I need to appologize for the tardiness in getting my blog started. The learning curve has been much steeper than I originally thought. I do believe I have a basic understanding of how blogging works, however, realistically, I still expect some blips along the way. With as difficult as this new story telling experience has been to understand there is no way I’m getting it right the first time – no way!
I’ll summarize the first few weeks as getting from there to here has actually been a blur and I doubt I can remember all the high spots, or low spots for that matter, so summarizing is my only option.
So, here we go:
In the beginning . . . . .
Saturday , March 21, 2015 – Tuesday, March 24, 2015
We began our adventure today about 10:00am. Of course the objective was to be on the road by 8:30am but we under estimated how many possessions we had yet to pack. I’m rationalizing this miscalculation to having never, ever, packed for a two year “vacation”. We set off once we had everything we possibly could, jammed, and I mean bulging at the seams jammed, into our Saturn. Just to give you an idea about how jammed we were, Zoe had to sit on my lap for the first 200+ miles! As we headed down the road, Zoe on my lap, what popped to mind were the Beverly Hillbillies. Ma and Pa with all their worldly possessions in their very old, well worn vehicle bouncing down the road to a new kind of life. Yes-sireee-bob! For those of you not old enough to remember the Beverly Hillbillies, think backwoods meets Hollywood. In Dayton, Ohio, we made some adjustments, giving Zoe her own perch on top of Darwin’s suitcase on the backseat. I think both of us were relieved to have our own space!
Although we lived in Tennessee for about 12 years, we rarely took advantage of the touristy attractions so we decided to treat ourselves to a few of those venues. One of those stops was at one of Loretta Lynn’s restaurants where we experienced the delicious side of “Southern” hospitality – a serious adult portion of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, white gravy and green beans. The food was so good I’m salivating as I write about it! We, also, saw an old Emerson tractor which was a highlight for Darwin.
After a lot of mindless driving and endless games of boggle on my kindle, we arrived in Denton, Texas, as scheduled. There was, however, one very unexpected aspect of the drive into Denton. The GPS directed us onto the LBJ freeway right through North Dallas, not the most direct route into Denton but certainly a drive down memory lane. When we lived here LBJ was conjested but traffic moved, now it creeps! And the building. Good grief, they will never complete all the building – ever. Bypasses, over overpasses everywhere. We even passed the church where we were married almost 30 years ago. Where has all the time gone? It “boggles” the mind.
On Wednesday we saw the fifth wheel for the first time. My initial reaction was, this is a big rig and we’re driving a Saturn Vue, we’re not going anywhere until we get a bigger vehicle – way, way bigger!
But, first things first, because we’ve lived in several states and in each state we bought a home, I developed a list of “must haves” in any home we purchased. It included things like a bright and airy feel, lots of storage space, king bed in master, the normal items you’d look for in a place you’d be calling home. So, if a realtor had shown me this place as a potential home I would have fired them on the spot for not listening to any of my basic requirements. I mean none! Picture this, as we stepped into the rig, we couldn’t see our hand in front of our face. It was that dark inside! It felt like we were entering a space ship or time machine. Spooky!
The previous owner put 3 layers of insulation over each window, added darkened blinds and black out drapes topped off the look – no light of any kind was getting through these windows. In addition, every vent was stuffed with some kind of insulation. Once the financial transaction was complete, we raced back here and began ripping out the layers and layers of insulation. It was a joyous event to see that first ray of sunshine! It took about a week to get most of the insulating material removed and find a space for our few personal items. Today the fifth wheel is flooded with sunlight.
Now that we actually owned the rig, we parked the Vue right in front. This prompted loads of funny looks especially when people discovered we actually moved here without a truck. (Fortunately, most did not know we’d purchased the RV sight unseen, too.) There were several suggestions to help us curb the cost of investing in a truck. One idea was to cut a hole in the roof and place the fifth wheel on the back seat. Not sure the seat could manage the load, however. Then there was the problem with the wind and rain that might be an issue for several reasons, the most important being that’s where Zoe sits. Another friend thought a Clydsdale might be an option and we could be in luck as she’d heard Budweiser was holding an auction. This was actually a consideration but in the end the care for these beautiful horses seemed both time consuming and a tad expensive, well more than a tad actually. So, a very big truck to pull a very large RV became essential. We chose a dual cab Ram 2500. Bye, bye Vue!
In conclusion of the first month on this new journey, away from loved ones, surrounded by those I’m growing to love and graced by Him who loves me always, here are a few lessons l’ve learned so far:
1.Always make judgements about situations/people based on your experience and always allow at least one do-over
2. Never take a long hot shower for granted! Never!
3. Remember, wherever you land, if you don’t like it you can always move
4. Never, ever, allow the black tank to overflow and that’s all I’m going to say about that
5. The truck buying experience has really changed in the 15+ years since we’ve been to a dealership – holy smokes. We bought a house for less than a new truck costs.
I’ll return as our journey continues and lessons are learned.