In Providence

We completed the crossing two days ago when we pulled into Meadowlark RV Park in the Newport area.  We had covered 3,186.4 miles (who’s counting) stayed in two BLM sites, two highway rest areas two Elks Lodge parking lots and two campgrounds, for three nights.  We were glad to get off the road and just sit for a bit.  We didn’t even go into Newport that first day.  We did go in on Wednesday and toured Chateau sur Mer. It is one of the earliest homes and one that was built, and rebuilt, for year round use.  It was lived in by members of the original family until 1966, that’s two years AFTER I graduated from Brown.

We have set up camp in West Warwick Elks Lodge 1697 for the weekend.  We will be dry camping, but since we don’t expect to spend a lot of time on the coach it should not be a problem. None of the people who thought they might find a way for us to stay nearer campus could get past the liability of our being “alone” in some parking lot.  Don’t tell the Elks, please.

It is hard to realize that it has been 50 years since I left the Brown Campus with my diploma and prepared to marry Carol. It feels like last week, until I look at our “children” and grandchildren. I doubt that if I had thought about this day back then I would have had any idea I would have been a life insurance salesman and then a financial planner for all those years.  I wonder if there even was such a thing as a financial planner when I graduated. I’m sure I would not have envisioned myself and Carol living for extended periods of time in a motorhome, again if there was such a thing.  Yet in so many ways Brown prepared me for all the changes I’ve been through. I learned self reliance, I learned how to acquire knowledge when needed and apply it to issues I wanted to resolve and I learned that I am capable of doing what it takes to accomplish my goals. I think I also learned that it is important to have joy in the process.

I never worked for the sake of work. I liked my clients, even the difficult ones. And I found pleasure in helping them see a way to their goals, even if they had to modify their goals to fit within their means (always the hardest part of the work). I worked as hard as I needed to have the time I needed to be with family, community and friends. Those were always a higher priority for me than building my practice. It wasn’t until I retired and sold my practice that I realized how much the responsibility for the plans of others had sat on my shoulders. I did not worry about the ones who had enough to live comfortably, I did worry about Florence and others like her who had found their way onto my “book” with minimal assets and little income. These were the clients we were advised to get rid of as there was no way to make any money and they demanded as much or more time as well paying clients.  I never was able to do that. I still wonder about a few of them from time to time although it seems unlikely that they are alive anymore.

Now I have time to spend time with family and they are spread across the country.  Our friends spend time in places as far spread as Nova Scotia, Florida (of course), Arizona and California. the only way to stay in contact beyond these blog posts and phone calls is to visit them as we move around the country. I have mostly left community behind. That does not always feel good. Taking an active, leading role in the life of our Federation and our Temple was very fulfilling and gave added meaning to my life. I still care, but there is wonderful younger leadership doing what I have done and they really don’t need the hand of the past trying to tell them how we did it.  I tried being active in the RV community, but somehow the needs did not seem as pressing and there are plenty of others who really get in to it.

Well, I have rambled way off my usual kind of post. We met the Londons, for dinner last night as a sort of appetizer to the coming three days.  Looking forward to meeting the others in attendance and renewing or creating new friendships before we part on Sunday. This post is reflective of the mood I am in.

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