I am hoping to move back to New England in the new year, to be closer to family, and to paint with my new-found friends in the plein air groups in New Hampshire and Maine.
My extensive RV traveling days are greatly curtailed now that I am more-or-less permanently settled, and am painting from a fixed location. Trips up and down the east coast will be replaced by monthly sojourns and overnight trips to paint the changing landscapes of New England and my favorite marine locations.
I first came to Florida in 1960. From 1976 onward, I have spent the winter months here with few exceptions. I love Florida for many reasons. There are reasons to despise it, as well. But let’s not get to politics at this time. Having established a studio in Orlando, painting daily without the hassle of packing up and moving my RV continually has been a real change. I am not fully adjusted nor resigned to it yet. I long for the open road continually. But sacrifices must be made as considerations of time and space intrude.
I am committed to the change of scene and to the opportunities that lie ahead in a new, but familiar clime. I’ll be writing more, and developing this blog so as to share experiences with all my new friends.
Happy New Year!
YOU HAVEN’T MISSED ANYTHING…I’VE BEEN PREOCCUPIED WITH OTHER STUFF
Took a road trip from central Florida last October for final observations on my wrist alterations.
First, as readers of this blog might remember, I had a wrist-replacement procedure at NE Baptist Hospital in Boston. Unfortunately it didn’t work out very well, and several months later I had to have all that hardware removed and a temporary fix put in place. Then I returned after the second surgery healed for the final, and originally unwanted, solution…I had my hand/wrist/arm locus permanently fused. The Carpal bones were joined and two Stanley Pins were inserted at my knuckle area, and extended through the Ulna to about mid-arm. I cannot bend my wrist to wave ‘goodbye’ anymore, so don’t leave. But I can still rotate my wrist to open new doors!
All this has affected the gestures I’ve used in executing my paintings; my right hand has been dominant, but I am adapting. Most of my work has been on more detailed scenics; landscapes and seascapes from my travels in the various RVs in decades past.
I have now sold my Class C Dodge motorhome, and shifted to a smaller shuttle-bus vehicle. The plan is to utilize this vehicle in moving to show locations, and to do more in-studio painting. I can take advantage of a more permanent set-up of easels and an array of works-in-progress….I like to work on many things at the same time. RV living with a rear studio set-up has always had a drawback (pun intended) ; working ‘on the road’ was the main reason I’ve worked in acrylics on hardboard. Space and drying time have been paramount.
Although I still employ that media and base for my paintings, I can go to larger pieces and broader brushwork as a way of living with the new physical restrictions.
There are virtually thousands of recreational vehicles that arrive in Orange County and Orlando each month to visit Disney World, Sea World, Universal , the Convention Center, and myriad other attractions in the environs. There are few private campgrounds, fewer county campgrounds, and still fewer city facilities where RVers might check in. The City of Orlando doesn’t want them….Orange County doesn’t want them. Osceola County doesn’t, either….or Kissimmee. They just want the MONEY generated by these visitors, not the issue of where they will park for the night!
Ask any WALMART manager about the parking of RVs in their lots overnight, and they will tell you that RVers spend lots of cash in their stores and gas stations. They cause no trouble, and have little impact on the shoppers’ activity. Sam Walton, the venerable founder of this phenomenal chain, always maintained that he would not turn away an RV needing a parking space overnight. And that stated policy has carried over the decades, so that all RVers look for a Walmart for their groceries, their automotive needs and for general shopping. The only problem is one created by local governments. WHY?
If RVers have families traveling with them, they might prefer to have the amenities found in campgrounds. But a retired couple, or a single person living full-time in his RV, have no use for slides and swings, wading pools and game rooms. And they didn’t buy the expensive vehicles to have to pay tribute to campground owners with high-priced overnight charges. One could rent a motel room for less, and not use the RV facilities. But that is not what this is about.
I have been a full-time RV traveler for over 35 YEARS. Only recently have the counties,cities and towns begun to flex their muscles (often at the behest of campgrounds) and threatening stores with violations of codes, real or imagined, and the imposition of fines. (Just another REVENUE PRODUCER in tough times??) In one town I am familiar with, there are state statutes cited that have to do with regulations for the operation of a campground. Stores that operate all 24 hours, 7 days a week, can certainly allow their customers access during all those open hours without being accused of running a virtual campground.
But these entities operate under the cloak of secrecy. Taking pictures of “violating over-nighters”, and cowing the stores into measures to come “into conformity.” These are akin to NAZI TACTICS to achieve political will. There have been ANONYMOUS CALLS to Walmart, at different echelons of management, complaining about RVs parking in their lots. From WHENCE COMETH THESE CALLS??
Campground personnel? Jealous non-RV folks? Or could it be S A T A N ?
Walmart needs to MAN UP…and refuse to accede to these nonsense harassment tactics, which amount to nothing but a tempest in a teapot. Anonymous call = UN American, in my view.
We of the RV community, a group in the millions, need to take a circumspect look at whether our motoring dollars are well-spent at places that no longer seem to want and welcome us. And the ACLU and other rights organizations, need to face off against blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL ordinances and restrictions.
Lastly, I must mention that Orlando is the infamous city that has ARRESTED AND JAILED people who have tried to feed the homeless and other needy individuals downtown, in a park adjacent to a chi-chi neighborhood. This action ordered by a wealthy mayor, Buddy Dyer, who lives in one of the city’s most affluent areas (previously Tiger Woods hang-out). Will they now start to arrest and jail those who are accused by anonymous callers of parking overnight at the local Walmart Supercenter?
If they hate the hungry and homeless…..it seems they also HATE RVers...even if they’re not penniless.
I am about to drive my Class C RV to storage. In what seems like an eternal quandary, my interests have a national scope, as this post will make evident. Summer will be the usual over-heated, humid season in Florida, and I generally depart for more moderate climes before now. There are things I need to get done in my “home” state of Massachusetts; doctor visits, mail pick-ups, friends and family considerations are what have me heading north in my car…leaving my mobile house in Orlando.
It’s the price of gas which has dictated the course of action. It would be better if I had a tow-hitch behind the RV so as to tow the little car north. I have not yet decided to weld a hitch onto the RV structure, but it now is becoming more of a practical decision to do so. As it stands, I will drive the 1600 miles (the Saturn gets a phenomenal 40-45 miles per gallon!) in a quick trip to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If I drove the RV (it gets 10-12 miles per gallon) I would pay an additional $450. in fuel.…based on a proposed June average of $3.75 per gallon. I can drive round-trip for $150. LESS than that one-way cost in the RV.
At the latter part of June I will either leave the Saturn and fly back to get the RV, with the prospect of staying in New England until early Fall, or drive the car back to central Florida to swelter through until September, preparing the RV for a longer journey west to Arizona/Nevada. I want to spend the Winter in the Southwest, and plan on living half of the year there, rather than Florida, parking the RV when sojourning.
Quandary: Do I weld the hitch and pull the Saturn, or drive them separately? Do I fly back to New England for visits, or do I drive cross-country when necessary? I have been wrestling with all of this for more years than I care to think about. Living in the West is easier and less expensive in an RV. And there is room to breathe! The open panorama and big skies have been beckoning for a long time, and this time I want to do more than just visit.