Retirement. To some of us, it’s a long way off. For others, it’s not that far. Can I ask you a question? What do you plan on doing once your working days are over? I am willing to bet that most people answer that question something like this: buy a cabin. Or…buy a boat. Perhaps…travel the world. Relax. Spend time with the family. Spoil the grandkids. Well, I’m here to tell you that Hunt and Peg Hardinge, my father and step-mother, are not like most people. Now, they aren’t ready to retire yet, but as I sit blogging from my couch as a 25-year-old at the dawn of my 40+ year career, well…they are a lot closer then I am.
As I was saying, Hunt and Peg aren’t like most people. No boat, no cabin on the lake (yet). However, they do plan on traveling, just…not in the way you’d expect. Recently, they became proud owners of a brand new (to them) recreational vehicle. Not just any RV though, they bought an Airstream. That beautiful, all-aluminum, mobile luxury suite that has been seen crisscrossing American highways for over 70 years.
For the past few years, Peg and Hunt have had their eyes on purchasing one of these fine American made pieces of machinery, but it all seemed like a pipe dream. Peg passed her time searching the internet classifieds, reading the Airstream forums, and dreaming of the day she could join the proud ranks of the WBCCI. Like I said, until one day, Peg won the lottery.
Ok, so she didn’t win the actual lottery. But it was close. Peg found a man who was selling his Airstream. Guess where he lived? Out of all the people in the county, the man lived about 10 minutes from where Missy and I live! Isn’t that wild? The price was right, but since Hunt and Peg couldn’t exactly “kick the tires”, guess who they sent to investigate? That’s right…yours truly! And so when they came to visit Missy and I later that year, they also bought themselves a new trailer (and truck too, if you were wondering).
Hunt and Peg LOVE their Airstream. They joined all the clubs. They bought all the books. The have the t-shirt (probably). It is their nest egg. Peg lovingly named the trailer “Erma” and named the ’04 Chevy pickup they bought with it “Fred”. It spends the winter encamped at my step-brother Chad’s place in the Mountains of Western Maryland, and it spends the summers on the road, Easy Rider style, except instead of a motorcycle, it’s an Airstream.
They dream of traveling the country, eventually seeing all the hot-spots: Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. Hopefully Missy and I will be joining them on some of their adventures! For now though, they keep it close to home, like taking it down to visit my brother Addie at Virginia Tech, where they hook up at a nice little “Airstream Only” RV park. They also have attended a few of the local “Airstream Rally’s”, where a whole bunch of airstream owners get together and have a good time. They recently attended the Cherry Blossom Rally in D.C., and I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures they were more than eager to send me. It looks like a great time to me!
And, oh yeah, they will be bringing Fred, Erma, and hopefully the rest of the family, out to Iowa this summer…Missy and I can’t wait!
This post is dedicated to Hunt and Peg Hardinge. Love you guys!