February 19, 2011 in Washington Voices

Menu was wake-up call for dreamers

By Correspondent

Dreams are intangible hopes, but that doesn’t keep them from solidifying in my mind and weaving through my heart with promises that, if chased, they will come true.

All of us have dreams – things we want to do, places we want to see, accomplishments we want to fulfill. Making them come true, however, is hard work and that’s because dreams refuse to follow protocol.

There’s no guarantee the deserved will get the reward. There’s no fairy dust to sprinkle on dreams coercing them into fruition. The hope of every dream, I’m afraid, is in its diligent and tireless weaver.

 My husband and I began weaving our dream a year ago when we had a surprising wake-up call. It wasn’t one we wanted, particularly when a Denny’s menu was the bearer of such news, but calls like these always occur at odd times.

 We had reached our golden years, according to the menu, and could now order from its heart healthy 55-and-up carte du jour of egg whites and wheat pancakes designed for older folks. It’s true. Older folks. As in geezers.

 We stared at one another, scrutinizing wrinkles and gray hairs that were invisible a mere moment before. When our speaking ability kicked back in, the topic veered toward those dreams put on hold with the birth of children, the paying of bills, the steady beat that goes on until the day we would head off into the sunset of retirement.

 For some, retirement means puttering about the garden or sprucing up the humble abode. For us, it’s selling everything, compartmentalizing our lifestyle and traveling in a mid-luxury motor home.

 Dreams, however, aren’t in sync with coming true. They require nurturing and determination and rely upon things falling into their proper place at the proper time.

Inevitably, reality steps in, and as we all know, reality can clog a dream faster than hair in a drain. The first fly in the financial ointment happened when the housing market and economy tanked. Then gas prices bounced higher than Air Jordan shoes, and if the predicted OPEC stranglehold proves true, a gallon of petrol will soon cost $5.

Although boomers are retiring in droves, those born toward the end of the boomer era are still toting that bar and lifting that bale praying their ducks will line up straight and true when their time comes.

It’s a balancing act that has pitted me against the life I have now with the life I want to begin. Yet, the chase continues.

 Since that fate-filled menu day, we’ve inched toward our dream in fits and starts. We’ve researched full-time RVing, learned about boondocking, a concept called work kamping, and national park volunteering. Full-time RVers live simply, the websites claim, and although we’re as simple as they come, our closets say differently.

Things we haven’t used in years and clothes we can’t wear in a lifetime have taken up residence in closets and relocated under beds, and then multiplied like rabbits when we weren’t looking. Cleaning out 20-plus years of accumulation is a daunting challenge. In 12 months we’ve emptied two closets, with a zillion more cubbyholes to go.

Still, the dream remains vivid and bright like a sunrise over Grand Canyon. And because chasing your dream involves visiting your dream, we spend many a weekend ignoring cluttered closets and garage grunge to peruse the local RV lot gawking at the Fleetwood Adventurer that captured our imaginations last year and drooling over the Itasca Ellipse that stole our hearts this year.

The dealership likes our visits, believing one small step of indulgence equals one giant leap of profit, but the sales people know our plight and merely smile with that oh-no-not-those-two-again look. That’s OK. Dreams need nourishment and visualization is a perfect 12-course meal for boomer dreamers like us.

The chasing and weaving of dreams, I’ve discovered, is not for the faint of heart, but the salty scent of an ocean wave, the sun’s glint off a colorful desert landscape, the bold beauty of the Grand Tetons and the adventure of the unknown tell us not to give up.

Neither should you.

Whatever your dream, may 2011 be the year it comes true.

Contact Sandra Babcock by e-mail at Sandi30@comcast.net.

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