The 49-year-old whippersnapper, or: how I survived the over-55 RV park by acting my age. Sort of.

Not so very long ago, we stayed in one of those RV parks. 

You know the type. 

The age-restricted kind with so many rules that you quit reading after about the 5th one, and decide that just being a good person for the duration of your stay will probably cover most of them anyway?

When we checked in at this park, we received a packet that contained a list of 25 rules on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, single spaced, small font, both sides. Rule 15, dealing with the laundry room, also had subsections a-f.

I know.

And there were a few additional rules on the park map.

And even more rules printed on signs scattered about the property. 

And don’t get me started on the club house. Let’s just say that not everybody should be allowed access to a label maker, printer, or even paper and a Sharpie. Especially people of a certain age, with a lot of time on their hands. 

(If you’re humming, “Do this. Don’t do that. Can’t you read the sign?” you’re not alone.)

So being possessed of a deliciously sideways sense of humor, I decided to have a little bit of fun during our stay in the Land of Many Rules. 

OK, a lot of fun.

To be clear, I was not on a mission to break the rules. They’re there for a reason. I get it.

I just thought I could give those fine folks cause to come up with a few more they mmmaybe hadn’t thought of. 



Attempt 1: Go topless
Nothing says I have to wear a shirt over my sports bra.
Attempt 2: Wear a boob joke
And furthermore, nothing says that the shirt I do wear over my sports bra can’t be a brow-raiser.
(Relax. I’m a breast cancer survivor, and my right “pear,” although still original, is no longer perfect. I bought this shirt as a reminder to keep my sense of humor about it.)
Attempt 3: Purple hair don’t care
Like most of the women here, I’ve got gray hair, despite my being a decade or two younger. There was no rule against hair dye, so why not go bold for a few washes?
Attempt 4: Get yourself up to no good
Okay, so most of the men I encountered in the park were old enough to be my dad, so I really couldn’t be a cougar there.
But Tim, at 51, could totally have been cougar bait!
Attempt 5: Dare them to repeat it
It would have fit on there a 5th time, and I’m pretty sure instructions need to be repeated five times before they require obedience. Law of the teenager. Right?
Attempt 6: Hang out
We were allowed to use the community clothesline. They didn’t specify what we were allowed to use it for.
Attempt 7: Seek balance
“No walking on the site dividers” was not a rule.
I checked.
And then I did it.
Attempt 8: Grow something green
The park featured a community herb garden — and no sign specifying what could or could not be planted there.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and… Wait. Is that what I think it is?
Attempt 9: Maximize efficiency
Who among us has never stripped off a dirty item of clothing and tossed it directly into the washing machine? It’s a time saver. And there was no rule posted against it in the park laundry room.

Attempt 10: Run with scissors!

Attempt 11: Make items multi-functional
It’s a pole. Poles are for dancing. Didn’t everybody know that?
Final attempt: Take matters into your own hands
If all else fails, amend the Standing Rules yourself.
(For those with eyes that need a little help, click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Disclosure 1: Neither one of us is over 55. We were able to get a guest spot for a limited time.

Disclosure 2: Park name and location have been withheld to protect the… well… a park that’s really quite nice, and I know that it’s because of a lot of those rules. I’m pretty sure they can take a little ribbing, but just in case they can’t, I’ll keep their identity under wraps. We’d like to be able to stay there again.

Disclosure 3: Photos originally appeared on the author’s personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, and I give thanks to my partners in crime. They know who they are.

Ah, what the hell.
Bylaws are always so boring.
Might as well amend those too.

Today my father-in-law helped warm my bed. Wait. That sounds really wrong.

Due to highly compelling reasons*, we’ve broken the first rule of RV travel: park where it’s warm in the winter.

So for the next three weeks, we’re dealing with forecasts like this:

It's gonna be a problem.
That’s… yeah. That’s gonna be a problem. Also? Happy hour in the dark.

Tim’s dad to the rescue!

Normally when I refer to Rohrer & Son RV Repair, it’s Tim and one of our sons. Today, we go up a generation instead, to Doug Rohrer & Son! He and Tim bought, cut, and installed insulation between our plywood bed platform and our mattress, to help make it less drafty under there. Because Pacific Northwest cold is not a dry cold. It is soggy, and it seeps in through every crack, going straight to your bones, and making them shrivel in protest. We were stationed here for two winters, 2002-2004, and I swear they were the longest six years of my life. But I digress…

"Measure twice, cut once." It's a father-son thing.
“Measure twice, cut once.” It’s a father-son thing, repeated through the generations.

FullSizeRender (1)

See? It fits.
See? It fits.
Taping in preparation for second panel
Taping in preparation for second panel
Not snow. Styrofoam insulation turds.
Not snow.
Styrofoam insulation turds.
I was not rolling in the "snow." I swear.
I was not rolling in the “snow.” Nope. Never happened.
But not only did our helper clean up the mess...
But not only did our helper clean up the mess…
... he gave us an early Christmas present to help keep us even warmer!
… he gave us an early Christmas present to help keep us even warmer.

Happy and warm holidays to us!


* It’s the first Christmas season since losing our niece, Maddie, and we haven’t seen our older son since March, so western Washington felt like the right place to be for the holidays.