"Lisa Brown (Always On Liberty) is a contributor to this blog. All opinions expressed are her own."
When we set out on our Living the Dream quest, one big anchor weighed us down. The big question, "what happens if we need to vacate our RV to fly home for emergency, go on a non-RV vacation or meet a client in a different city for more than an overnight?" We're not keen on boarding our nomad cats; we needed to think about if we needed to step away from Liberty and our nomad cats, who is going to mind the store.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Since we started RVing, there have been a few times when we've come to rely on our RV family. Since we were already accustomed to relying on non-family caretakers as a a military family, it was a no-brainer that we continue relying on our 'birds of feather'.
Our first time was when we first arrived in Castroville, Texas, in late fall of 2015 when our son's Army Unit Family Readiness Group called us to let us know when they will be arriving home from Afghanistan. We needed to attend his homecoming at Fort Carson, Colorado, but we were pretty sure only one of us were able to go. Once we moored Liberty at the RV Resort, unhooked and set up, we met our new neighbor. We noticed instantly that they had a cat sticker on their door. Beforehand, we briefly discussed amongst ourselves, if we dare take a chance asking someone we didn't know having access to our RV to take care of our nomad cats and coach so we could welcome our Soldier home together.
At first, we were apprehensive. I mean, who wouldn't be? Would you give your house key to a complete stranger that just moved into your neighborhood to have access to everything you own and your beloved furry family members? However, in lifestyle we now live, we 'learn and earn' our new family on the road...trust; and that trust goes both ways.
So, we took the chance...
It was a bit scary however, we packed our backpacks, fueled up Captain America, gave the key to our new neighbors leaving precise written instructions. We patted our fuzzyheaded nomads on the noggins and kissed them goodbye; hoping we would have happy kitties and our home intact upon return. In the early morning, we drove a 900 miles from San Antonio, Texas, to Fort Carson Army Post in Colorado.
After five days of a happy homecoming, we drove back to San Antonio holding our breaths. As we drove into the RV Resort we were moored at, we were relieved to see our 'then' Cyclone toy hauler still sitting there. We unlocked our RV door to be greeted by our two sleepy-eyed kitties who were glad to see us. They still had all of their fluffy hair and were still pudgy. Sighs of relief and smiles beamed on all of our faces. We were grateful that they AND our home on wheels were taken care so lovingly. It was then we learned that with this lifestyle, we CAN rely on our RV family to take care of things if ever we have to step away.
Fast forward to February 2017. We were at a slow crawl from southern Arizona making our way to San Antonio, Texas, to get our annual medical appointments completed. However, we were stopped in our tracks in El Paso when we received a call from Dan's mom to 'come quick' as Dan's Dad had fallen gravely ill in his hometown in Pennsylvania.
Already stressed from finding boondocking spots on our way back to San Antonio, this just sped up the process and now the emotional aspect of Dan losing his Dad took a toll. Our reservations for Fort Sam Houston FamCamp were penned in for March 1st. We called to see if we could arrive earlier because of our family emergency. Unfortunately, we were told there was 'no room at the inn'; so we were scampering for a place to park Liberty and get a rush flight home.
But then our RV Family came to the rescue!
Our RV besties Timily (Tim & Emily) from Ownlessdomore who have crossed our paths several times in the past couple years joining us in our journey helped us. They were already in Texas at Lackland AFB FamCamp and spoke to the staff to see if we could get a site in two days. Unfortunately, this FamCamp didn't take reservations, so there was no way to know if we'd get in or not. So, Emily gave us an hour-by-hour assessment of what was coming open. The day we were to arrive, she kept an eye on any site opening up. Needless to say, her vigilance paid off. When we arrived at the 'commercial gate' (because of our length and height) to the Air Force base, Tim even met our tired and weary souls and escorted us right to our site. Their truck was a sight for sore eyes.
We immediately set up and made our flight reservations. Before we could even ask, Tim and Emily were right there waiting for directions on how to care for Krissie and Kandi. They even took us to the airport the next morning and picked us up when we returned. Our kitties fell in love with Emily even though she's not a 'cat person' but it seemed they grew on Emily.
We've come to appreciate that our RV family understands and commiserates our nomadic lifestyle. Likewise, we do the same for others. Earning each other's trust isn't taken lightly. We always try to be good people and render help when needed...
...because we have to. Who else are ya gonna call?
Now, don't think that we hand the keys over to just anyone. Similarly, when we lived in our S&B (sticks and bricks), we have a checklist of how we acquire caretakers of our home and pets. To us, it's extremely important that our caretakers not only 'like' cats, but they must love 'our' cats because they are our furkids.
Lastly, an RV is not like a S&B in respect to the mechanics and engineering. Who knows better than our fellow RVers that know the electrical, HVAC, water and sewer systems. While there may be professional pet sitters wherever we park, if something goes awry, we appreciate that our RV family will know what to do in order for Liberty to be safe and sound and our nomad cats will be lovingly sought after.
So, if you're an RVer and you need to leave your RV and pets to tend to family events or even a vacation or cruise, look no further than your RV's door.