Traveling During COVID-19
I didn’t realize this was going to be so hard. We have been planning to come to Missouri for a while. We wondered how we were going to accomplish this task in the midst of the Corona Virus pandemic. Restaurants are closed down, and we just didn’t feel comfortable getting food from places that were unfamiliar. A couple months ago Dennis had a brilliant idea to purchase a travel trailer. We could go from our home in Arizona to our home in Missouri without stopping anywhere other than to gas up the car. It was a beautiful plan, and we accomplished the task with so much ease.
It is amazing how the terrain changed so quickly in Arizona. We went from desert oasis of Saguaro cactus to climbing elevations and seeing fir trees instead. The looks of the mountain from a desert mountain to a snow capped mountain was quite a change in only a few hours.
As we traveled east, we headed on I-40 toward New Mexico. We were not too far into the state, and we stopped for gas. I immediately noticed everyone, and I mean everyone, was coming in and out of the service station with face masks on. They even had them on as they were pumping gas. In the Phoenix area, it is about 50/50 of people wearing masks. Most folks as they are outside, do not wear one. That was not the case at this location. I commented to Dennis that EVERYONE had on their masks. He looked at me, and commented, “We are in Navajo Nation.” Why of course. Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the Corona Virus. I have been following on Facebook and the news of their plight. My heart breaks for these indigenous people. Many don’t even have running water. How can you continually wash your hands if you don’t have running water? It was a good reminder for me that although I feel safe, not everyone is, and I at some time, might not be either.
Our travel trailer is small. It is just the right size for two of us. The small sofa folded down into a very comfortable queen size bed. It has a small kitchen that consisted of a deep sink, 2 burner gas cooktop, microwave/convection oven, and a 6 cu. ft. refrigerator/freezer. We had a full bathroom with separate shower, and plenty of cabinets for storing food and clothes.
We stayed at three different RV parks on our way home—Albuquerque, New Mexico, Yukon, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Missouri. When we arrived at our home in Missouri, it took three hours to unload and find a place for everything. I took a shower and put in a couple loads of laundry before stopping for the day.
On our trips I take a lot of photos while traveling. My photos are taken out of the car window, and I am always amazed with the photos my iPhone takes. In Arizona, I was intrigued by the change in terrain from desert to mountains with fir trees, back to desert. New Mexico is just plain fascinating. The rock formations are amazing. The windmill farms in New Mexico and Oklahoma dot the landscape, and the wind that was blowing very briskly had all these windmills doing their work. Coming out of Oklahoma into Missouri, I was intrigued by the cloud formations—the fact that there were large white billowy clouds, and as we moved into Missouri these clouds were darkening into rain clouds.
Now we are at our home in Missouri. I am hoping that the sale of this house will be soon. We have a contingent contract. Our buyer needs to sell her house first. We are hoping this will happen quickly. We want to be permanently settled in Arizona this winter. I really feel at home there. It has been tough being sheltered-in-place, not seeing friends and cousins, but our hiking trails and the mountains kept us busy—until we started hitting 100+ degree weather.
When we arrived at our Missouri home yesterday, I posted on Facebook that we had arrived with a photo of our home with the travel trailer in front. My neighbors welcomed me back, and some relatives welcomed me back. I was super excited. I am down the road from our children . . . and, then I got the reminder . . . everyone is sheltered in place. Coming back to Missouri did not change anything. I was really sad last night. In Arizona we are far away from our children, but now we are near and yet so far away.
This is really hard. I didn’t realize that I would feel that divide like I did last night. I was really good in Arizona because no one was close by. But, we are close by, and not able to see and hug your loved ones is difficult. Last night, Dennis reminded me that we can do things around the yard—get flowers planted, get the pool area cleaned up and all the furniture distributed on the pool deck. The pool company is scheduled to open our pool in four days. It might be a little too cool to swim—Missouri still has cool evenings, and the water cools off quickly at night. But we can sit out on the screened in porch, eat meals out there, swim in the pool, and do all the same things we did in Arizona. I will pretend my kids and grandkids are not just down the road.
Many folks are starting to get together. I have a daughter-in-law who has immune issues. I will not jeopardize her safety. I have people telling me I am drinking the Koolaid, but I would rather be safe than take my chances on whether there is a real threat or not. My stepson works in a hospital laboratory, so he is not one to be around either at this time. My 18 year old grandson just sent me a text that he would be willing to come visit. I know he has quarantined for weeks, so I would love to have him come visit. We will work on future plans.
I will get through this just like I did in Arizona. When we first started to shelter-in there, I was blue. I couldn’t believe that there was this virus out there that was highly contagious, and so many people would get sick. It made me exceedingly sad. As time moved on, I got used to being in our home without friends. I will take a deep breath, I will enjoy this home while we still own it. I will pray that the house has a closing date sooner than later. I will see my children and grandchildren again. My concern is the 2nd round of the virus that will hit when people start assembling again. It happened with the Spanish Flu, and it will happen with this one. Although more people die of the flu, this virus is more highly contagious, and there is yet a vaccine for it. Most people will survive this virus, but I am not going to be responsible to knowingly spread this virus. I don’t know who would not survive this. It could be me. Or it could be you.
So, I will spend my time here in this house getting the yard ready for summer. I will pray our buyer gets her house sold quickly. We have a plan for a quick move out if closing happened sooner than later. I will see my children and grandchildren soon. The time will be right when it happens.