I just realized that it has been two weeks today since my last blog entry. As they say, time flies when you are having fun. Fact is, we have not been having quite as much fun these past two weeks as you might think. We have spent these past two weeks dealing with all things involved in moving out of and selling/donating/organizing for storage – absolutely everything in our s&b house of almost 11 years.
Since we pulled our new home into our driveway 8 weeks ago tomorrow, we have been back to our driveway two additional times for a few days at a time to sell more stuff and work on the house. During that time frame we met with and listed the house with a realtor. She had a professional real estate stager come in and they both advised us to replace all carpet on the main floor (hallway and bedrooms) and to neutralize and repaint the entire house and empty bedrooms of furniture and use what we had to untheme and stage the rest of the house. Since that very first day we have been going back and forth working like doggies on the house in addition to Greg working on his software business and Elijah and I homeschooling, all of which resulted in a whirlwind of busyness. Too much busyness. Elijah and I both have gotten sick twice already in these past 8 weeks and we really don’t usually get sick very often. I think we are all just run down at this point.
If you think I’m just being whiney – check out our locations in Exodus since we moved in:
• 2/18 MOVING DAY! (30 minute drive)
• 2/18-2/23 DRIVEWAY (Drove home, backed into driveway, moved in)
• 2/23 MOVING DAY! (45 minute drive)
• 2/23-3/4 PARIS MOUNTAIN S.P., SC
• 3/4 MOVING DAY! (45 minute drive)
• 3/4-3/6 DRIVEWAY (To sell stuff, clean, organize, … Blah, blah, blah)
• 3/6 MOVING DAY! (4 hour drive)
• 3/6-3/11 FOREST LAKE CG, NC (visit son’s family and 2 granddaughters)
• 3/11 MOVING DAY! (5 hour drive)
• 3/11-3/25 MYRTLE BEACH S.P., SC (To work, homeschool, and try to rest)
• 3/25 MOVING DAY! (3 hour drive)
• 3/25-4/3 LEE S.P., SC (working our way slowly back to old house)
• 4/3 MOVING DAY! (3 hour drive)
• 4/3-4/7 DRIVEWAY (Most stressful time during this entire process)
• 4/7 MOVING DAY! (Just over one hour drive – with granddaughter)
• 4/7-now SADLER’S CREEK S.P., SC – (We also had 1 granddaughter stay with us for 3 days and 2 nights during this stay.) We are staying here while driving back & forth to house as needed. Our next MOVING DAY will be 4/17.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
– But not in that order –
THE BAD Note that there have already been 8 moving days since we started. We started 8 weeks ago tomorrow so that is A LOT! The moving days are the most stressful. First we have to prepare our rolling home for travel by stowing things, securing things, unplugging things, putting slides in, etc. Then we have to hookup to truck and maneuver out of site & park. Next comes the process of dumping the tanks if we were not hooked up to sewer (so far only one of above parks had sewer, so 7 times we had to dump on leaving or arriving when we left driveway.) Then we drive to next location. Once we get there, we have to maneuver into campsite (or back into driveway, etc.). Finally, we can unhook, level, plug in, put slides out and put everything back in place, setup our patio area, etc. So those days are very busy and exhausting. Oh yeah… And then I always have to make dinner!
THE UGLY The sad fact is, every single time we go back to our old house, all of our stress levels go through the roof. It has been very emotional selling and/or giving away all of our possessions, but that I was prepared for. Seeing the home that you built, loved, and raised your family in for almost 11 years being depersonalized, neutralized, and turned into what looks like a brand new spec house, with brand new paint and carpet, but looking like only a shell of the home it has been to us for all these years, was something that I don’t think any of us were prepared for. Don’t get me wrong, we have sat down and had family meetings discussing this and none of us have any regrets or desire to change our minds – not even for a second – but we have all been suffering from more stress than we anticipated. This process has been emotional beyond words. We have all dealt with these emotions in our own ways, but this last driveway visit seemed to have pushed all three of us very close to the edge. Since then, we have been tired, crabby, sickly, and just generally stressed out. This does not make for a great family dynamic! LOL. All this said… we CAN do this because we all know that we are in the end stages of this process! God is in this and this too shall pass. The good is just around the corner…
THE GOOD: This is NOT the way we are going to live from here on out! The bad and the ugly above are all temporary problems. Greg and I are going to return to the house in the truck on Friday to finalize absolutely everything. (We won’t have Elijah come with us so he can chill at home and not have additional stress. Greg and I have moved many, many times, but he has lived in that house since he was 4 and that’s the only home he has known. This is the first major transition that he has ever been through and Greg and I feel that he’s already had enough stress at this point.) That will be our last visit to the house. When the house sells, our realtor can handle everything for us so we can close from wherever we are.
Then we get to truly start our journey… This coming Sunday, 4/17, will be another moving day for us, but this one is to start working our way to Texas. From then until we arrive in Texas, we will only have one moving day per week at the very most, maybe less if we decide to hang longer during our route. Our first stop will be in Auburn, Alabama for AT LEAST one week. Once we arrive in Texas, we will stay at each location at least 2 weeks, we may stay 3-4 weeks if we really like an area and want more time to explore.
We did not choose this lifestyle to see as much as we can as quickly as we can; rather, we chose it with to spend time exploring, living, working, and playing as we journey slowly throughout the nation. We don’t just want to see it, we want to experience it! Following good weather for my health and our desire to see as much as there is to see everywhere, we have no timeline to adhere to. We want to explore all of the United States, and some of Canada as well as Alaska! If it takes us 4-5 years, then that’s fine with us. But it needs to be a slow, thoughtful, journey so that we have the time to relax and take it all in. Once we’ve explored it all by land, we’ll buy the “bigger boat” and explore even more by sea. As I’ve said many times, we are not retired. We still work and homeschool. This is not vacation for us, it’s our daily life. Even if we were retired though, I still think that this is the method/time frame of travel that we would choose. The majority of the fun is not in the moving days, but in all the days in between.
The Journey is The Reward
I will be posting again soon about Sadler’s Creek State Park, where we are currently staying, so stay tuned. I wanted to go ahead though and share with you a glimpse of reality in the midst of stepping off the beaten path and stepping out in faith. It’s not all easy and it’s not all fun, but it is most definitely all worth it!
Happy Trails and Sunny Sails