Goodbye Summer....Hello Fall

John and me on our 30th Anniversary, September 1st, 2014

Surprise, I’m back! Its been a long time since the last blog but such is life. This summer was probably the busiest we’ve had since we went full time. Adding the job with the Kernels baseball team really gave us a full schedule. Between it and spending time with our kids and granddaughter the summer flew past. 
One of my last photos of Evie for Summer 2014

We are back out on the road and just past our 4th anniversary of full time travels. We began full time living in our fifth wheel in April of 2010 but we didn’t start our travels until September. Passing that mark always makes me look back at this crazy life we’ve chosen. I was thinking about what’s different about this life than a stationary home base or as some full timers call it, a “sticks and bricks” . So here is my list and full timers feel free to chime in or share a list of your own.

  • Instead of just cleaning my home, I have to pack it up and set it up on a regular basis.
  • My home has very limited space (approx. 300 sq. ft) so we are constantly sorting out and purging things we don’t use.
  • Instead of needing to be painted, my home needs new tires every now and then.
  • We never have to mow a lawn or shovel out snow.
  • When we visit family we don’t need a guest room, we bring our own.
  • We change addresses on a regular basis. 
  • We have intimate knowledge of water usage and human waste. (Dumping our tanks is a regular routine.)
  • Travel planning is a regular activity.
  • Haircuts: John never pays for one as I am his barber, and I have rarely had the same person cut my hair twice in a row, seldom twice in the same city.
  • No more 2 drivers, 2 cars. Now we have just one big truck.
  • On a regular basis we have to find a new grocery store, somewhere with the best diesel prices and if the truck needs maintenance a RAM dealership.
  • We only get our mail about once a month and then we have to make sure we are somewhere it can be sent to.
  • I have 2 living rooms: one comfortably inside and one just outside my door under a beautiful awning. We definitely spend more time outside than we once did.
  • Less stress. Not that there isn’t any stress, just it’s from different sources and seems easier to handle. 
  • I finally get to have a house in the mountains and then on the ocean. Now that’s a deal.
  • No dishwasher or garbage disposal. Our laundry is done at a laundromat about every other week.

Kevin splits us some wood
We still love what we are doing and hope for many more years. We are realistic though and know that sometimes life changes plans and so we are thankful for everyday we are still on the road. Even when we have to pick up a little work. Speaking of that we are now making our way to Campbellsville KY to work at the Amazon facility there for the peak season. The last time we worked for Amazon it was at Coffeyville KS and when we were done I said never again. Life continues to remind me never to say the word never.

John by the abnormally tall corn by Derge Park

Evelyn and Janie relax by the rigs

After that, all I know is we will find a place that is warm.
Al, the birthday boy!
We left Cedar Rapids September 3rd and finally got to spend a week with our friends Kevin and Evelyn who are the host at Derge County Park in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It is so much fun to connect with them. Lots of fun and laughs, so good to see them again. Then we turned around and spent a couple days back in Cedar Rapids, seeing our granddaughter one last time. We took this route because we needed to be in Valley, NE for a surprise birthday party. Al Boldra turned 60 and John didn’t want to miss it. Dixie and Dan, friends from Loveland CO, came also so it was a fun time reliving the days when they all started their work lives at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids. Such a good time with friends. It seemed like too short a visit.

Dan, Judi, Al, Dixie and John

Janie, John, Dixie, Judi, Al and Dan

Now we are in the Kansas City area and spent a couple days with John’s older brother, Walt. It is a quick visit. We did get to see nephew Andy for a little bit too. We take off tomorrow and will finally get to do a little back to nature camping. We got into Ed Babbler State Park near St. Charles MO for 5 days. The weekend was booked so I took what we could get. I want to ride part of the Katy Trail, which is one of the longest rail trails in the US. We have done very little bike riding and hiking this summer and I really want to get back to that. After that, it is a little up in the air. We have to do a drug test for our job so it depends on when and where they send us for that. Our start date is October 21st and I just got an email saying we should hear this week.
Walt & John

I really miss my granddaughter but I am glad to be out on the road again. I think what I miss the most is time with just John. Time to hang out and discover new areas. This is getting a little long but hopefully I will get back to writing more often.

Happy Trails...........


  1. My Grandpa worked for the Katy railroad....way back in the day....

  2. My Grandpa worked for the Katy Railroad (Arlene)

  3. Great post Janie. Glad you heard from Amazon and have a firm start date. I love the picture of the two of us. I would add FREEDOM to your list. I love the freedom this life has given us. Also, the chance to travel and see much more of the beauty this country has to offer. Have fun on the bike trail!

  4. Oklahoma Joe's (KC Kansas) was the best restaurant food I can remember. Your list is well thought out...

  5. yep, you two have been busier and are about to get busier...

  6. Janie, Thanks for the update. Enjoy your time at Babler and the St Louis area. Hope your time at Amazon goes well. When Dawn and I were getting ready to Fulltime we had several people tell us we were crazy. They just couldn't understand why anyone would want to sell there home and live in a RV. I would respond with things like this.

    FREEDOM, nature, travel, meeting wonderful people, sunrises, sunsets, waterfalls, birds, wildlife, 80 degree February days, bike rides through charming towns, kayaking, hiking a forest trail, finding a hidden treasure ,fishing, lobstering, National parks, The KEYS, no alarm clocks, two-hour coffee time, falling asleep beside a campfire, sharing stories with the neighbors, To re-define what it means to live the American Dream. Did I mention FREEDOM and no more grass mowing and snow shoveling.

    We love the Full-time lifestyle and hope to continue for many years.

    Take Care my friends,


  7. We're ready to be moving too, a week from today our wheels should be turning. Dave's been busy working 9 12 hour days out of 14 so haven't seen him much. We may do Amazon one day, after we're done with our busy working summers in VT. Looking forward to getting back on the bike too, have a few trails planned already for next week.

  8. Hey guys! Not sure if you kept up with our blog, but I'm in CA, and George is at Amazon. My father passed away in August, so I'm here helping my mom out for awhile. Hope to make it back to Amazon next month to start work. We're at Heartland Campground. Say hi to George if you see him!

  9. Another couple of items to add to your list of living in an RV compared to a house is that if you don't like your neighbors you can just move. And, you can wake up every morning to different scenery out your front window if you so choose to move each day.

    Your granddaughter is so cute! We are also missing our 2 grandchildren and we won't be seeing them until the beginning of April next year.

    Have fun this winter and I would say don't work too hard but I know at Amazon at this time of year that is a hard thing to do.

  10. I think Amazon sounds like a good gig. A few months of work, a light at the end of the tunnel, and like our summer job we find that the time passes fairly quickly and then you're back on the road again!


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