Living on Island Time? How a Plot Twist Helped Us Dream Up a New Future


Plot-twists. In writer-speak, they are like roller-coasters with their swerves, switchbacks, and slopes that writers place in protagonists’ paths to show their strength and ability to rise above the challenges presented by their antagonists.

As my husband and I have discovered, these twists, turns, and tunnels are not restricted to fiction. They happen every day in real life. Often mucking up beautifully laid out plans, they stimulate us to find work-arounds. Alternate ways of arriving at our goals.

And, sometimes, plot twists can even become blessings in disguise when they open our eyes to newer possibilities that we never stopped to consider.

On Tuesday morning, our lives took such a turn. While we were still sleeping, Jeff’s phone rang. It was our real-estate broker. As I watched Jeff’s face and eavesdropped on  his end of the conversation, I agonized.

No! This cannot be happening, Especially not since the  period is up when our buyer can back out.

When Jeff hung up, he explained everything to me. Our property had appraised at $10,000 lower than we thought, leaving us with less money  than we thought we would have at closing. Short of the buyer outright cancelling the sale and our having to start over, the news devastated me.  After all, we had plunked down money for a lot in Rockport where we planned to plop down a fifth wheel of about  thirty-eight to forty feet long.

I was depressed. Discombobulated. Even disconsolate until Jeff and I poured another mug of coffee and grabbed a couple of cookies, while we considered our options. The most obvious one was buying a smaller, less expensive RV. Another was looking for a smaller lot in the same park.

But when we called our contacts for the three dealerships we had been shopping — Larry at Rockport’s Camper Clinic, Terry in Kennedale Camper Sales, and Pete at FunTown RV in Cleburne, all of them told us that the lower-priced RVs we had been watching online had already been sold.

Forcing ourselves to dress and go do something — anything — while we kicked around other solutions, I remembered something Jeff had popped out with as we drove to church on Easter Sunday.

“Hey, babe, what if we didn’t get that lot down in Rockport. Instead, we get an RV and a one-ton pickup to tow it with. After we close on the house, we could hop into the RV and hit the road.”

Funny. I can remember my reaction, at the time.

“What? Are you crazy?  We’re already buying a lot!” I gasped.

Jeff laughed. “Yeah, yeah, I know. But think, for a minute. If we were not limited by that lot, we could go anywhere. Sure, we could still spend time on the Texas coast, but we’d also visit the coastline in other states. New England. The Pacific Northwest. And we could even venture out to Grand Canyon. Up to Alaska or Canada.  Think of it.”

“But shouldn’t we stick to our original plan?”

“Maybe. Maybe not. Just give ‘er some thought, okay? Like if you could choose any place on the map, where would you want to go, first? This might be the only time we can do this. C’mon, what would you really like to do?”

“What do you want to do?”

We actually said it at the same time. “Travel.”

Jeff grinned. “Uh-huh. I was hoping you would say that, too. Just think — we can go anywhere we want to go. Take our time. If we find a place we would like to spend more time in, we can pull into a nice RV park and stay a couple days,  weeks, even a month, before heading onto somewhere else. You be thinking of the first place  you really want to see.”

With our new plan in mind, we returned to Kennedale where Terry showed us several smaller travel trailers. Some were pretty cute, but we needed to see what else there might be at a Cleburne lot called Fun Town RV.

“Let me show you what we just got in. In fact, it’s not even posted on our site, yet,” said Pete, as he led the way to an RV in another part of his lot. Well,  by then, I had fallen in love with the Wildwood, but when we climbed up into the Wildcat, a Forest River product, I  had the definite sense that I had  come home. The Wildcat had cabinets and storage galore throughout the trailer, two air-conditioning units, Surround Sound on the television, and plenty of room, even though it was about thirty-three feet long. What I liked was the brick trim that made the unit homey.  I could already imagine us calling this 2011 Wildcat “home”.  Thankfully, we had just deposited the money from the sale of our furniture and were due to receive our income-tax refund on the next day, so we were armed with a substantial bank balance and a couple of checks in my purse.

“Theoretically, what kind of deposit would you accept to hold this RV?”

“Aw, about two thousand,” said Pete.

“Would you take one thousand?”

“That’d do.”

I pulled Jeff off to the side. “Listen, babe, I really want us to have this RV. And while I still have the money to hold it. I don’t want this baby to slip through our fingers.”

After I finished, I gave him the “eyes” that I knew he would be powerless to resist.

“Okay,” said my husband. “Let’s do it.”

When we met up with Pete, he was all grins.

“Well, whaddya say? Are you folks ready to start the paperwork?”

“Yep, I believe so,” I said. “Let’s go.”

An hour or two later, Jeff and I left the dealership with the papers on the Wildcat. After about a week, “she” would be ready.  Soon to be the thankful occupants of a gently pre-owned fifth-wheel, we knew what the next step would have to be: finding a truck suitable for towing our love nest on wheels.

So, the plot thickens. Did we find a suitable truck? What kind did we get?

Tune in for the next installment of “Living on Island Time” coming soon. In the mean time, what has been the craziest idea you entertained about how to spend the rest of your life? Did you act on it? If so, how is it working out?