Mike’s Sister/Aunt Sue, is one of those generous-hearted people who finds fascinating pictures and video to post on Facebook. (The reason I call her sister/aunt is because Sue is my husband Mike’s aunt, but she’s his same age. I simply can’t bring myself to refer to her as Mike’s Aunt! However, if I use my term she’d technically be my sister/aunt-in-law, and that has just way too many keyboard symbols in it. Let’s just call her Sue.)
Sue is like a Facebook Ellen DeGeneres. Everyday she features some wonderful gift for the audience to take home. It might be a picture or a video or a story that makes you laugh, or cry, or just plain informs you. It’s a calling of sorts, I think. So on July 22 Sue posted a perky video like the one above of women who belong to “Sisters on the Fly.” Apparently this group of women campers has been around for a while, (1999 according to their website) but this was the first I had ever heard of them!
The very next day after seeing Sue’s video – really, I’m not kidding – the very next day, Mike and I met Valerie. We had stopped for gas at a Shell station in Corning, CA. We might never have thought a thing about the little camper at the other pump; it’s is pretty a common sight on a road trip. But then we noticed the pink hubcaps and the bike on the back, just one – a girl’s bike. I turned to Mike, “Do you think she’s ….”
He finished my sentence, “…a member of that group?”
And then we both said simultaneously, “What’s its name again?”
So Mike, never being shy talking to women, went over to ask this stranger if she belonged to that group “something or other.” Sure enough, she did! He was actually talking to Sister 4957 of “Sisters on the Fly”. Her name is Valerie, she told us. Mike asked if he look through the windows into her sweet vintage camper while I asked if she had time for some quick questions. (The “on the fly” part was flashing in my mind, and I sensed this cheerful woman with “Happy Camper” on her T-shirt was anxious to get back on the road to meet up with her sisters.) But she saw the “BloggingOnWheels” sign on our car and was happy to chat a bit.
“I can’t believer it. I never heard of your group and just yesterday saw a video on Facebook! I think this is so cool, but I’m not much of a joiner,” I said. It’s then, that Valerie started explaining more about the group and why she loved it.
“You can participate as little or as much as you like. It doesn’t matter if you’re more of a loner or a joiner. There’s room for everyone.”
She went on to reiterate the points made in the video on Facebook. Aside from their love of the outdoors, the interests of these women are as varied as the interiors of the campers they decorate. I then thought I heard Valerie say something about having meals catered in on their trips so no one has to cook (?) Mike confirmed that fact when we got home. I thought, joiner or no, these are my people! Valerie mentioned the variety of classes that are held during their various outings and later when I went to the website I found information about becoming a vendor and some amazing service work they do when other sisters are in need.
People were lining up at the pump behind us, so we waved good-bye and let Sister 4957 get back on the road. Mike then told me about the inside of Valerie’s camper. “No bathroom, but it’s got a stove with an oven, refrigerator, and sink.” The sink seemed very important to Mike and his sales pitch made me wonder if he was looking forward to the day when I would take off for the week with the good sisters. He probably had visions of taking a blanket over to Danny K’s pool hall in Anaheim, sneak under a table when they locked up, and be there in the morning to shoot pool the next day.
As for me, I’m starting, just starting, to wonder just how could get my hands on a cute vintage camper and what kind of theme I’d chose for decorating the inside. The founders of Sisters on the Fly, Becky and Maurrie had a an adventurous role model in their mother who taught the two how to enjoy the outdoors and become capable, independent women. My mom had other gifts, more indoors-y kind of gifts..But all this make me think. Maybe I could become that kind of adventurous mother for my daughter, Bethany. You know the old saying, “You only regret the vintage camper you didn’t buy.”
If it hadn’t been for Sue’s video, I probably wouldn’t have found out about about this fascinating group. I probably wouldn’t be figuring out the possibility of taking off by myself for a week or two and meet up with the sisters. So thank you to Sue for another of your Facebook gifts. I feel like I’ve been to the Ellen show and just won something really nice!