Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good-bye, Baby

It’s sad to say good-bye. It’s probably also ludicrous to become sentimental about an inanimate object like a motorhome, but both Jim and I (yes, the Reluctant RoVer) were sad to see Baby roll out this morning. The people from the consignment dealer came to get her.
Baby with its single slide.

The beautiful new floor and additional desk/storage area
The kitchen and new loveseat

They were quick to act—a good omen with regard to Baby’s sale? We hope. They told us that this weekend they are participating in a big (very big) RV show in Fort Myers, Fla. That’s why they wanted to get Baby today so that it can be detailed inside and out tomorrow, just in time for the show. Who knows? Perhaps (with any luck) the motorhome will be sold this weekend.

I think it’s natural for people to become emotionally tied to their “firsts.” I know I had feelings about the first new car we had bought—a 1967 Ford Mustang. What a car! It was a metallic lime green 

with black vinyl interior. The dashboard lit up like an airplane cockpit. What I would give to have that car today! Alas. We had to trade it in. It did not accommodate a toddler and a baby very well.

I was also attached to the first house my then-husband and I had bought in 1969. It was a “nothing” house that we bought for $16,200 (if I recall correctly). (Zillow says it is worth $94,000 today.) We worked hard to fix it up. When Richard (my first husband) decided to take a year’s fellowship at IU, we had to rent it out. I ached to move back. Then, a year later, we sold it so he could take a job in (of all places) Connecticut. I hated to give up my house.

I think I grew more attached to the first house I bought on my own, however. It cost $48,000 back in 1979; today it is worth $115,000. This house was just a little post-war ranch on a fair-sized lot. I put a lot of elbow grease into it as a single-mom homeowner, overcoming innate fears as I did what I had to do:  I climbed on the roof to repair a hole and to clean gutters. I swung on the rafters in the attic to repair a loud, squeaky attic fan. And I slithered into the crawl space to clean out grease-clogged plumbing.

I even put in a new lawn in the backyard after my septic system experienced a spill-over. When my boyfriend  at the time looked over the mess left by the septic-system repairers, he asked, “How are you going to deal with this?” (It was a humongous project.) I told him, “One shovelful at a time.” And that’s what I did, using a rotor tiller, a shovel, and a rake. The lawn turned out beautiful, and all of those projects made the house more endearing to me. When I moved to the New Orleans area in 1982, I hated to leave it. I’ve bought and sold several more houses since then, but I have never become as attached to them as I was to that one.

Baby was a “first” for Jim and me—our first motorhome. As I’ve reported before, I’ve been a Reluctant RoVer and ambivalent about owning a house on wheels. If I didn’t have it, I would never have missed it. But strange as it seems, I become attached to that 38-foot green-and-white behemoth. Junior, our new 40-foot motorhome, is bigger and nicer, but I think it will never quite take the place of Baby.

Good-bye, Baby. Have a safe journey to Fort Myers, and please give your new owners (whoever they will be) pleasure as you take them on adventures across the country.

Until later,
Your Reluctant RoVer,


  1. Yes, we do form attachments to the possessions in our lives that we have worked hard to acquire. One house I owned also required extensive work, and I did a lot of it myself - not to the extent you did - but when the time came to sell it, I had to be satisfied with being grateful for all the happy times my children and I spent in it, glad that it was available for us when we needed a place to heal. I'm looking forward to meeting Junior in Tampa!

    1. And you will meet him/her! We intend to park it at the hotel Sunday morning. A tour won't take long, but we'd be happy to show it to anyone who wants to see it!


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