Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Lists Start and Cleaning The Computer...

Today was a perfect day weather wise.  It was 71 degrees and sunny.  I can actually see spring coming.

It always amazes me how weather can change your mood.  Today it just seemed like all was well.  I can take a lot of weather like this.

By the way I never told you where we were going to workamp.

We are going to Paradise Pines Campground located in New Hudson, New York.

The lists have started for getting ready to pull out for New York.  There are actually going to be a couple of lists I expect. 

Kind of a His and Hers thing.

Lists depress me. 

It isn’t that I mind looking at lists -- it is that I have TO DO the stuff on them. 

Am I the only one that feels this way?

My list has things like -- Getting new tires -- Get new wheel simulators installed -- Wire MH for flat four connection for towing -- Find coolant leak -- and anything else Nanette can think of.

Nanette’s list -- well I don’t know what is on Nanette’s list. 

You see...I am never allowed to see her lists and I am CERTAINLY NOT allowed to add anything to it!

Not fair I say.

Today Nanette made the final Doctor and Dentist appointments for the kids before we leave.  After this they should be good for another 20 - 30 years -- I think that is how that works.  Kind of like a car...

Banjo the dog will also have to go in for an oil change or maybe it was shots...either way he gets to go in too before we leave.

Today I messed with our Backup Camera some to make sure everything was aligned. 

Why would you need to adjust the backup camera you might ask...

Well...we have decided to take our boat with us to New York. 

We will be about 2 miles from Lake George -- so I looked at some pictures of Lake George...

And...The Boat Is Definitely Going!

It is an 18 Foot Ranger Bass Boat and we love the water!

It would drive me crazy to have all that great water up there and us without our boat.

I might even get crabby!

We are well within all limits and laws so towing it is not a problem -- well other than the fact we will be something like 58 Feet Long!

We are not going to be traveling at night but I will have to turn on all the lights at night just once because I think we are going to be real pretty with all those marker lights lit up. 

But that’s just me.

Actually the boat tows great and should be a breeze to pull behind the motorhome.

So...we have the motorhome...the boat...and Nanette driving our Highlander.

Being a Highlander it cannot be towed.  I have researched and called and consulted and there is only one way to tow it.  4 wheels up.  Well we aren’t going to do that.

Before you ask we do have a Remco System on the motorhome but it doesn’t matter.  The Highlander is a Full Time All Wheel Drive vehicle so towing ain’t gonna happen.  We will just get something later that we can tow 4 wheels down.

I also did a few other things today like...

Clean out Nanette’s Computer. 

She uses a desktop computer that tucks away very nicely in the motorhome.

Now two things that computers really don’t like are inconsistent voltage and heat. 

The voltage thing messes with all the sensitive stuff in a computer and dust in a computer acts as an insulator and will keep the computer from cooling itself.

Nanette uses her computer a lot! 

Trying to get it shutdown is not an easy thing.  She goes through withdrawal I think.  But it has been a long time since I opened the case on her computer and used the canned air to clean it out.

When I say a long time -- when I opened the computer -- that “time” appears to have been about 125 years!

There were wads of dirt -- actually a pile of dirt in the bottom.  Just about every opening that was designed to pull air in -- well -- wasn’t open.

When I hit the inside with the air I was suddenly transported to the Sahara -- I could no longer see -- anything!

There was a cloud of dust that came up from that computer that I am sure impeded air traffic directly over us. 

I even saw birds coughing as they flew by...no seriously...they were!

So I used up one can of air and started on the second.

The kids loved it -- they were somewhat confused however as to why we had a garden inside Mom’s computer.

After about and hour of blowing and wiping and cleaning it was good as new.

I think next time we won’t wait as long.  I honestly don’t know how this computer kept running.

So that was the highlight of my day.

We want to thank everyone for coming to visit.  Yesterday we set a new visitor record for New Visitors, Returning Visitors and Pages Read.

Wow -- what a great surprise for us!

Tomorrow I have a very interesting story regarding my brother and his first ever brand new truck. 

What you are going to find out is that my brother was very picky about his “stuff”. 

What me and a friend of mine went through the day we were invited to go 4 wheeling with him in his new truck I think will give you something to remember for a while!

That is it for today!

Ken and Nanette

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Day Of Reflection...Planning...and A Special Blog Visitor...

Yesterday was very emotionally filled day for me.

Not so much regarding the decision to take the workamping position...but more so due to me going back through all the comments and emails we received from our readers the day before.

As I went through all of them I realized just what great people we have come to know through our blog.

We of course read a lot of other blogs so when those writers come in and leave comments we know quite a lot about the people behind the comments.

It is easy sometimes to read through things on the internet very quickly and miss detail and the nuances of the written word.

I did not want to do this with what was written to us.  It was simply too important to me.  There were also some great words of wisdom and insight that didn’t just apply to our current issue.

So as I went through them all I realized some things.

Behind every visitor we have there are people -- people that laugh and cry -- that  have trials and triumphs -- that have families -- and that have dreams.

I think sometimes this is lost on the internet.  It is not, however, lost on us.

The one thing that bothers me on a regular basis is that I cannot meet all of you personally.  What a great time that would be though. 

I have said many times that some of the comments we have received would make for a great “around the campfire” conversation.

Nanette and I are very much the same way -- we are both very comfortable meeting people and interacting with them.  We get a lot of enjoyment out of meeting new people.

Someday though I suspect we will get to meet some of you -- and that is a day we are really looking forward to.

The Planning...

Well the planning has begun for our move to New York which will occur the first week in May.

“Move to New York” wow does that look weird to write!

We have been stationary for almost 3 months.  To become mobile again will take some cleaning, sorting, tossing and packing.

There is also some maintenance items that need to be done before our 900 mile trip.

I also have some upgrades in mind before we leave.

The really nice thing is -- we already have all of our stuff with us -- it is just getting the thing that carries all of our stuff ready to carry it.

I need to replace 3 tires and I am going to also put on new wheel simulators -- a new style.

Today I installed the new CB Antenna and installed the CB Radio.  I like to use this when traveling to keep informed on traffic conditions ahead of us.  So that is done.

We also have a small coolant leak -- not sure exactly where it is coming from but I will track that down and fix it.

The other thing I am adding is a built in Coach Surge Protector that also protects against Hi/Low Voltage and Frequency Excursions.  The last item regarding Frequency is a protection in case our 7000 Watt On Board Generator decides to lose its mind.

Those are just MY things to do...

Nanette has a lot of inside stuff she wants to get done as well.  She will be doing a lot of the sorting and tossing. 

She also gets the great job of repacking stuff and getting things secured from falling out or over.

She also has to make a bunch of great treats for the driver of the rig.  Who can drive on an empty stomach -- boy do I have a list for her!

Then there is the trip planning to get to New York.

Nanette and I have both been “through” the general area we are going to but neither of us has spent any time at all there. 

Our plan is to take a few days going up -- do some sightseeing and exploring.

Because the second vehicle we have is not towable she will have to follow me.

We were planning on replacing our second vehicle and towing it since our MH is setup very well for towing.  With this opportunity showing up as it did we have decided to wait on that change.

I would sure rather have her sitting next to me -- we love to travel together and she is a great traveling buddy!

So...we are going to be very busy over the next few weeks.

We will be keeping you informed of how it goes.

A special visitor to our blog...

Yesterday evening I received a notification on my Blackberry that someone had left a comment on our blog -- when I picked it up and saw who it was from -- I got very excited.

The comment came from Ara & Spirit.

Ara has a site on which he journals.  His site was actually the first journal /Blog that we followed. 

Ara’s site is listed in our “Blogs We Follow” list and it can be found at the link below.

The Oasis Of My Soul 

This is a site that we recommend people visit and read. 

Ara’s story is a very compelling one. 

If you go back and read about his life’s travels -- both physically and emotionally I think it will move you as it has us.

Ara is someone we have never met personally but as I said above we feel we know so much about him.  His writings and exploration of the human spirit have been a great inspiration to us.

Many things he has written about has caused me to pause and really think about what he has said.  Great cause for introspection.

We are so honored to have him take the time to visit us here and to leave a comment. 

Ara is a Chef by trade...being educated in France and getting his Culinary Schooling at the "Institut International de Glion Sur Montreux", in Switzerland.

So if you like food...I think you might like what you see on his site!

Also, just wait until you see his photography skills!  Absolutely amazing!

As Ara said in his comment on our blog yesterday...this community we are part of is made up of all types of people and with love for many different things.

Being here for one another is so important -- as we have found over the last few days.

Yes, it is a community -- a community that we are all a part of.

Ara is one that certainly adds great value to this community of ours.

As always we wish Ara & Spirit safe and fulfilling travels!

That is it for today...

Thank you all for visiting us here...we hope you find value in some little thing we may write about...and maybe from time to time brings a smile to your face.

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Response Was Overwhelming and The Decision...

Yesterday we posted about a workamper opportunity that we had before us and said that opinions were welcomed.

The response to that post was overwhelming.  We received comments and emails with opinions on what we had written about.

The comments, you can go back to yesterday’s post and read.  I would ask that you do that if you haven’t already.

The comments alone were enough to do a number of posts about. 

We read the comments a few times just to make sure we absorbed what you all took the time to write.

Then there were the emails. 

Some of the emails were very personal in nature. 

Some of the readers shared very personal experiences -- challenges and triumphs -- and dreams.

There is no way we could have ever imagined being where we are right now with our blog.

We could never have thought that we would put out a call for advice and opinions and see such an outpouring of concern and empathy.

I want you all to know something.

Your comments and emails made a big difference.  I thought about everything that was written.  I thought about it all day.

It is now 11:24 PM and I waited this long before writing our post for today. 

I wanted to really think through all of this and incorporate the things you all gave me to think about.

Nanette’s position has not changed.  She is ready to do this.

I would like to say something to each of you reading this before I tell you what our decision is.

We cannot express enough our appreciation for all the kind things that were sent to us. 

The straightforwardness that some of you exhibited was very refreshing.  

This decision is not just something for us to write about. It will affect our family in a big way.  It is also something that has the potential to change the entire course of our lives.

Your support in this is not just words to us.  What we feel is that there was great credibility in the things that were written.

Please accept our appreciation and thanks for taking the time to write.

So...

We have decided to accept this opportunity. 

By the time you read this we will have signed the Work Agreement and will have sent it back to the employers.

As many have said there is uncertainty -- the same uncertainty that faces us each day we awake.

We will deal with this just as we did when we moved out of our house.  So far it has worked out just fine.

As a number of people also said -- when we made the initial decision to go full time it was to follow a dream.

Well the dream is right in front of us for the taking.

Will it develop the way we want it to -- well we really don’t know what that looks like anyway so we don’t know.

We do know that as a family we are all in this together.  We are all on the same path.  We will just continue down that path a little further together and no matter what happens we will embrace it and live our lives to the fullest.

There are a number of things we need to get done before we pull out for New York on May 4th.

That list will get developed tomorrow and work will begin.

So...we are on our way!

We will keep you updated as we prepare to hit the road and get things wrapped up here and close the chapter for good on our previous lifestyle.

Again -- Thank you so much for your insights!

Well it has been a very long day -- filled with emotion -- excitement -- apprehension -- hope and faith.

Tomorrow is the beginning for us.  We will wake up to a new direction -- a dream being followed.

As far as me.  I am okay with this decision -- it is the right thing to do -- for all the reasons you all shared with us.

I truly believe we are being given a map to follow -- things just worked out too well for it to be shear coincidence.

That is all for today...and Thank You!

Ken and Nanette

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Day Of Deciding About Workamping and We Welcome Your Opinions...

Today started off with a phone conversation with the owners of the workamping opportunity.

We had a question and answer session discussing all the important points of the opportunity in the Adirondacks. 

The owners know we have never done this thing called workamping. 

They were very careful to explain the ins and outs of it.  What to expect and what most workampers like to see in a good workamping assignment.

I don’t know why but I was surprised at the time they took with us making sure we were comfortable with and fully understood all the things about this opportunity.

Nanette and I talked about it for a very long time yesterday and then again today after our conversation.

We also received the Work Agreement from the owners this afternoon.  It spelled out in great detail all the information we discussed today.  What I really liked is that it is individualized based on our conversations. 

For instance, Nanette does her homeschooling in the morning.  So we decided that she could complete the kids homeschooling and then be available for work after that. 

In addition, the work that the owners have in mind would mean the kids could be with her or in supervised activities while she is working. 

This really neat thing is, this arrangement was co-developed between Nanette and I and the owners.  They basically built Nanette’s job around our circumstances.

This campground has supervised activities every day -- all day.  In fact one of the jobs they suggested for Nanette was helping lead some of these activities.

All of these things were spelled out in the work agreement and they were specific to her.

As for me -- it lined out exactly what they would like me to do.  Each item was listed with a description of the scope of each job.

Not a surprise to us but there are some things that can’t be predicted especially on holidays.  So they were careful to explain to us this part of it.  Flexibility is the name of the game!

The last thing that I really liked was this.  We told them that we needed experience.  We have never done this before and to get the next assignment it would be nice to list some areas of experience that we don’t have now.

They told us that they would cross train us in all aspects of campground operations so that we could get that experience.  They told me that is would be very helpful to be able to list and be able to talk about certain aspects of campground management for the next employer.

The pay structure is very good from what I have seen in other jobs. 

In this one we get free FHU with Cable TV and Wi-Fi.  All hours worked are paid.  Uniforms are provided.  There is a discount on propane.  There is also a season end bonus for working through your commitment. 

Another little thing that was also very appealing is they do all their pay through Direct Deposit so we can stay with the bank we are with now.

Okay...sound like the perfect situation???

Well now enter from stage left...the mind thing!

For some of you that have followed us from the beginning you will remember that we shared our thought and emotional processes as well as the logistical ones.

This will be no different so stay with me here...

Okay -- so we have this job opportunity. 

It is in an area we have never been in...it is doing something we have never done before...it is at a place that is very busy (they employ 16 people plus the owners)...and we will leave the comfort of here.

Remember we are still in the community we were in before we moved out of our house.

So...I am the one...I will admit it...

As far as Nanette...she is ready to go tomorrow.  The kids are beyond excited.

Then there is me.  I am the planner, the “what if”, the “is there better out there?”...guy.

Go ahead and tell me I am crazy for even hesitating. 

I know it is a comfort zone issue.  We want to do this..it isn’t that...it is just that it is so different and the “what ifs” come flying in from all directions.

Nanette and I took a walk today -- to get away from little ears -- all you parents know what I mean -- and we talked about this.

I told her exactly what I was feeling. 

At first I was very excited. 

Then I started to apply numbers, and schedules and all that other non-emotional stuff. 

The variables showed themselves immediately.

You know the things you could never know even with a crystal ball?

So I hesitated.

I ended up telling Nanette that perhaps the comfort thing was really a fallacy. 

No matter where you are or what situation you are in you can’t possibly predict the future.  In reality the same “what ifs” exist right where we are sitting now.

This tells me it is a mind thing and perhaps a confidence thing based on a lack of experience.

So where are we on this?

Well we need to make a decision today.  We need to sign the Work Agreement and get it back to them as soon as possible.  They need to get people set since they need them there by May 8th.

They have told us they really want us to come...even with Nanette’s schedule...the dog...the kids...and us having no clue of what we are doing...and they believe we will find the experience very valuable and enjoyable.  Although they were quite clear it does get very hectic at times. 

Oh...one thing I didn’t tell you is these owners have owned campgrounds for over 20 years so they do know a thing or two about it.  I figure they have probably seen and heard it all.  I know they picked up on our inexperience very quickly and took the time to help us through it.

I also am convinced they could have said no to us in an instant.  They seem to be very straightforward and not bashful about telling you the way they see things.

I hesitated to share this next part but so many of you have been so open when communicating with us and we promised to share everything we could so...

Where we are now we do have income.  It is enough to easily cover all our expenses.  This income would continue for another year at least should we stay here.

This new opportunity would also cover all our expenses and then some but...

This opportunity before us only lasts until the first of September then we would have to find something else.

So this move represents letting go of somewhat of a sure thing into an unsure thing.

See the comfort zone issue?

So there you have it...

We know not everyone intends to workamp or needs to work at all, however, we have received a LOT of email asking us to please expand on this phase of our adventure.

For those that don’t find interest in this subject we do apologize for the little side trip.  Just bear with us and we will be into the next phase of things before you know it. 

You know the taking pictures...telling tales...observing life...stuff like that.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...and if you want to fuss at the ‘ol stick in the mud (me) let it rip!

That is it for today.

I think tomorrow we quite possibly may be beginning of the Real Adventure...the reason we came out here in the first place!

Ken and Nanette

Monday, March 15, 2010

It Looks Like Things Are About To Change...

We posted earlier than usual so if you are looking for yesterdays post it is below this one.

Today was an overcast day, cold and windy.  It looked to be a normal day with not much going on...until...

The phone rang...

On the other end of the phone was a Campground Manager in Florida asking us if we would be interested in working for them.  I actually missed the call but did get the voice mail.

Nanette and I were talking about the opportunity before I called them back when...

The phone rang again...

It came in as unknown caller -- so I let the voice mail get it.

It ended up being a Campground Owner in New York -- the Adirondacks to be exact -- also offering us a position.

So...we did our research and we talked about this offer.

I called the campground in Florida back first -- found out quickly that it was an adults only campground -- I thanked the manager for considering up but that we would not be interested.

I then called the Campground Owner in New York back and had a great conversation. 

Even though we have not closed the deal -- at this point it seems like the perfect opportunity for many reasons.

I regard to investigation we did a number of things.

We went to maps to see where it was.  Checked out the distance and cost to get there.  We went to some satellite images of the area to get the general lay of the land.  We also checked out images on their site as well as Google Images of the area.

On Workamper News there is a Discussion Board and if you are a member you can get to an area where workampers talk about specific employers and locations and their experiences working there -- they don’t hold back either the good or the bad -- so we went there and checked out this location.

We also checked on campground reviews from campers that had stayed there. 

With all of this we had a fairly good idea of what the facilities were like and a number of opinions from different points of view.

The other piece of the puzzle was the owner.  I found her to be very straightforward and open to every question I had.  This told me a lot about her actually. 

I seem to be pretty good at reading people, of course it harder on the phone, but I feel comfortable with the Impression I got during our conversation.

As you know we have 2 boys so they have to figure into the equation of workamping. 

On this point I was stunned at the acceptance and the ideas put forth by the owner. 

Actually she came up with some ideas we would never have thought of. 

No matter what happens with this opportunity -- she gave us the very answers we had been looking for regarding the boys.

I would say this to anyone that is considering workamping or any other work for that matter -- never pass up an opportunity to speak to a potential employer. 

Even if you are sure you won’t be taking the job -- look at every conversation as an opportunity to learn  and to hone your phone interview skills.

Also, don’t forget to ask if they know of anyone else that might have an open position if you are not taking the one they are offering.  You may be surprised what you find out.

If things workout with the opportunity I will tell you all about it once we make a decision.  At this point I want to be somewhat careful since we are still in discussion with the owner.

This brings me to what I really want to share with you about today.

We got up this morning and expected it to be one of our normal days.  However by the end of the day things we found ourselves thinking of many things and potentially facing everything changing for us.

This feeling is very much like when we were making the decision and plans to go full time.  It is actually kind of strange the similarities.

Just when we thought we were all settled in -- we begin to realize the fun has only begun.

We started talking about the checklist of things we need to get done if we take either the position we are talking about now or the next one.

There is a laundry list of things that need to be done before we pull up the jacks and head down the road.

I think we needed today to kind of kick us in the rear to get these things done. 

Not as an excuse but the weather has not  been the best to get out and do some of the things that need to be done.  Now it is good enough and we just  need to get stuff done.

So...keep us in your thoughts and prayers as things progress that we will find the right opportunity and that our adventure will take the right course.

So far things have worked out very well and we expect that same to continue.

If today was any indicator...

We are in for quite an adventure!!!!

Ken and Nanette

A Rainy Day...Placing Ads On The Blog and Acclimating To Our RV...

It rained all day today -- and I mean ALL day. 

It was a good day to answer emails and watch the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team win the SEC Championship Game. KENTUCKY-LOGO

Although they only won by 1 point in overtime over Mississippi State. 

As the Kentucky coach said they didn’t really deserve the win -- they got lucky. 

Mississippi State played their hearts out and were very impressive against Kentucky.

In this part of the state -- Kentucky basketball is a religion. 

When the team loses this entire part of the state goes into depression.  It is hard not to get caught up in it with the passion of the fans here.

We do enjoy watching them play and when they are winning it is really fun to see everyone get so into it. 

I used to listen to the local talk radio after the games and the fans are two things...

One - they know the game of basketball and EVERYTHING about the players.

Two -- they can be brutal on the coaching and the decisions should they lose.

Advertising on the blog...

From the day we started our blog we have been getting emails telling us that we were losing out on money by not putting ads on our blog.

The emails have continued -- with stories of success.

I have held off doing it since I am kind of against ads in general. 

I had some of the other bloggers tell me how much income they had generated for...well...doing nothing...so I had to check into it.  As with all things you have to find out for yourself sometimes.

I decided to give it a try.

I applied for both the Amazon Affiliate Program and for Google’s AdSense program.

We were approved for both and had to learn how to get things up and running.  Not difficult at all actually.

Both programs push the content to the site based on selections we make. 

Amazon allows you to select categories of products -- I chose electronics -- don’t ask me why but that is the one I selected.  You get a VERY small percentage of anything someone clicks on and buys.

Google allows you to do it a few different ways.  I chose to have Google use the content of our blogs to select what goes on the site.  I am sure this works well -- although I just saw an ad for snoring. 

I wonder if Google has decided that our blog is boring and puts people to sleep?

With Google you get pennies for every time someone clicks on an ad.  It takes thousands of clicks to even get to the point that Google will pay you.

Not going to get rich at this for sure.

To be very honest -- I don’t like the ads being on our blog.  I guess we will try it to see if anything happens.  If not, I see them going away!

I want to share some insight to our acclimating to RV living.

We have been here for 3 months. 

The first month was like camping. 

I am sure a lot of you remember the feeling of taking out your RV for a couple of weeks each year and that “camping feeling” you got being in it.

The second month the camping feeling went away and things kind of closed in on us a little.  Walking into things and bumping into stuff was somewhat annoying.  It also just felt...well...close.

This month though we all seemed to have acclimated to the space and it feels very comfortable and like home.

I wonder if any others went through this transition.

I think the human mind has the ability to adjust to just about anything.  I suspect this adjustment that we went through is normal.  It is funny actually to look back on it now and remember that second month.

The good thing is nobody got crabby or anything.  It was just a second or two of annoyance like when opening the bathroom door just at the moment someone else was walking by. Thud!

Now remember that we have been in our RV through a very rough winter that kept up inside 90% of the time.  This also caused us to have electric heaters in places they won’t be in the summer.  In addition, we have clear plastic on the windows so opening them for fresh air was not an option.

We pretty much picked the absolute worst situation to start full timing.  While we have a really big yard we couldn’t get to it.

I expect now that much warmer weather is coming we will spend much less time inside and make our home even roomier.

Of course keeping things picked up is essential so that all the space available is useable.  It doesn’t take much laying around for it to get in your way.

I am sure books have been written on this stuff but I wanted to give you our personal experience.

Well that is all for today.  We hope everyone had a very relaxing weekend!

Go Cats!

Ken and Nanette

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Helping A Neighbor and Dad Would Not Be Surprised...

Cool weather today here but better than a few weeks ago.  By the way if I haven’t told you we are still ready for spring to arrive!

I was outside for a walk today and noticed a gentleman under his 5th Wheel working on something.  It looked like he was having problems with batteries so I walked over to see if there was anything I could assist with.

He told me that his slide wouldn’t come in for some reason.  It appeared the motor wasn’t getting any power.

He had just purchased it and knew very little about it.  It was a used unit but in very good shape.  He had just taken possession of it about a week ago.

So we started troubleshooting.  First thing we did was to check fuses.  All the fuses were fine and well seated.

We then moved to overall power to the RV.  The funny thing was some parts had power and others did not.

I decided to work from the switch back to the power source.  I pulled the switch and got a reading of 3.9 Volts on the hot side. Should have been much closer to 12 or 0.

When I have found this type of low voltage in the past it usually meant a bad ground.  So we started searching for bad connections.

On a whim I went up the the battery compartment and started looking at the ground connections.  I found what I suspected was the problem -- the ground wires looked somewhat corroded.  There were actually 2 wires coming to ground so I unhooked them, cleaned them and reconnected.

Went back to the switch -- and the slide worked like a charm!

Apparently there 2 different circuits feeding the RV and the ground on one had failed.

The owner was very grateful -- offered me the normal things -- money -- a drink -- something to eat -- of course I took nothing.

I just told him that someday he may be the one helping me.

It is a great feeling to assist people when they are in need.

We get a lot of great emails.  Some are comments on subjects we have written about and some are questions.

Sometimes with the questions I need to think about them a bit.  I like to consider the answer before just firing off the first thing that comes to mind.

Well I received an email from a reader asking more about my childhood and if I had any more stories.

Well I do.  There were many things that happened that I remember that I think some may find interesting.  Actually I haven’t shared the best yet.  I will share more from time to time.

There was another question asking if I thought the way I grew up had any bearing on our decision to go full time.

Now this one -- I had to think about.  What a great question!

I think the way I grew up which was being outdoors a lot and working on a farm probably had something to do with me being very comfortable outdoors and needing to be self-reliant.

I actually find a lot of pleasure in fixing things and taking care of repairs myself.  I have found that I can learn most things.  There is some trial and error involved at times and not all things I have tried to fix have worked as well as planned.  However, for the most part things have worked well.

I grew up in the middle of nowhere and realized a freedom that I have not felt since that time until we got out here.  On that issue I am sure that having that as a child has strongly influenced me wanting to feel it again.

It is funny how we can look back at our childhood and see how it has molded us.  The paths we have chosen to follow can sometimes be attributed to the experiences of our childhood.

I think everyone likes to think they are their own person -- self made -- self formed -- but I wonder if we are truly able to detach ourselves from our our lineage so simply.

So...I look back at my dad and for all his faults -- it seems he did a pretty good job of preparing me for the life I have faced.

My dad passed away about 15 years ago. 

But you know what?

I think that he would not be surprised to see me and my family on the road -- full time -- seeking adventure and freedom -- living life to the fullest and seeking the true priorities in life...

...no...it would not surprise him at all...of that I am sure.

Well...that is all for today.

Ken and Nanette