Our First Christmas in Arizona

It is now a few days after Christmas, and we have been spending quite a bit of time here in our motorhome. About 2 weeks ago, David became very ill, with a fever and chills, frequent cough, wasn’t eating or drinking, and had difficulty breathing. We went to the ER at a local hospital and after a chest xray, bloodwork, and other tests the diagnosis was pneumonia. He was given IV antibiotics and fluids at the hospital and sent home with prescriptions for an antibiotic and a cough syrup. Because it was caught early, he did not have to be admitted to the hospital. Although he felt pretty sick for the first week of his illness, he is now almost totally recovered. He still needs a little more sleep than usual, but the cough is gone and his appetite is back to normal.

Joan has been doing most of the household chores, going shopping for groceries and other necessities, and did pick up a few Christmas decorations for the motorhome. She has learned to get around this area quite well, but will continue to let David do the majority of the driving; especially longer distances. She is glad that David is feeling better, and was able to attend a Christmas program and take part in hosting the Christmas Day Dinner.

We have plans to attend a local New Year’s Eve party in Apache Junction with another couple who lives here in Sierra Leone MHP. We haven’t made any close friends yet, but are getting to know many of the people who live in this park. We have also met other fulltimers while shopping, sightseeing, or other places in the area; there are more of these folks than what we expected. Most say their first holiday season away from home was difficult, but they would not trade a warmer climate for the winters they endured for so many years in their home states. We feel this way also; it is so enjoyable to be outside in warm and sunny weather, and to be able to explore so many places during the winter months. It will open up so many possibilities for our travel plans in the coming years.

Although there are Christmas decorations everywhere we go, it doesn’t really seem like Christmas and we are having trouble getting into the spirit of things. We are sure that it will become easier over the years to adapt to winter in a warm climate-without snow, away from our families and old friends. We did send out Christmas cards after all, and received almost as many as when we lived in Iowa. And we may have to do what some snowbirds here do; they fly or drive “home” for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas and celebrate with family before returning to their winter homes. One of the couples here in the park does this every other year, and they say it really helps them get into the Christmas spirit. Others host family members from the north for a few days or a week or two; there are mobile homes for rent in many of the parks which are more reasonable than staying in a hotel or motel. We are hoping that some of our family will eventually join us wherever we decide to spend the winter months. It would be so much fun to spend the holidays with family of our own, and to show them around whatever area we are staying.

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