Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fulltiming: Finding a New Normal

At Northlake RV Resort, Houston, Texas...

Our escape from the DFW area didn't go as planned--on the same day as closing the house sale--there were just too many loose ends. For one thing, we agreed to stay another day to spend time with the new owners, teaching them the essentials of all the electronics in the house. This was a formidable job, as they were definitely not what you would call techie-type folks. At the end, I had gotten them to a point where they could get most everything to turn on and off. That was about all they could absorb for the day, I'm afraid. We did leave for them the instruction manuals for all these gadgets and for the appliances. Digesting all of them will require quite a lot of reading that is, well, boring at best.

Although we had planned to take a direct route to the Rio Grande Valley after closing, we decided to make a dogleg down to Houston, so we could take some more things we were giving to Mindy and her family--things that we hadn't identified and purged when they departed last week in the rental truck. Every little bit helps, as we will begin to reevaluate the storage unit the next time we return to the area. We can already think of things we kept that should have been discarded in the 21-day purging mayhem that we created for ourselves.

Finally on the road, we looked like the Clampetts of Beverly Hillbillies fame. Phannie and Mae were both loaded to the gills with some of our belongings that were being force-inherited by the kids. I didn't take a photo, because it would have been too embarrassing; we hope they'll still be speaking to us after this. It wasn't until all this stuff was unloaded in Houston that we began to take a deep breath, as we realized that Phannie's interior would return to normal, which it did in pretty short order once Sandy put her mind to it. In fact, it was quite astonishing to me how many extra things we loaded aboard the coach for fulltiming, yet these are not really obvious when looking around. Fortunately, Tiffin builds lots of storage space into their products, and Phannie certainly is no exception.

I had my own challenges in the belly compartments. I knew I wanted to carry an air compressor (more convenient than the air system on Phannie), but the one I had at the house was too big to carry in the coach. The solution was a new Craftsman Air Boss compressor that just happened to fit perfectly into the electronics bay near the front of the coach:



So, you might ask if we have had any 'aha' moments after this massive paradigm shift? Well, the answer would be yes, but not as profound as one might think. For one thing, we have just been too busy to give it much thought. I will tell you, however, that I had a happy moment when I erased from my iPhone the apps that I used to review and control all of the security cameras and alarm systems that we installed at the house after the break-in a few years ago. That single act--deleting the apps--gave me a good deal of instant relief, as now I know that no matter what happens to the house, it's someone else's problem. It's hard to quantify the sense of relief I got from this one thing but, I can assure you, it was huge.

It seems odd that we will not return to this house that we lovingly had custom built, but it finally became obvious that it didn't serve any function except to store our furniture and the other stuff that we have largely discarded now. It was in many ways an impediment to the travel goals for our senior years, and these goals do NOT involve sitting around a house.

So, we're moving toward a new normal that will become more obvious, I'm sure, when we've recovered from the trauma of this move. We're definitely looking forward to that.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough every day.

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