Friday, August 26, 2011

Toys... multiplying and dividing...

Lego's! Ahhh... you have the picture already, don't you.  By George they multiply and divide all by themselves; it sorta goes with that saying from the Doritos commercial years ago... 'no one can have just one'!  LOL!  Well, it seems no one can have just one 'Lego-Maniac' in the house, either.  You see, it's a 'generational thing!' ... Daddy had Lego's when he was a little boy, and although I doubt G'pa did (don't think Lego's were invented yet) he takes every opportunity to 'play with the boys' (you get that I mean Hubby and son... riiiiggghhhtt???  tee hee hee...)
The battle zone!
Building is hard work
It's no wonder that when we first made the decision to move into an RV the topic of Lego's and how to store them was one of the first things to come up.  To start Hubby built a framed Lego board (complete with flat plates) for our youngest Lego Maniac to have a designated surface for his beloveds. It can also be turned over and a flat work surface is available.

Then we took to searching for just the right containers.  Over the years we have tried several... some that stacked 'ok' ... some that were long and flat so that they could be put under the bed... but most recently we've decided we like containers by  (I even purchased some purple ones recently, just for me.)

Now just to find a place to put them....hmm (whimper)

The bottom line: To be constantly willing to purge and readjust to accommodate the needs vs. space allowed; and be creative.  Sons bopping swords and Nerfs are stored in a military duffel bag in the cargo bay; easy grab and go 'container' ... We tend to use dual purpose and easy to store methods.  So think about your family's needs and be creative.

Enjoy the journey...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bumps in the road.

Well we left Humboldt. We hit the road and within an hour lost the tread on one of the trailer wheels.
No problem, I had two spares. I pulled the bad tire, grabbed the spare off the roof and went to put it on. Uh.... problem. The spare wheel would not fit over the drum on the trailer. The bolt pattern was correct. The tire would work but I didn't try it on as my smart wife had suggested. We were now on the side of the highway with a bald tire that had no tread and two worthless spares (they were identical). The bad tire was still holding air so we limped to the next town and were able to buy two used tires and continue. I bought two because the other tire, which was as old as the "bad" one was about to throw its tread also.

About twenty miles from our destination there was an enormous BANG and the whole truck shook violently. One of the "new" used tires exploded.
 I stopped immediately and pulled into a parking lot. It was a parking lot of a tire shop but it was after five. Luckily we were close enough to my parents house that I called my dad and he came to the rescue. Around twelve hours after we left we got to our destination. Did I mention that the trip usually takes about six hours.

We were able to see my nephew before he was deployed to Korea and will work on finishing
the trailer while here.

Now we are at my parents house trying to get rid of a Van some truck parts and a few other anchors that we have so we can get to Texas and go to work and continue our travels.


Friday, July 22, 2011

So Long Moby...

(Written: June 28, 2011)

Here we sit, comfortably in the back of our Suburban, as the rain patters on the roof and Jimmy Buffett plays on the stereo. Ian is at a friends’ for the night. Yesterday we sold our home for the last four and a half years. Our home, a 36’ RV, lovingly dubbed "The Moby Duck" by Ian on our maiden voyage. Moby was a good ole faithful RV but with our plan to go South and do some traveling we decided that it was too old and tired for the trips and miles that we have planned.  So we sucked it up and sold it to a local "gardener".  It was a sad moment to watch it drive off.

A lot of memories are in that RV.  We spent the first night of our maiden voyage on the side of the road with a broken fan belt turning into human popsicles because I didn't realize that all I had to do was hook up the propane for the heater to work; we met our first true “Hippie“ friends, Smiles and Space (yes, those are their legal names); camped for free in one of the most beautiful State Parks in California for five months as Camp Hosts; were outlaw campers in the city of Arcata; rocked and rolled and rode out a 6.5 earthquake and were thankful to an anonymous gentleman, the CDF and CHP officer who arrived almost immediately averting a fire that could have been a tragic early end to "The Moby."

These are just a few adventures that we lived through since choosing to be fulltimers four and a half years ago.  Ian cried and Carolyn and I watched almost teary eyed as our home drove away.  Thus we have come to the realization that we are "houseless."

There are many walking hippies, aka “leather tramps” around, here in Arcata. There is one that I have seen many times that has a sign on his backpack. It says:  "I'm not Homeless, I'm Houseless." This, I think, is how we have seen ourselves for the last few years: for a time we chose an RV, as our home.  We still have a home.  Now it is real small. It is named the “Nautilus”. 

We have a place lined up for us in Texas, along with work. But for now we will camp in the Nautilus. We did it for three months vacationing last summer, now off we go again but without our RV to come back to. Pretty much everything we own we are taking with us with no definite long-term plan. It is going to be exciting! 

We have heard the sayings “Home is where you hang your hat” and “Home is where your heart is” … one of the dictionary definitions of "home" notes:  "the place in which one's domestic affections are centered." Our home, is where we park it, and we like it that way.  We believe that what is important in this life, to us, is just being together and enjoying each day.  We’ll let God take care of the details. 
- - Rich - -

Monday, June 20, 2011

Where did all this stuff come from?

Four and a half years ago we moved for the "last time," or so I thought. We moved out of our house, a three bedroom one bath stick house with garage AND detached shop on a half acre. We purged, packed, gave things away and moved into our RV. After that we went to Arcata, CA so that I could go to school at Humboldt State University. We stayed at a few parks, our church a few times, camp hosted one summer and visited family while on breaks.  No packing, no "moving" just unplugged and went. It was nice.
 (Mr. Fixit-aka Ian helping to service the Cruizer)

Now we are packing up and moving on. This time into the Nomadic lifestyle. We are not taking the "Moby Duck," our RV for the last four-plus years, we will be getting something else when we get there. Wherever "there" is. So much for not moving again. Giving away things, selling things, and packing. I don't get it, we have been in the same location for the last year and a half and have acquired more crap.

(The wonderful Gross family who gave us the boat. 
We are not calling them "Gross," that is there name.)
Not sure how exactly, but we acquired a boat too. A boat! A beautiful little hand made dingy that is being restored (by me), but I don't need this now. It seems that when we were at parked a location that didn't allow us to get "stuff" we didn't get "stuff."  Does that make sense? The wonderful place that we have been renting, for the past year and a half, has a building, that we call the "playroom," that became a vacuum to "stuff." It just started to pile up. I am not sure what it all is. Bike parts, clothes, books, toys, tools......Ugh!  The boat is going to my parents to store until I can get back to it. The motorcycle is going with us until I can sell it because I don't want it anymore but need to clean it up to get the best price. Or am I just making excuses to not sell them?

We are eliminating all non essentials (right...!!!). No, really. Some of you already know, but last summer we drove across the US in our new (to us) Suburban. Literally bought the Sub on our trip and parked our van at G-pa's and and left on our Grand Adventure. We traveled with one duffel bag each for our clothes, two laptops, a Nintendo DS, an ice chest, two cameras and tripod, bedding, tent, some cooking gear and eating utensils, a few other small items and a Pug. Oh yeah, don't forget the SCUBA gear, just in case. We had enough room for the three of us to sleep in the Sub, travel comfortably and had a blast. We actually took more than we needed. We could have gone with less and not noticed it. Three months, fifteen states and ten thousand miles, later we returned to Humboldt. It was a great trip and was the catalyst to get us going.

(Headed out on the first Official Nomadic journey 2010)

I sit here looking at clothes that I don't wear any more and ask why am I having a hard time giving them away. Clothes seem to me to be the Bane to the nomadic life. We went on a three month trip without boxes of shirts and survived, so why do I still have all these damn space wasting items? I think it goes back to the illusion that the more "stuff" you have the more of a success you are. If you have a big house, five cars, seven motorcycles and two boats you are doing well. Well I had all of those and was always broke. I was NOT doing well as perceived from the curb. It's been said: "He who dies with the most toys wins," well he is still dead and you can't take it with you.

From this point forward our focus will be on the simple joys of life; not those things that others perceive as important or having value.  I have tried to live in the box that others encouraged me to only to continue being unhappy. If I keep putting off my dreams when will I ever pursue them? ~ Rich

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover." 
Samuel L. Clemens

Friday, June 17, 2011

Starting Again...

Again you say?  Well, it rather feels that way... Although we have been living in our RV for over four years we've spent the majority of the time in one place.  I guess I should recap:  November, 2006, Hubby (Rich) was accepted to Humboldt State University (HSU) in Arcata, CA.  Thus we purged the "house and stuff" and packed up the motorhome and in January, 2007, headed to the beautiful North Coast of California.

Over the years the majority of our RV travel has been to visit Hubby's parents in the Sierra Foothills of California.  Until 2010, when we took a three month, ten thousand-plus mile jaunt through 15 states.  We decided to travel light and made the journey in our Suburban, lovingly named the "Nautilus."  It was truly a grand adventure!  We met some wonderful people, saw some awesome sights, learned many new things -- took some breathtaking pictures --  and it left us wanting more.

Hubby returned to HSU for one more semester, and we realized that as much as we have enjoyed living in Humboldt and have made some lifelong friends, it became clear it's time to move on.  While looking at the map, of our 2010 trip, it became readily apparent that we had traveled a 'thin line' through our magnificent country, and in reality what we had experienced was minuscule in comparison to what the world has to offer us. 

So... Starting again...