We had a nice visit to Rayne LA, a small town we’d never heard of and hadn’t realized we’ve driven by it every time we traverse I-10 east or west through LA. We were in Rayne for the WBCCI mid-Winter International Board of Trustees meeting and Rally. The folks from the local units and Region 6 of the airstream owners club put on a great rally. We ate well, always had hot coffee and hot chocolate available (thanks Henry!), and enjoyed fun music performances by local musicians. Check out one of their rock bands, below:
Okay, I’m kidding about rock band – these guys are both very good vocalists and fun entertainers. They put on a good show for our crowd. Rayne is a town of 8,000 people known in some circles for contributing greatly to the national supply of frogs legs. You probably knew this but it is news to us. We’ll look carefully at the packaging henceforth. Here’s one of the clues about frogs legs we found in Rayne:
Can you imagine how many frogs it takes to make 10K pounds every week? We heard the frogs grow bigger down here. We walked most of the town and enjoyed stopping in Worthmore 5 and 10 and in the hardware store. Funny what you can find in small stores — look at this never-used and a bit aged merchandise:
When we tell people where we are from, a small town in North Carolina called Kannapolis, they often don’t know about it. But when we ask if they remember the wash cloths and towels with the little cannon they almost always remember this. Kannapolis was known from “The Mind of The South” as the last remains of the feudal system due to its patriarchy by Mr Cannon of Cannon Mills. Its been awhile since we’ve seen product from Cannon Mills — this is an authentic package, not from the company that bought out the name after the mills closed. The Worthmore 5 and 10 had a lot of older goods in it.
We arrived yesterday in Ocean Springs, a little over 200 miles east of Rayne and Lafayette, LA. Ocean Springs isn’t simply a nice driving distance for us from Rayne, it also is home to one of Jim’s first cousins and another one lives in nearby Biloxi. Jim hasn’t seen Cathy in over 20 years. We’re getting together tonight for dinner and a reunion, and looking forward to seeing them. Hopefully we can lure them back to the campground and let them see firsthand how the other 1% (no, not like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, we mean that OTHER 1%) live.
About the distractions we mentioned yesterday. This is not an excuse, nor an apology. Just some explaining, as promised, about our long absence from writing here. It started four months ago when an Airstream club friend asked Jim to consider running for International 3rd VicePresident. We talked it over between the two of us for four days.
The dialogue was repetitive the first two and one-half days — “Why would we mess up such a great lifestyle?; This offers us nothing, why would we want to do it? This would postpone plans we’ve sketched out for this summer and beyond. We don’t have room in our wardrobes for the additional required clothing (prescribed jackets, slacks, shirts).” These, obviously, were only the cons to the argument.
We reviewed Steve’s excellently written request of us and considered the pros. We love WBCCI, the Airstream owners club. We have gained immensely in RVing knowledge, caravanning, rallies, and friendships all over the continent from our associations resulting from belonging to, and participating in, WBCCI. Having served as officers and members in our local unit and in a large intraclub of WBCCI we have firsthand experience with the difficulties in finding members willing to serve. Did we mention, we love WBCCI?
The third day the tenor of our discussions started changing. At first we admitted we could do this. Then we started talking about the changes to our full-timing lifestyle, undoing parts of our 3-year plans (yes, we do plan up to 3 years — just a habit of list-makers like us), and what accepting a nomination could entail for us.
By the fourth day we were leaning forward, toward Steve’s suggestion. If not us, then who? We’ve heard that in various leadership seminars through our health care management careers. We all have talents and may be the ones most likely to underestimate the impact we could have. If no one volunteers and there is no one to serve, then an organization can fail. We’ve experienced this at our first WBCCI International Rally when the Full Timers Intraclub conducted their last meeting and luncheon. No one was willing or able to serve. Each of us should serve if asked.
Long story slightly shortened, we accepted the challenge and are really excited about it. Several issues immediately popped up. We developed and submitted to the WBCCI Nominating Committee our letter of interest for International 3rd Vice President. We joined in a couple of busy forums about good leadership. We started reading and writing club-related emails nearly constantly. We began preparing for our interview for the position.
Unrelated, Jim’s daughter announced her wedding date last June as we were enroute to Huron SD and Vancouver BC. We would have twelve days from Vancouver to return and prepare for the wedding in Asheville NC. We’d already traveled from San Diego to Key West and North Carolina, then to the West Coast in 2013. We decided we would stay the first part of the winter in North Carolina instead of returning to Arizona’s fabulous weather and daily tennis and good friends we’ve made there over the past three or four winters.
Can you tell Jim is the proud dad? He and Hannah are riding in the horse drawn carriage from the Bride’s room down the road to the ceremony. We’re tickled, love her groom and family, and had a wonderful wedding and celebration.
We enjoyed travels to four rallies and to the Christmas luncheon of the Carolinas Unit of NC, our local airstream owners chapter of WBCCI. We posted about a great odyssey along the NC Outer Banks, from Manteo to Ocracoke and then Beaufort NC. Otherwise, we traveled very little — except for frequent trips regarding an exciting new development in our lives that I’ll just wait until tomorrow to talk about.
And we postponed posting to our Dreamstreamr blog site.
This past week we sat for our Nominating Committee interview. The club conducted it at the Rayne Meeting and Rally, and advised us we passed muster and are now “certified nominees”. Our CV will appear in the March edition of the club’s magazine, The Blue Beret. That accomplished, we are still interested and participating in the forums yet feel a load lifted. We’re traveling again, looking forward to three great Florida rallies in February and March and April (I’ll get back to this, too), and we’re glad to be on the road again.
Thanks for riding along with us. Thanks for your encouraging words and for waiting for us. We hope you are staying warm and healthy, wherever you are. And we’ll deliver tomorrow about our next exciting life news — check back with us then.
See you down the road!
Jim and Debbie
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