Friday, November 9, 2007


It's a heck of a thing to try to pick out a gift for a fulltimer, isn't it? We have limited storage space, wall space, counter space and floor space; we worry about weight (ours, but in this context, our RV's); and gift giving occasions really sneak up when you have to figure in a detour to our mail forwarding service.

Over the years we have been fulltiming, our friends and family members have come up with great ideas for gift giving. I just celebrated a birthday and received excellent gifts - and nothing larger than a book to be stashed away in the rig. If you have any fulltiming women on your gift list, here are some great ideas.

This was the second year my sister Nancy took me out for a bite to eat and then for a spa pedicure - the warm foot soak, massage chair (and foot massage), warm oil... ummmm. After that treatment, my feet definitely are the youngest-looking part of me.

My girlfriend Becky always arranges a "play date" for my birthday - a day trip that includes a little shopping (or window shopping), lunch, and tickets to a live theatre performance. This is something Odel and I never do in "real life", and I always enjoy it. My girlfriends specialize in picking out wonderful earrings, another gift that fits into the rig without problems.

A delicious meal at a good restaurant... my parents took Odel and me to dinner at a favorite restaurant of ours. Great food, relaxing ambiance, a bottle of good wine, and dessert with a birthday candle, of course. It is such a pleasure to have a great meal OUT, with no planning, cooking, or cleanup required. No storage space required, either.

I don't know about other fulltimers, but I really appreciate the gift of a donation to a charity that is meaningful to me. This year, Joy and Greg donated a "flock of chicks" in my name through Heifer International, an organization of great interest to me. I received an emailed card with a personal message from Joy and Greg, and links to Heifer. Wonderful idea, and it gives me a real thrill everytime I look at this picture.

Not too long ago, we had a slow leak in one of Scoopy's tires. Tire monitoring is my one "outdoor" job, and I have a hate/hate relationship with it. I decided that needed to change and, as usual, felt that new gadgets to motivate me to do what every RV'er should do: check the air in the tires regularly and FREQUENTLY.

To that end, we put tire valve extenders on all the motorhome tires (no need to remove the caps to check the pressure) AND I requested a specific, small, lightweight digital tire pressure gauge, capable of measuring up to 150 psi (RV's have BIG tires) as a birthday present. Thanks to my sister Sydney, I now have it. Yes, this was my dream gift - wierd, huh?!

Here is a gift idea that seems pedestrian, but both Odel and I like getting socks! There are so many socks made of specialized fibers now, good at wicking sweat (also known as "moisture") away from your feet when hiking in hot climates, and they aren't cheap! We walk and hike a lot, so go through our socks quickly... who ever has more than they need? Hi-tech socks make a good, small, unbreakable, lightweight gift (and sizes are usually easy to pick out).

Another small luxury both Odel and I enjoy: scented lotion. The desert southwest will suck the moisture out of your skin in a heartbeat, and we use lotion constantly there - so much that we buy it at Costco in it's most generic form. A tube or bottle of something special is a treat.

Of the various gifts Odel has received since we began fulltiming, one stands out as a super-useful favorite: a very soft fleece pullover shirt with a zippered neck. For people trying to follow the sun, it is amazing how frequently we experience cold weather. The fleece shirt goes on morning after morning, just until the chill lifts - another lightweight gift that stores in a small space (I have two of these, myself).

I think most readers of this blog are fulltimers but, if you aren't, maybe these ideas will help you find the perfect gift for any difficult-to-buy-for fulltimer on your gift list.

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