At Northlake RV Park, Roanoke, Texas...
Our plans to attend the Tiffin rally in San Antonio were thwarted by the downpours that just wouldn't stop here in north Texas. I have a longstanding policy of avoiding driving Phannie when it is raining, mainly because it is just too scary in a big rig among the crazies out there on the highways. It seems there are too many drivers who simply don't comprehend the difficulty in stopping quickly a 30,000-lb. bus, especially on wet roads. We have had more than a few breathtakingly close calls when some thoughtless driver pulled out right in front of us, thinking we were a Volkswagen or something, I guess. Wet roads just make stopping that much more difficult. We've determined we don't need this much excitement now that we're retired, so we don't drive in the rain unless we have no other choice. Besides, who likes hooking up and setting up in the rain? Certainly not me.
So, our next departure will be to caravan with Bubba and LouAnn to Branson, where we will attend a three-day gospel music festival. Branson is a favorite destination of ours, and we're looking forward to a good time with these two friends and also with other friends Harvey and Mary Lou, who will also be joining us.
One of the nice things about fulltiming is that we can change plans quickly as conditions warrant, and we don't have to be concerned about the impact such changes will have on maintaining a house that is left unoccupied for long periods of time. It has been such a relief not to worry about break-ins or weather damage or anything else that used to be constantly on our minds.
Another thing that jolted me, but in a good way, happened when I began deleting from our online banking platform those accounts that had been set up to pay the bills incurred by home ownership. There were a surprising number of them, and it really felt good to realize that, as each was deleted, there will be no more of our cash sucked up and sent into the ethera for this purpose.
I've also noticed that fulltiming requires more planning than I thought. Longtime readers will know that I am not much of a planner, so this is something that doesn't come naturally for me. Planning is needed mainly for reservations at RV parks. I really wish I were the type who could just head out somewhere and not worry about having a place to park, but we've found that RVing is more popular than ever--especially with the drop in fuel prices--so we frequently find parks with no spaces available. With this in mind, I try to stay ahead of the game and make reservations as far in advance as possible. We simply don't do boondocking and probably never will. Call us prudish, but we like the comfort and convenience of full hookups. We also tend to look for parks with paved roads and pads; we're not particularly fond of dirt and mud, either. (We're really not snobs, folks, we just like what we like.) For planning, I mainly use rvparkreviews.com and look for Passport America, Escapees and Good Sam discounts whenever we can find them.
Another thing we've had to get used to is meal preparation for two in our small space. We eat out often, and we don't have much freezer space (soon to be corrected with a new residential refrigerator), so we really have to be careful not to overbuy at the grocery store. We tend to eat a goodly number of sandwiches and salads, and we no longer cook things that require a lot of preparation. And, to make sure we use the RV parks' electricity and not our propane, we think we have found the perfect combination of small cooking appliances in a Breville convection oven, an induction cook plate and an electric skillet.
Oh, and there's also the crockpot and the Weber Q grill, but we don't use those all that often. Stir-fry is a favorite, and the electric skillet works fine for that. For us, it's all about simplicity now; we use paper plates for most meals, so cleanup is usually very quick and easy.
So, we're almost two months into fulltiming now, and we are more convinced than ever it was the right move at the right time. We just can't imagine having to go back and strap on the bondage of home ownership again. That may change in the future but, for now, we are giddy with our new sense of freedom.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.