Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Monday, January 15, 2024

Part-Timers Now, For Sure, But It Hasn't Been Easy

 At Bass Lake Christian Retirement Community, Lindale, Texas...

    I've been reading back over several posts. (I have to do that to make sure I don't repeat myself--a sure sign the buzzards are circling overhead.) By now, you know that we have moved diagonally across Texas to a true part-timers' setup. The official transition was not complete until a few days ago, as we had been living in Phannie under the RV cover until the house was ready for occupancy. (You can see a photo of the place a couple of posts back.)

    After eight years of fulltiming, there were some things about making the transition for which we weren't mentally or physically prepared. Another way of putting it is that we had no clue what it would be like to prepare for living in a house again. Yes, I guess our memory had faded that much.

    We were also slowed by our two-week holiday visit with the kids--which we couldn't miss, of course. Thankfully, we are a couple of hours closer to them now. 

    Almost immediately after returning from the Houston area, Sandy and I became ill. I was the first to fall, with fever and all the lovely side effects of the flu. My immediate visit to the doctor confirmed influenza (even though we had both had flu shots), but instead of prescribing the usual Tamiflu medication, the doctor gave me a prescription for a single tablet (I can't remember the name of it, but I have no trouble remembering that the one pill cost $75.) However, it must be the new best thing, as I began to feel better fairly quickly, as the fever subsided. Sandy's symptoms were not as severe, but the coughing and sniffling have persisted to this day. 

    The problem with going to part time RVing and moving into a house is that we didn't have much of anything to take from Phannie  to the house. Since we'll still be traveling in Phannie, we must leave almost everything inside intact! That left us with the necessity of furnishing the house from scratch! 

    Well, we must admit to some luck here, in that the former owners of the house were moving into an apartment and were unable to take with them any of the kitchen or laundry appliances. They asked if we wanted them for free, and we, of course, said, "Yes!" We also had a sofa and two chairs from the Hondo cabin and a second sofa that we had kept from our previous house so, thankfully, we had a good head start. 

    We still had a good bit of furniture to buy, and it certainly had not gotten cheaper in eight years! I had to buy a new computer, of course, and it is amazing how these things have improved in the last eight years! 

    The big surprises came in the form of the little things. We had no cooking utensils, dinnerware, silverware, plus dozens of other gadgets that are required. Simple things, like clocks, wastebaskets, bathroom and cleaning supplies--even tiny things like envelopes and stamps--all these had to be purchased. Every day, it seemed, we discovered we didn't have some essential thing, and we were faced with the need to borrow it from Phannie, hoping to remember to replace it later. When we start our next trip, we will almost certainly be in the same situation; we'll travel somewhere and discover items missing from Phannie that we stole for the house.

    Then there was the dilemma of making the house feel like our own instead of someone else's. The decor had to reflect our taste, and that was a bit of a challenge, since the buyer of our previous house eight years ago had also bought almost all our furnishings that we had picked out after a lot of thought. 

    Now, in the new house, it took a while to choose just the right things, but one idea that I had turned out superbly: I chose several photographs I had taken at various landmarks on our travels and had them made into large canvas wall-hangings. They turned out spectacularly well, serving a dual purpose as a reminder every day of the places we've been and the sights we've seen on our marvelous eight-year odyssey. We found there were more photos than we could reasonably hang in the small house, but we plan to switch them out from time to time. Here is a sampling of the ones hanging now:


Old Mine Near Marble, Colorado

Top: Old Barn With The Grand Tetons in the Background; Bottom: The Grand Canyon

Sunset Near Yuma, Arizona

    Finally, upon completing this post today, we are in the deep freeze here in northeast Texas. We are so glad to have Phannie tucked away from the elements and not sucking down the propane and electricity to keep us warm. 

(I should have pulled Mae under cover, too, but I didn't know it was going to snow. Lesson learned.) 

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

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood