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Home Sweet Home

November 29, 2011

And so we settle in for awhile.

We are at Northlake Village RV Park, where we will stay for the winter, or until Nell decides she’s worked long enough.  I figure the end of March at the latest.  The RV Park is in Roanoke or Northlake, depending on who you ask.  For those familiar with the DFW area, we’re about halfway between Denton and Fort Worth, two or three miles from Texas Motor Speedway.

After a week of moving, running errands, shopping for odds and ends, and house cleaning, today begins our life in a home on wheels:  a 1998 36 foot Holiday Rambler Vacationer motorhome.  Nell got up a little before her usual 5:00am, got ready and left for work.  Hemingway and I slept in, but still got up at a reasonable 6am.  I sat and had coffee, and then we took a liesurely walk.  I do have some things to do, inside and out, but there’s no great rush.  I’ll wait until it warms up a bit outside.  For now, I’ve set the furnace on 55 degrees and opened the blinds.  The sun coming in is already warming the place up.

The motorhome isn’t completely settled and organized yet, but I’ll show you around without letting you see too many of the cluttered spots.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee and we’ll take a tour.  By the way, cozy is the word of the day…

The bedroom has a considerable amount of storage.  The entire space under the mattress is an open box for storage.  The closet has a hanging bar all the way across, and there are cubby holes inside on the right.  You can see the overhead cabinets above the window on the right, and there are drawers to the left of the closet.  It’s a compact, cozy space.  We’ve never used a master bedroom for a sitting area, so a large master never meant much to us.  We do have to make the transition from kingsize to queen, but that won’t take long.  Oh, and the crank on the ceiling is to raise and lower the TV antenna.  There are also radio speakers in the ceiling.

The little hallway coming out of the bedroom has a corner cabinet.  The upper shelves behind the glass doors currently hold a variety of small treasures and heirlooms.  There are two shelves below that serve as a pantry for canned goods.  The open shelf will take some effort to avoid letting it become a catch-all space.  On the wall is my prized signed lithograph of Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt’s graphite pencil drawing “1000 Mile Checkup”, a gift from Nell very early in our marriage.

A view of the hallway, looking back toward the bedroom

The smallest space in the motorhome: the bathroom.  It’s definitely a compact, one-person-at-a-time, functional space.  Behind the mirror is a corner cabinet that holds an awful lot of small stuff.  Beneath the sink is the water heater, along with a little more storage.  To the left is the shower, which currently holds a dirty clothes hamper, and the towels you see in the mirror are hanging above the toilet.  We did find a place to hang a little painting.  Nell wanted the clock for when she’s getting ready for work in the mornings.  Once she retires, it will go away.  To the right of the light switch is a monitor (with the little light on) that shows how much propane we have, and how much fresh  water, black water (sewer), and gray water (kitchen and bathroom sink) is in the holding tanks.  It also shows how much charge we have in the house batteries.

We’ve done a little personalizing.  There’s not a lot of open wall space, but we have replaced the mirror next to the window with a cork photo gallery.  We’ve also hung a few smaller paintings.  The one next to the kitchen is 8×10, and the two on the left between the window and the door are 5x7s.  The black lamp on the table is actually from the old office, but it will give light for close work or writing.  We want to replace the ornate, cut glass ceiling fixture with something a bit simpler and more up-to-date.  The angled door in the back is the bathroom, which is located on that angled hallway leading to the bedroom.  The wall with the cork photo display is the side of the refrigerator and freezer.  Yes, they are small.  But you’d be amazed how much stuff is in them right now.

One of our closest neighbors. There's another one on the other side, about the same distance away.

Think of it as living in the country, with your neighbors really close by.  This is only a temporary location until we hit the road, but it’s clean, well-maintained, with plenty of space between most of the units.  To be honest, after living in the townhouse with one front window that looked out on the street, it’s kind of nice to be able look out in different directions.  And… hopefully, there will be lots of times in the future when this view will be replaced by mountains, a lake, a forest a river, or a beach.  We can be patient for awhile.

Sunlight and a Christmas Tree

This is the living room, which adjoins the kitchen and dining room at this end, and the cockpit at the other end.  It’s the RV version of the “open plan”.  The reclining loveseat has replaced the old fold-out sofa.  The motorhome now sleeps two, although the two recliners in the loveseat do stretch out almost prone.  On the left, between the counter and the loveseat, there is a space roughtly 4 to 5 inches wide.  We brought a floor lamp that sits there to give Nell better reading light.  It also adds a little ambience to the place.  It has one of those curly flourescent bulbs in it, which shouldn’t use quite as much electricity, and doesn’t generate much heat.

At the other end of the loveseat is a space roughly 12 inches wide.  We’re looking for a table about the same height as the loveseat armrest, open at the bottom.  Hemi’s crate will move back over into that space, under the new table.  On the other side of the room, where the crate now sits, we’re looking for a small table, with drawers, and maybe a lower shelf, to give a little more warmth and some storage space for office and art supplies, and maybe a small printer.

With the pilot and copilot seats turned around, along with the dining room chairs, there is ample seating.

We are looking for new curtains for the front windshield area.  The old ones have seen better days.  We do have TV reception, of sorts.  We’ve only been able to get one English-language channel, but it’s CBS, so we can at least get news in the evening.  The TV antenna needs some attention.

Hemi is adjusting quickly.  While he may be thinking “I wonder when we’re going home?”, he has staked out his daytime napping spots, goes into his crate in the evening, has been very well behaved when we go walking, and is becoming less concerned about what’s going on outside.

We completely understand that this lifestyle is not for everyone.  We have no doubt that many of the people who say “That’s wonderful!” are  secretly thinking “…but I think you’re crazy, and I could never live like that…”.  But there is a very large – and growing – segment of the population out there who live this way fulltime, just as we are going to do.  And we are so ready.

This is a 13-year-old motorhome, which we bought “as-is”.  We’re discovering things that need attention, so this period of sitting still will give us a chance to get some of those things taken care of.  Maybe we’ll talk about those things tomorrow.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. William R Moore permalink
    November 29, 2011 6:31 pm

    Ralph,
    Enjoyed the tour with cup of coffee, thanks for sharing.

  2. November 29, 2011 6:34 pm

    Been there, done it, loved it and would love to do it again. very jealous of you both.
    When my first husband died, I remarried and this man is a home body who doesnt want to go further from home than town. So I will remain jealous of you both and live vicariously through you blog. Best to you, Happy Holidays and very best luck. Syd

  3. dabs permalink
    November 30, 2011 1:23 am

    Wonderful! This is an option we have talked about on and off for a while now. After we do the over the road trucking (10 years) we will do the road RV style… at our own pace!

    I am looking forward to hearing more is your adventures. We also are vagabonds and love roaming the countrysides..:) I am not sure how many art shows I would do at this point… I’ll learn from your experiences!

  4. November 30, 2011 3:09 am

    Hoorah! The big day has finally arrived. I’m so happy for you, and just a bit envious. The sitting still time will be great for finding and fixing all the little things that could turn into big problems later. I think you’re doing it just right. Relax and enjoy your new home.

  5. December 23, 2011 3:22 am

    nice home thanks for the tour, I enjoyed it. Hopefully hubby and I will be able to full-time again later on in 2012. We did it for 4years 7 years ago and we are itching to get back on the road again…

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