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5 Features of a Relaxing RV Park

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5 Top Features of a Restful RV Park

There are so many cramped, noisy, overloaded RV parks that just don’t give RVers the laid-back atmosphere that they crave. We want to help you really unwind and find an RV park where you can have the space to breathe. Take a look at some of the top features that you should be looking for to find a relaxing, enjoyable RV park.

1. Large Open Lots

So many RV parks and to fit as many RVs in their park as possible, which means that they jam them into tiny little lots. This gives their guests barely any room to breathe. They cannot set up their campsite or make their space their own because there is simply not enough area on the lot. We have pulled away from this trend to make sure that you have the room to really spread out and take it easy.

2. Plenty of Shade

Unfortunately, the San Antonio area can get very hot. When there is no shade, it can be almost unbearable. So many RV parks have very few trees and little shade to cool down your campsite. Our RV park is filled with many large Oak trees that beautifully shade our lots so that you can stay cool. It also adds to the natural charm of our RV park.

3. Just the Essentials

So many RV parks have amenities that most outdoor enthusiasts don’t really care about such as pools or playgrounds. These amenities tend to make the RV park noisier and too rowdy. We want to make our RV park a place where you can really get away from it all and enjoy the great outdoors. This is why we only offer the essential amenities and hookups. Our amenities include:

  • Picnic Areas
  • Fire Pits & BBQ Pits
  • Water & Electricity Hookups
  • Sewer Hookups
  • Free High Speed WiFi

Our goal is to create a peaceful atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy nature.

4. Pet Friendly and Family Friendly

RV parks should be welcoming to people from all walks of life and backgrounds. There are many RV parks that are only for retirees or exclude dogs. We want to create a community where everyone feels comfortable and contented. We know that pets can feel part of your family and we have enough room to welcome them as well.

5. Locally Owned and Operated

If you are staying somewhere, it’s a good idea if the operators are familiar with the area. This way, if you have any questions about local attractions, outdoor recreational areas, or businesses you can visit, they can give you the answers that you need.

Come and Stay at Our RV Park!

We treat all of our guests like family. Whether you are planning on staying for a few days or several months, we want to meet all of your needs. We offer easy access to everything that San Antonio has to offer, while still giving you the space to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Enjoyable Outdoor Activities Around Our RV Park

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5 Outdoor Activities Near Our RV Resort

Our RV resort is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Many families use our RV resort as a weekend getaway where you can really enjoy the beauty of nature. We have plenty of outdoor recreational activities around our RV park. No matter what outdoor recreation you enjoy, we can help you find the right spot. We know the area very well and can help you find a new natural retreat to enjoy. Take a look at some of the most popular outdoor activities that our guests enjoy participating in.

1. Outdoor Shooting Range

We have a great outdoor shooting range near to our RV resort. A Place to Shoot is an outdoor shooting range that has everything that you could be looking for when it comes to an outdoor shooting range. It has many different ranges dedicated to pistols, rifles, shotguns, and archery. You can perfect your shot and enjoy your time out on the range. They also have experienced gunsmiths and classes to meet all of your firearm needs.

2. Fishing

There are many lakes nearby our RV park which are perfect for fishing. Some of the most popular lakes are Victor Braunig Lake and Lake Calaveras. These areas are stocked with plenty of fish so that you can drop your hook and catch some red drum, catfish, or bass.

3. Kayaking

With the San Antonio River running straight through downtown San Antonio and south to the Gulf of Mexico, the river is perfect for kayaking enthusiasts. There are many different spots where you can take your kayak out and enjoy spending the day on the river.

4. Hiking

There are some lovely natural areas around our RV resort. One of the most popular spots is the Medina Natural Area. It is also an excellent area for biking. There are other areas that are perfect for looking at wildflowers or bird watching.

5. Golfing

The Mission Del Lago Golf Course is only a few minutes away from our RV resort. You can play a game of golf on its course, work on your drive at its range, or perfect your putt on its putting green. You can enjoy a game of golf while still appreciating all the beauty of the San Antonio area.

Talk to Us About Things to Do Around Our RV Resort

Not only do we offer easy access to outdoor activities, but other attractions within the San Antonio area as well. We are locally owned and operated, so we know all about all of the hot spots and local businesses. Talk to us about activities that you are interested in, and we will help you find some places that you will enjoy. If you ever have any questions, we are always ready to answer them for you. No matter what you’re interested in, we will help you find activities that you and your family will enjoy. If you would rather just relax, our RV resort has a laid-back atmosphere.

The Top Advantages of RV Rental

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4 Advantages of Choosing an RV Rental

When it comes to figuring out accommodations for a few days or for extended stays, it can be difficult to decide where you want to stay. You could stay in a local cabin or hotel, but you should also consider renting an RV from an RV park. RV rental provides your family with a number of advantages over staying at a hotel that you may not have considered before. Take a look at some of the top benefits of renting an RV.

1. More Affordable

Renting an RV can much more affordable than staying at a cabin or a hotel. Renting an RV from an RV park is ideal for families that need accommodations for extended stays. Imagine how much you could be saving by staying in an RV for a few months versus a cabin or hotel. If you are the type of family that wants to get away and go RVing once or twice a year, renting may be a better option than buying. Buying an RV can be costly, so if you are only going to be using it for a short time, an RV rental will give you the RVing experience without the cost.

2. More Room

Think about staying in a hotel. You have a bedroom with a TV and a bathroom. You don’t have any room to really stretch out and relax. With an RV rental, you not only have your bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen, but you have space around your RV on your lot to set up some camp chairs and make your campground feel more like home.

3. Surrounded by Nature

Many people choose to stay in our RV park because of our natural, country atmosphere. We have large lots that are shaded by our beautiful, large Oak trees. We are also nearby to some great outdoor activities that are perfect for any outdoor enthusiasts. You can feel as though you are camping, but with some additional comforts.

4. Storage Space

When you are coming to enjoy the great outdoors, it may be difficult to find a spot to store your boat, dirt bike, ATV, or any other large vehicle. We can offer you storage space as well so that you can have room to keep all of your items while you’re not using them.

RV Rental in the San Antonio Area

If you are looking to rent an RV in the San Antonio area, it’s a good idea to rent it from an RV park that’s locally owned and operated. Locally owned businesses really have all the details about the San Antonio area and things to do throughout the city. We will also be available to answer any questions you may have about our RV rentals and how we can accommodate you. We offer all the essential amenities and hookups so that you can have a comfortable stay with us. Contact us today and talk to our team about renting an RV from our RV park.

Fun Ways To Make Your Campgrounds Feel Like Home

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4 Fun and Easy Ways to Create Welcoming Campgrounds

We know that when you are RVing, you always feel like you are taking your home with you wherever you go. While you are exploring and seeing new parts of America, it can be nice to find ways to make your campground feel more personal and more like home. Much of the time, while you are RVing, will be spent outside of your RV enjoying nature and the great outdoors. It’s a good idea to make this space as wonderful as possible. There are many ways that you can decorate the area around your RV. Take a look at some of our easy ideas to personalize your campgrounds.

1. Furnishings

Lay down a nice outdoor rug outside of your RV and set up some camp chairs. Many of our guests also have coffee tables and other furnishings to make their campgrounds space where they can stretch out and feel at home. Imagine sitting back, outside your RV, enjoying an ice cold beer or coke under the shade of our large trees.

2. Additional Lighting

When you want to enjoy your campgrounds at night, you may need some additional lighting. Hanging up some string lights around your awning can make your campground feel more welcoming and cozy. Your family can enjoy evenings with games, stories, or any other fun activities. String lights are perfect so that you can hang them up anywhere and they are easy to turn off when you want to enjoy the beauty of the night sky.

3. Personalized Decor

Many of our guests have fun signs, welcome mats, or other decor that welcomes people to their campgrounds and makes their campsite feel a little more like home. You can be really creative with your decor to make it more personal to your family and make your space your own.

4. Invite Your Neighbors Over

We want to create a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere. If you are going to be staying with us for a while, you may want to “get to know the neighborhood”. Hosting a party can be a nice way of getting to know some of our other guests and feeling more at home at our RV park. We have community BBQ pits and fire pits as well as community picnic tables so you will have plenty of room to invite everyone. However, you still need to be courteous to your neighbors that are not able to make it to your party and keep it somewhat quiet.

Making the Most of Your Campgrounds

With our large lots, we give you plenty of space to stretch out and set up your campgrounds. Get to know your neighbors and find ways to really make your campgrounds feel more like home. Also, get to know the San Antonio area. There are so many enjoyable attractions and things to do around our RV park. We can advise you on the best places to visit and see. If you would like to stay with us, contact us today to get started on booking your stay.

San Antonio Attractions Close to Our RV Park

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Things to Do in San Antonio Near Our RV Park

 

We have plenty of outdoor activities around our RV park, but Woodland Oaks RV Estates provides easy access to all of the wonderful attractions and activities within the San Antonio area. With so many great things to do in San Antonio, you will never get bored. Here are some of the top attractions close to our RV park.

1. San Antonio River Walk

This is arguably the most popular attraction within the San Antonio area. There is so much to enjoy. The River Walk is right at the heart of San Antonio. You can take a boat tour along the river, take a water taxi, go kayaking, or walk along the river enjoying the bridges and sitting areas. The River Walk is lined with a number of restaurants, bars, venues, and other activities. There are fun events and activities happening at the River Walk throughout the year.

2. The Alamo

The Alamo is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the San Antonio area. It was a location of a significant battle in the Texas Revolution. The Texans lost the battle to the Mexicans, and many historic figures, including Davy Crockett, William Barret Travis, James Bowie, died during the battle. That battle created the rallying call of “Remember the Alamo” that was used throughout the Texas Revolution.

3. The Majestic Theater

This theater was built in 1929 and is one of the most popular venues for musicians, entertainers, plays, and musicals. The Majestic is a unique venue, built in the Spanish-Mediterranean style. The interior of the theater transports you to a different place and time. It is designed to make you feel as though you are in a Spanish Village around twilight. It is a wonderful venue for the performances as well as the atmosphere of the venue itself.

4. Fiesta Texas

In the Six Flags family of theme parks, Fiesta Texas is the perfect place for thrills and fun. Fiesta Texas is filled with extreme rollercoasters and rides. It also has plenty of live entertainment, restaurants, and shops. It is a theme park that is fun for the whole family and a great way to spend a day.

5. SeaWorld San Antonio

If you love water and sea animals, SeaWorld San Antonio is the place to go! SeaWorld is part theme park and part aquarium. You can see all the sea animals, as well and enjoy the rides and shows at SeaWorld. SeaWorld is a park that is enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Stay in Our San Antonio RV Park

San Antonio is really a unique and exciting city, filled with history yet has modernized and changed with time. It is a great place to visit or stay for a long time. If you are looking for an RV park that provides easy access to everything that San Antonio has to offer, but still allows you to get away from it all and really relax, Woodland Oaks RV Estates is the perfect spot.

3 Advantages of Vacationing in A RV Resort

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There’s nothing like setting out on the open road to escape from the pressures of work life and enjoy some quality time with the family. The only problem you have now is trying to figure out where you and your family can go to have a good time. Escaping from the stress of work can be a huge relief, so why stress about your vacation destination? An ideal vacation spot for the whole family is a place where you can enjoy the outdoors, wonderful people, and easy access to
local entertainment. The best choice for all of these features is a RV Resort.

Top Reasons Why An RV Resort Makes A Great Vacation Destination

Choosing an RV park as your next vacation destination is a great way to spend quality time with your family in the great outdoors. They allow you to escape from the pressures of life and enjoy the simplicity of relaxing in a large open space with those who are closest to you. Here are the top advantages you’ll experience when you plan your next vacation in a RV park.

Easily Accessible

RV parks make deciding on a destination and settling in very easy. They provide a fun and friendly atmosphere where families can feel safe bringing their children. They even make it easy for you to stay if you don’t have access to an RV. Resorts will provide RV vacation rentals to any park visitor. Whether you’re going to spend a lot of time in a resort with long-term RV rentals or you’re only planning a short stay, there are plenty of options available to meet anyone’s needs.

RV Resorts Are Affordable

RV resorts are an affordable alternative option to staying in a hotel. Not only is it cheaper to bring your RV to a resort nearby, if you have to rent an RV to enjoy your stay, you’ll still spend less money overall. The money you save can be used to enjoy other attractions in the area and enjoy more time outside rather than spending all of it in a hotel room.

Nearby Activities For Everyone

It can be difficult to find something enjoyable for everyone in your family. RV park campgrounds are often located near plenty of enjoyable places for guests that have varying tastes. For those who want to venture out into the surrounding natural area, or those who want to enjoy a day on the shooting range, there’s no shortage of things to do. No matter what recreational activity you enjoy, you’ll be able to find something perfect for everyone.

Plan A Trip To an RV Resort Near Leon Valley

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors or relax with your family and friends, Woodland oaks RV Estates is an ideal choice for you next vacation. If you’re planning a trip to San Antonio, Leon Valley, or other surrounding areas, our RV Park allows you to enjoy a welcoming atmosphere in a fun and affordable environment. With all the savings you’ll accrue, you’ll be able to enjoy all the great attractions and activities located nearby.

5 Reasons to Get an RV Rental for Your Vacation

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How RV Rentals Can Make Vacations More Fun

 

This is the age of distraction. If you wake up and find your kids are locked away in their rooms on their computers or glued to their smartphones, it might be time to get an RV rental for a family vacation. Many families find they get much closer with their loved ones after spending time on the road exploring the area around an RV park. If you want to make your vacation count, here are five reasons an RV rental is a great way to go.

1. Try Out the Lifestyle Without Committing

Having an RV is a full on lifestyle. People who make the most of their RV investment frequently use it to get as much mileage and fun out of it as possible. If you’re wondering if RV trips are right for your family, but aren’t ready for a full on purchase, a rental is a great way to bridge the gap. You might find after you rent an RV that both you and your family love the lifestyle of being on the road, so you can commit to buying one then.

2. Skip Expensive Hotels

Your vacation is going to take way longer than a day. If you find yourself regularly dropping a ton of money on hotels, it might be time to consider an RV rental instead. You’ll have everything you need to stop for the night whenever you want without having to pack and unpack every time. Both for convenience and cost, RV rentals are the way to go.

3. Have Your Own Space

Things can get cramped in a car faster than you think. If you’ve ever spent more than eight hours in a car with your family, you know this from experience. While you want your family to reconnect with each other when they’re on a vacation, they’re going to also need their space in order to prevent frustration and fights. An RV gives you the convenience of extra space.

4. See the World Together

When you’re a family, you want to make sure you’re staying together as a unit. By sharing amazing experiences together in Alamo Heights, you’ll become more close-knit than you ever thought possible. Keep everyone together and share your experiences so both you and the rest of your families can have those memories for a lifetime.

5. The RV Experience Without Worrying About the RV Itself

Owning an RV involves regular maintenance and taxes that you might not want to deal with. By simply renting an RV when you want to have a vacation, you save yourself the hassle and the money by letting the RV company deal with those things. Keeping the commitment out of the equation is how some RV enthusiasts choose to do it, and it’s simply a matter of whether or not you want the financial commitment or not.

Choose Whether RV Rentals are Right for You

There’s a lot to take into account when you’re choosing whether you want to rent or buy an RV. If it’s your first time, take a rental and see if the commitment is right for you. If not, that’s great too; you can still come back and rent again whenever you want.

Enjoy Your Campgrounds Experience More With an RV

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Should You Take the RV to the Campground?

 

When you’re heading out camping, you might be considering leaving the RV behind to get a little bit of relaxation in the great outdoors without the crutch of having a shelter to hide inside. Here are a few reasons why you should definitely bring the RV along anyway.

1. The Trip is More Manageable

You might want to leave the RV behind so you can brave mother nature in a tent, but what about the trip there? Getting to the campground is half the battle, and if you’re not willing to drive for a long time, you’re missing out on some of the most wonderful campgrounds that the world has to offer. Instead of spending time in expensive hotels during the night, take the RV and cut the cost of your trip way down, even when you have to stop for the night.

2. Family Bonding Time

Your tent might not be big enough to house the entire family, but an RV is going to be big enough for everyone. If you want to spend as much time as you can with your family during the trip, bringing an RV gives you the space that you need. The extra space will also give your family members the space that they need for some downtime.

3. Motorhomes Make You Feel at Home

While you might think that your family will be completely on board to get away from it all and rough it, most millennials want to stay close to some form of civilization. You can get the best of both worlds by bringing an RV, which literally feels like a home for you and your family, while still being in the great outdoors. Get out there and find your adventure in the campground while still having the comfort and safety of feeling like you’re at home.

4. Multiple Campgrounds, Same Trip

If you’re the kind of person that loves adventure, bringing an RV is the perfect way to enhance your camping trip. Since it’s so easy to set up camp when you have your RV, you can feel free to even switch campgrounds every day. That means every day you can experience a new adventure, whether it be visiting cool places, taking new hikes, or doing fun activities. You’ll never be bored when you have your RV, you’re always ready for the next leg of your trip.

5. Affordability

An RV is an all-in-one expense for your vacation. Once you have the RV, you don’t have to spend money on things like tents, or other forms of camping shelter, hotels on your way to campgrounds, and many more.

Taking an RV to the Campground is No Problem

You get so much out of having your RV with you when you go camping, so why not bring it along just in case? You’ll end up saving so much in the long run if you bring your RV along with you when you go camping.

Do’s and Don’ts of Going To An RV Park

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Maximizing Your Experience At An RV ParkRV Set Up Next to a Picnic Bench

Whether you’re on a trip with your family, a close group of friends, or both, taking an RV around the country is quite the experience. There’s no doubt that at some point during your trip you’re going to be spending a night or two at an RV park. These are great spots to not only regroup, but have some fun as well. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when going to the RV park.

Do Bring Fun “Offline” Activities

One of the best aspects about going on an adventure in an RV is that it gives you and the people you’re with an opportunity to connect on a more personal level. Even though some RV parks do offer WiFi for their guests, there is so much more you can do instead. Rather than staring at your phones all day or worrying about what’s going on with work, take advantage of being offline. Make sure you bring some good group board games, a few decks of cards, and a small speakers that you can set up to play some relaxing tunes. RV parks also give enough space to set up fun outdoor games like corn hole, Kan Jam, Spike Ball, or even just playing catch with a football or baseball. Besides the bonding aspect, things like board games should be on your ‘to bring’ list for those days where it’s raining out and you’re going to be stuck inside.

Don’t Neglect RV Maintenance

Your RV is going to get a lot of usage over the course of your trip, and so it’s extremely important that you have a good idea of how to inspect and care for it. RV parks are the ideal spot to perform a number of basic upkeep tasks. This is your mobile home after all, so make sure you’re checking tires, and gauging different levels for washer fluid, gas, and oil. You also need to empty out any tanks that have filled up over the course of your trip to this point. By taking care of your RV during breaks at RV parks, you’re going to set yourself for a more seamless trip the rest of the way. There’s nothing worse than getting on the road only to realize you forget to perform a task essential to the maintenance.

Do Keep Your Area Tidy & Organized

Even though you may have had a long trip to get to the current RV park, you always need to be courteous of other guests in your campground area. Make sure you and the people you’re with are cleaning up after themselves, and not leaving trash around that can find its way into other campsites. Everyone need to be responsible for what they bring. The less chaotic your space in the RV park is, it will be easier it will be to not only clean up later, but also leave when you’re ready.

Don’t Stay Cooped Up Inside

The most important aspect of having fun at an RV park? Don’t stay inside! Take advantage of being close to nature, and make sure you spend some time doing outdoor activities. You are camping after all, so go on a few hikes, do some bird watching, or even go fishing if you’re in an area where it’s permitted. Don’t hide in your RV and avoid all the beauty around you throughout the course of your trip.

 

Full Time RV Living: Selling All My Stuff and Moving to the Country

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While sitting in my new RV, reading Homer’s The Iliad, I stopped for a moment and watched the rain droplets fall from the oak outside. I was almost finished selling my stuff, and this was my third day in my new RV. But, a scene from an old Saturday Night Live skit came to worry my mind. Was I living in a van down by the river?

The answer to my question was right in my hands. I realized that this book, written 2,500 years ago, was telling me something I had already felt, but could not articulate.

At this point in the process, I still had the option to pull the stop on this lifestyle. Every event, big or small, has its moral. This event was no different. We’re told that having too many options can be a bad thing. I don’t think it has to be. Not if we use the opportunity to stop and contemplate our situation. My situation made me reflect on one similar to Achilles, the protagonist of The Iliad: What was all this stuff in my life really for?

It’s interesting how the word “stuff” is used in our language. It can be stuffing—the material used to fill something. Stuff is not bad. In fact, stuff can be useful. A turkey tastes better with stuffing (in my opinion at least!) Without stuffing a pillow is just a sheet. I’m not anti-stuff. Rather, I’m pro-functional stuff. We must select the proper material to fill a thing. Stuff your pillow with scorpions and you’re in for a terrible night. I like stuff. But what stuff did I want to fill my life with?

In The Iliad, there is the moment when Achilles first returns to the fighting after his absence. He had quit fighting due to a disagreement with the Greek give tar general, Agamemnon. It was the stuff Achilles brought with him to fight that struck me.

Achilles ran to the top of a ditch overlooking his enemies, the Trojans; he was naked. He brought nothing but himself. He shouted at the Trojan army. His shout was flame-capped by the gods. His head haloed by the sun. The Trojans were thrown into chaos. An entire army retreated at the mere sight of this screaming, naked warrior.

This scream and the flame-capped naked Achilles has stood as a symbol to ferocious warriors for 2,500 years. During WWI, the British Soldier Patrick Shaw Stewart, while on R&R wrote a poem to this figure. Shaw was about to return to battle. Certainly, he would have loved more stuff to take with him—more weapons and more armor and more reinforcements. In that situation, on the cusp of death, he took with him the image of Achilles:

I will go back this morning

From Imbros over the sea;

Stand in the trench, Achilles

Flame-capped, and shout for me

The question, how had Achilles come to be naked on that ditch, shapes The Iliad. It inspires men at war. It brought light to my own question about the stuff in my life.

Several days prior to shouting on that ditch, Achilles had been spurned by Agamemnon, for he had taken his stuff. Back then, 11th Century BC, the people with the most stuff were the best of men (unlike today, right?) They were honored first at festivals; they had first pick of wives and meat; they had the biggest houses and the most slaves; they had all the glory. The more stuff one had the more tîmê (Tee-Mey). This was the ancient greek word for honor. The first among the Gods, Zeus, received the most tîmê and thus should receive the best cuts of meat in sacrifice. Achilles was the greatest fighter of his era. He had sacked many enemy cities for Agamemnon and won many battles. Yet, Agamemnon wanted his stuff. So the Greek leader took away Achilles most prized possession, a beautiful slave girl. She had been awarded to Achilles by all the Greek soldiers, due to his high tîmê. Agamemnon said that he was the best of men and could take any slave girl he wanted. He did.

Achilles shrugged. He told his comrades that no matter what occurs to his fellow Greeks on the battlefield, he will no longer fight for them.

Strange as it seems, this is what was going through my head as I looked out my window at the RV park where I was staying . I realized I still had more room for stuff. Achilles lost his stuff unwillingly, and in a sense I had too. Yet, in losing stuff, we are forced to confront an important question. Toward what end does our possessions serve? A new coffee maker? Why, the one I have works fine. A new car? Why, my home has wheels now! More kitchenware, clothes, TVs, computers, Satellites? Why?

I flipped to an earlier part of The Iliad called “The Embassy to Achilles.” After Achilles quits, the Trojans begin winning battles. Agamemnon feels desperate. He swallows his pride and offers Achilles a ton of great stuff if he will return to the fighting. He offers women, slaves, horses, armor, chariots, land, and on and on.

Agamemnon sends an embassy of Achilles’ friends to offer his proposal. When they approach his camp, they find ‘the sacker of towns,’ ‘breaker of men,’ using his ‘man-killing hands’ to play a musical instrument.

They found him entertaining himself on a tuneful lyre, a beautifully ornate instrument with a silver crossbar, which he had taken from the spoils when he destroyed Eetions town. With this he was entertaining himself singing of the famous deeds of heroes. He was alone but for Patroclus.

His society was built on the accumulation of tîmê. And, when offered more tîmê than any other Greek, Achilles rejects this honor. He had all the stuff he needed. In losing his stuff, in having his status so arbitrarily taken from him, he discovered the truth. Our most intense desire for stuff, tends not to be our desire. He began to question the purpose of all the stuff he was winning. That made him question all his actions in fighting the Trojans. As he put it “for nothing, as I now see it equals the value of life.” Achilles no longer wanted to work to own more stuff. He wanted to live, to love, to make music, to write stories, and to raise a family.

Of course, I am not faced with the immediate danger of death as Achilles had been. He knew, through a prophecy, that to stay in Troy meant death and glory, to leave meant life and anonymity.

Yet, as I sat and watched the rain I thought of death. In Shakespeare’s Julius Cesar, Cesar says “a coward dies a thousand deaths before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” Though I’m a healthy 33 year old, I chose not to die that day. 

It’s easy to be seduced into the life of a thousand deaths; choked by more stuff than one needs; choked by a lack of purpose for the stuff one does need. Like the rest of us, Achilles needs stuff. He was to be no minimalist—and neither am I. I could not outlive my books. Achilles needs his lyre and his tools of war. In ridding himself of the need for stuff, Achilles realizes a long held cliche. The stuff we own should serve a purpose of our own choosing, not to be determined in the eyes of another. Otherwise, the stuff we own ends up owning us.

Most men are one why away from ignorance. When Agamemnon dishonored Achilles, it made him ask why. Why did he care how many more golden tripods he had than everyone else? Why did he need another slave? At first, he had no answers. Then, he learned that fighting for stuff meant killing men who had done him no wrong. To leave meant to live on his own terms, finding honor in himself and his own gods.

I have no need of the Greeks’ honor. I believe I am honored because Zeus decrees it so, and this will keep me by my beaked ships as long as breath remains in my body and strength in my limbs.

I put the book down and searched through my remaining stuff. I’m now ensuring it’s the right stuff. More importantly, that I’m the right stuff. I ask question like “does this thing I own fulfill my own chosen function, to move closer toward my own chosen goals? If not, it is not needed. At least not by me. I had decided that this includes my house.

As I start this new adventure, I consider those who came before me. In the classic western movie Rio Bravo with John Wayne and Dean Martin, Dean sings a song that perfectly sums up this immortal truth. The stuff we need is determined by the person we choose to be. In Dean’s case, a cowboy.

In the song, this cowboy has been herding cattle all day. The sun turns the clouds as purple as grapes. He hangs up his sombrero on the limb of a tree. He dreams of the woman right around the bend. She’ll be waiting,

“For my rifle, my pony, and me.”

What more does a cowboy need?