Thursday, May 18, 2006

THE BIG ROAD TRIP

I don't know exactly when it started, this dream of ours to go on an extended road trip, but it has been simmering in the back of our minds for years. Perhaps it was the Air Force. We've always enjoyed traveling, and we thank the Air Force for stationing us on both coasts and in between as DH served in Washington state, Maine, California, Upper Michigan, and North Dakota. However, along the way we acquired 7 kids, and our travel was mostly limited to moving from one base to another. Vacations were camping trips spent in the wonders of God's beautiful creation, and we enjoyed nature from a variety of tents and campers. In the mid 90's when the kids left us with an empty nest, we just borrowed grand kids for a couple of weeks and vacationed in a tiny pick-up camper and a small trailer. About 6 years ago we purchased a nice used motor home so we then were able to include my mom and sister on our trips, too.

Then several years ago, DH started talking about retiring to a life of full time RV living. I wasn't too excited about it at first, but the idea grew on me. It did sound like a good idea to simplify our lives and get rid of some stuff. Soon we were looking at RV's online, attending camper shows, and visiting dealers. Though I was hesitent at first, in the end I was the one who suggested we retire early rather than wait until we were 66. So about a year ago we both submitted our intent to retire notices to the college where we both work, and our planning began for real.

Fast forward to the present: The house was put on the market and sold within a month. We ordered our 5th wheel, and purchased a truck. We now have a new address through a mail forwarding service, and are busy letting everyone know that address, our cell phone numbers and our new email addresses. DH's work buddies had a party for us, and our small college recognized us at the spring family picnic. Friends are expressing jealousy, and promising to keep in touch. And I fall into bed exhausted every night from sorting, throwing and packing. I have a pile for give away, a pile to pack for the RV, a pile to pack for storage, and a big pile that I can't decide what to do with.

The plan for the next week and a half is this: Go to work until May 31 when we have our exit interview and are actually done! Meanwhile, we move out of our house next weekend, take a day or two to do some cleaning, and close on this house on the 30th. We hope to rent a room in our college guest house for a couple of nights until we can pick up the RV and pack it up. Then, sometime during the first week or so of June, we are loading up two grand kids, the Dude age 11 and the Redhead age 13, and are taking off on the Big Road Trip with our first destination being Alaska.

1 comment:

Coffee Bud said...

Guess Who?! You'll be hearing from me a lot so get used to my name.

I am so happy for your newest chapter to be written. I will miss you more than words (or tears) can ever express. I guess it's better that I not be in the office on your last day but will be miserable in Orlando.

I can't wait to follow along on your adventures and will be continually praying for your safe return at the end of the summer.

Love ya and will miss ya!