Living on Island Time: Making It Happen!


We’ve talked about moving down to the coast for years, at least since our first two years of being married. Alas, I had classes to teach, so we had to hold our dream at bay, one semester at a time. At last, on December 31, 2016, I joined the ranks of the retired. Although I had always dreamed of retiring in Port Aransas since my cousin lived there, its pricey real estate and crush of tourists cooled my ardor. Then when BeeGee passed away after nine years of full-on guerilla warfare against cancer, Jeff and I drove down for her Saturday memorial service.

After leaving our room at the Shark Reef Resort in Port Aransas on the day after her service, we lingered awhile in Rockport, a neighboring town only a ferry ride away. Since it was Sunday, we prowled around there to get a sense of the area. A quiet town, Rockport offers its own generous slice of coastal living. It is every bit as beachy as “Port A” but without traffic that can be hectic even in the off-season.

As we had to return to Arlington by Wednesday for rehab on my broken arm and shoulder, we knew this was, maybe, our only chance to explore the town to our hearts’ content so we gave ourselves over to it.

The first step was checking out a local RV dealer to see what he could show us. Unfortunately, the dealership was closed until Monday, but all was not lost. There were still other places to check out: the HEB supermarket, a bakery that served up pastries abd doubled as a cafe featuring home cooking, a mall hawking one-of-a-kind wares by local artisans, and a real-estate office.

Finding a house for sale in town, Jeff pulled into the driveway and called the number on the sign. A realtor named Nancy  answered the phone and gave us the address of the office.  After we visited with her and told her what we wanted, she sent us out to Rockport Oaks RV Park, an immaculately kept layout with cement driveways and manicured lawns. After checking it out and falling in love with what we saw, we drove back into town and brought her back out to the park where we met the couple selling a lot that even had its own little storage shed, which I immediately saw as a possible writing cave. We even met the neighbors. Later that evening, as the Sunday sun melted into the coastal horizon, Jeff and I were signing papers in Nancy’s office and putting down earnest money to hold the lot we had chosen.

As we drove away from her office, we were in shock.

“Hey, babe, did we really do that?” Jeff asked me. “Did we really and truly plunk down earnest money for that property?”

“Yep,” I answered, as we turned into the motel parking lot. “We sure enough did.”

“Amazing,” he said, as he got out of the car. “Be back in a few,” as he headed into the office.

Soon, as pre-dawn rays filtered through the curtains, we were up and at ’em and tracing our path back to the RV lot where a sales rep named Larry showed us several new models including the Salem Villa Classic, Salem Estate, and the Salem Hemisphere. Each of the new models inspired our imagination of the life we could live. After taking his card and a handful of full-color brochures about each model, we promised Larry we would  see him again, soon.

On down the road a piece (as we say in Texas), we stopped off in Seguin for brisket dinners at Bill Miller’s Barbeque and then at a tiny-home dealership where another rep promised to call us when a new shipment of tiny houses arrived.

Since our return from the coast, we have begun rounding up extra books, clothing, and other items we knew we would have no room for and toted them to Half-Price Books, Mission Arlington, and other worthy recipients.

For the past few days, men have arrived to help us get our house readt to put on the market. Carpentry. Painting. Plumbing. Whatever it took. They did it all. Early Saturday evening, after I awoke from a much-needed nap, I found a “For Sale By Owner” sign on our lawn.

Our dream was becoming a reality.

The next leg of our journey — closing on the lot we are purchasing with funds from the sale of our house — starts some time in the middle of May. RV life will prove quite a challenge, especially for an ol’ girl like me who loves her long, hot showers. Or for both Jeff and me who love our “schtuff”. Stay tuned for our next adventure in RV-land on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

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