Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm Done with that Side of the House

For all the miles that Ed and I traveled in the month of August, we could have been well on our way through Central America. Ed had driven a box truck from Houston, TX to Canton, NY to assist his son Andrew and daughter-in-law Cindy move to their new home. And, I packed the Dodge truck with Suzie’s stuff to move her from Whitehouse, TX into the dorm at William Woods University in Fulton, MO. Now, we hope that with the kids settled, we can focus on what we need to do to make our commitment to travel happen.

These moves emptied half of the house with Andrew and Cindy taking a complete bedroom set and Suzie gathering what’s important to a college sophomore – TV, computer, a closet and dresser full of clothes, and everything else a girl needs. Only mementos remain: some high school yearbooks, Rodeo ticket stubs, cross country race numbers, ribbons from winning in hunter/jumper equestrian events, and tattered Dover catalogs. I’ve asked Ed to order some heavy-duty trunks to store these keepsakes.

That is part of our plan – to store mementos in trunks, give away or sell the contents of our home. Friday, I pointed at the empty guest room and Suzie’s room and announced, “I’m done with that side of the house!”

Living in only half of our 2,000 square foot home might somehow condition us to living in our bus conversion a mere 320 square feet. Goodwill, the Whitehouse Library, and people who frequent yard sales will benefit from the next wave of downsizing. We’ll also put some items on eBay and Craig’s List. And, I intend to be aggressive in carting things to the trash.

The items that we will take in the motor home must have a practical or recreational use, be wearable or edible. These criteria should make decisions of what to place in cabinets or storage bays easy when we move into "Patty's Charm."

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Road Is Calling Me

I combined a client call this week with pleasure. I traveled in my rental car on Monday to Sedona, AZ known for its artists’ community and red desert rock formations. The scenery took my breath away! I noticed a scenic route on the map so I decided to take it south through Jerome to Phoenix. The map did not tell me that the road was a series of hairpin turns and switchbacks through the Arizona mountains. Of course there were no guard rails, no road bream, in other words no room for driver error. At the end of the “scenic road”, I ended up in Prescott. I found the nearest brew pub to settle my nerves and checked the map for an interstate highway. Wednesday, I headed east to the Superstition Mountains to hike a short desert trail. I ended up on another one of Arizona’s “scenic roads” and turned around after two miles. These roads make the climb to Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington a piece of cake. Thursday night, I explored Tempe – shops and restaurants – civilization.

All the while as I explored these new places, I kept thinking about how Ed would navigate those turns in our RV and where would we boondock for the night. I thought about how much fun it would be to hang out at the Mammoth Grill on AZ Route 88 (one of the "scenic routes") in Apache Junction for a night of cold beers, listening to the bar band, and not have to drive 30 miles to the Hampton Inn. This mini trip reminded me of how ready I am to begin the unhurried wandering that will come with the commitment of the full-time lifestyle in our motorhome. Soon I will be wandering through Mexico and the Central American countries not the USA.