Monday, March 21, 2016

Snowbirding - A Review

We pulled the trailer home yesterday after our four-month stay in beautiful Hurricane.  It’s cleaned up and back in storage.  So what was snowbirding really like? 

Well, we were truly rookies.  If we had been experienced snowbirds, we would have brought a coordinated bistro set, a small gas grill, and a plant or two.  We would have also known that our trailer didn’t fit in the smaller driveways with the cutout, and would have missed the fun of vacuuming dust and mud every other day.  Now we know.

It was great not to have to shovel snow.  Yes, it did get cold in Hurricane but it never snowed.  It was also great to be so close to so many activities: Zion National Park, three state parks, and so many backroads that it would take years to explore them all.  It was also great to be able to run any time without worrying about falling on the ice or breathing the bad air.

Being in Hurricane felt like a four month vacation, and that’s just too long to be on vacation.  Every day we made a plan to go do something, because it just didn’t work sitting home in the trailer all day.  This was a good thing – we’ve seen a lot of beautiful country and done a lot of fun things.  But there were no projects to work on, and in such close quarters I didn’t feel comfortable taking time (and hogging the shared laptop) to write or scrapbook.  I even neglected my blog.  And this trip reminded us that three months in the trailer is pretty much our max.  We thought we could handle longer if we didn’t have a job, but having a job actually gave us some structure to our days.

We volunteered for VITA in St. George, and found ourselves doing far more instruction than production.  They needed Paul to be a site coordinator for an established site at the Red Rock Center for Independence, so that was our regular spot.  It was appointment only, and we only had six appointments each session for three preparers, so it was a much slower pace.  We were also asked to help a new preparer at the Deaf Center.   He was deaf, as were his clients, so we worked with him through an interpreter and helped him learn the program.  He’ll be able to do this on his own next year.  That was an amazing experience.  American Sign Language is so beautiful.  Learning it just may land on my bucket list.

What I really learned about myself is that my life is in Salt Lake City.  For better and for worse.  The air may be bad, the traffic may be bad, but our kids, our friends, our extended family, and our volunteer work are all in SLC.  I guess Dorothy had it right – there’s no place like home.

That said, we won’t rule out snowbirding again.  After all, now we’re experienced.

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