Friday, August 29, 2014

Time at "home"

Well, time at my childhood home that is, as the RV has been my full time home for about a year now.

I left Florida around April (I think) and headed north, destination truly unknown.  When headed north passed through Savannah and stumbled into an old friend living there!

While in Savannah area I was hemming and hawing about where I should go as originally wanted to head west directly from there (probably through Kansas City), though knew there were things happening back "home" that I wanted to partake in, or at least visit some people after a three year absence.

Heading to the NorthEast won out for a variety of reasons, and more than once.

It was during my time back there that I had some interesting experiences, from seeing couple coworkers transfer to other companies, Mia passing away, and morning waffles (blueberry and cheese).  I kinda miss the waffles.

I was able to spend several weeks at my parents house each time, plugged RV in and playing Yahtzee every night, with ice cream (on rare occasions popcorn) and cookies.  It was quite fun and I was actually able to tell my Dad "NO" without him reprimanding me.  This was when he made a "mistake" in counting the dice...

While there I gladly helped my parents clean out the house, which had 50+ years of accumulated "stuff" in it.  A fair amount of that was items they also inherited from their parents or other relatives.  They actually did a lot already and it was a pleasure that I could be there to help as needed.

While here, I also had a couple moments that helped me further define The Meaning, which is my purpose for this trip.  One of the things is I was able to relate more with my parents as they truly did the best they could, which is all we can ask of everyone.  Maybe this was due to absence of alcohol on my part, maybe because of my current trip, it's hard to say.  I did learn that I even taught my mother a lesson she needed to learn, which in hindsight is great to learn, though at the time it was painful (the booze helped though!).

The house is where I grew up, on 2+ acres with a good set of woods behind, a man made pond, and a lot of work that they did to raise us all, plus couple extra now and then.  Not sure how they really did it, and though I don't remember much of my childhood (or anything for that matter), am amazed what they (my parents) accomplished with what we had.  And how well everyone turned out, for the most part.

When I left both times it was very sad and many strange thoughts went through my mind.  It is difficult, very at times, to see a house once full of life and material stuff to be so empty and devoid of life.  My parents stayed in their trailer, I stayed in my RV, and house was just empty.  Even now I'm saddened a little about it, but this is all part of life. We grow up, move on, and whatever else that happens.

Know that this happens to countless people every day, but different when it happens to yourself.

Still have quite a few good friends, and great places to visit, back in the NorthEast, so who knows when will be back.  However, I am most positive that was my last time to stay at my childhood home.  Hope echoes of children echo throughout the halls again!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Questions and ... Answers

During my travels so far, people have asked me quite a few questions, often times the same ones.  I just visited my great friend, who helped me, unknowingly, with the meaning, and was asked a few questions...  But have included others too..

Why do you have a blog?
It's a process of self discovery.  I've led a sheltered life, a self imposed sheltered life.  Unsure why this is, but I have had a few clues along the way which need to look into.  This blog is a way of breaking free of my self imposed chains, being able to express myself in more than one way.  Have made great progress but still get choked up with certain things, my apologies to those that I get choked up with (am sure you know regardless), and am working on those too.  Plus, someone suggested I do it and sounded neat at the time, little did I know how important it was to do this.

Why are you living in an RV?
There are many reasons actually.  First one that comes to mind is it makes economical sense, at least for me, right now.  It is more cost effective than renting, even taking into account an occasional repair.  I was spending roughly $1,000 per month, plus utilities, at my last apartment and dealing with a rental agent I couldn't stand (I generally get along with most everyone, except that person).  My mortgage is about that same amount (I own a house too).  Now, some campgrounds are free, or fairly low cost, and don't have to pay utilities (water, sewer, power) at a majority of them.  What I estimate to spend on property taxes (for a house) I spend on fuel instead, so it all washes out for the most part.

Do you ever get bored?
Who doesn't get bored at times?  If I get bored I just move!

Can you cook (in the RV)?
Why yes I can, though I find it a pain to cook for one person.  I generally get something from someplace, whether or not it's healthy (or quicker) is a subject for another day.  I have a three burner propane stove, an oven (stores pots/pans now), and a refrigerator with smallish freezer, enough room to store quite a few things.  Even have portable induction desktop "burner", similar to this one, which uses magnets to excite metal (not aluminum) to heat it up for cooking.  Along with two cast iron pans, one of them being a FINEX!

Any favorite experience(s) to share?
Every experience is worthy of sharing.  I must say though that so far the best part is all the great people I've met!  From my past life play friends (and others) to just random people here and there, it all adds up to an overall great experience!  With many aspects of learning.

Where did you get this idea?
This idea was simmering in my mind ever since I went to a Permaculture Design course in Dayton, MT.  Some other people mentioned it after that and I kept thinking that sounds so cool!  When lease was up on Vashon Island apartment, extended it for several months as wasn't sure what to do.  Then had a dream about a specific RV, randomly browsed Craigslist to find it, and rest is history.

Any favorite places visited in RV?
I'll always have a soft spot for my childhood home in Connecticut.  While I don't envision myself living in CT again anytime soon, there are quite a few wonderful places there.

In no particular order

1 - Vashon Island, WA is a great!  Gotten a little pricey lately to live there, but it's a wonderful place, a small town full of quirkiness, so close, yet so far, from a big city.  Lots of wonderful, organic'ish (or better) small family farms, lots of great people, and even a good pizza place, for Friday night pizza of course.
2 - Yuma, AZ.  Not much here except orange trees and other "farms" in the desert, but the people in the Escapees RV park are wonderful!
3 - Oregon coast - magical moments happened there!
4 - Almost forgot, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, MI.  Seriously, best place have been too since traveling!  Thanks to you who know who you are!

Why did you choose your specific RV?
I had a dream....  Really, a dream.  In the dream I pictured the front of an RV and thought it was weird, but somehow remembered it, which I generally don't do.  Was browsing Craigslist looking for ideas and inspiration when suddenly picture of RV appeared, the one in the dream, was right on my screen.  Was weird seeing it, but knew there was a reason I remembered, and found it.  Most things I generally don't remember, but this is one of the few that I did.

What type of mileage do you get?
Since my odometer started working have been tracking each fillup.  And taking mental note of speed.  I was averaging about 61-62 mph, with indicated engine RPM's around 1700-1800.  At this speed/RPM am getting about 10 mpg.  Decided to try going about 64-65, which is about 1900 RPM, and now it is about 11.4-11.8 mpg.  Several people have mentioned that with a Cummins diesel, the "sweet spot" is between 1700 and 1800 rpm for the best fuel efficiency (hope phrased that right).  However, so far it's a little different than that for me.  Will play around some more.

What's storage like on RV?
Have to get creative in this department.  It's more spacious than it looks, yet more limited in what you can store.  There are quite a few nook and crannies to place things in, but if expect to bring a large teddy bear selection with you you're sadly mistaken.  Like in a normal place of residence, it's important to remember exactly what you have where.  Might be a little more important in an RV as while there's a fair amount of space, getting to some things are little more time consuming.

Where do you spend the nights when traveling?
Up until recently I stayed most exclusively at truck stops, with the occasional Walmart thrown in.  After getting advice from someone who traveled like this (as a single person also), am switching to more Walmart's due to better security, which is both beneficial but concerning at same time.

How do you figure out where to stay?

This is a tough one.  I belong to a national campground chain and choose to stay in their campgrounds when it makes sense.  They have, for the most part, above average (in my view) places, even idyllic in some cases.  One big disadvantage is that some times they're fairly remote with very little cell phone access, which I need.  But it all depends on where I am and if I need to be in a certain area.  I like to stay at Escapees branded parks when I can as they have a real sense of community, though out of my age range, but very welcoming and accepting of all Escapees members!

That's all I can remember right now.  Am sure there are quite a few others, and will jot them down when remember them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy 50th!

Can't believe it's been so long, yet it doesn't seem that long at all.

Happy Anniversary

We never know
or fully realize
How sweet and kind our parents are,
 How gentle and how wise

We simply take for granted,
From day to passing day,
Each sacrifice they make for us
In their own loving way.

But then we grow and finally learn,
The way that children do,
How much their love has really meant,
How thoughtful they've been, too -

And so this comes with all the love
You both deserve and more
For there aren't two dearer parents
Than the two this poem is for

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

I "lifted" this poem from a quick search of the web and felt it appropriate, and changed couple words here and there:

This sums everything up quite nicely and can't think of any better words to say.  Without the two of you, and your shenanigans, I would not have the opportunity to experience all that life has offered me, for good or for the best!

It's amazing that their love for each other grows day by day, with no end in sight!

Thanks for EVERYTHING!  Will cherish you forever!

This day was also monumental for me, but this is about my parents!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thoughts for ....

I signed up for a personal success coach from someone named Darren Hardy.  Never heard of him before, but supposedly he's in charge of the Success Magazine.  He has a different website giving out daily coaching DarrenDaily.

I signed up for the list twice.  First time was couple days before July 28th (the "go live" date) and then signed up couple days ago again.  Have received a total of one e-mail from him (after signed up second time).  If I was in charge of his site things would've been different.

However, not all is lost, know of someone who signed up and gets them daily so they're gracious enough to forward!

On to a recent nugget of wisdom.  For those that know, and believe, this one is very similar to the Law of Attraction.

Unsuccessful people think about what they don't want most of the time.

Successful people think about what they do want and how they will get it.