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Full-time to Part-time

March 5, 2014

Sometimes Life Calls for Change

We are discussing some changes that will take place over the next few months.   The abnormally cold winter, even here on the lower Texas coast, has caused us to reevaluate our lifestyle.  On a recent visit to the doctor, I asked if it was really true that cold weather can increase the effects of arthritis.  We all believe it, but I wanted to hear it from a medical professional.  His reply?  “Absolutely. “  Joints ache much more in cold weather.  After we had the opportunity  to spend a week at a friend’s 10th floor condo right on the beach, it struck us how comfortable we had been.  There were no great fluctuations in room temperature, even with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Gulf.  Not many motorhomes are designed to be that comfortable in the winter for an extended period of time.  Since we are both beginning to suffer the effects of arthritis, we’ve been questioning the wisdom of continued discomfort.  That’s a simplified explanation, but you get the idea.

We are beginning to look at how to make changes that will allow us to be more comfortable health-wise and still have the ability to pack up on short notice, and spend anywhere from a week to a month out on the road.  We think that means making the transition from “full-timers” to “part-timers”.  And that means setting up a home base in the form of an apartment with some small studio space and transitioning from the 36 foot motorhome to something substantially smaller that can be stored somewhere close by, ready to roll at a moment’s notice.

We love the Bounder.  The space gained with the slide-out has made us much more comfortable.  But we bought it with the idea of living in it full-time.  If we’re not going to live in it full-time, there’s no need to carry all our worldly possessions around with us.

Before you say “Awwww… that’s too bad”, we want you to know that this is a positive move for us.  There really isn’t any major downside to it.  In fact, with our usual positive approach to life, we can see a number of ways it makes things better.

We would always have the ability to be in a comfortable environment when we need it.  We will establish our “nest” on the northwest side of Houston, giving us access to the new doctors we’ve chosen there, as well as putting us within a couple hours reach of most of our kids.  Settling in the Houston area also puts us in easy reach of the Gulf Coast, which we love.  We may become frequent visitors to Galveston Island State Park, where we began this adventure as fulltime travelers two years ago.

We do NOT intend to stop traveling.  In fact, a much smaller motorhome, even towing a small car just might give us greater flexibility than we’ve had in the larger ones.  Part of our original plan was to stop when we saw something that looked interesting.  We’ve passed up a few things because you don’t just pull a 36 foot motorhome towing a car into any old parking lot.  We’ll have to do our research, but I’m guessing a smaller RV carrying less weight should get at least slightly better gas mileage.  And we might be able to get into more places that can’t accommodate the bigger rigs.  I went through some of these thoughts when we were looking for a replacement for the Holiday Rambler, but living in the RV full-time was a real over-riding consideration at the time.  Without that requirement, the possibilities should be greater.

An additional benefit is that I gain at least some small studio space back, which will allow me to get back to doing some larger work.  I also have a book on gouache that’s in progress, but keeps getting stalled.  And, being in Houston more often will make it possible to participate in more art marketing venues.  We will not, however, just move into an apartment and sit still.  We enjoy being out on the road too much to do that.

The trick now is to put all the pieces of the puzzle together in the most practical and economical way.  We’ve begun to put a plan together.  We can do it.  Stay tuned.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2014 11:17 pm

    Good hunting Ralph. I hope you find somewhere which fits the bill.

    • March 6, 2014 12:18 am

      Thanks, Doug. We’re confident we’ll find both a place to land and an RV to travel in.

  2. March 5, 2014 11:22 pm

    Good for you! This was a very hard winter and bones ache a lot. Syd

  3. March 5, 2014 11:30 pm

    We had to stop full timing after almost a year due to a medical condition and although it was heart breaking we worked through it and are now very happy in sunny warm (most of the time) Punta Gorda Florida. Life does go on and adjustments are made and B4 you know it a whole new journey in life has started. My wife is an author of middle school grade novels and she found it very difficult to write while on the road – since coming off the road a little over a year ago she has published her 2nd novel. I am doing more painting now as storage space is not as big a problem and I have a spare room as my studio – Life is good!!!

    Dick Secor

    • March 6, 2014 12:17 am

      Dick, what a nice response to validate what we’re doing. I thought of you especially as we were talking this thing over, knowing you had to make some similar decisions. Thanks! …and I’m really glad to know things are good.

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