Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Days of Wine and Roses?

I've been thinking a lot lately about a post I read a couple of weeks ago, by Dave over at The Flip Flop Vector. He's been on the road now for six months out of a planned 12 month trip around the country. Its been interesting to read his perspective on the RV lifestyle and how they are adjusting to it. Its still amazing to me the number of folks who set out to do this who have never RV'd before! He's finding it a bit different from the way they've imagined it, and the jury appears to be still out as to whether they will continue the journey up to and after the 12 months.

What was so thought provoking, though, was that he felt reading all the blogs of other folks, like us, that are living the lifestyle, makes it sound as if we are all leading an idyllic life of leisure as we progress through the country. And I've been trying to decide if my blog is guilty of this as well?  I certainly don't mean to :-)! Are we enjoying our life? Much more than we used to, yes! Our life in New York was great as well, and we will never complain about the business we had, it provided us a very nice life and gained us the savings we needed to get to this point. It became "not enough", though, and we wanted to slow our pace down at this stage, and enjoy our traveling while still young and healthy enough to do so.

Would we like to "lounge back in our leather recliners sharing a glass of fine French wine with our two AKC award winning Pomeranians fast asleep in our laps as we discussed how to invest our lottery winnings while viewing the seagulls outside of our Prevost coach scooping up their meal as the sunset disappeared along the Oregon coast".? (Thanks Dave, that's a beautiful visual!) Well, sure, it would be nice...but truly, how boring would that get day after day after awhile. More dollars would help, don't get me wrong on that count, but we all do whatever it takes to make our lifestyle work. There are many full-timers out here who don't work and don't have to, but I think for us, even if it wasn't necessary for us to work, we still would. So far, the experiences we have had have been good, and the friendships formed treasured. (well, except for the beets, didn't particularly care for that experience!)

Do we have problems? Sure do! Maybe I try to paint them as lighter than they are, I don't know. We've definitely had our share of issues with the trailer. When we first picked it up, we discovered a propane leak in the furnace. Not good! Especially as I have a phobia about propane (all electric in the sticks n'bricks, and oil furnace) and I had to learn to get comfortable sleeping over two propane tanks. Last fall while here at Campbellsville we had the black water holding tank crack, and it took six weeks before it was repaired. All I'm going to say about that is after working 10 hour shifts, towards the end it was getting harder and harder to rise up off the port-a-john! This fall we have two new issues that we have discovered in the past few days.  As we were leaving Hillsboro, and Al was cleaning the leaves and snow off the roof and slides, he noticed a crack in the fiberglass side going from the top of the living room slide towards the roof. That will have to get checked out as soon as we get to Florida and hopefully isn't anything extremely serious. And on today's agenda is a repair to a crack we found yesterday in the galley gray water tank. This repair he's doing himself. It is good to have a handy person around :-).

I did find the emotional toll of leaving worse than I had expected. We didn't have children or grandchildren as so many others have, but we've always been very close to our families and for the most part have lived close to them all the time. So that was difficult. We had attended the RV-Dreams Rally in Tennessee about 3 weeks after we had left New York...I actually had Linda tell me I needed to stop crying! :-). Well, I did, and as I see everyone is doing just fine without us, I've adjusted just fine :-). We both really look forward to visiting family and friends, whether we go to them or they come to us.

I wish I had a bigger refrigerator. I do miss my washer and dryer. There are definitely times I miss the fenced in yard where we could let the dogs out by themselves. Long hot showers are to be treasured. But as I sit here looking out my window at the beautiful lake (no sunset, its morning) I think its not such a bad trade-off. I really enjoy that our days off of work are really days off, not days to be filled with lawn mowing, leaf raking, chores and errands.

Anyway, that's just some ramblings I have as I wait to start here at Amazon. I start next Monday, and hopefully Al does as well. He is waiting on a background check, and then will be cleared to start. Let's all raise those wine glasses and have a toast to the good life, whatever it may mean to each and every one of us.

19 comments:

  1. Karen - LOVE THIS POST! I agree 100%. Recently, I had to reassure a new full timer that my life, and the lives of other full timers, are not ALL fun. She was thinking everyone else is out having a party, while she & her husband were dealing with "things." Heck, I've just posted about having to buy new tires for our less than 2-year-old rig. But, I think most folks who choose this lifestyle tend to make lemonade out of lemons. I could rant and rave about the tires, but what good would that do? We'd still be buying new tires. Enjoy your view of the lake, and we'll enjoy ours too!

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  2. Thanks Karen for the mention...I may do upcoming post, but regardless, I think the #1 thing RV folks should be aware of is "over-committal"...today is Day 1 of the next 6 mos. where we are making no promises as to schedule...as luck would have it, truck/RV has a little "wobble" to it at low speeds like a tire being out of balance, so we have arrived into the Richmond, VA. area, and due to NO OBLIGATIONS, we will have it checked out at our leisure and get back on the road when we feel like it...it is very freeing...

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  3. That was a great post and so true. Here's to your toast cheers.

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  4. Great post Karen. You really have a way with words. On our trip from Colorado to Arizona our big slide would not extend because the awning would not unroll due to the winds kinking it up when we retracted the slide - awning is now removed; our car radio stopped working - we had a better one installed; our on demand hot water heater stopped working - had to have all the corrosion cleaned off the contacts and is now working fine. I guess being on the road we meet so many retirees with health issues and realize the truly important things in life. I am so glad to meet so many wonderful people and visit so many great places. Steve and I have good jobs for the winter working for some really great people. Life is good!! Teresa H

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  5. You really do have an eloquent way with words. We've definitely had our share of problems, but then does anyone have a life that's problem free? We're clinking our wine glasses with yours.

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  6. Loved your post today. I think it is important to 'keep the balance and you do a really good job. A stick or brick home needs maintenance too and the cost of those repairs often keep you from realizing your dreams (along with the cost and taxes etc.) At least the maintenance costs of the RV are keeping headed to your dreams. Things don't always turn out the way you want no matter where you live!

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  7. Great post! How true! We stayed in Fernley last night on our way to Sparks. Got ready to leave this morning and our slide would not go in. Four hours and several hundred dollars later we were on the road. Good thing Steve is so handy. It all works out.

    May start early at Amazon. In the meantime we are going to Tahoe.

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  8. Good post! We've read a lot of blogs that show the 'nicer' side of RVng. We all have had issues (knock on wood, we haven't yet), but who wants to complain all the time!?

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  9. Excellent, honest post! Here's to you...cheers! :)

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  10. On most of the blogs I read, they share the problems they have along the way. Some people deal with problems better than others whether in a house or in an RV. And no one has to stay a full-time RV'er. My plan is to find a piece of property to use as a home base, I don't really want a house on the property, always wanted a big ole' barn. Most workamping jobs leave enough free time to explore an area. I work because I feel I am too young not to be working and I meet nice people, I may be sadder to leave my new co-workers than I was to leave my hometown.

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  11. Nice post. I so agree. I think it has a lot to do with working! Since we moved into the RV as a full-timer, we have not gone any where - over four months. No regrets, but working fills your days and you are tired when you come home. Then it's dinner and before you know it - bed time. Our weekends have been used, getting organized and set up to be able to travel. But in less than ten day...we will be pulling out for at least two weeks to go to South Carolina! I know that we will be so happy to travel again!
    And of course...than there is Florida this winter!

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  12. Excellent post Karen. It's true that most bloggers don't air their "dirty linen" outside of close friends. And I think most blogs want to record how wonderful the freedom to be scheduless is. But clearly that doesn't mean there are no problems. Just perhaps that we only mention them. And then try to focus on the joy. Like all lives, on the road there are both. What I love most is the time to deal with it all in my time. Great topic.

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  13. Very, very good and thought-provoking post! You have inspired me to write my own throughts on this. Thanks!!

    Nina

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  14. As we prepare to go full-time, it's always nice to hear the realities of full-timing. Thanks for sharing :-)

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  15. Life goes on a usual. It's all about where and how you want to spend it.

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  16. Fantastic post and great thoughts. We too read Flip Flop Vector's post and wondered if we project too rosy of a picture - we try to keep it real. But then again, we also try not to dwell on the negatives in life.

    Anyway.. great to be virtually introduced to y'all, always a pleasure to encounter fellow non-retired RVers :)

    - Cherie / www.technomadia.com

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  17. After 17 years of full-time RVing "bliss", we think we've experienced it all; the highs and lows, the height of sensory overload, the beauty of our country, Canada & Mexico, the health issues, and family time....But then, there's always a surprise waiting 'round the bend! Happy travels...Lynda

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  18. Great post! We all like to share when we are having fun but this lifestyle does have its share of problems.

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  19. Al + Karen,
    WOW! I can't believe I stumbled upon your blog today. We met at the RV-Dreams Rally in Tennessee. We lost your contact info and were never able to get back in touch. Your pic's look amazing and we are thrilled to see everything is going well.You can find us on RV Dreams under Team Murc. Our hope is to "hit the road" in 2014 and with luck our paths will cross. In the mean time we will be following you through your blog.
    Safe travels :)
    Mike + Anne

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