It’s remarkable that my last post was just two weeks ago because so much has happened in our lives. As noted last time, we had gotten an OK to stay in the park and finish up our respective programs, even though the park had officially closed. The week of March 23, we started doing administrative stuff and began to feel like things were heading into a good direction for the interim. One week ago, we decided to look into renting a spot in one of the planned communities in the area since we decided once we left the park, we did not want to get on the road for a couple of months.
In 2018, I had been invited to speak to the residents’ group at a nearby community called Corkscrew Woodlands. My topic was the history of women in the Settlement and Peter and I were both impressed with the people we met there after my talk. So, a week ago, I reached out to my contact at Corkscrew Woodlands to see if there were any RV rental places available. He responded with information on a few rental spots for RVs. We checked them out and found two that we liked.
In the meantime, our friends (who were also next door to us at Koreshan) were scheduled to leave on March 31 on their way to New Mexico. Just as they were leaving one of those dreaded warning lights came on in their RV and they considered that to be a signal it was not time to be on the road. Knowing there were two sites open for RV rentals (we had told them of our plans to move) they were able to take a breath, get the repairs done on their RV and take one of the two spots we had found, settling in for a few weeks. We were happy they were able to hunker down safely and we made plans to rent the other open spot, moving in April 15. This would give us a couple of weeks to finish up our project work.
All of that changed on April 3 when we were notified by management that all volunteer projects were officially now ended. There was no additional work to be done in the park by volunteers – not even our paperwork. Fortunately, Peter had just delivered the surplus frozen prepared food from the cooking program to the Community Co-op in Ft. Myers. It was a win-win contribution for both park management, who enthusiastically approved of Peter’s idea, and for the Community Co-op which is seeing an increase in the need for their food services programs in light of the pandemic. The surplus food will be put to great use feeding the residents who rely on the kitchen for healthy meals.
With the news of April 3, we contacted our landlord at Corkscrew Woodlands and asked if we could come in earlier than April 15. There was no reason for us to hang around the Village. There were only 5 other sites occupied in the Village and ours was closest to the highway and probably the least desirable now that the Village was emptying out. Our landlord was very accommodating and gave us the green light to move up sooner. So today, Sunday, April 5, we packed up from Koreshan State Park and headed up the road 2.5 miles to our new residence. It was the perfect “moving day” with cloudy skies and drive-time of less than 15 minutes from one hook-up to the next unhook.
Our new spot is lovely. We overlook a lake and it faces north and east. Our landlord lives next door and since she is a gardener, the plantings are lush, the potted plants colorful and the view outside from our living area is lovely. The first picture in this post shows the view of her gardens from our living area. As we spent the day getting set up, neighbors who were touring around warmly introduced themselves, asked how we were doing, and welcomed us. Our friends are two spaces over and that makes it all feel more welcoming.
We continue to be in good health, now starting to wear face masks (re-purposed TX2 bandanas) when out in the grocery store. We are walking regularly and looking for beauty everyday. We’ve done a couple of family and friends Zoom calls and are grateful for the excellent Verizon signal here and for our “new” iPhones which have much better sound systems that Peter can actually hear. Virtual church services and AA meetings keep us connected with things that matter to us, like the mysterious synchronicities that become so meaningful.
When I heard that Bill Withers had died, I thought of his song, “Lean on me” which others have called an anthem for these days. One verse of Withers’s song goes like this: “If there is a load you have to bear that you can’t carry, I’m right up the road, I’ll share your load if you just call me.” Today, at the beginning of Holy Week, these words remind me of that passage from Matthew 11:28-30 where we are reminded that with faith, the yoke is made easy and the burden is made light.
No question that the suffering is all around us now, so our prayer is that with grace and with God’s help, we find ways to be there for each other, offering whatever we can, asking for help when we need it, grateful for all those on the front lines of this pandemic, and knowing that we are always held in God’s love.
Peter and Liz are grateful for their new home base, still in Estero, Florida where T2 is parked overlooking the lake, and Pig is busy supervising the local geckos.