Elijah is loving all the wildlife out here. He is constantly reading and researching and becoming extremely knowledgeable to the extent that it astounds even me. Anytime I even begin to feel guilty for not being physically closer to my grandkids, grown kids, and our parents (and I do feel guilty more often than I care to admit), all I have to do is think about how much Elijah has learned and grown (intellectually) in just the past six months to reaffirm to myself once again that we are right where we are supposed to be. That said, I am also incredibly grateful for FaceTime and that I get to “see” all three of my granddaughters at least one a week… and sometimes even more! Back to Elijah though, during our adventures Elijah is gaining more experiences and knowledge than he ever possibly could if he was still sitting in his room playing video games back in our South Carolina house. These experiences have already been invaluable to him (and thus, to me!) and we are only six months into it. I dare say that he has learned more in these past six months than he’s learned in years prior to us leaving.
We FINALLY left Arizona! It’s hard to believe that we were at the same RV park for two full months. We enjoyed our time there immensely and loved the area more than we expected to. Greg and I also were able to use our time there to get a great deal of heads down work accomplished. I finished planning Elijah’s 9th grade homeschool year and Greg has been working like crazy on software development projects. All that said, we are all more than ready to hit the road and move on. As I write, we are driving to California.
But first, let me tell you a little about what is at this point my favorite town yet. Prescott, Arizona. What’s to love about Prescott? The question is, What’s NOT to love about Prescott?! In my humble opinion, it offers the best of everything. The elevation is not too high, yet not too low at 5,000 feet, so the weather is ideal year-round (ideal for me anyway!). There is a Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and every other mainstream store you might want. The town itself looks and feels very new, clean, and inviting. It has two beautiful lakes and best of all, it is all GORGEOUSLY nestled among thousands of granite boulders. Instead of telling you, let me show you.
Elijah and I took a day trip back almost all the way to Winslow to go to Meteor Crater where many years ago a huge iron-nickel meteorite estimated to have been about 150 feet across and weighing several hundred thousand tons, struck the rocky plain with an explosive force greater than 20 million tons of TNT! Out of the just over 200 meteorite craters on earth, this one is the most well-preserved in the ENTIRE WORLD! Probably due to being in the desert of Arizona which has a dry climate with very little water, which makes sense as water is the biggest source of erosion. Check it out…
Speaking of six months into it, we just celebrated our 6 month anniversary of being full-time travelers on August 18th. I am continually amazed at what a perfect fit this lifestyle is for all three of us. I am so thrilled that we followed through and didn’t give up even during the difficult times. These last six months have been filled with more stress than usual with the transition of learning the nuances of living tiny and in an RV, dealing with our house not selling, than accepting a lower offer only to have it all fall through just before closing, and all things involved in supporting two homes. We now have our house leased out (new tenants moved in 8/15) and the transition period is finally over and it feels as if our stress is a little less every day. If we are this content with this lifestyle considering all the stress of this past six months, imagine how much better the next six months will be!
People often ask, having gotten rid of so much stuff, what do you miss the most? I can now say, I do not miss a single thing, with the only possible exception of my dishwasher. LOL Greg does miss his inversion table though. He wants to find one that is lightweight and ultra compact as it really helps his back. Not only do I not miss anything I sold, gave away, or stored I I even went through my kitchen and got rid of some more dishes yesterday. I realized that I hadn’t used them since we left and there is no reason to carry around that weight. It was hard for me to part with a lot of my stuff when we were first downsizing, especially my kitchen stuff. I have changed so much. Now, I realize how little I need to live happily. So without much of a thought I chucked a set of dinner plates, dessert plates and matching bowls that were porcelain, heavy and unnecessary. I also got rid of a huge beautiful platter that I simply couldn’t part with when we originally left (even though I had another large platter). Funny how my mindset is so different. Now I’m like, “Why in the world did I keep this?!?!”
I’ve said this before, but this lifestyle is not less work, for me it’s quite the opposite. I have yet to have a chance to be bored as I always have something (usually several things) that needs to be done. There are different tasks when you live in an RV, like keeping track of (and regularly dumping) your tanks, monitoring, refilling and emptying my ice maker, cooking every single meal, washing dishes (although I have a good system, this is one task I really do not like), and defrosting the freezer! RV refrigerators have to be manually defrosted regularly. This is quite a job and one that I’ve already done three times. I read about a tip to make the job easier next time, I hope it works! Check it out:
Remember Bud? Read this post if you haven’t already. Anyway, I didn’t see him out yesterday and I had to make sure I could see him one last time to say goodbye. I walked up to his trailer and he immediately threw open the door before I could even knock. “I came to say goodbye.” I said, and he said, “I knew you were leaving tomorrow, if you hadn’t come by soon I was going to try to walk down to your trailer! Come in.” So I took a step back into the 70’s into his neat, clean, vintage trailer and sat and talked with him for at least 30 minutes. He had his wife’s ashes in a box with her picture on top of it sitting on his couch. We talked more about him wanting to die and heaven and what he believes. He showed me brochures he was recently give by Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and more and said, “How do I know which is true?” I explained to him about grace versus works and the validity of the Bible itself and that all he needs to do is believe and accept God’s gift of Jesus. He nodded and said he did believe. I asked him if he would pray with me and he said no. I asked him if I could pray for him, and he said, “Please do, but later after you leave.” So, although I don’t have total assurance of his salvation, I know that God has been working on him and God knows his heart. His heart is searching for the truth. I sure hope he finds it (if he hasn’t already) before he dies. I asked him if I could take a picture of us together so I could remember his smiling face and he loved that. He wrote down his phone number for me and I wrote down mine for him. As I got up to leave he started crying. It took everything within me not to lose it myself. He said, “I sure am going to miss you. You are a special young lady.” To which I responded, “I am going to miss you too and I promise to pray for you every single day.” He smiled through his tears and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on his face. To say that he is forever entrenched in my heart is an understatement. I seriously love that sweet old man and feel strongly that he is the reason God kept us in that RV park for so long! Please, please remember Bud and keep him in your daily prayers.
We are now crossing the Mojave Desert, so I better wrap up this, yet another long blog. California has been our goal and agenda since we started planning this trip, but more about that in my next blog. For now, prayers and blessings and…
Happy Trails and Sunny Sails.
P.S. I wrote this entry offline on Thursday, 8/25 while driving but we had no internet signal at the gorgeous COE campground we stayed at 8/25-8/29 so I couldn’t post it until now. We are in California and loving it! Look out for my next blog coming soon!