The art of compromise

Living a mobile lifestyle with a partner in 250 square feet, requires the ability to communicate and compromise.  Compromise becomes even more important when the individuals don’t always share common interests.Lamar Texas

Compromise has never been a problem for hubby and me.  I tell him where we’re going, what we’re doing, and he says, “Yes, Dear”.  And that my friends is how to survive 30 plus years of marriage …. 😆

northern shoveler duckBut in all seriousness, Al and I have always supported and encouraged each others interests and passions.  We enjoy doing things together as well as separately.  It works for us and has for over thirty years.

Al and I are fortunate in that we’ve both had the opportunity to travel extensively over the years internationally and domestically, but that travel was predominantly to metropolitan areas.  Thus, we now enjoy focusing our travels on small towns, back country roads, and all things nature which makes this RV lifestyle a perfect fit.  Neither one of us has a so called bucket list, but we do have a mental list of “wouldn’t mind visiting there”.  It’s sort of a …… if it works fine, if it doesn’t work that’s fine too kind of list.

duck hunting in TexasAl’s pretty laid back and easy going about our travels and for the most part leaves the planning up to me.

After I brief him on tentative plans, we’ll bounce ideas back and forth. He’ll occasionally add his two cents or express any concerns, and then the trip planning commences followed by a few necessary reservations.  For the most part, he rolls with my whims.

On that note, last summer during our winter planning phase, Al mentioned how he really wanted to do a repeat of the previous January and meet up with his buddy again in Rockport, Texas, to engage in sportsman stuff.  Initially, I wanted to stay in the desert southwest, but since this was something he really wanted to do, I felt it was my turn to roll with his whim and compromise.

Plus, I didn’t think returning to the area  would be so bad.  It would allow me the opportunity to commune with whooping cranes and all my other feathered friends while hubby was occupied elsewhere.roseate spoonbill

And then I got to thinking since we were coming to Texas anyway, this would be the perfect opportunity to explore some other areas along the Texas Gulf Coast, which is how we ended up spending time in Galveston and Port Aransas.

Texas Gulf CoastAlthough I have had a relatively nice time along the Texas Gulf Coast, all things considered, the lure of an Arizona sunset is hard to resist.  The abundant sunshine and dry heat of the desert beckons.

As our scheduled stay in Texas was nearing an end, Al started dropping hints about extending our stay.  He said something along the lines of, “We have no commitments in February.  Why don’t we just stay here a little longer”?

He asks this question as the winds are howling, the rain is pouring, and I’m bundled up in layers of clothing trying to keep warm.

I ponder…..  Keep that thought in mind while I digress for a moment….
From the moment we purchased the RV, Al made every effort to train me on all her workings and we split the driving so I’m comfortable towing her.  When I became so ill last winter, it made an indelible impression upon us just how important it is that he and I are both able to handle all aspects of this lifestyle.  With the exception of backing her up, I’m quite capable in the handling of all duties.

As for Al’s cross training, he has improved in doing laundry, vacuuming, and cooking (well, his culinary skills are still lacking, but edible. That’s a work in progress – hehe).  Both of us can handle the demands of this lifestyle together and independently.

QuartzsiteSo back to me contemplating Al’s thoughts on extending our Texas stay.  Remember the weather is nasty as we have this discussion.  I wait for the loud furnace to shut off so I’m sure he can hear my response.

“You’d like to stay in Texas longer?”  I confirm. He nods.  “No problem honey, but please check with Denny to make sure his couch is a sleeper, because come Monday the jacks are coming up and the wheels will be rolling.  Whether you’ll be sitting next to me is your choice.  I’m flexible”.

Adirondack chairAl burst out into laughter and said, “Ah, you are a wise one. Perhaps it was foolish of me to see to it that you can handle all aspects of this RV because I have no doubt to your capabilities.  I assure you, when you have this puppy ready to roll, I’ll be sitting next to you”.

It was the best of times; exploring fun new places and getting together with fellow bloggers.  It was the worst of times; nasty weather and illness.  It was the age of wisdom; as we age, we hopefully become wiser.  Al is second guessing the wisdom of his actions in making sure I can handle the RV by myself.  It was the age of foolish; We’re never too old to act a little foolishly.  It’s all about the laughter.  In the end, I am no fool and would never dream of leaving my partner in crime beyond.

Arizona here WE come!whooping crane

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79 thoughts on “The art of compromise

  1. Very well said Ingrid and I agree with knowing how everything works in the RV. Terry does most of the driving as well but it is comforting to know I can get behind the wheel whenever necessary. Now to get hubby trained on the inside of the rig. Wonder if that is possible after 24 years of marriage? 😉 Your photos are stunning!

    • Haha…. thanks LuAnn. I don’t drive often but when we decide to put in long days it’s nice to switch drivers. We did a nine hour day wanting to get to AZ asap and it wasn’t too bad because we shared the driving. We’ll do the same thing crossing Nebraska and Iowa this summer. I see no reason to meander through those states 😉

  2. Hi Ingrid, I’m going through you posts to find the bird watching trip you did last early spring at the Rockport if I remember correctly (?) Was it at the Goose Island State Park?

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed your post today. After I finished chuckling over the first two paragraphs for the second time, I shared it with Don. He stated you pretty much summed up his idea of compromise too. Safe passage to Arizonia Ingrid.

  4. Paul usually asks me where I would like to go next. I plan a few months at a time and then ask him what he thinks. So far, he has liked all my ideas. I have seen him change over the six years though. He used to get hitch itch every two to three weeks. He now actually wants to stay longer in most of the places we visit and travel less.

    This may be our last trip to the AZ/CA area so I am savoring each day. I say…get out of the cold and into the sun…especially the desert sun! Safe travels.

  5. What a simple discription of compromise. My wife taught me early in our marriage, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too!” That rings of Henry Ford saying a buyer can choose any color for their Model-T as long as it is black.
    And your photos are absolutely stunning. Great job!

    • Thank you and I love that tidbit about Ford. We had a great time exploring your old stomping grounds but it’s time to move on…. on the road again heading west 🙂

  6. Al is a smart man! Love the post and especially the picture of you two and the bird reflection. Just stunning. Friday we were bundled up against the blowing cold snow and Sunday we walked in the sunshine under blue skies and looking at the sparkling water as the snow quickly melted. Winter in N. New Mexico! Enjoy Arizona. Do you see me waving as you drive through NM?

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  8. Perfectly said! Cant add enough for I can relate as well. But no I won’t drive the MH nor would he allow me to drive it…perfect set up.
    Oh my the Roseate capture is perfect too!! Super Like!
    It looked like you are heading in the right direction, sunny days in the desert.

    • That Roseate photo was taken on that first time you and I visited Leonabelle. Caught him at the very end of the boardwalk. During all my visits after that first, I never saw spoonbills there again. I’d love to see you behind the wheel of Betsy 🙂

  9. You really hit the nail on the head with this one. Compromise when living in a tiny space is crucial. We’re looking forward to visiting your areas in Texas on the way back to the Midwest and hope the weather is a bit better by that time. I also liked your repetition on how important it is for both members to know each others “duties”, especially driving the rig. I was really glad of that when Pete passed out at the wheel last year.

    • Thank you. I think it’s a good idea to have a rough idea how to handle things. On our first 6 week trip within the 2nd week my husband twisted his ankle and the fact that I could help with the driving kept the trip going.

  10. I agree with Pam….sounds like our relationship also. I think compromise is the name of the game when you’re living in a tiny box. If you can’t master that skill early on you won’t make it long.

    You really have to like each other, not just love each other. If you do I can’t think of anything better!

  11. We were discussing if we wanted to be RV’ers when it’s time to hang up the 9 to 5. Who knows! Hooray for going back to Arizona. Wouldn’t mind joining you one bit! Great shots here 🙂

    • There’s pros and cons to all of life’s decisions. For us, we didn’t want to continue living where we were so moving into the RV was an easy decision (well maybe not easy) Feel free to email me anytime with questions but then again your in-laws are out there as well 🙂 Yep, time for me to capture some AZ sunsets!

  12. I think our relations with our husbands a very similar, he’s been my best friend for 30+ years. Looking into work camping jobs in AZ as we speak. We’re ready for a change after two winters here in TX too. Haven’t had the opportunity to drive the rig yet but that has something to do with driving our other truck. Safe travels west, we’ll catch you somewhere down the road.

    • Well Faye, it would be hard to drive two vehicles at the same time LOL. Keep me posted on what you find in the way of work camp gigs in AZ. Too bad Lost Dutchman SP is so far away from Surprise because that would be a great place. Al is still talking about TX again next Jan, but I’m not sure 😉

  13. Hahahaha! Yep, it isn’t easy all the time..Biting my tongue hurts, but I’m getting use to it..I have never driven our Hiker..I think I could keep it between the lines, but might take out a few small cars on right turns..Heck, I have trouble backing up our John Deere with the wagon on it!! Have fun in Arizona…We are still exploring Florida..different kinds of birds here..and other critters!!

    • I’m still chuckling as I envision you on the John Deere with wagon. I’m looking forward to getting back to AZ and seeing our son and capturing those amazing sunsets.
      Our summer plans are being discussed and be forewarned, you might get a knock on your door from someone looking for a margarita 😉

    • Gosh, I haven’t heard a peep from you two. Hope you had a great time at Disney World. I can’t imagine not having a fabulous time there. Love that place. It’s time for Barb to get back to work and get those fingers typing away and fill us in along with some of your photos. Nice hearing from you 🙂

    • Thanks Wayne. We were fortunate to have some lovely days along the Texas Gulf Coast before pulling out. Looking forward to some blue skies 🙂

  14. You clearly point out some of the downsides of “cross training” . I imagine somewhere in your rv is a little sign that says, “Happy Wife = Happy Life”. Al is a good guy.

  15. Arizona you say? Don’t come here to the Imperial Dam LTVA. It’s going to be sunny and 80º today. It’s going to be in the 80s for the next ten days, at least… and all that miserable sun! Not a cloud in the forecast! Yuck! 😉

  16. You summed up our relationship to a T!! However, I know nothing about the workings of the MH, nor do I drive it. I control only the kitchen and W/D. So I keep John around to drive, repair, and dump tanks!! Haha!! We joined FMCA just in case I need somone to drive the MH somewhere for me.

    Love, love that photo of the Roseate Spoonbill:) That sunset rocks!!!

    Hope to meet up in AZ:)

    • Thanks Pam. It’s probably good you keep John feeling ‘needed’. For the most part Al does do most of the driving and ALL the dumping, but I feel better knowing how. I figure since I take care of what goes in (cooking) he can take care of what goes out 😉 Once we’re in AZ, I’ll check in with you and see where you are wandering around.

  17. Hahaha, this is hilarious and so honest!! Honesty and a sense of humor are definitely two key characteristics of being able to not only work things out, but to enjoy each other. It’s amazing that two people can live (mostly) happily together in such a small space for an extended length of time—you two obviously are successful at it, and I’m grateful that Eric and I are among those who can, too. It helps that we get over disagreements quickly, too. 🙂

    • Well there isn’t too much space to hide in a tiny RV, is there? So getting along and being able to spend a lot of time together is critical for this lifestyle. I bet you’re enjoying that extra space in the new TT. Hope to see you soon!

  18. HaHa – brilliant post and so easy to relate to. We are very similar, hitting 35 yrs in a few months. I quickly learned after “I Do” the only phrase required is “Yes Dear”, mind you it can be said in a variety of ways. Although we have our usual duties, Judi can get it on/off the truck and set up, only difference is she won’t drive. We have to pass a driving test in BC, so she is happy being a passenger.

    Al does laundry ! – hope it isn’t contagious, as I got a pre-nup. I don’t do laundry & Judi didn’t do my white uniform shirts – she says I was too particular, what with starch and razor sharp creases. Al can probably relate from his Navy days. Mind you I do most of the cooking and all the hoovering.

    Enjoy the journey back to sunny Arizona. We are counting the months, as a year from now we will be back in warm and sunny Indio, SoCal.

    BTW – as usual great photos.

    • Thank you Andy. Well your rig is A LOT bigger than ours and I know I’d be a nervous wreck if we were much longer. Oh, Al doesn’t do laundry very often, just on occasion and usually when I’m not feeling well. As for his airline uniform shirts (I didn’t know him during the Navy-ten yr age difference between us) …. those went out to the laundry as it was a bone of contention between the two of us as you can certainly understand. He shared your sentiment as I shared Judi’s. We might have to check out So Cal next winter as I have a great desire to visit Anza Borrego.

      • It’s about 60 miles from where we stay in Indio, as we headed down there for a day to meet some other Redwood owners that were at Borrego Springs. Nice area.

  19. As we prepare to hit the road full time, it is great to know there are kindred spirits out there. After eight years of seasonals at Ayers Lake Farm Campground, a lovely lakeside spot in NH, in Oct 2015 after leaf peeping season…it’s off we go into the wide, wide world. Thank you for inspiring us.

    • We have yet to make it to New England and would love to one of these years. It’s amazing how quickly we manage to fill our travel schedule. The summer will have us going as far east as Michigan before returning to Colorado. We are so fortunate to live in this country and have so many spectacular places to visit. Perhaps we’ll bump into you in the south during the winter 🙂

  20. We are warming Arizona up in anticipation of your arrival. Supposed to be in the 70s for the next week or so. That will be the first time since we headed out in December! Soaking up a bit of warmth is good for the soul.

    • I do appreciate you warming up AZ for my arrival. It doesn’t seem Mother Nature was any kinder to AZ than TX this winter. I’m looking forward to seeing some blue skies. I’ve had my far share of gray to last me for awhile 🙂

  21. As we prepare for a new life on the road, it is so great to hear the stories of kindred spirits. Thanks for sharing. If you happen to find yourselves in New England this summer…we will be seasonals, year eight, at Ayers Lake Farm Campground. Lovely lakeside spot in New Hampshire. Until October 2015 when we pull up stakes…wooohoooo!

    • We have yet to make it to New England and would love to one of these years. It’s amazing how quickly we manage to fill our travel schedule. The summer will have us going as far east as Michigan before returning to Colorado. We are so fortunate to live in this country and have so many spectacular places to visit. Perhaps we’ll bump into you in the south during the winter 🙂

  22. I can sympathize with Al, the lure of one more morning on the water is enough to push the envelope. I would have loved to stay in ND for a few more days of waterfowling but an incoming snowstorm pushed us south.
    Like you, Barb can handle all aspects of our rig. As a matter of fact she has watch me hook up, unhook and dump the tanks with such intensity it makes me wonder if she is thinking of ditching me! All kidding aside, the ability to spend most of your days with each other, having common interests as well as being comfortable doing things apart are very important in life on the road. We know a lot of couples who just could not do this and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have each other.

    • Yes, we are fortunate as our goals and interests do line up with our spouses …. most of the time. Seems like my hubby wouldn’t mind running into you and do a little waterfowl chatting. He’s been to ND a couple of times. He and his buddy had a great season in TX. His buddy was staying all of Feb to focus on fishing but I was ready to move on. Guess we know who won 😆

  23. Ingrid, this is one of my favorites!!! As couples, we are so much alike (except Bill is the chef, travel planner and I just can’t get that backing the truck 5th wheel into that little slot, nor will he let me touch the “hose”….)
    Well, anyway, you made me laugh and your photos are spectacular!!!!

    • Thanks and I’m not sure I’ll ever get the hang of backing up the 5th wheel. I’ve gotten really good at backing up the truck alone (we have an extended bed) and parking in crowded places but the fiver? grrr! As long as I have my ‘driver’, I won’t worry about it 🙂

  24. Linda pretty well is much like you…. 40 + years and my “yes dear” seems to work…. just one difference, being a land surveyor before I met Linda, my cooking is tops, even she agrees on that…. but I have found by making a botch of the ironing, Linda is quick to take over…. I hate doing ironing….
    Ingrid the first photo with the reflection you should enter into one of many competitions. .. it will win prizes, pure brilliance. ….

    • Awe, thank you Bulldog. Sometimes snapping that special shot is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. When Al was flying, his shirts went out to be done. I never kept up with the ironing because I hated it so and refused to use starch. Although we’ve never argued much, crisp shirts was one area we did. Professional laundry solved the problem 🙂

  25. Me and my Al are pretty lucky too. We have all the same interests, so it’s pretty easy to get along, and do things together. Even before the RV life, I was the official trip planner, and that still kinda happens. We have to be some places at certain times for our art shows, but I like to see new places when we can. Today we are heading to someplace totally new before we have to be in Carefree for our show. I hope we can run into each other here in Arizona.

    • Please let me know where you’ll head off to after the chocolate fest. Mar and Apr we will be at Lake Pleasant with the exception of the weekend of March 13 when we’ll be at Lost Dutchman SP. Might still be too soon for the poppy’s but one can hope 🙂

  26. Ingrid I love your sense of humor. I think we share a lot of similarities in our long time marriages and friendships with our husbands. There tends to be a lot of ‘yes dear’ over here as well. 🙂 The photo of the two of you says a lot, that pure fun and joy in each others arms. Wishing you both many happy years ahead on the road!

    • Thank you Sue. A good sense of humor is a must to get us through those challenging times. Seems like we both married smart guys – ‘yes dear’. You’re looking mighty fine out there on the slopes with the 6 year olds 😉

      • Yes our guys are wise aren’t they? 🙂 As far as those little munchkins I am laughing thinking about standing on the moving ski carpet with them. Life is humbling. 🙂

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