For the past decade or more, Illinois residents Betty and Rolland Clevenger have spent their winters in Jackson County, Fla.
The live in their fifth-wheel at Arrowhead Campground in Marianna. With an awning, some chairs and a few other creature comforts, they created a “patio” where they can receive the many friends they’ve made among the other perennial snowbirds who winter at Arrowhead, the Jackson County Floridian, Marianna, reported.
There are about five families in their set, down from almost a dozen in years past. Their friends beginning to age out of the travel circuit, they explained, but the Clevengers are certain their circle will again expand as others join this temporary community.
The Clevengers arrived a couple of weeks ago, and are setting up to be here through early spring of next year. They’ve already put up a few Christmas lights at their home-away-from home. Rolland Clevenger, for instance, used strands of lights to create the outline of a Christmas tree in the tire well of his Legacy fifth-wheel.
They expect to spend some time around the holidays at the permanent home of some friends who live in the Altha area. Their relationship began to develop one year when the Altha couple spent some time at Arrowhead.
But more often, and not just during the holidays, they and their local friends often get together to play games in a room in the Arrowhead complex. They play dominoes and other games, including one that they jokingly have renamed “divorce,” because of the intense emotions that can arise in the losers when husbands and wives play against each other in Pegs-and-Jokers, the proper name of the game.
At night, they often build a bonfire and share some quiet talks in glow of the special ambience.
The Clevengers first came to Arrowhead to visit Clevenger’s brother, who was staying there during a visit to this area. They’ve been coming here ever since.
Their commitment to their second community is so strong that, when Arrowhead founder Bill Reddoch passed away a few years ago, the Clevengers and their group of friends arranged to have a tree planted on the property in his memory and a plaque installed near the Bradford pear tree they selected.
Clevenger is retired from the construction/contracting business and his wife is a homemaker, a job from which she never expects to retire.
They have three dogs – Bella, Maisie and Princess – who travel with them.
They plan to stay put in the Florida sunshine through March.