The Final Countdown

Only 21 days and we are onto a whole new way of life! Crossing our ‘i’s” (literally) and dotting our t’s, we seem to be running in circles trying to get everything in order before we become fulltime rv’ers. With a thousand and one things to do before we hit the open road, blessed with full work schedules for the last few weeks and cleaning the house top to bottom, we are busy as ants trying to rebuild their home after a bully walked along and kicked their hill. We knocked a few pressing issues off our list last week when we got a bike rack, a cargo rack and a couple of much needed generators.

bike rack photo

Being that Mitch and I are on different schedules we have been list buddies, writing things down and taking turns marking them off. Our moto lately has been, nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and we are dreaming of the days when things become less challenging and we begin to reap our rewards, like making dinners together!
Mitch moved in most of his clothes to our trailer last week, took a second look and began to downsize once again, I am really glad he went first, I’ll downsize mine again before taking anything out! Our focus has also been on the fridge and how different it will be, no more frozen bread as back up, Costco chicken nuggets and bulk orders of hamburger. Our hope is that we will have a healthier way of eating, with more frequent trips to the store and fresh produce that we actually eat, and don’t just let sit in the fridge.

I keep reminding myself that some of the best times in my life were when I was a child, living on the cut off in Collbran, Colorado, we had a two seater out house, (one was a padded bright pink seat I recall so vividly) no water or electricity. There were a few months we lived on the Colorado river near Rifle, catching fish,  bathing in the river and picking up cans to make a few extra dollars.  My mother was a no nonsense, we will make it work kind of woman, who never sought pity or a handout.  With that attitude, we all made due with what we had and I believe I am now a better person for it.  I remember the first time I saw asparagus in the grocery store and the amount of money they were selling it for. I was beyond shocked,  I had always thought it was poor people food because it grew wild on the side of the road where we lived and it was one of our staples. I know I digress, but as we are on the verge of this life change, I want to take this time to thank my mom for all the blessings of hardships we endured. It’ll be ten years on the 11th since she lost her battle with cancer and went to be with The Lord. Every day the lessons she taught me, more by actions than words, has made me who I am today. Thank you mom, for you, your strength, your will, your determination and your ability to rise from any occasion with grace, dignity and unwavering character. I truly appreciate that you were first my mother, and later in life, my friend. You are loved and missed!

Thoughts on Gleaving

 

I think I just created a new word (ok someone’s probably already thought of it, but it’s new to me), it’s the combination of going and leaving.  I was trying to figure out which one sounded more fitting for our situation and I just couldn’t decide, so tada… we are gleaving!
Our set date to become full timer’s  is the last day of September, whatever day that is. I’m so good with specifics I really don’t even know what day of the week that is! We had our 4th and last yard sale this past weekend, it went pretty darn good.  People bought my half used shampoo’s, but no one wanted a perfectly functioning 3 way tall lamp for $10! So odd are the habits of yard sale goers. In regards to that glow in the dark nail polish, I kept it, just might be fun in the future( thank you Kathy Jo for teaching me that there is always room for renegotiation, and I can change mind if I want).  I’m hoping to make more time for fun in our future. I have so many hopes for our future, ok and some worries.  Where to begin… Lets start with the question of, “are you getting excited since it’s close to you leaving?” And I answer, “well, you’d think I would be huh?”  Then I take the next few minutes to ponder why aren’t I? As I write this and put some thought into it, I believe the neurotic and the dreamer in me are at such odds I am bombarded with chaos of the mind.
Our 4 yard sale pile, and a  visual of how my mind feels about now.
Just a visual of how my thoughts may look; and our 4th yard sale pile
Just a little example of such is that I can’t stand to have one shoe lace tighter than the other, but then I just jump into things with great faith and no trepidation. Ever since I can remember, when I’ve decided to do something, I do it, right then, no waiting, not much planning, just go. It was that way when I decided to join the Air Force,  get a job I always wanted or to cut my long hair super short. Whatever felt right in my heart, I’d  just follow that light.  With this adventure , it’s taking a lot more time, work, energy, money and stress than I could have imagined! Now don’t get me wrong, I know in my heart that this is to be our path and I will relish it once we get going, but ugh, can someone stop the constant noise in my head! Random stuff, the what if’s, safety, traffic, people, unknown everything, I mean its exciting but scary! Then of course when I think such things, some random song will come into my head like, ” please don’t stop the music, music, I want to take you away” and then all the sudden i hear TLO (the loud one) across the street yelling  obscenities and Gwen Stefani’s  Sweet Escape song will pop into my head and we just can’t get out of here fast enough.   Seconds later I go into thinking about tires, generators, boondocking, where to find places, how will it work, propane and potential fires, can papa get up the steps, how will the dogs do, what about washing my hands,I do that like 25 times a day! Seriously, it’s exhausting.
Looks like Charlie is in deep thought as well
Looks like Charlie’s in deep thought as well
 I am just not good with the time between deciding to make a life change and it actually happening. Too much time to second guess, over think, over analyze, freak out, worry and wonder. So I say to myself, true failure can only occur if you don’t try. Com’on self, pull up those boot straps, stop being a worry wart, and do all you can to live this life to the fullest!  You are pursuing a dream, so many don’t have such an opportunity; put your self involved ways into perspective and check yourself!  So as I sign off, I take my love’s hand, with papa and the dogs by our side, and we head towards this big dream while singing the song we all know and love, ” whoa whoa We’re halfway there, livin on a prayer, take my hand and we’ll make it I swear!” It’s awesome hows songs can help move a person out of their own way, and re-ignite those flames of ones true desires.

Happy Campers

We now have our truck, trailer and camper!

truck
Willy’s ready to go

Tuesday the 6th of august We had a appointment in Everett to get papa’s camplite camper.  Mitch talked to the mechanic about our truck the Friday before and he said they would have it done by Monday even if they had to work on it over the weekend. They did just that, and we picked up Willy (the truck) right after they finished, which was a little after 9 pm. After going to Walmart for an air filter, packing up a few things for our first overnight excursion and watching the finale of Bachelorette while enjoying some Taco Bell, we got to bed around midnight. I was asleep in about two minutes, unfortunately Mitch’s mind was going a mile a minute  and he didn’t catch a wink of sleep.  Around 3 a.m. he decided to wash the truck and load up our stuff, always ahead of the game. I myself am usually 10 steps behind, thankfully we even each other out. We left the house at 5 in the morning and made it to apache camping center in Everett at 10, with 30 minutes to spare for our appt.

sunrise
Sunrise in our rear view mirror on way to Everett

We got our first look at the camper after buying it sight unseen, it is beautiful, sleek and simple. Our experience at Apache was the best ever! They were friendly, personable, accommodating, professional and awesome! They made us feel special and important from beginning to end. We added a few things while we were there and wanted a couple things changed, next thing you know, it was getting done. After we learned the tricks of the trade and how it all worked we were off in our beautiful new set up. Thank you Don, Phil, Cindy, Noel, Jeff and Terry!!

phil
Phil (center stage) and Noel (in the shade) while they are working on our camper

We decided to try out the camper for the night at Wenberg County Park, it was only 20 miles from Everett but with traffic it took 45 minutes. About 5 miles before our destination we encountered a massive hill, and Willy made it no problem.  Our stay was really nice, especially after realizing when we plugged in, that we needed to flip a switch to get power,  no wonder the air conditioning wasn’t working.

campsite
Willy’s first time at the campsite

We walked down to the lake and watched the sunset, and just soaked up what will soon be our life.

Sunset at Wenberg County Park

After getting a much needed good nights sleep and taking a walk in the morning we got ready to head home. Loading up and going was a much simpler process than we anticipated, especially since we left the camper on the truck. As we drove home, both of us lost in thought, we see a slender framed, white haired man standing on the side of the road with his thumb out. As we pass him (always weary of picking up hitch hikers now a days) we realize it’s our neighbor!  He’d been standing on the side of the road for 3 hours when we came along. What a blessing we happened upon him when we did, it was 93 degrees and at the age of 65 wearing a black jacket and black pants he was not in very good shape when he crawled in the back seat. We had a pleasant rest of the way home as our weary traveler filled us in on all his adventures after drinking some much needed water.

Once we arrived at home, Papa, who held down the fort while we were gone gave us a great surprise, as he had paid Wayne to finish the side of the house that we had scraped the other day! Yippee papa and Wayne! What a load off our shoulders, now we can work on the front and finally be done with the outside paint project. What a wonderful ending to a great weekend, we are looking forward to experiencing all kinds of adventures in our new way of life.

 

Downsizing and Revising Continued

We now have less than 2 months before we are going to be officially full timing in our RV. We’ve had 3 yard sales, given away boxes of clothes, had family take special items for safe keeping and still the house seems like we’ve barely made a dent. We thought after our last sale that we were done, until we took a second look. Darn those drawers, forgotten items under the bed, in the closet, the spare room, the cabinets in the garage and all those things that hold our things. Looks like we’ll be have another sale soon. Mitch and I do our best work with a deadline, so it’s nose to the grindstone from now until we leave.

All smiles before getting to work
All smiles before getting to work

A little side note, I still haven’t been able to get down to a feasible amount of clothing or shoes. Right now I am at 24 pair of shoes, my goal is 10. After reading many posts  people manage with 5 or less, I admire that, but will shoot for 10. In regards to my clothes, I’ve decided to store some and when we come back this way I will go shopping in our shed and trade them out over time. Being that it has taken me years to find clothes that I really like ( mainly cold weather  clothing), and that they don’t have any real resale value it’s not worth selling or trying to find them again down the road. Maybe my perspective will change in time, but for now that’s my plan.

Onto  the revising, when we bought our 1906 home it was in dire need of remodeling. We pulled up our sleeves, pulled out the pocket book and moved in 3 months later. Now that was some work!  There was no insulation, walls of lath and plaster, old busted pipes and other big issues; one of those was that the bank wouldn’t loan on it with paint peeling. In a time crunch during the cold season we pressure washed and painted it within a week, knowing we would need to redo it in the future. So now its the past’s future and we are in the process of completing that task. After scraping paint for hours on end , we got to enjoy the end result last week when we did some painting. there is still more of the house to do but being the size it is, we are doing it in stages. Luckily, our neighbor Wayne came over and worked with us all day long.  Papa got us lunch and pitched in when he could, it was a super productive day.

Mitch and Wayne having a scrappy good time
Mitch and Wayne having a scrappy good time

We are planning to have a get together for our friends and coworkers after the last yard sale with a take what you want, donate what you can party.   And of course what is left will be donated or given away. I have an aversion to throwing things away, always thinking that there has got to be someone who could use whatever it is, I mean who couldn’t go for some glow in the dark nail polish!

In other news Charlie our Golden Retriever went to visit the vet because of a limp. Come to find out it’s arthritis, and we can help  manage it with natural supplements and weight loss.

Hey, they say the camera adds 10 lbs!
Hey now, they say the camera adds 10 lbs. You’re gonna give me a complex

I have always had free  feeding dogs, so when people would mention how big Charlie was it didn’t dawn on me that we fed him too much. I just thought he was a big dog. ooops.  Mitch, papa and I would randomly fill up his dish when we saw he was out. We now have him on a feeding schedule and he has taken it in stride. It seems as if he’s already shed a few pounds and his limp has gotten better. He just can’t run when we go on our walks until he gets better. You could say he’s on his own downsizing mission.