Old dream came true with Honey Bee

Published 12:41 am Saturday, June 3, 2017

The slightly loose cover with frayed corners of a book tucked among paperbacks and hardbacks caught my eye as I rummaged through my office bookcase. The book with the familiar tattered binding was conspicuously well worn. A wave of nostalgia swept over me. I forgot what I was hunting and slipped it from the shelf. Several pages fell open. On the third one, my handwritten words, “Our Travels,” jumped out at me.

It was the journal I had logged the trips my husband and I made with our Airstream travel trailer. The entries began on Feb. 16, 1984, titled “Our Maiden Journey.” We were as excited over that dull silver 1964 travel trailer as if it had been a brand new shiny one. It was the realization of a dream. In the early days of our marriage when we did not even own a car, we walked several miles on several Sunday afternoons to look at travel trailers. We had the fever but it faded when the Army assigned my soldier husband to a year’s unaccompanied tour in Alaska.

Years and years passed until we found ourselves in Lillian, Ala., among numerous Snow Birds with recreational vehicles. The fever struck again; so much so that we began looking for an RV. Considering our financial situation, we had little hope, but the dream lingered. Then one day my husband told me about a man who wanted to sell an RV because his wife had health problems. They had purchased it new. He brought it by for us to look over. I was a bit leery. It was obvious it had been well cared for, but it was 20 years old. The price was right. We pondered it for several days, and then took the leap. We named it Honey Bee.

I noted in our journal that we pulled out of our driveway in Lillian at 11:30 a.m. during a light shower, heading for Gulf State Park on our maiden journey. Thus began our learning experience. That trip taught us always to take along plenty of electric and water lines. The following pages were consumed with our first camping vacation where we learned we couldn’t see everything in three states in two-week’s vacation time.

We had lots of thing happen in the years that followed. Our refrigerator died. The truck stalled on a hill. A squirrel fell in a trailer vent and stayed trapped there for a day. A bird built a nest in our spare tire. An electrical cord came loose and dragged several miles along the highway.

Good things happened, too. We discovered dulcimers, joined a couple of dulcimer clubs, made lots of good friends, enjoyed beautiful sunsets on the beach, and walked nature trails, where we discovered wildflowers and spotted various birds. I closed the last pages of that journal during the same time we said goodbye to Honey Bee. We opened a new journal with a brand new travel trailer and enjoyed more time realizing our dream.



Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.