Friday, January 1, 2010

"You are doing fine"...much needed words!...

Aren't RVers, (especially Full-timers), a great bunch of people? biggrin

You're doing fine. Take your time and everything will come together.

Good luck,

Jim

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What a great adventure you have embarked upon with your family. And the kind thoughtful folks in the campground, how cool is that?

Anytime Steveio sees someone in a campground working on something, he is the first guy there with a cup of coffee and offer of tools, knowledge, or my internet access to get more information on a possible repair.

That is what Rving is about, the adaptability and being able to deal with those challenges as they arise. AND knowing you are not alone, there is always someone, somewhere who had the SAME THING BREAK! hahaha

Karen

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Jim and Karen,

Yes, we were somewhat surprised by the friendly and helpful people we have already met.  We had read many times about this type of thing happening we just had never experienced it first hand.

I think I FINALLY have the RV level or at least as close as it will be for a while.  It is going to get bitterly cold here starting tonight with it being in the single digits overnight for the next 3 nights.

We are very warm and cozy though and all heating systems seem to be working fine. So as long as we stay on this side of the door everything will be fine.

Don't think for one minute we aren't starting to plan to get to warmer weather as soon as we can though!

Today is a rearranging day.  It appears (I am sure to everyone's surprise) that we brought a "few" things we really don't need.  We are going to start a relaxed resorting process.  We have too many things that are still cluttering us up and would like to get them put away.

We are looking forward to the next few days to slow down some and get ourselves over the amazing events we have just come through.

There are so many things that go through your mind with a transition like this.  I am becoming convinced the mental issues are perhaps the most challenging. 

It is a very big change to make this move.  One of the things we have noticed is that the first time we have done anything here it seems strange.  We have used our RV many times before of course but for some reason it just feels different.

I guess it just takes time to get used to the differences but as funny as it may sound the second time we do something it feels more comfortable.

What I can offer right now from us is that the feeling of being unsettled is most evident.  We feel we need to get to the point that we have things the way they are going to stay as soon as possible just to set the new normalcy.

We know there will be more adjustment to come but for now we are thrilled we did this.

Looking back -- even over this very short period -- we can't imagine us having not done this.  It looks right, feels right and is right is our opinion. 

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, December 31, 2009

We are on the other side...

We are on the other side...

...and what a side it is!

I decided to jump on and give an update.  With all that has happened over the last few days I could never cover it all so I will hit the high points.

So...exactly WHEN do things slow down again?

We thought the final days to getting here were well worked out and would run smoothly -- but not so much.

We underestimated the size of the last events to take place.

The picking up of the furniture by the buyers -- the hauling off of what we THOUGHT was a small amount of items to go to the dump -- the amount of the last load to go into the RV -- well I think you get the idea.

We got it done though.

Then we get to the CG and the real fun begins.

To start with -- it seems that two days before we arrived here there was a new owner of a brand spanking new 35 motor home that decided to try it out.  They learned WHY you don't take a 29,000 lb motor off into the grass when the ground is saturated.  They buried it up to the axles.

In the process of getting them out they tore up the site severely leaving ruts where we were to park.  Due to this we are still trying to get our MH level.  There are high spots and low spots where our wheels are and as for the jacks -- well lets just say I have never had a harder time trying to get things to level out.

Then just after we got our water line connected, heat taped, insulated and sealed (a very long process) the brand new water hose failed at the end fitting.  So off to Lowe's for a repair kit -- a fairly simple process -- except for the darkness and rain thing!

We now have everything hooked up and working fine.

Now the next issue is getting everything in the RV put away and rearranging.  You know that great plan you have as it sits outside the house -- the perfect one -- where everything is exactly as you expect it should go?  Not exactly how it worked for us.

So -- we have stuff everywhere being moved around.

The last and probably most frustrating thing is I am having to continue to fight to get my final pay package.  Grr...  This is an unnecessary and unfair situation to say the least.  We simply can't figure out why this is happening to be honest.

Now for the good...

We have great Internet here!!!

Then there was when we took a break and we sat outside looking at the shear cliffs that surround us and watched the Kentucky River flow by it was very peaceful.

We watched the Hawks soar over the cliffs and listened to the wind through the trees...for a brief few moments we knew and felt we had truly started our journey.

In the very first few days we find there are two distinct parts of the early lifestyle.  The never ending list of things to get done -- and then the arriving peacefulness and feeling of freedom.

We expect the first will begin to fade as the days go on and the second will be there for the taking.

We had a couple of very cold nights with wind but we found that our heating setup works well and the MH seems well adapted for cold weather -- somewhat to my surprise actually.

One last thing -- the people.

Where we are there are 16 full time families here.  We have already meet 4 of them. 

Not due to our approaching them (too busy) but by them coming up and asking if there was anything we needed help with.

During our life we have been asked this question many times.  I must admit in most cases it was a question out of courtesy.

In the case of these folks -- they meant what they were asking.  They were not intrusive in any way -- but one gentleman (Dave) kept an eye on us and would just happen to "need to take a walk" at times when I actually could have used a hand and he lent it. 

Hmm...strange coincidence him needing a walk when he did -- huh?

Then there was the precious lady that saw the kids playing and decided to introduce herself. 

I am convince she had also been watching some and probably picked up on our visible frustration from time to time.

She came over and asked the customary questions -- Where you from? -- The kids names? -- Need any help? ...and so on.

THEN she told us something that I think was the REAL reason she came over.

It seems her and her husband are full timers -- and have been for 27 years!

She said simply -- sometimes it is frustrating -- however -- the peace and freedom is a reward that makes the price well worth it in so many ways.

She was comforting -- and spoke from a LOT of experience.  She reassured us and more importantly the boys about the amazing possibilities that exist.  She told all of us of a few of their travels -- their best moments -- and funniest -- and hardest.

She spoke with such credibility and did not sugarcoat things -- but also showed a deep sincerity as to what this lifestyle has given them.

Well...not to be corny but -- as she walked away -- I expected to see wings appear -- this woman came at the right time with the right words -- kind of like she was sent.

So we continue one day at a time -- waiting for things to slow down some.

We wish everyone a very Happy and Safe New Year from the "other side" of our life!

Ken and Nanette

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Inventing our future...and What an Adventure?

This may be somewhat of a long post as it will be the last one from the old home. 

The next one will be on the other side of this transition and from the CG in our new home.

Between now and then there are some things that have to be done before we are online again.

So here goes...

Yes, it is a very interesting feeling knowing you are changing the terms on which you live your life. 

Even though the future cannot be known for sure -- "inventing it" rather than have it be "invented for you" is a very pleasing feeling.

We had a great Christmas...as did the boys.  We played a little game with them -- we wrapped up 2 Wii games and put them under the tree but the Wii was not under there.

When they opened them -- it took a minute for it to sink in that there must be a Wii somewhere.  It was kind of like the joke about the boy shoveling the horse manure and enjoying it because he knew with all of it he was shoveling there must be a horse down there somewhere.

So after a few long minutes as Nanette and I enjoyed their confusion we took them out to the RV and as they walked in they immediately saw the TV screen with the Wii home screen open and the surround sound playing the music and they then "got it".  Priceless!

More on the Wii in a bit...

Things are moving very fast now.  Mount Trashmore is quite a sight.  It has grown very quickly.

Today is the last day to gather up trash and add it to the pile as the truck shows up tomorrow morning to haul it away.

I wonder if the driver has any idea what is waiting for him?

This phase of the move is a little different emotionally.  There are two competing feelings present.

On one hand we are so tired of looking at stuff that we know is going that we just want it gone.

On the other hand because of how things played out there are things that in the back of our minds have value but will go to either trash or Goodwill.  This is simply a monetary issue.  You feel that we are throwing dollars out the window.

In truth this is probably true but the time does not exist to take what little advantage of the monetary gain there is and more importantly this stuff stands directly in the path of where we want to be.

The next few days are going to be very interesting.

We place or RV tomorrow morning at the CG we will be staying at for a while.  We are having an auxiliary LP tank placed on Tuesday morning to get us through the next few cold months.

We expect to be on board on Tuesday night.

As we look back on this entire process we see some things now that make sense to us as we progressed.  We ask ourselves would we have done anything differently?

The answer to that question is actually somewhat suprising to us.  We would have not done anything differently.  We found that we were somewhat controlled by circumstances that we could not change.  The weather being one of them that made getting things to the auction a big challenge.

The overall process was a constant up and down -- big steps of progress followed by lulls in activity.  There was frustration when these lulls arrived but once recognized and a refocus on our part we were on the move again.

The biggest and most important transition for us was the emotional release of getting rid of our stuff.  At first when we went through things there were emotions attached -- mainly memories associated with the stuff we were touching and needing to make a decision on.

Eventually this subsided -- but before that happened -- we found ourselves touching the item many times.

I liken this to trying to run with one foot stuck to the floor and us trying to run as fast as we could.  The result -- running in circles -- and items going from pile to pile but not out the door.

At this point our minds are straddled between getting the rest of the work done here and making the move into the RV.

What we anticipate is the moment when this house is empty -- we are sitting in the RV having coffee -- we look at each other -- and then say -- now what?

You see -- we are still half in the past and half in the future -- if that makes sense.

When the past is gone -- then we are in the future. The thing is the past is tangible -- the future is unwritten and not tangible.  We expect to go through a time of nuetrality -- a lull again as we get the engine running so to speak regarding the new life.

I know this may sound confusing but perhaps some of you went through this phase.  It is hard to know what you will feel about something you haven't experienced yet.  We know that what we are headed to is better than what we are leaving though.

The anticipation is building of course -- strange things go through your mind -- like the very strange thought that popped into my mind this morning.

What if when I take the RV off the jacks -- due to all the weight -- all six tires blow our simultaneously?  Although we know we are way under the weight limit -- well -- just what if?

See I told you it was strange...

The point is -- this "what if" thing can drive  you crazy.  I am sure it is normal to look for the awful in the good.

It seems as if as a society we are negatively driven -- to look for the bad -- some people think that if things are going good then there must be some bad out there to counteract it.

I have observed that to live a happy life it seems one must truly feel deserving of a happy life first.

I have seen people that draw to themselves that which they feel they deserve.  Good or bad they will find it.  This idea of getting what one feels they deserve is a poweful one.  It is a mind thing to be sure.

I have seen people that are, by nature, pessimistic.  Guess what kind of people I see them surround themselves with?  People that think just like they do.

On the other hand I have seen people who are naturally optimistic -- let them get around people that are not and watch how quickly they will move away from them.

It makes me wonder -- perhaps the importance of the "track" we put our life on is more important than we imagine sometimes.  It seems we get what we "think" we deserve even though both good and bad exist and are achievable. 

However, perhaps we just never allow ourselves to see the good that is right in front of us because we know that it is reserved for others.

Back to the Wii -- did you know that, when playing golf, if you tell it you are swinging left handed but really swing right handed. you have no earthly chance to make par?

Yep -- it is true!  I know!  Personally!

We will post again from our new life...and will share what we see from there.

This transition -- this journey -- has been a most interesting one -- we have grown more that I am sure we realize yet. 

All we have to say is -- Oh My -- What An Adventure!!!

Ken and Nanette