We moved to Sierra Leone Mobile Home Park on the day after Thanksgiving. Knowing that we would have to leave by the 11th of January, we didn’t want to take the chance of not finding a new park for the winter. Sierra Leone is a park that belongs to the same corporation that owns Meridian RV park, and the managers-Don and Mary- are friends with the managers of Meridian so it was an easy transition for us. The rent at Sierra Leone, because it is a smaller park with fewer amenities and activities, is about $75.00 a month less. We plan to save money during the winter months for our travels during the spring, summer, and fall.
We have met quite a few people already at our new home. Although the park is smaller, it has everything we need; mail service, flat and paved streets, a spacious recreation hall with activities scheduled during the week, a laundry room, pool and spa, and on site managers who are readily available. This park offers bingo, card and domino games, quilting, a small library, coffee and donuts weekly, pancake breakfasts, bus rides to area casinos and shopping, potlucks and special occasion gatherings. The work campers help wherever they can to meet the needs of the people who live here.
We have found the other residents in the park to be very friendly and welcoming. There are a few who keep mostly to themselves, who we don’t see at the social events. Some are quite elderly, and have their own pursuits and amusements. When Joan takes Smoke for his daily walks, he has been a good ice breaker. People will come out of their mobile homes or RVs when they see a cat walking on a leash. Even those who aren’t really “cat people” are fascinated with a cat who goes for walks. And the cat lovers fuss over him, petting and talking to him-which Smoke doesn’t object to. He enjoys all the attention he has been getting.
We plan to stay here at Sierra Leone until the first part of April, and possibly a little longer-depending on the weather in Iowa. If there are warm days, we will head back in that direction. We will slowly make our way back to the Dubuque, Iowa area once it gets above freezing temps at night. Although our motorhome furnace works quite well, it doesn’t keep the motorhome warm enough for us when it’s bitter cold. Not to mention going out into cold weather; both of us have arthritis which makes the joints hurt in the cold and damp.
It is starting to look a lot like Christmas here at Sierra Leone MHP. Joan helped the women decorate the rec hall for Christmas with trees, wreaths, poinsettas, and various other Christmas decor. David helped outside, stringing lights on the main buildings. We got a few small decorations for our motorhome; putting a tabletop tree outside as Smoke would not leave it alone when we had it in our home. He seems to think that Christmas decorations are toys for him! David put a strand of colored lights on the palm tree next to our motorhome, a wreath on the windshield, a Christmas flag on our metal flag holder, and has rope lights around our patio. The park managers will draw 3 names of people who have decorated outside, and are giving away $10 to the lucky winners. There are Christmas cookie exchanges, a Christmas pagent, and Christmas dinner (Dec. 25) scheduled. Most of the people who come here during the winter have already arrived, and only a few will get here after the holidays. About 20 households live here year round, not minding the hotter weather at all.
We haven’t decided if we will send Christmas cards this year; will wait to see if the mood strikes us. So far, we are exploring the area; have gotten a library card, found several great shopping areas and restaurants, and made some new friends. Smoke seems to be quite content living in our motorhome; he enjoys his walks and the occasional ride in the Jeep. He just loves having his humans home with him, and is very affectionate and appreciative of all the attention he is getting.