"In the final analysis, it isn't the amount of
time; it is what we do with the time that
makes a difference."
Kay Peterson, Escapee VP
In my garden in Texas, the azaleas bursting into bloom are a definite sign that spring has come even if
Jack Frost still has a toehold that denies it. Watching a butterfly resting on the lovely pink blossoms
reminds me of how difficult it is to become a butterfly.
A butterfly begins as a small egg. When the egg hatches, out crawls an ugly caterpillar whose only
concern is eating. The more it eats, the more it grows. Since its skin is not elastic, it sheds its old skin a
couple of times during its growth period.
When it is big enough, instinct tells it to crawl up high on a leaf and then, in spite of its fear, dive off into
space, twisting itself in the air like an Olympic diver. While falling, it must attach itself by a very thin silk
thread to the bottom of the leaf. There it hangs, all alone, scared and vulnerable and wondering if it has
done the right thing.
Instinctively, the caterpillar slowly begins to turn, covering itself with silk, building a cocoon. After another
two weeks, instinct tells it to open a small hole at the top of the cocoon and stick out its new wings. The
wings are closely matted, and it must wait for its body fluids to completely fill them. This is a very
dangerous time for the caterpillar because it is totally helpless; various preditors could come along at any
moment and devour it.
Finally, it has full, beautiful wings. It really is a butterfly! But it doesn't know if it can fly. Once again,
instinct tells it that it is time to take another scary leap into space. And suddenly it finds itself floating in
the air. What a joyous feeling of freedom! When it gets tired, it lands softly on my azaleas to rest and to
suck up new energy.
That is how it is supposed to happen. But not all caterpillars will become butterflies. Some are too afraid
to go through the metamorphosis, and some are simply content to remain caterpillars eating their way
through skin changes until a predator finds and eats them.
Like those caterpillars, some people prefer the security of the familiar status quo where there
is less chance of getting hurt. They never quite muster the courage to take that scary leap
into the world of RV travel because the embarrassment of failure. (How do you know your
wings will work?) More important is the cost, both monetary and emotional. (How can you
leave family and friends for months at a time?) So they continue living their own version of
the caterpillar stage of life.
In 1970, when Joe and I began full-time RVing, there were very few doing it. Friends, family and even
strangers we met tried to make us feel guilty for not staying the traditional lifestyle. We were too young
(43). We had no right to roam around like carefree gypsies when we still had children to educate. We
had good jobs, and it made no sense to quit. They warned us that our "traveling" would be a financial
We went anyway. When we returned a year later with pockets bulging with money and great stories to
share, their reasons turned into excuses about why it was easy for us to do but impossible for them.
We all have a lot of miles on our life speedometer. How many miles are left is an unknown.
The nagging question is, "if you don't ever get to be a butterfly, is it all right.....or will you die
We all wish we had more time. Yet, we let priceless time slip by, wasted on things that are not important.
In the final analysis, it isn't the amount of time; it is what we do with the time that makes the
difference. Some of us prefer to live 365 days a year crammed with all the experiences possible.
Others are content to live the same day 365 times. For the latter, it is okay to remain a contented
As for me, I'm glad I got to be a butterfly.
Thanks Kay. For Kathleen and I
you have explained the "Why?"
very well. May you continue to
enjoy the flight for many years to
|A little drop of "Ol' Man River" with us always