Our House Came Home :)

Dawny and I were without our house for ten days.  Yesterday it came home.  What a splendid feeling it was to drive it out of the shop, speed down the highway at 65 mph–faster than our normal speed, but I wanted to test things out–and return to our friends’ ranch, where they had generously accommodated us in a private apartment over the barn.

On the way back to the ranch, I settled comfortably into my well-worn driver’s seat, breathed a huge sigh of relief, and sent out a prayer of gratitude.  For a stroke of bad luck, we were blessed with several strokes of extraordinarily good luck.  The squeaking noise we had occasionally heard on the way to Texas was due to a nasty rear axle/nut/bearing/brake situation.  It was a major repair job.

Fortunately:

  1. We are lucky that the problem did not deteriorate to the extent that it caused us to have an accident on the road.
  2. There was a Ford dealer/repair facility nearby that serviced RV’s, which is not an easy thing to find.  (Our RV is built on a Ford E-350 chassis.)
  3. Although our Ford bumper-to-bumper warranty recently expired, this problem was covered under the drive-train warranty, which was still good.
  4. Our bill upon leaving the repair shop was a mere $7.00 to cover the cost of the annual Texas vehicle inspection.
  5. Our friends made us feel welcome and gave us a safe, comfortable place to stay, even though our week-long visit stretched to two weeks.

Keep in mind that Dawny and I travel in our 25-foot motorhome and do not tow a car behind (often referred to as a ‘toad.’)  When the rig goes into a shop for routine maintenance, we wait around for it.  This was the second time in three and a half years that it went in for a lengthy repair and we were unable to stay with it.  The first time (August/September 2014), we happened to be visiting my son’s dad and were able to stay with him for the duration.

When researching the full-time RV lifestyle nearly four years ago, I read lots of opinions about whether or not to pull a toad.  In order to keep costs down, I decided to start out not towing and, if it looked like a necessity, I could change my mind later.  Not only would it save a lot of money not having to insure and maintain a second vehicle, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible in our new life.  KISS–keep it simple sweetie!

I have no regrets about going toad-less, but I do wonder what things would have been like had we not been with friends during these two major repair jobs, which together totaled about 20 days.  I suppose I would have rented a car and stayed in a pet-friendly hotel.  That would have been expensive, but still a lot less than the cost of owning an additional vehicle all this time.

I really missed our little house, and I am so happy it is home.  We are home.  And soon we will be back on the road, house and all.

Two-Headed Bird!

Yep, that’s a two-headed bird you see there.  Further down you will find more pictures of the elegant Sandhill Cranes who reside in and near our park.  They serve as wandering yard art, pacing in and out of rows of RVs, casting a curious eye at the occasional plastic pink flamingo, and bleating bird-style when strangers approach too closely.

They know who belongs, and who does not.  Who is naughty, and who is nice.  Dawny and I must qualify as nice because they barely bleat at us any more when we walk near them.

FullSizeRender-1140Dawny has certainly taken a turn, not just for the nicer, but for the magnificent.  Many of our friends have complemented her on this.  Not only does she behave with total respect around the Sandhill Cranes, she is doing great with the other dogs in the park.  Bigger dogs are still a challenge, but it has been manageable, and that is all I ask.

Her charming side is absolutely blossoming.  A few days ago, we joined a group of campers walking the rounds, singing Christmas Carols.  She was delighted to be a member of the troupe.  Had a great big doggy grin plastered across her face.  Totally ignored other doggies–even the bigger ones–as she walked around with this funny little pack of people singing their hearts out (especially fun after Miss Rose thanked us for our song by serving spiked eggnog).

FullSizeRender-1138I do get out some without my faithful sidekick.  Once or twice a week, I bring my needlepoint project to the activities center and join the ladies’ crafting group, also known as the Stitch-n-Bitch Club, according to Miss Rose.  (The men’s group is called the Whittlers and Whiners).  It’s fun.  Stitching in time to laughter, sharing, and caring, with an occasional gripe or gossipy tidbit thrown in to spice up the soup.

Amidst all of this fun, chores have not been neglected.  This week, I washed six months of dirt samples, bug bodies, and road grime that had been plastered on our house/vehicle, collected from Texas to Tennessee, Virginia to Florida.  It took three days, starting with the roof.  Boy, I had to be on top of my game that morning, crawling around the roof with sponge, hose, and soapy suds.

FullSizeRender-1148There’s often a spirited debate on RV forums about which is better:  a motorhome or a vehicle pulling a trailer of some sort.  Well bath-time is certainly a point in favor of the motorhome.  I can wash my vehicle and my house all in one go.  Heck, if I put on my bathing suit and pack along the shampoo, I could kill three birds with one… er… feed three birds with one berry.  That’s an expression my son invented when he was small.  He could not accept the idea that killing birds with stones could signify anything remotely positive.  Gotta give that kid a lot of credit.  And I do.  I do.

Now, back to my bathing efficiency idea …  Wouldn’t that provide some interesting fodder for the Stitch-n-Bitch Club!

Strangely Excited

Odd phrase there . . .  Strangely excited.  But that’s how I feel.  Heading to my winter home.  Haven’t been there since last winter, and that was my first time in that park.  I made friends there, though.  Friends unsought.  Good people.  With good hearts.  They blessed me with their friendship.  What more can one ask?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing tops that.  I am blessed.  (As is Dawny, who will be SO happy to see Dusty!!!)