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A New Day

January 1, 2012

Ohio Barn, 8x10, Gouache (Sold)

Yes, it’s actually a new year.  But I’m using this post as a reminder to take it one day at a time, so… we’ll start with A New Day.  The painting I’ve posted above?  Well, no, it’s not new.  But it’s bright and cheerful, and indicative of the kinds of things we hope to see and paint in the year ahead.  And besides… I like it.

I heard from a lot of people this past year who are just starting out on the road, or who are contemplating and planning to do what we are doing.  It’s encouraging to get some validation that we’re not totally out of our minds.

2011 was quite a year for us.  We bought the RV, a 1998 36 foot Holiday Rambler Vacationer, with a V10 gasoline engine, and 90,000 miles on it.  It was a well-maintained rig.  It does need some work, however, and we hope to get most of the necessities taken care of while we winter here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

We did several shows late in the year, at the First Saturday Arts Market in Houston, and had some of the highest single-event sales we’ve ever had.  That was prrof that the art I produce will sell.  I needed that validation.  Loading the basement compartments of a motorhome with framed art and a complete show booth is a real gamble.

We not only decluttered our townhome, we virtually emptied it.  Nothing went to storage.  All the furniture, much of our clothes, and most of the rest of our worldly possessions went to our kids, were sold, or were delivered to the Salvation Army and Goodwill.

We sold the townhome.  We didn’t make much from the sale, but at least we didn’t lose anything.  In today’s economy and market, that’s not bad.

We moved the motorhome from storage to an RV Park a little closer to Nell’s job, and then we moved into the motorhome.

Nell is eligible to retire, and she’s just working a few extra months to pay off some things.  The plan is to get through the winter here, get new tires on the motorhome (it takes 6 – and they’re big and expensive), discover what else needs to be done that’s vital to highway travel, and just get used to living in less than 300 square feet.  We hope to go on the road in April with no outstanding debts.  We hope.

We do have a travel plan for 2012.  It’s rough and loosely done, with only one specific date so far.  We signed up for a free 3-day stay at an RV Park in Alabama in exchange for listening to a 90 minute time-share pitch.  We chose the location because it’s only 50 miles from Gadsden, Alabama.  The plan is to spend a couple of days painting outdoors with my friend Craig Reynolds in Gadsden.

We’ll start out by being lazy for a couple of weeks on Galveston Island or some other place along the Gulf Coast where Nell can decompress from a stressful job, and where we can walk on a sand beach and hear the surf.  Then we’ll work our way up to Alabama, and after a few days there, we’ll head in a gernerally northeasterly direction, with Maine as our ultimate 2012 destination.  No hurry.  Just head north for the summer and see what we find.  The only other real criteria is to be back in a warm environment before winter.

But for now, we’ll just take today.  The sun is shining, there’s a light breeze, and it’s a little cool, with a high expected today of 59 degrees.  Nell is down at  the laundry room.  We’ll do a little housecleaning and maybe some rearranging of some things (a never-ending exercise right now).  I put away our little Christmas tree, lights, and decoratiuons a couple of days ago.  As you might imagine, that didn’t take long.

We took the old microwave out of its cabinet over the stove.  It doesn’t work very well, so we’re going to replace it.  Part of today may be spent looking for a new one.  Buying an older motorhome is kind of like buying an older house.  It’s very liveable and not quite a “fixer-upper”.  But it does need some things done.

I may paint some later today.  It’s hard to let a New Year’s Day get by without doing some artwork.

But… we’ll just take the day as it comes.

For now, Happy New Year, everyone.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Yorky permalink
    January 1, 2012 5:27 pm

    Happy New Year Ralph and Happy Travels.


  2. William R Moore permalink
    January 1, 2012 6:08 pm

    “I’m crazy but that’s what keeps me from going insane”

    “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
    Helen Keller

    Living a few months in the RV before hitting the road, should prove to be a good non-moving shake down cruise.

  3. derek culbard permalink
    January 1, 2012 6:34 pm

    read your blog every day ralph……all the best to youand nell in your new adventure…..debt free = great paintings….derek

  4. January 2, 2012 1:10 am

    Sounds like a solid plan for 2012 to me. Hope everything turns out wonderful for you in the new year. Take care.

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