The Happy Camper

happy camper jim

Help! I have kayaked and I can’t get up!

Jim really is a Happy Camper.   He just doesn’t look the part.  Perhaps it is the way he poses for the camera.  Perhaps he doesn’t like his picture taken. Perhaps  its always the fault of the photographer.  He just doesn’t look the part.

Jim and his wife, Ann, retired, attempted to sell their home, and bought a camper.  Their dream was to live in the camper, work at campgrounds for their keep, and travel.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t.

First the attempt to sell the house was, should we say. unsuccessful.

So they moved on to Plan B.  Rent the house. Isn’t it amazing how the seemingly perfect renters who move into your house, turn into Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun?  This venture, too, was unsuccessful.

But, hey, you only retire once so they plodded along making the best of a not-so-perfect situation.  They were justly rewarded during their first camping season.  Even though the truck broke down a few times they drove from the east to the west and spent the first winter in a HUGE but lovely camping area with concrete lots and swimming pools and lots of amenities.  Both Jim and his wife had interesting jobs which helped pay for their campground rental and utilities.  The southwestern US weather was a nice change from Midwest winters and they met so many people and made some good friends.

The Dream seemed to be coming true for them.

happy camper almost smile

Is that a sippy cup in the cup holder?

Alas, winter season was over and Jim and Ann headed back east for their next adventure.  The Keys, Florida State Parks, and some pretty primitive settings were next.  Several of the jobs they were assigned to were not as glamorous as that first season, but a camper’s gotta do what a camper’s gotta do!  Almost every campground they settled into had its ups and downs but the views were gorgeous and they were living the Dream.

happy cmaper birdhappy camper 7

happy camper 5

Still, it was difficult to find a picture of Jim looking happy

happy finally

I think I finally figured it out!


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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11 Responses to The Happy Camper

  1. Sippy cup in the holder – too cute. 🙂 Great pictures and a nice story. My mother and my step-dad (after my father passed away) had a motor home, and they traveled quite a bit. Step-dad has since passed, and Mom talks quite a bit about their RVing adventures and misses it so much. I can only hope one day Rich and I will be brave enough to get out into the world more. We do our best locally on the motorcycle, but it would be fun to just take off.


  2. timkeen40 says:

    Looks like a great way to live to me.


  3. It seems they have found what is important to them…each other… Retirement didn’t bring our “dreams” either…but, I’ll take each day enjoying our little moments…It’s quite nice!


  4. souldipper says:

    I enjoyed this, Ruth. I kept wondering what you were building. What a great ending and the reward really is Jim’s happy face with his wife! They represent the goodness and decency that is the backbone of our culture.


  5. lucewriter says:

    It’s the 2nd American dream–after the house with the cars in the garage and the chicken in the pot: travelling around all year after retirement. Thanks for a cute story. P.S. It’s almost impossible to get my husband to smile for pix, too, so maybe Jim is like him–camera shy.


  6. I wish Jim and Ann, well. I agree with Mary… it’s not so easy to initiate all that change as we get older. I’m just finding that out. 🙂
    …although, the Florida Keys sound sort of easy to get used to!


  7. marymtf says:

    It’s easy to be brave and adventurous when you’re young. Much kudos to Jim and Ann.


  8. Oh you had me smiling! Selling a house – been there, tried that. We have the trailer. And, I’ve wanted to try a kayak but was afraid I’d get in and wouldn’t be able to get out without drowning myself.


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