The kayaks are strapped back on to the top of our Jeep. Bikes are in place on the rack attached to the hitch. Knick-knacks are tucked in cupboards. The shoe bin filled with footwear to fit the occasion, whether hiking, kayaking or golfing, is stashed in the closet. The Captain’s chair and co-pilot seat are turned around to the front-facing position. Furniture is secured, cupboards and sliding pocket doors all closed tight.
Everything is ready to roll, on to our next destination.
Everything that is, except my heart.
When we first settled into our rented lot at the Motorcoach Country Club RV Resort in Indio, I noticed the owner had three empty flower pots just waiting to be filled. I visited a local nursery and bought enough annuals to bring life to them. My plan was to buy a pot to transfer them to once we were ready to get back on the road, which I did.
As I gently tugged the flowers out of the planters, I was amazed at how much they grew in the six weeks we’ve been here. I couldn’t get over how deep the roots had dug into the California soil I scrapped together when I first planted them. With just the right amount of water, sun and tender-loving care, the geranium, petunias and snapdragons flourished. My transplants found a new home.
I feel exactly the same.
Staying here at this little slice of heaven in the California desert for this long has allowed us to grow our own roots. And with the fresh air, sun and the gentle breezes of new friendships, we’ve flourished too. We’ve been blessed to share stories, journeys, and heartbreaks with these new friends. These new friends have hosted us for dinner, golf, and wine tastings. These new friends have taken walks with us, gotten us into the pool for water aerobics, presented us with thoughtful gifts.
Desert Adventures with Chuck and Dyan
Our time here in the desert began with getting together with friends we made last year in Hilton Head. Chuck and Dyan love adventures as much as we do, and loved experiencing the Salton Sea area together. We had a blast exploring Temecula Valley, the wine country just 90 minutes over the San Jacinto Mountains. We especially enjoyed Doffo Wines and the display of over 200 motorcycles and scooters collected by the owner, Marcello. We spent our last evening in town, Valentine’s Day, enjoying dinner with the two of them, bringing our time together full circle. Life is always fun with a little bit of Chuck and Dyan sprinkled in!
Photo credit: Doffo Wines
Kind neighbors Chris and Alan
Our first clue as to how special the residents at Motorcoach Country Club RV resort was while hosting our Toledo friends Joe and Amy Zavac for a visit. Our neighbors, Chris and Alan, brought over an outdoor lamp to add more light to our patio. How thoughtful is that? This Colorado-based couple also hosted us for a fun, quaint Super Bowl gathering, and even offered to help out with Luna while we were off on a day-long adventure.
Pasta and Game Night with John and Christine
Speaking of thoughtful, when meeting Christine and John McCusker at a dinner at the Motorcoach club house, Christine observed I wasn’t eating bread. When I shared that I was gluten intolerant, several days later, Christine gifted me with two loaves of gluten free bread made at a local bakery. I returned the favor with giving this former private school owner with a copy of my biography of Virginia Hamilton. This lovely couple hosted us for a delicious homemade pasta dinner, Temecula wine and Rumikub. We all walked away as winners, in more ways than one.
Golf with the Ladies
The resort has a fun 18 hole Par 3 course. I had the opportunity to play with the ladies several times, including the first with Nancy Kossman, who hails from Missouri. Nancy and I connected from the start, and enjoyed going out to lunch and walking together.
When I played with the other group of ladies, Betty announced, “I’m not a very good golfer, but I’m a lot of fun.” Fun was definitely had with Kim, Jo, Betty and her sidekick, Betty Boop. It’s always a good thing when you laugh so hard on the course that you find yourself looking for the nearest bathroom.
PGA West friends Renee and Fred
Brad joined a golf program which allows us to play on private courses with members willing to host us. Fred and Renee Dockweiler were incredibly kind to not only host us, but to be willing to reschedule when we came down with a stomach bug. We connected during our first round at the PGA West Weiskopf course. It was a thrill for me to play with all single-digit handicap golfers. I’ve got 9 strokes to join the ranks, but Fred and Renee were both incredibly encouraging. We met up for dinner at Okura Sushi one night, and Renee hosted us several days later (as Fred was out of town) at the PGA West Stadium course, home of the AT&T PGA tournament. We hope to have Renee and Fred visit us in Toledo, as Fred has plans to travel our way on business.
And the list goes on…
I’m not so good with carting my phone with me everywhere, much less taking pictures when I do. I will hold on to the special memories of a Motorcoach CC resident, Swanee, who became my new “publicity rep” after sharing our story and my work with her. Swanee attended a satellite campus of Antioch College, where Virginia Hamilton attended, so I gifted her with my biography of this amazing writer.
We had the pleasure of golfing with several other couples and gentlemen during our stay…including Rob and Margaret and Troy and Sue at Mountain View Country Club. Thank you all for making our time all the more special. Ugh…I could go on and on, from the many people we met on our daily walks with Luna, to folks we visited with on our many adventures.
So yes, we’re packed up and ready to go on to the next chapter, but my heart is a little sad as we leave this desert oasis.
Often friends met on the road remain as such.
But, I have a feeling that with the right amount of time and attention, just like my new flowers, the roots of friendship established here in the California desert will grow deeper.