THE START OF OUR NOMAD LIFE
Knowing The Husband was counting down the days to his retirement, we started the process of downsizing. Our plan was to sell the 3 bdr, 3 bath, 3 car garage residence, get a truck and an RV and live as full-timers. That was as far as our “plan” had gotten.
First project was to figure out how to keep our large collection of family photographs and artwork. I purchased a small photograph scanner and proceeded to spend several hours each day for weeks and weeks taking apart photo albums, scanning the originals and then boxing up the originals to go to family members. The larger photographs were set aside to be taken to a commercial scanner. All pieces of art were photographed so I could retain the digital memory of those pieces and the originals were distributed to family members who will continue to treasure them.
Giving Away The Contents Of Our House
The next project was deciding how to downsize the contents of the house itself. Everything that wasn’t being moved into the RV was put up for grabs among our adult children. In quick order our piano, couches, hot tub, dining room set and various other large items found homes. Years worth of yard tools and gardening “stuff” also found homes. Value Village became our “go to” place to donate many other items. Before we were done the employees at the receiving door knew us on a first name basis. Boxes of books were either donated or given to family and friends. Everything would have to be put on the Kindle in the future.
Living With The Basics
At that point we were down to living with the barest of basics and we hadn’t even listed the house for sale yet. We had purchased the truck that would tow our future home but hadn’t firmly decided which RV to buy. We had been researching various models, visiting RV shows and RV sales lots for 2 years until they all started to look alike to me. Finally we narrowed our choices down to two different floor plans of Montana 5th wheels by Keystone. A local RV dealer had the model we decided upon so we made our big purchase.
My dream RV that we initially decided upon had ….are you ready for this? A BATHTUB!! Yes, in an RV I would have had a bathtub!! Oh, how I wanted that particular one. However, it was not to be. The exterior of that one was white as opposed to a cream color of that same model that The Husband liked better than the “glaring white” one (his words, not mine!) So, I conceded that maybe, just maybe I’d be able to survive without a bathtub. A decision I regret to this day (two years later!)
We Have An RV
The RV was now purchased but we still hadn’t listed the house for sale! At that time we were living in the city with no place to park an RV. We hooked up and took our maiden voyage with the RV to leave it at the home of a family member with sufficient parking space for the RV.
Now the house was ready to go on the market. We knew the market in our area was moving fast. We knew the possibility existed that once on the market, our home would sell rapidly and we would need to be ready to execute our big move. Sure enough, 3 days after it hit the market, it sold and the buyers wanted us out so they could move in at the end of 30 days. The Husband would still be working full-time for several more months after we vacated the house so we now had to find a place to park the RV close enough that he could continue to work.
Our First RV Park Experience
Enter our first experience with living in an RV park. Large urban areas are not noted for having a plethora of RV parks from which to choose. Research led us to a park that was only about a 15 minute drive from The Husband’s office. Since I was semi-retired at that time, I was home in the RV more hours than The Husband. Life at the RV park was a new kind of interesting! Some of the residents, like us, were there for a couple months, some lived there permanently and some were only there for a night or two.
Within the first week of living at the RV park, I heard a loud bang coming from outside. I went to the door to investigate and upon opening the door smelled a most horrific stench! I saw one of the residents pass by towing his small travel trailer down the street right behind our RV. I immediately realized that the loud noise had been his black tank dropping out the bottom of his trailer. Said tank was now in the middle of the road right behind my home and it was LEAKING THE VERY SMELLY CONTENTS OF THE BLACK TANK OUT ONTO THE ROAD!!
The Stench Brought Out All The Neighbors
Additional neighbors began milling around also disturbed by the stench. The owner of the, now tankless trailer, hadn’t noticed a thing and continued driving to the far end of the park. Since the owner of the offending trailer was a park employee I assumed he would know the proper procedure for cleaning such a disgusting, toxic and infectious mess. However, I was wrong. He and a couple of buddies got the tank moved out of the roadway, pulled out a hose and proceeded to just wash the area down, thereby only serving to dilute it, not disinfect it.
The Husband Comes Home
The Husband had come home by this time and made a quick visit to the park office, reminding them that this was a hazardous waste spill and, as such, there are very definite steps that need to be taken in the clean up to ensure the health of everyone. Lo and behold, once they were reminded of this fact, they revisited their decision to just water it down. They scurried around, this time taking the proper precautions that should have been taken several hours prior.
This was an interesting initiation to RV lifestyle. Little did I know at that time but this was only the beginning. More adventures were to follow.