Editor’s note: This was posted over on Bits’Bits. But I thought it appropriate that it be posted here as well, since this blog is designed for campers, who might otherwise never see this one.
There are a lot of milestones in our lives. I suppose that the feelings we get with each are similar in nature. This particular milestone we got, as a used trailer.
It was already 7 years old when we picked it up at a traveling show one of the local RV places had set up. Ironically the place we bought it from went out of business a year later. Sad, really, I would like to have gone back.
Cost: $1,600.00. Not a huge investment by most people’s accounts, I guess. It was however large enough a drain on the finances, for us to have to count every dime twice for three months afterwards. With the exception of the Lumina van I was driving at the time, and the house, it was one of the few major investments my wife and I had made in our married life, up to that point.
Small in price, also meant small in size . It was just a little popup camper within a eight foot box. Inside was a stove, a heater, perhaps fifteen gallons worth of fresh water, Three beds inside, once it was set up, an affair which usually consumed ten to fifteen minutes each time. It was large enough, however, to hold myself my wife two growing young boys, and the dog.
And many, many memories.
We traveled all over the northeast… from Fundy to Philly, from Jersey to Western Ohio, and back again, with this little guy trailing along quietly behind us. In bad weather and good even in the snow on one occasion. By my admittedly rough estimates about 30,000 miles in all over the years. For all those years every trip we took had this little guy as a part of it.
After a while it gets to a point where such things become fixtures in your life. They’re there for so long, so permanently, or so you figure… that you tend to take for granted that they’re there and always will be.
But, of course… it wasn’t true. Families grow, people change, times change, and saying goodbye to this fixture in our lives was inevitable even though we didn’t think about it much. My wife and I are around 6ft each, and the boys… well, they’re growing. It got to the point and beyond it, really, where the little guy was TOO little. I don’t regret my decision to trade it in, the new trailer is far and away better for our purposes by any measure I can think of. Still, there is a part of each of us that is sad to see the long depended upon fixtures in our lives go away. This is no different.
Perhaps I’m more sentimental about such things than some. When our family decided it was time to replace our old reliable 95 Chevy Astro,(pictured here at 145,000 miles, with the trailer in tow, at a rest area outside Corning, NY)
There was still pretty much the same feeling at the transition to the new one. Just as with the trailers, our new Safari (Bit’sBox) is far and away a better unit, a better fit for us. But, I would be a liar if I did not admit a fondness for the old one.
Same goes for the little blue and white guy.
In each case those fixtures represented family, togetherness, good times, and so much more. We’ve had truly outstanding meals inside this trailer, many restful night’s with the smell of pine and ocean, wafting through the breezes that came through the windows. Nights spent listening to the light rain cascading off the canvas. Mornings filled with the smell of cooking over the campfire simply because you could. Some of the best coffee I ever had was made on the little stove in this trailer. Or, so it tasted at the time. Perhaps it was just the surroundings. There were mornings spent wondering how the water got into the bedding… , some of the greatest sunsets I’ve ever seen,  and the biggest heron I’ve ever seen , and many more such incidents.
And the kids have made their own memories, too, during that time. Which, come to think of it, is exactly why we bought the thing in the first place. It’s kind of a moving memorial to all those important events in our lives… and to our children’s childhood.
So, with the last pictures I’ll ever take of our old freind, (the guy is here to pick him up to go to the dealer) I will remember… and I wanted to share it with you.
Oh, well. We pick up a new one on Tuesday…. And at that point I’ll have something to concentrate on, which will likely take my mind off these thoughts at least temporarily.
After all, there are many new memories to make.