was dealing with whizzing cars, west coast side mirrors, and no rear window which I quickly grew to realize I really, really missed. And then I had to merge. In a panicked voice, I said to Charles, "Oh no, no, no! I can't see. How can I tell when it's clear?!!!" Charles replied with his usual calm, unimpressed with my sense of urgency, and in the way he had where nothing ever sounded like a cuss word. "Oh hayel, Becky, you're bigger than everything else on the road. Just pull on out there. They'll get out of the way. " Turned out he was right, and I learned something that day. Sometimes, it's okay to just let certain lanes take care of themselves. Then all you really have to do is drive the bus.