"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here comes the sun....finally!!

It has been raining in Iowa for over two weeks. It is not just little rain showers either,its one severe thunderstorm after another. The last two weeks a front has been sitting over our state with what the weather people here call training thunderstorms. I’m not sure what the science of it is but I can tell you it means it is raining cats and dogs as the old saying goes. Yesterday again we awoke to storms and it was getting a little old. I had to work all day in Iowa City and drove in good rainstorm to get there. When I came out from work the southern sky was black and you could see the clouds rolling in.  I was thinking it was going to be another interesting drive but as I headed north to Cedar Rapids there was sun shine ahead. :) I could see the dark sky behind me but it never made it’s way to CR, by early evening the wind came up a little and blew the clouds out, the humidity went down and it was an absolutely evening.

I woke up this morning to blue skies and it made my day. I was so excited that after a dental appointment I went to the car wash and washed the truck. For those of you who have never met me one of the things you will notice when you do is that I am on the short side, all of 5 feet 1. Our truck is a one ton duelly pickup and is on the big side as pickups go.  I actually take a step ladder to the car wash with me as it is the only way I can get in the bed of the truck and that is the only way I can clean the roof of the cab. I’ve had guys at the car wash shake their heads and laugh as they watch me washing this truck, but I get the job done.:) I then came home and shinned it up a little more and cleaned out the inside.

It is break time now so I am sitting with my computer in my new recliner outside on our rig. Life is good. Hope the sun is shinning where you are and you are enjoying it as much as I am.

Thought I'd include a photos from Father's day. Here we are with our handsome son's.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mac in the house

The DW said I was slack’n, and of course she’s right. So I’m back on topic. Sort of. Lots of stuff to tell you, some of which might even be interesting. Or not.
First cool thing is: we have a new Mac, as in an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, that I get to type this on. I’m a long time Windows user, so a Mac is new to me but it wasn’t really a hard decision. My last computer purchase came with Windows Vista installed on it. A year later, Windows 7 was introduced as the next new thing, but by then I knew I would never own another Microsoft product. Even if they offered me a free upgrade. Which, of course, they didn’t because Microsoft has no conscience. Or they never would have released Vista. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you’re probably already a Mac user, so good for you. Anyway, I love this thing. I wasn’t even tempted to get an IPad. I wanted a real keyboard to type on, and this was a great looking package. It has the cutest power connector with a magnet on the end that sucks it on to the laptop. It fits in either direction and pops off if you forget you’re still tethered when you get up and take you computer with you.
We’re officially full timers now. Everything we own is in either the truck or the 5th wheel except for the two cars the boys are driving. But we’re still buying stuff. Janie now has a reclining lawn chair that is very nice. We got this one from Cabelas. It has an adjustable pillow and dries out very quickly. Which is good, because the DW is short and it’s been raining a lot lately. I want one now, but I used my all my gift points to get my new Five Finger shoes or maybe it’s a sock but it has individual toes. The book “Born to Run”, which you should read, has made this a running shoe but I have yet to use them for running. But I might.
Retirement is the next big thing for us. August 27th is my last day, but we’re having fun with our new lifestyle so I’m sure the time will fly. We need to the practice, so I’m content to hang around the local parks and even get in some commute time on my bicycle. Not too exciting, but that can be good. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Year of Changes

It has been just over a year since we sold our home and set ourselves solidly on the course to full time RVing. I was reflecting on what we have learned in that year so I thought I’d share a few of these things.

First we learned that our lives were really full of stuff that we really didn’t need. When we moved out of the house, a 2400sq. ft home and 3 stall garage, we purged, sold, donated and gave our kids an incredible amount of “stuff” and were able to fit into a 900 square ft. apartment with a one stall garage. Then the spring came and the reality of now downsizing enough to fit into 300 square ft (or less) and no garage. The last of the furniture went, we digitized all our photos and movies of the kids, gave away and donated more stuff. We started moving things to the RV in April and finished the whole move in May. Man did we have a lot of stuff. Now everything we own is either in the trailer or the truck. Whew!!! It was an amazing amount of work and at times it was hard to say good-bye to things we had enjoyed but I can honestly say I don’t think there is anything we miss.

Second, we have learned to live in a smaller space. Getting ready for work in the morning has to be coordinated, it’s kind of a dance but we are learning the steps. Retirement will make that a lot easier. Retirement will also mean getting rid of more clothes!!! Our closet is really full right now.

Third, John has learned to drive pulling the fifth wheels and he is getting better at backing it up - that is still frustrating for him but it is getting lots better (I have learned to trust him and be the encourager). It was so stressful at first but I think we both are calming down as each move goes by.

Fourth, spreadsheets and checklist are a must in this lifestyle! Now if we could get the order just the way we want. There are so many things to remember when we move and mistakes can be costly. We watched (actually heard then watched) a fella drop his fifth wheel onto the bed of his truck because the hitch wasn’t latched. It reinforced keeping to our checklist so we don’t do that. We learned the hard way to recheck that nothing is blocking the slides before we put the slides out. We had a drawer come open during travel and I crunched it in the slide when setting up. That item got added to the setup check list.

Lastly we are learning to enjoy our surroundings. Looking out on a beautiful park is a joy. I always wanted a wooded backyard and now I have one and the look changes all the time. John loves that he has a beautiful yard that he didn’t have to mow. :) There are many more things but that gives you a sample of all the new things in our life. We are so glad we are doing some of our learning here before we wander off into the world. We are more confident than ever that we can do this and that we will enjoy the days ahead.