America the Beautiful as seen through the eyes of a RVer
Liberty Linda email: LibertyLinda@conservativeRV.com
The Road to Full-Timing: Are We There Yet?
April 1, 2014
So April is finally here! It has been a brutally long winter and for the area we are living in, it has been an unusual winter. The theory of putting the house up for sale beginning of March was based on not having frozen snow on the ground and not having sub zero temperatures almost every day. We have had 2 lookers at the house and they were not serious buyers. Getting to the point of listing the house was so exciting, and even though you try to prepare yourself to be patient for the buying process…there were more days already that I have been discouraged. But I think we are through the worse of the weather. We are kicking off April with an open house on Sunday – which is my birthday and will count as good luck, right? I am feeling a little more upbeat. But really, and I know this to be true, this is the part that is truly out of our hands. Every day I pray and give gratitude for those days that I recognize this is not in our control. I learned a long time ago to ‘FROG’ it.
As an acronym, FROG means ‘fully rely on God’. I can not remember where I learned that from and that is okay. I shared that with someone who was in dire straights one time, and they remembered and gave me this frog, that I have velcroed to the dash of my Jeep. It has been there for about 4 years now. It served as a reminder during my Hospice days to ‘FROG’ it on those challenging days. It continues to serve that purpose now. You can not control that which is not controllable- like the weather – and house selling. I believe we are on the path towards full-timing for a reason and it will happen when it is supposed to. When I lose sight of that, I have to remember to ’FROG’ it. We will stay the course. We will sell the house when it is meant to sell. Happy Spring everybody!
March 1, 2014
WOOOWHOOO! The day has finally arrived and we have listed our house. After going full blast de-cluttering and cleaning and de-cluttering. What has made it really difficult is that we have been in a deep freeze with snow on the ground and we are not able to open up the 5er to put some stuff in it.
So I have tried to organize the stuff that has to go to the RV and placed it in closets. We have a lot more de-cluttering to do, but it is pared down to what we need now and what we will toss out once the winter season is done and the house sells. Oh how we pray for a fast sell. The house is ‘staged’ and we have no emotional ties to any of the stuff or the S&B. It is so exciting to see this day after at least 4 years of planning. Another phase and part of process to go full-timing is underfoot. I sure hope a thaw comes soon.
February 19, 2014
So, the process and adventure of cleaning and decluttering to get prepared for the house being listed continues. One of the suggestions from the RV community was to take a picture of your treasured items that you can not bring along with you. So, the picture of my 10th grade ceramic projects was taken and they were promptly tossed into the trash (crazy I kept that stuff in the first place!). I enjoyed the memory of them as I was doing this, which will be with me long after a broken ceramic piece – and that is the point. The picture can invoke that. Then, another suggestion from the RV community as to what to do with all the pictures: scan them into your computer. I did this and it was a lot harder to do. I think because photography was a hobby and I had a dark room and really got into it. Many pictures went to my sister. Scanning is easy, then perhaps get them into a Snap Fish book. The actual photos did get tossed, but wow, that was emotional.
The winter is being hard on most of the nation; for us it is like our ‘send-off’ winter. It is long, so very long. But we are painting rooms, cleaning and our aim is to list on March 1. I really need this snow to melt so we can open up the 5er and I can move stuff into it. We are afflicted with cabin fever, for sure.
January 12, 2014
So another step on the path towards full-timing: we met with a realtor yesterday for the initial conversation. So much went thru both of our minds I am sure. My husband is the one that has to do the minor fixes and I have to keep getting all the ‘stuff’ sorted, thrown out or stored. But what really got me is the house selling process. I hate it. When we bought our current S&B I swore that I would be buried in the back yard and never moving again. I could not stand the buying/selling process. However, there is much relief about this process of course- one is we already have what we are moving into. That alone is a huge pressure relief. The only thing I needed to put into perspective is the selling amount we would need in order to have that ‘nest egg’ and pay off the rest of what little debt we have. I’m afraid my expectations did not match what the realtor told us – and, well, that was a bit deflating. I had to process that a bit, but then came the realization that we are
not going to be retiring. We are going to continue to keep working and continue to make money. No, it won’t be as much, but we don’t need as much. When our lifestyle changes from ‘wants’ to ‘needs’ then the money also does not fly out of the wallet. It’s just another adjustment in thinking and in behavior and eventually evolving into the full-timing lifestyle. Now we just have to get all the minor repairs and fixes done to be sellers of the S&B. Thankfully there is no emotional attachment to the house, and the tossing out of stuff that I thought I had attachment to is less and less. So, we have until the end of Feb., beginning of March until we list – really very little time. I can’t believe our plans over the years are coming together – that makes this continuing adventure all the more awesome.
January 4, 2014
At last we have arrived - to 2014! The year that all the planning of going full-timing has been aimed towards. The goal is to get the house on the market and just pray she sells quickly. There is a mixed feeling of anticipation, nervousness and excitement. I try to frame it all in the context of lifestyle change and all the steps we have to take to achieve this goal are just that, steps. House selling is stressful when you are moving into another house – we already have that so no problem. Not being able to plan where to go because it depends on when the house sells – that to me is part of the excitement, it bothers my husband more. We have a general outline; depending on the time of year we close on the house will dictate where we go. I LOVE that FREEDOM- it is liberating and just motivates me to stay the course and do what we have to do to get there. Learning to take each day as a gift and a challenge to get through what it brings you IS the full-timing way. I can not imagine being a strong control/stick-to-a-schedule personality being compatible with the full-timing lifestyle. Counting the days until we leave is counter-productive because it really is not in our control. The Serenity prayer will be recited many, many times I am sure (as a nurse, I have it memorized). Like the winter that is -God willing-our last one in Upstate New York. It is pointless to complain about the -11 Temperature and the foot of snow we got this past week. The last several winters have been mild, so this is our send-off winter- an attitude that seems to be helping me get through it. Onward to 2014, the year to reach a major goal and continue this awesome journey!
December 24, 2013
Sammy is back home with us, next to Bobbie our Greyhound, who passed about 2 1/2 years ago. I realized that Sammy was the fifth pet I have had to send to heaven, and they are all very different and unique and so you can never truly ‘prepare’ for it. I also miss them all very much. My husband only knew Bobbie and Sammy, he was especially attached to Bobbie. It is at Christmas time when it is a natural tendency to think of those you have lost. If you let it, it is a time to embrace those thoughts and memories and yes, even that peaceful feeling you get when you do so. In terms of the process of letting go and taking what is needed for full-timing, I admit I am ambivalent about what to do with pet ashes. Do I bury these guys here before we go? Do we keep everyone together until we can bury them all together? When we moved to our current sticks & bricks, I brought two of my previously buried pets and re-buried them. Now I have to keep them where they are. The good news is I do not have to decide today. We have time, I know I will be led to the decision that feels right when the time comes. That is faith. The whole theme of this is: love the ones you love like crazy now while you have them, and live your life like there is no tomorrow, like we are doing and am in process of doing in our journey to full-timing. Merry Christmas everyone!
December 12, 2013
We had to send our Sammy to heaven today. He brought us great love and joy, as all our pets do. You never get used to saying ‘goodbye’ to your fuzzy Zoo members. He will be missed by us and the rest of the Zoo. God bless his little heart.
December 8, 2013
This story about our majestic American Bald Eagle is the saddest story to be reported on and provided attention to lately. I know this has been going on for several years. The symbol of our freedom and liberty being destroyed because of the imaginary benefits of these monstrous wind mills – densely packed in territories where these and other birds take up habitation – is just plain wrong. I am not a believer in the climate change lie or a environmentalist in the extreme. As an RVer, most of us are Conservationists at heart, we love the outdoors and all of the God given beauty this country has to offer and we have the freedom to explore. As an American, this destruction of the Bald Eagle is very symbolic with what our iron-fisted government is doing to our country. It is deeply disturbing. This is not about politics, this is about America.
November 29, 2013
My sister sent me this Charlie Brown picture in her email to me, wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving, and then proceeding to remind me how I am NOT a cook. I offered to make T-dinner for my parents, emotionally thinking it may be a last T-Day for a while with them. Then yesterday happened. First, I realized I sold all the large plates but for 3, most bowls and the turkey platter dish in our yard sale this past summer. Then I proceeded to preheat the oven for the turkey at the internal temperature desired for the turkey – 185 degrees. Luckily, after waking my husband up to remove the innards of the bird, he saw the oven temp and I quickly corrected. Then the bird was done before my parents arrived, then it was all a very uncoordinated effort to get the other stuff done – I apparently do not know how to present canned cranberry sauce. So, conversation centered on our leaving for full-timing next year and trying to have my parents understand. They do not. It’s okay. Perhaps they will process the whole ambition until we see them on Christmas day. My sister lives in North Carolina, so no help in this conversation. But we will need to be sure that the understanding is that we are never going to be too far to be ‘there’ for my parents or for my sister or for our ‘heart family’s’ – in fact we will have more freedom to drop what we do in order to get to them. Now for the last Christmas season. *Sigh*
November 7, 2013
Yet another Man Cam regarding a kink in a hose he fixed. What a guy!
November 4, 2013
Here is another Man Cam on winterizing the Trilogy. God willing, this will be the last time we have to do this. Its going to be a long winter.
October 25-27, 2013
So, we have completed the last camping trip of 2013. We went to Hickory Hills Family Camping Resort in Bath, NY. http://www.hickoryhillcampresort.com/index.php Now I am not sure of the ‘resort’ definition, but it was a nice campground. It has level pull thru’s for big rigs. There were very few campers there, but they still had a full schedule for Halloween stuff for the kids. We did our own trick or treat up at a couple of the wineries on Keuka Lake, which was a very short ride away.
We went to Dr. Franks, Heron Hill and Keuka Lake Vineyards. All very excellent and fun to go to. We are really going to miss our easy access to the wineries of the Finger Lakes. If everything works out well, we can perhaps work camp somewhere here and enjoy them again. I have to figure out how to get excellent wine now when we are on the road. Anyway, now we have to tuck in the Trilogy for the winter. A winter that may seem long due to anticipation of going to the Dreamers Rally in TN in April. So goes the continuing journey.
October 22, 2013
Finally! THE Man Cam of the Trilogy – the stuff the gals sleep thru and thank God, the guys love to learn about.
October 13, 2013
The emotional process of separating to a new life-style such as full-timing, is part of its journey. We are focused and staying the course with our journey to full-timing, and have no doubts what so ever about leaving. I have my best friend, Deb, who I met in nursing school, which we graduated 30 years ago this year. She and her family have been my second family all these years. Her two children are my God-children. Deb’s parents had a large farm in the far north upstate of NY, and when they retired, they got their 5th wheel and travelled across the USA for many years, doing hosting and work camping. They settled in California recently, with Deb’s two brothers in the same state. Well, we got the sad news that Deb’s father was placed in Hospice this week, with a sudden diagnosis of inoperable and untreatable metastatic cancer. We cried together on the phone, I will see her next week, then she will fly out to see him, as will my God-children. Deb is younger than me, I never thought she would encounter this life event before me. Deb and her husband recently downsized from their sticks and bricks to an apartment, and plan to fly travel. Deb’s husband had their scare with cancer-which was caught in time and he is okay- and they fully recognize that living life fully NOW is vital. I last saw Deb’s parents at my God-daughters wedding, a super happy occasion, and I am pleased with that memory. I wrote a note to Deb’s Dad, I wanted to thank him for being an inspiration for our plans to live life fully NOW, and he will be with us in our hearts during our travels. This life event brings into focus, all the other people in one’s life that you will not be around all the time when you go full-timing. Deb does not live near me now, but we are always near in our hearts and we will always able to travel in times of need. That is the FREEDOM of full-timing. That was an inspirational gift from Deb’s parents. I know that God will bless Deb’s Dad and welcome him into His heart and eventually show my best friend strength and peace in her heart.
***Update: My BFF’s Dad passed peacefully, comfortably and with dignity on November 2nd, 2013 ****
October 5, 2013
They are wall recliners, but you still need to pull them out a little bit. They do no ride the slide and are completely on the slide. Both chairs came with the handy table, but we are going to see how it works out sharing one in the middle. It will, until one of us knocks over our first glass of wine LOL!
The ottomans fit into the seats, so we will strap everything together before traveling. These are quite the sturdy chairs and we do not believe they will move during traveling. The color is a nice contrast and the wood only slightly clashes, but hey, we aren’t picky – we are all about the comfort!
Check out the storage just made for RV’s! So not only does our dining room table and chairs flip up like this, so do our ottoman’s. The purchase was well worth it, as these chairs will last much longer than the chincy RV chairs. We are going to use the ones we removed for staging inside the house when we put it on the market – THAT can not come soon enough: 5 months to go!
September 27, 2013
The path along the river is awesome for hiking, biking and taking a covered wagon ride. Tasha had never been up close to horses before, and she did really well with it, as these are the immense work horses of the Amish.
There are hiking trails up into the mountains as well. It is truly amazing here when the leaves are fully turned.
I can NOT believe I caught a bee in mid-flight in this picture!
Anyway, here is a campground we stayed at 2 times in the past that borders this park and is a very nice campground. You can hike right from here: http://www.campinpa.com/ (Your GPS will not work well in this area, so use your map).
September 25, 2013
We hiked the camp ground yesterday, here is the other view of Ives Run, PA
September 23, 2013
This may be the last time we see this place, once we leave for full timing in April. That is okay, because we know we will be back this way again….
September 21, 2013
Thank you David Bott, this video says it all for me.
Friday, September 20, 2013
The amazing story of the incompetent NY State DMV just continues: they mailed our title back to the bank we acquired our RV loan from, then that bank sent the title to the dealership we got the Trilogy from! Luckily, our dealership has been absolutely awesome for us: they sent us another temp tag so we can go on our week vacation next week, then they called us to inform us of our title situation. We both had quite the laugh about it. ANYWAY, we are able to go to our trip on Monday to Ives Run, PA http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?&contractCode=nrso&parkCode=ives and have our week fall break.
Our area is not into colors now, as in the picture I took last year at Ives Run at the end of October, but it is starting. We were lucky to book a last weekend in October in a location I will reveal later (a new CG).
I am not sure of the signal we will have to upload some videos, but I will get them on here no matter what. We are brining Tasha so she can hopefully have fun too, a getting to know the RV trip for her. And, we will be finally able to travel with the legal Government mandated tag on the Trilogy. Whatever.
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
We had to cancel our camping plans this weekend, because NY State did not mail our title back to us so we can register the Trilogy in NY (it has Ohio temp tags that have expired). Long story of bureaucratic BS. We are doing home improvement projects, here is an example:
August 25, 2013
We were able to donate the rest of our “stuff” to a wonderful effort – see under Links: For Our Troops. These folks take “stuff” and sell it at yard sales and use the proceeds to supply our troops with basics, like boots. Please take a look at their site, what an honor to donate to such a noble effort. It is the least we can do in support of my husband’s son who is currently serving in the Army, now home from a tour in Afghanistan. We honor our Troops any way we can.
So now all our thoughts, actions and planning are in the context of full-timing. From here on out, we are dually preparing for house sale, getting rid of more “stuff” and planning for the details of full-timing. The context has to be in terms of full-timing, like preparing for the real possibility of having the Zoo with us and how will I manage the details of the kitty box and food storage and where to feed them all (yikes!). Pairing down clothes, shoes and coats. Cutting costs everywhere we can and scaling down. Everything we do now is towards our goal. There is so much more to be done, but the yard sale was a big step.
August 18, 2013
We did it! We got through the yard sale and we did really well. It was interesting to meet neighbors and to see what items sold we did not expect to, while others did not sell we were sure would go. We will put the more expensive remaining items on Craig’s list. The other stuff we found out we can donate to a family that has sales several times a year to raise money for our troops deployed in Afghanistan – how awesome is that? Since Ruski’s son is home from deployment, we do what we can to support our troops. Anyway, this has been another step in the journey we can put a check mark next to. I was amazed at how easy it was to sell stuff that I was originally being emotional over while going through it. It all became pure objects, it was fun to have others enjoy the stuff we once did. We will not need to ever do it again! We also met a possible real estate agent as well. When we told folks our plans, some looked at us like we had 6 heads, some got it and agreed: live your life with those you love and in the way you choose and do it now. And really, that realization of freedom is the true pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
August 14, 2013
So, we are as ready as we ever will be for our yard sale this weekend. Some neighbors and friends have stopped by for pre-sale pickings. This has been a tuff process – emotional. A lot of self-talk to focus on the goal, that the “stuff” that brings back memories are just triggers -the memories live on in your heart.
I sold my Dad’s desk to a young lady who is not lost in a liberal head as I was at her age – I told her that my Dad sat at that desk and read history, great literature and did his own writing too; all while smoking Dutch Master cigars and trying his best to teach me conservative principles of responsibility, accountability and ownership. My Dad was a Reaganite. I let the young lady know that her task in trusting her with this desk, was that she needed to learn about Ronald Reagan.
I can only hope I am honoring my Dad by finally doing the right thing and living my life based on conservativism. We are engaged in the process of going fulltiming to become more free, see God’s country and take a stand along the way to save our Republic. This is such a big step we are taking in our lives~ I think it is healthy and expected to be emotional about it. What a journey we are on.
July 28, 2013
This weekend we have been busy with cleaning out the garage, the shed and other areas of the house to get ready for our yard sale. Ruski is amazed at how much money we have spent on so much stuff in so little time, I am amazed a how far I have come at letting go of that emotional attachment with the stuff. I still have some left, but there is some time left in working it out: remembering that it is stuff, that the “attachment” may be just the fear of forgetting what stuff reminds us of. Anyway, I took a break from cleaning & sneezing my head off from dust & such & took this video of the inside of the Trilogy (I am sniffing a lot in this video & no, it is not from crying). Every time I step in Dagny, I am reminded of the exciting journey we are about to embark on. This one is almost 15 minutes long, so grab a cup of coffee or a beer or glass of wine & enjoy.
July 13 – 19, 2013 – Here is a video journal of our adventures in going to pick up the Trilogy. I will let them speak for themselves. Enjoy. (Very short, 5 parts)
July 8, 2013 – Okay, so it is really hard not going camping! However, there is freedom now in planning because we are getting the 5er now. Clear focus on next, immediate steps we need to take. First, getting the house ready for market next year – we completed all the landscaping we want to do. I am constantly trying to picture what to live without when we start full-timing, and that is getting rid of “stuff”. I had a family reunion and was able to get very meaningful family stuff to go with family – like my mother was thrilled that her granddaughter was going to take her hope chest she got when she was married – and I was a thrilled Aunt as well! I am pretty set on what will be sold at our yard sale, which will be the next step when we get home from Ohio. For the pas week, I have been very inspired learning about food dehydration and vacuum packing – perfect for lite storage and small space in a RV! Decreased cans and increased fresh – it is the prepper way! This past weekend we packed and cleared some stuff out of Amelia to get ready this weekend. It can not come soon enough. Ruski keeps staring at the Trilogy pictures all the time LOL! It will be an adventure since I have to follow in the Dodge dully.
June 7-9, 2013 – Watkins Glen, NY, KOA – The send-off trip for Amelia. To the wineries one more time with Bill & Val. We are excited and sad all at once. The plan is to pick up the Trilogy the week of my vacation, July 15. We will leave Sat., July 14 and stay overnight at the Grove City, PA KOA http://koa.com/campgrounds/mercer/ , then continue on to Ohio to the Winton Woods CG http://www.rvparkfinder.net/camp_template.php?id=19677 in Cincinnati. This CG was recommended by the dealer to stay at and they can come to us if need be if there are any problems. We will stay a few nights there, then head home and do the overnight in Grove City again. Bill & Val have only seen pictures – I can’t wait to see their faces when they see the Trilogy. Anyway, another great winery weekend as always.
June 3, 2013 – We registered for the RV-Dreamers http://www.rv-dreams.com/ Spring RV Dreamers Rally at the River Plantation RV Resort http://www.rvcoutdoors.com/river-plantation/ in Sevierville, Tennessee, April 29 – May 4, 2014. What perfect timing, as we plan to put the house on the market by then. We hope to validate and learn about all the stuff we have researched for years now about full-timing. Very excited!
Approx. May 30, 2013 – Whooot! We got the financing and we are soooo happy! I am so very relieved – I really, really wanted that 5er this year and now. Not only for the economy concerns, but now we can pack, know what we can and can not bring and then just be concerned about getting to SD to get residency and jobs. Anyway, what a relief – our prayers are answered!
May 25, 2013 – No sale! Not even one bite – except from plenty of spamers! So, still determined, we looked at other 5ers, and went back to the Dynamax Trilogy. We saw this rig at the Hershey RV show in PA last year, and really liked it. Wow, a residential fridge! Anyway, the closest dealer to us is Colerain RV in Cincinnati, OH, so I called them and they can order the colors we want and now the nail biter: getting the financing. The ball is rolling…but stay calm.
March, 2013 – I just refuse to feel this way: defeated and deflated! I convinced Ruski that we have to keep trying to get the 5er this year, and we put Amelia up for sale on our own. With any luck, we will get her sold on a private basis, pay off the loan and go for the 5er. We still are looking to get the DRV Mobile Suites. Pics and multiple listings, here we come!
February, 2013 – Fulltiming Plan, revised back to the original plan, which is to keep Amelia, sell the house, then go get the 5er. We are discouraged, it was prohibitive to finance right now. Several dealers were not the most helpful, probably because they do not deal with Class A’s. When we leave, we go to SD for residency. We have the DRW already and that is okay, as we got the last year we do not have to put in the EPA (crooks) mandated diesel additive garbage, so it was well worth the purchase at this time. All we do now is stay the course to pay off the house, and pray very, very hard that the Socialist in the White House does not destroy the economy and/or the country before we can execute our plans. We are in times that try men’s souls. Pray.
1/25/13 – 1/27/13- The last hotel stay -ever!
The Belherst, Geneva, NY http://www.belhurst.com/ With Bill & Val. Beautiful Seneca Lake Front room.
Now we have been to the wineries with the snow on the ground and that was beautiful. As always a great time.
12/30/12: We changed plans to get the 5th wheel first, rather than wait until after selling the house, because of our grave concern about the economy. We will trade in Amelia, finance, then pay everything off after selling the house, God willing. We are almost mortgage-free, we need to sell Ruski’s Honda and think about selling my precious Jeep. We are employed and we pray we remain this way to pursue our plans. I will resume journaling our experiences, as it was a joy to read back on Yellowstone.
**Fulltiming Plan: Get a 5th Wheel 2013 Summer, Leave 2014 Summer.
12/15/12: Purchased the 2012 Dodge Ram 3500 4×4 DRW. We are shopping for a DRV Mobile Suites.