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Our very own Prairie Schooner

January 30, 2011

(Note: this article first appeared in the Art Blog on 1/20/2011)

Well… here it is…

36′ 1998 Holiday Rambler Vacationer

We have accomplished Step One toward realizing our future plans, and fulfilling a dream we’ve talked about for twenty years.  We are now the proud owners of this beautiful 36 foot motorhome.  We bought it on my birthday, and even though it’s for both of us, it’s the biggest birthday present I’ve ever received.  We didn’t expect to find an older motorhome, of this size, in such beautiful condition for a price that was well within our alloted budget.  It is a bit bigger than we had been planning on, but it’s perfect for our purposes, and the price was right.  The engine purrs like a kitten, the exterior is without a single ding or scratch, and the interior has been beautifully maintained.  It appears to have had only one owner, a couple who left all their maintenance and repair receipts in the glovebox, along with the owner’s manual and even the log book where they recorded their gas purchases and oil changes.

The floor plan, with the removable dining table, gives us the flexibility we needed.  With the table removed, there will be room for a small easel, or a good quality tabletop easel would work as well.

This arrangement also would allow us, if it seems right, to build in a painting/computer work station, with a tilt-top painting surface rather than an easel, saving the easel for outdoor work only.  It’s much more flexible, and would require minimum modification, whereas a built-in dinette would have made all that more difficult to achieve.

The separate easy chair/recliner will, I suspect, become Nell’s reading place.  Hemi the miniature Schauzer and I will share the couch, I’m sure.  We have some small cube-shaped ottomans, covered with microfiber, that will make it easy to stretch out there.  The ottomans have lift-off tops, and can provide extra storage as well.

One of the things that impressed us was the massive amount of drawers and cupboards throughout, even in the bedroom.  And, newer models we’ve looked at tended to have narrow hanging closets on either side of the bed.  The mirrored area you see is a full closet.  And there is room to walk all the way around the bed.  The cabinet just seen above all those drawers has a small TV hidden inside.  A TV in the bedroom is something we’ve lived without for years, so it’s possible that space might eventually turn into another bit of storage space if we needed it.

I’ll eventually create a new, separate blog, dedicated to our travels, but for now I’ll post our progress here.

We’ll pick it up next week.  I’ve been checking out storage lots and found one very close by.  We had intended to make this purchase sometime in the first quarter of this year, then start working on getting the house ready to sell.  By finding it this early, we can move forward with the house sooner.  It will also give us plenty of opportunities to get it out on short weekend trips, get our sea legs in it, and learn what we’ll need in order to live in it fulltime.

We’re a step closer to achieving the dream of traveling the country, painting, and feeling a bit of freedom after so many years of working for others.

More to come as things progress.  But for now, the first step has been accomplished.

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