Our house is all ready for the market and will be listed today. It's been a whirlwind month of downsizing, selling and donating stuff, preparing our house and yard to go up for sale, spending time with friends and family, researching this / that / everything, obtaining our new truck and RV, and finally throwing what we thought we'd need for our first 10 days in our RV and departing our driveway while our house goes up. Literally - throwing it in. ;) We've been so blessed to have friends and family helping us - from giving us food for thought, advice based on experience, helping hands, caring for our kids, volunteering their time, and good ole elbow grease. We are humbly honored to have such wonderful support in our lives. It is bittersweet. Trading off the totally wonderful life we've been able to live for a lifestyle we feel will better fulfill us all. And while we've reached the completion of Phase 1 and take a moment to reflect, we are a little sad, a little scared, but all the more thrilled at what lies ahead of Phase 2. Phase 2 - still much to wrap our heads around there...sell house, get rid of remaining stuff, efficiently pack RV (affectionately deemed "the Big Wheel" by our kids), tie up loose ends, make plans and reservations, and hit the road!
In this in-between time, we are staying close to Brian's work and using this bit of time to gain wisdom. Wisdom that can only be gained from experience. Things like - how to level your RV on a super uneven RV site, and how to chalk tires on a leveled RV, and how to vent an RV when your smoke alarm goes off from cooking, and how to use an Instant Pot pressure cooker, and how to use a washer/dryer all-in-one unit and not load it so it vibrates your entire 39' RV for 3 hours, and what sort of cleaners can be used in an RV toilet, and on and on. This is valuable stuff. We have a list going of things we will need to obtain and things we will need from the stuff in our garage. We are working on organizing our thrown in stuff and identifying anything that really doesn't make the cut of securing a spot on the Big Wheel.
Things to remember, in the words of:
Jovie: Got to ride on a big kid swing for the first time. Drew a tree and bubbles with her *new* crayons and paper (cause Mom forgot the others in the garage and got some cheap while picking up RV stuff at Walmart). There's also a "bug" (spider) in the "wind" on the "dow" (on the outside of the window). (She emphatically told us this *several* times!)
Ashley: The park here at our RV park is really cool. It has the biggest swings ever. The first night we stayed in the Big Wheel here it was very sloping down and I had to sleep on the couch. And I lost my pillow in the middle of the night.
Natalie: It was hard to leave the house, but this is absolutely awesome. We get to play more than do chores for the first time ever. And I'm really excited to explore new things.
Amanda: Really proud of how the hard work at our house and yard turned out. Really proud of our kids for learning that it doesn't need to be about all the stuff. Really proud of myself for realizing I don't need stuff "just in case" and life is more about living and creating memories as a family. Also, the feeling of "just wow" as we drove away from our house into the orange glowing sunset (that in my sheer exhaustion I referred to as a sunrise - lol).
Brian: I've parked the Big Wheel in 5 different locations so far, and little problem with keeping it mostly level. But now that I have the whole family in it away from home, I can't get it level left-to-right in this totally sloped slot. A few of us were dizzy inside it was so lopsided. There was some stumbling. We pulled out the hide-a-bed for the kids to sleep on so they wouldn't roll out of bed (their beds are forward-aft, and the hide-a-bed is side-to-side). And we all had to make sure that we were sleeping with our heads higher than our feet. Amanda and I had a terrible night's sleep. It could have also been due to my pillow being needed for staging and all that was left was the watermelon pillow from Aunt Christina that we have to return, so it made the cut for coming with us. The next day I learned about leveling blocks and all was level with the world again. First morning breakfast included bacon in the Big Wheel. We were hungry and excited. Yup, I set off the smoke alarm. Nobody told me you can't cook bacon in a fifth wheel. Ah yes, the adventure begins.