top of page
  • belindaodell

It All Started With A Teardrop Camper.......

Updated: Sep 16, 2023


After 25 years of being single and having a tough bout of Covid, I decided to start planning for my retirement years. I decided to move closer to my adult kiddos, finish my career as a speech/language pathologist, and finally fulfill my dream of traveling in an RV. That's right! I was going solo; no more waiting around to find Mr. Right.

I found a great house close to the kiddos, sold my home on St. Simons, and bought that little Nucamp Tab 400 teardrop camper that I had been eyeballin' for the past year and a new GMC Canyon! I had started packing for the moving truck that was coming in two weeks when I heard a knock at the door.......

It was Doug O'Dell, my handsome neighbor next door, who rents his house out for vacation rentals. He inquired all about the sell of my home and agreed to let me spray his weeds in the backyard to enhance our adjoining properties. After numerous phone calls and more discussions about the St. Simons Island properties, he asked me out to lunch. "Oh my, (I thought) he wants me to help him sell his house." However the conversation changed to asking more about me, my family, and my future plans. He was quite intriqued with my plans to travel solo and I told him I was never alone because I've already lived in Naples and Key West, Fl with my little dog, Lili and Jesus walking with me everyday. He told me about himself: the good stuff-he had been blessed with a wonderful marriage and life with 2 kiddos, served on missionary trips in Jamaica and Brazil, and found strength with God everyday. He also told me the hard stuff: he had lost his beautiful, amazing wife of 36 years to cancer in 2019.

Hummmm, could this be the one? After lunch, he asked if I had ever towed the camper. "Well, sure, I drove it around the block after the seller helped me bring it back to my house", I replied as he gave me that smile like 'do I really have any idea what I am getting into'. I asked if he would help me hitch it to the truck so I could take it to my new home. Patiently, he walked me through each step and offered to ride with me for the afternoon to take it to my new home. "Yes!" I was relieved. I pulled it like a champ to my new home, in Statesboro, Ga with him right beside me and he didn't even laugh as I zigzagged all the way backing it in the driveway.

A year later after many weekend trips between South Ga and North Ga, we were married at our new home in North Georgia in front of family and close friends. We were a family: God, Doug, Lili, our little dog, and me!

The honeymoon opened up a whole new journey! Our honeymoon began at a Nucamp camping rally in Sugarcreek, Ohio....Amish country (loved it!!!!). The adventure proceeded to OhioPyle State Park where we marveled over the canyons God had carved into the earth. Doug safely tucked Lili under his raincoat as we enjoyed the sprays from Niagara Falls. We ate the most delicious seafood and hiked to see beautiful views along the coast of Maine and Massachusetts. The journey took us along the coastline, through Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. We met friends and found that people who camp are typically people who have learned how to enjoy simplicity in life. We also discovered Airstream campers and took the plunge and bought a 19' Caravel Airstream. Our simple life just got a little easier with a little more space and a tankless hot water heater. I must admit it was bittersweet to leave the Nucamp teardrop camper to be sold on consignment since it was a treasure in bringing us together, but taking a shower without sitting on the toilet put a smile on my face! A tankless hot water heater meant Doug had to eventually drag me out of the shower! The grand finale of the honeymoon was soaking in the Salt baths high in a treetops cabana overlooking Lake Fontana in Bryson City, NC. complete with fluffy robes, wine, and chocolates! So many emotions: excited, nervous, a little scared, but I had peace in knowing we were starting our journey and real adventures of walking with Jesus together! It is true, if you can survive camping together, you should be married! We made the right choice!

41 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page