Today we watched as severe thunderstorms kept passing us by. We did get a lot of rain but no rough weather -- thankfully!
I received an email this morning from a reader explaining that he and his wife were getting discouraged trying to get things ready to go full time.
The reason for the discouragement was that their friends were telling them they were making a big mistake selling their house and going full time.
This issue has come up from time to time -- I even saw it today on the RV-Dreams Forum as well.
As we were making our transition we received a great deal of support from friends. All of them felt what we were doing was exciting and would be a great adventure.
For some it appears it is not so smooth. I have received emails telling me that family members had been some of the greatest detractors.
We have been asked what to do when this happens. We don’t give advice on things we don’t know anything about. The advice we might share on things we do know about we always try to qualify as only our opinion.
We have only been full time for about 3 months. We are the last ones to claim a great deal of experience.
When we decided to go full time we had times that we just wanted to throw our hands up and quit. It seemed it would be easier than to continue to grind away at all the ridding ourselves of our stuff and trying to solve the logistical challenges.
We did not give up however. We had done our research and discussed all the possibilities -- both good and bad. We knew what we wanted. We also knew what we didn’t want.
The amount of faith we had to employ was not a small measure.
We did talk to as many people as we could find to help answer our questions. While we realized that everyone’s situation is different we were able to pull out the things that we had in common.
The credibility of the people that had been on the road for many years meant a lot to us. Most had seen it all. They were very open with us and shared the good and the bad of their experiences.
In the end it was of course our decision and our consequences to face -- but in addition it was also OUR dream.
We can’t tell anyone IF they can do it -- only they know that. What we can tell them from our perspective is -- it was the right thing for US.
Each day brings new opportunities -- new perspectives -- new discoveries -- and new contentment. There are challenges -- those help us grow.
While we are still new at all of this we do know this. The things we learned about ourselves through the very process of making the transition were priceless. We will never look at life and priorities the same again.
For us -- even if we went off the road tomorrow -- we would not trade what we have gone through for anything.
Now a little story for you...
This particular event is one that for many years I have remembered any time I saw someone stuck in the mud. It always came roaring back into my mind.
As many of you remember I grew up on a farm in rural Missouri.
On this farm of rolling hills there was a creek at the bottom of one of the hills that led up to the house.
Along this rock lined creek was an old well. There was a cast iron pump for drawing the water up from the well. It was very old and rusted to the extent that none of the moving parts would move.
My dad decided the pump needed to be pulled and replaced.
This story involves two components from some earlier stories I shared.
One was the 1952 pickup -- the one my dad pulled the bumper off of.
The other is my uncle -- the one that never learned!
So -- down the very steep hill my dad went bouncing in his pickup truck -- without the bumper I might add -- to where the well was located. The truck was loaded with tools of all kinds to tackle the well replacement job.
You see this story is not about replacing the well. Actually it has very little to do with it.
What it has to do with is AFTER the job was done.
I should tell you that it had rained a lot the week leading up to this -- actually the creek was flooded.
I should also tell you that my dad believe any vehicle he was driving was basically a tank -- impossible to stop if he was driving it.
My dad got into the truck, started it, put it in gear and it moved about 3 feet and promptly sunk to the axles.
Well...I was told to run up to the house and call my uncle -- the one that never learned not to answer the calls of my dad. So I did.
I was told to tell him to bring his truck down to the well to pull my dad’s truck out.
He agreed to come right away -- another First Mistake!
He comes down the hill -- backs up to my dad’s truck -- hooks the chain on -- and promptly sinks to the axles.
Great! Now we have two trucks stuck.
So my uncle goes up to the house and calls a neighbor that is about 5 miles away for assistance -- he responds.
He comes down the hill -- hooks onto my uncles truck that is hooked onto my dads truck and he also sinks to the axles -- Three trucks stuck!
The neighbor calls his brother that is about 20 minutes away. His brother shows up with a truck with a trailer hooked onto it and on that trailer is a tractor.
So....his brother comes down the hill and goes to turn around to unload the tractor...
Now we have my dad’s truck -- my uncles truck -- our neighbor’s truck -- his brothers truck with the trailer on the back with a tractor on it - you guessed it -- All Stuck In The Mud!
Kind of reminds me of the “Hole in the bottom of the sea” song.
I sat there looking at what was nothing short of a parking lot.
We had run out of trucks!
A good decision was made to not unload the tractor since it would had ended up like the rest -- they did unhook the trailer from the truck though.
So I watched as all these men did what men do when they have created a situation such as this.
They all sat down and talked about it.
My dad -- the one that started this chain of events -- no pun intended -- came up with an idea.
(Those of you that have read my stories know by now that when I dad had an idea -- the fun was really only beginning - right?)
His idea was to rig a winch to one of the nearby trees and simply winch out the first truck. I mean no tires to get stuck with this plan.
So the winch is drug down from the barn -- it is hooked up to the last truck that was stuck and to a very large Cedar tree that was about 20 feet way.
The last truck was the brother’s truck -- the one that had the trailer on it.
The brother began to take up slack on the winch -- my uncle got into his truck and was going to assist in trying to drive the truck out while the winch pulled. The brother cranks and cranks and then his brother comes over and now two of them are pulling with all the strength they had -- just knowing the truck would break free at any moment.
It never got that far....
The rope that was holding the hook onto the tree -- well it snapped -- the hook immediately went flying through the air -- but fortunately it was stopped by the passenger side of the windshield of the truck being pulled out.
Well it wasn’t actually STOPPED since it went clean through it.
The hook ended up on the seat next to my uncle. My uncle had the “I can’t believe that just happened” look on his face -- again.
My dad -- well my dad -- just looked.
A blank stare actually. Me -- I was stunned at first -- then amazed -- then somewhat amused at what I had just seen unfold.
As we were all walking back up to the house -- defeated -- my dad said something to me I will never forget -- I never questioned it -- oh no -- I just have never forgotten it.
He said to me...
“Go back down there and get all the keys out of the trucks so nobody steals them.”
All of those vehicles sat on the hill by the pump mired in the mud exactly where they had stopped for almost a week. That is how long it took the ground to dry enough to get them out.
So there you have it...that is all for today!
Ken and Nanette