Jim Croce wrote the lyrics to “Time in a Bottle” in 1970, after he learned his wife, Ingrid, was pregnant with their son, Adrian. Although the song appeared on his 1972 album, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim, it became a number-one single in 1973 following his tragic death as a result of a plane crash on September 20, 1973. The lyrics seemed to deal with immortality and the wish to have more time.
As I have traveled to professional conferences and also have talked with friends and colleagues over the past few months about FMCA, so many people have shared with me that they have dreamed about taking a vacation in a motorhome. The lifestyle has grown in popularity, with reality shows on such networks as HGTV, Travel Channel, and History. Viewers might see a completely tricked out (a.k.a. customized) motorhome made out of a converted garbage truck, or perhaps one of the most modern and most expensive coaches with every accessory a person could ever imagine.
Camping has now become glamping; campgrounds have now become resorts; and telling ghost stories around a campfire has become less common than checking social media while seated next to a simulated fireplace inside a motorhome. Oh, how things have changed!
Some of us fail to let ourselves dream today. We are so focused on the end result that we can’t see an incredible story unfolding right before our eyes. Benjamin Franklin’s quote “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” could almost be turned around completely today to say “Late to bed and early to rise will cause a man to have a stroke, go broke, and ultimately croak.”
For many, friendships have become so shallow that they do not even know their next-door neighbors. Fun has been reduced to coming home late, heating up a meal in the microwave, and turning on the television. And then we watch shows wherein someone demeans another house guest in sight of cameras focused in 24 hours a day on bedrooms, bathrooms, and everything in between; a bachelor or bachelorette falls in love with 12 people at the same time and claims it is the real thing; or someone gets blindsided and voted off a remote island just because he or she may not be like all the others. Do we fail to dream, or do we dream to fail?
In my July column, I encouraged you to share your special celebrations and memories regarding FMCA. One letter stood out to me, as it truly emphasized the foundations of fun and fellowship. It was from Bob and Sue Haught, formerly F82522, and now A82522. Here, in Bob’s words, is their story:
“This winter, while still in Florida, Sue and I decided to ‘hang up the keys’ of our coach. We’d been RVing for 40 years, the last 30 of which were in motorhomes. We’d joined FMCA in 1986 and proudly wore our F82522 goose egg on the rig. We’d joined several chapters, hosted rallies, served as officers and on various committees, attended many conventions and Governing Board meetings, traveled across and around this great country several times, and, most importantly, met a lot of really great folks, many of whom have become firm and enduring friends. In short, we really enjoyed and participated in all aspects of FMCA, the organization and the membership. But, we decided the time for this decision was right.
“So we notified our friends of our decision and put our coach up for sale. And we sold it to a nice younger couple, who very kindly allowed us to continue living in it until we drove it home to western North Carolina this spring, where we could empty and clean it up a bit before they came and drove it away. Watching it drive down the hill for the last time was truly a bittersweet moment.
“Meantime, we’d made plans to meet our Blue Ridge Pioneers (BRP) president and her husband for a casual lunch at a local restaurant. Totally unbeknownst to us, they notified not only all the current members but also many who had been members over the years and knew us (we were BRP charter members), asking them to all come if possible and to keep the invitation for a farewell luncheon secret from us. It worked perfectly. We showed up, expecting to see just the president and her husband, only to be completely overwhelmed by so many current and past chapter friends, plus many cards and e-mails and, later, phone calls, all wishing us the best in our new status. We were made honorary lifetime members of BRP (first time ever awarded) and given a most generous gift card to a really elegant inn in nearby Asheville. Being with friends and hearing from others, several that we’d not seen recently, made it a truly great luncheon, and really what it is all about by being a member of FMCA.”
So, Jim Croce’s lyrics run deep in the story of Bob and Sue Haught. They have experienced the dream of this lifestyle and have lasting friendships that so many people yearn for today. Fun and fellowship: two wonderful attributes that set FMCA apart.
And, as for my friends and colleagues who dream about the day when they can travel in a motorhome to a nearby lake, or perhaps take a trip across this great continent, just remember, “There never seems to be enough time to do the things we want to do once we find them.”
Begin living your dream today. And, more importantly, keep in mind that it is all about having fun!
National Office Closed In Observance Of Thanksgiving Holiday
The FMCA national office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The office will reopen at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Monday, December 2.
Thanksgiving Week Mail Forwarding Schedule
FMCA’s Mail Forwarding Service has modified the schedule for Thanksgiving week, November 25-29. Subscribers with last names beginning with A to G will have mail sent on Monday, November 25; subscribers with last names beginning with H to Q will have mail sent on Tuesday, November 26; and subscribers with last names beginning with R to Z will have mail sent on Wednesday, November 27. If a change of mail delivery is required for Monday, December 2, please contact Mail Forwarding personnel by Wednesday, November 27.