Monday, September 5, 2011


We’ve been home for about a month.  In that time there have been three wildfires in the area.  The last one was less than one half mile from our property.  My husband and I had been out shopping and we could see the smoke from I-30.  It was in the general vicinity of our property but we didn’t know how close until our son called and told us that the main road was blocked off.  Of course, we went directly home, in case we had to evacuate.  The good thing about living in an RV--we should be able to save the majority of our “stuff” including the RV.  We’d have to get it away pretty fast though.

By the time we got there, the fire was out but it did put a fear in us since this fire and the last one were only one week apart and so much closer than the first fire.  We decided to get everything put up in the RV to make it ready for pullout, like when we’re traveling so we’d be able to evacuate quicker. 
My husband has rearranged our shed.  Putting what he considers important in the bottom storage area of the RV while putting bigger items near the opening of the shed so we can load it into my truck if we do have to evacuate.

The one thing I consider fortunate—our smaller local wildfires aren’t making the news nationwide.  It keeps my parents, especially my dad, from worrying.  I swear he’s the worrier in the family, not Mom.  He gets upset with me when I’m traveling and don’t call and check in with him every night.  Of course, he doesn’t say it, instead he bugs Mom about it and she tells me.  He expects to hear from any of his kids or their families who are traveling whether it’s for work or leisure.

So, imagine what he goes through when a hurricane hits South Carolina where my sister lives, or DC where her son works.  Now, not only is he worried about tornadoes where we live but hurricanes for my sister and her son and now we’ve added earthquakes on the East Coast.  No way am I mentioning wildfires to him.

We fled from Hurricane Ike when it hit Houston.  We packed up the RV and went to San Antonio for a few days (love that city and the bagpipe player).  We didn’t have to worry about losing anything.  Dad didn’t have to worry either because we left with the advance warning.  Okay, okay, we did go RV shopping and bought the 5th wheel we have now.

I grew up in an area where we got the occasional blizzards, thunderstorms, and floods but no earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes.  Sure, we’d get rain from the hurricanes but overall, the area I grew up in was calm. 

You’re probably wondering why we moved.  The cold and our two story house, with a full basement and attic were getting to be too much for us to handle.  The warmer winter weather and smaller RV are easier for us, less pain and more fun in our lives.

So, do you live in a different area from where you grew up?  Is the weather very different?  Did you consider the weather when you moved?

18 comments:

Jill James said...

Denise, we do think about the weather since retirement is around the corner. I love California but it is so expensive to live here, but the weather is too cold and too hot many other places. We shall see!

Ana Morgan said...

Denise, I grew up in New Jersey and now live in north central Minnesota. Weather is a constant consideration for daily life--and for farming and CSA gardening. Summers range from cool to hot and humid. Winters from cold to colder. (It's amazing how zero feels warm after a week of -30 degrees.) Spring is slow to arrive. Fall is perfect: tourist congestion low, bugs desceased, warm days, blanket nights. Heavenly.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I live in the same state as I grew up in, but am about 3 hours away from my hometown. Never gave a thought to the weather as it was because of the job my hubby wanted to carry him through until he retired. We're in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a national forest. It is similar to northern Wisconsin where my hubby grew up. He likes two or three feet of snow, but not more than that. We have a great snowthrower, but our road is steep and it takes about four hours for him to clear it. This past winter was the worst for us because we kept having a couple of feet of new snow every morning and that meant he had to snowthrow several days in a row. I am lucky as I stoke the woodstove while he does all the heavy work. :)

Denise Pattison said...

Jill,

I enjoyed our time in California. I was disappointed the first time we were there. It was late February and we were in LA. What happened to "sunny Southern CA?" We sure never saw it, never got a picture of the sunset either.

CA is expensive but so are some other places. For example, we were in Winnemucca, NV for the past year. Sure, it was a less expensive place to stay, at first. But when you have to buy things that can't be found in that town and you have to drive over two hours to Reno, it sort of makes things look different regarding expensive versus less expensive.

Start your research now so you'll know what you're looking for when you retire.

Hey, did you know that Pennsylvania is actually friendly, financially, to retirees--if they don't own property? Surprising, huh?

I love the change of the seasons in PA and I miss it.

Denise Pattison said...

Ana,

I chuckled when I read that about zero feeling warm after a week of -30.

We're only in the double digits today in the Dallas area. It felt cold this morning at 70.

I was in the pool last night with my husband and the grandkids. The water was 86 degrees and I was freezing. With the temps at 100+, the water had been staying around 95 which felt comfortable to me.

My husband worked in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2009. We got there in August and left in December. It was beautiful and the people, now there are some of the friendliest, most helpful people I've ever met. I really miss being there but I'm glad we got out before it got any colder. Cold weather and living in an RV don't really go well together.

I have to confess, I just couldn't try the lutifisk.

Oh, I made an apple pie from some apples from a tree in the mobile home park. They were the best apples I've ever used in a pie.

Weather is a huge consideration for any kind of farming. When I saw a sign for local Nevada peaches, I chuckled because I couldn't figure out how far they considered local. The trees--any kind, were few and far between in Winnemucca.

Denise Pattison said...

You do live in a beautiful place, Paisley. It reminds me of the Allegheny mountains.

I feel for your husband, snow blowing your driveway up to the road. I sure hope you made it worth his while.

Your area did remind me of a summer vacation place. A great place to vacation and wish you lived there--and you do, you lucky dog.

I sort of miss the snow but then I think about anyone in my family driving in it and I prefer to leave it alone. If all of my family can't stay safe, I'd rather the snow stay away.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise,

I'm living where the winter is long, the summer is short and there is hardly a spring or fall. Cody, Wyoming. Snow, ice, sleet in winter. Of course, we don't seem to be troubled by hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes. Of course, there are mini earthquakes up at Yellowstone, which is about fifty some miles from Cody, all uphill. But I don't believe they're strong enough to feel in Cody. I don't believe there is an ideal place to live weatherwise. Although we're not really plagued by huge things such as hurricanes or tornadoes, we do live on top of an active volcanic area. I'm told if it ever erupts, we can kiss the world goodbye because there won't be anything left of Wyoming and the states surrounding it. Not that's scary. To think I moved back here from Northern California four years ago. We lived here some thirty years ago and I never lost my love for this state although I was born and partly raised in Arizona before moving to California where I spent a great deal of my life. Southern CA first, then Northern CA after I was married. Forty miles north of Sacramento. Paisley is a friend from our Sacramento Valley Rose RW chapter. It's a blessing that you have an RV to make your quick getaway whenever you can.

Ginny

Sheila Tenold said...

Denise, today I live less than one hundred miles from where I grew up in LA. I'm a California girl except for a year long stint in Orlando, FL, pre-Disneyworld.

My husband is a Native Californian too. All my siblings have left this state due to the high cost of living. But our first grandson is due this fall, and it's only a twenty minute drive to see him. There is no way in hades you'll get me to move away now : )

Josie said...

Denise,
Because of a career/job move, my dh and I, with family in tow, moved from cold upstate NY to sunny SC. The climate is terrific, and the culture, even after 14 years, is very different.

Sarah Pearson said...

I grew up in the South of England and now live in the North. The weather is pretty similar all over the country except for a couple more inches of rain and a couple of degrees drop in temperature :-)

Joan Leacott said...

I've lived most of my life in and around Toronto. Twelve years ago, we built a cottage on the shores of Georgian Bay and now flee the city heat in summer. Biggest temp difference was 16 degrees between our two homes, and that didn't include the humidex. Wasn't this summer brutal?

Caroline Clemmons said...

Denise, we have wildfires near us, like today across the highway when a trash truck caught on fire. The Hunt County fires came very close to my daughter. If we'd realized how close, we'd have gone over there to help her evacuate! But, as with your dad, we didn't know they fires were so near her.

If we'd chosen a place to live for the weather, it would NOT be Texas. I'd probably live in Tacoma. What would be ideal is to live here in the winter and Colorado in the summer. A lot of our friends do that.

Denise Pattison said...

Ginny,

Your area of the country is beautiful. It was still cold there when Texas was getting 100+ degree temps. So, when we left your area after visiting Yellowstone, it was a bit shocking to hit those Texas temps.

I've found that the older I get the more the cold bothers me since the car accident. My bones ache and my muscles spasm even more. Even though I love those Northern States, I just can't live there anymore.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a place with perfect weather? Before my accident, the cold never bothered me and I loved the autumn season but now, now, my priorities for weather have changed. I need the warmth of the south.

Denise Pattison said...

Sheila,

You have hit on the other reason we decided on Texas. My daughter and her husband decided to move to Dallas. She found a job in a hospital here in the ICU that she loved and since they have my only grandchild, it was time to find a place to buy not far from them.

My son is married to a woman who had an abusive ex. She has three little ones and her ex lost custody when she and my son got together. So, to avoid all the drama of her ex, they packed up and moved to Texas.

I'm lucky, I have both children and their families close. I wouldn't want it any other way. Of course, I know my parents miss us. They especially miss their only great-grandchild.

That's one of the other reasons we all hear from my dad--he wants to know what his great-grandson is doing.

You are so going to love having a grandchild. It's an absolutely awe-inspiring feeling.

Denise Pattison said...

Josie,

My sister's career move took her to SC too. She loves it there and has tried to get my parents to move there. Even though they tried it for a while, my dad wanted to go "home."

For him home will always be somewhere in Washington County, PA. My parents moved a good bit when I was growing up but managed to stay in Washington County, except for one stint near Harrisburg, PA. Dad hated it there too.

I've spent some time in NY, the Southern Tier area. It's gorgeous there too, especially the Finger Lake area. I've never seen so many rainbows in my life as I saw when Kevin was working there. Huge, gorgeous rainbows.

Denise Pattison said...

Sarah,

I've never been to England but have been trying to talk my husband into taking a vacation there. It's good to know the weather doesn't vary much from one part of the country to another.

In the States you can go from 40 degrees in one of the Northern States to 90 degrees in Southern Texas. Leaving trees in Pennsylvania and finding desolate landscapes in Nevada. This country definitely has a wide variety of landscapes and weather conditions.

Denise Pattison said...

Joan,

16 degrees is a pretty drastic change between the two places. It probably felt really good though.

Toronto is a beautiful city but we've only been there once. I'm hoping he'll have more work in the north and we can go again. We've never been to Georgian Bay but we have been to 1000 Islands--so very beautiful and another place I'd like to see again.

This summer was horrid. They were comparing it to the summer of 1980. Well, Kevin was working in Thibodaux, Louisiana that year. And I was pregnant for our first child.

The heat was horrific and, unlike now, we didn't have an RV and couldn't afford an apartment with a/c.

Between constant all day/all night "morning sickness" and passing out, I had a rough pregnancy. Oh, and heartburn all the time too.

I couldn't go out by myself at all. My neighbor (her husband worked with mine so they carpooled and left us a vehicle) would go out with me. However, she was 80 years old (her husband was younger than her) and I always feared passing out on her. She couldn't drive, either and our vehicle didn't have a/c.

We went to do laundry one day. I remember opening the dryer and reaching in--the next thing I knew I was looking up into some strangers' faces and wondering what the heck happened.

Mamie told them I as pregnant. Those wonderful women got me a cold drink, wrapped a cold wash cloth around my neck and another one was tucked between my breasts while they all took care of my laundry for me. There are times I find some of the most wonderful people when we travel.

The only way I could stay cool that summer, where people were dying nearly every day in Louisiana--I'd fill the bathtub with cold water and dump ice cubes in it. I'd make ice all day and night so that I could try to get through the miserable day. I had a box fan in the bathroom window, a small B&W TV on a shelf, books piled on a chair beside the tub, a drink sitting on the wall shelf of the tub, all so I could try to get through the day without passing out.

Denise Pattison said...

Caroline,

I was wondering if your daughter was okay when the fires were close to Greenville. We only get to hear about the big blazes on TV, some of those little ones don't always make the news but they are just as damaging. The one closest to use was considered a little one because they did manage to contain it fast. I'm actually amazed and very proud of the fire departments here, their response times are fantastic.

How did the trash truck catch on fire? Did they wreck?

My choice would be the North in the summer and the South in the winter, too. I'd like different places though. We've been to so many beautiful places, I'd like to go back and spend time there without being on a time frame for his work.

He, on the other hand, would love to be in Panama City during spring break. I enjoy the different architecture to be found in different parts of the country. That really shows a personality in the area. LOL I guess we both like to look at different kinds of "architecture."