SHHHH…YOUR LIFE IS LISTENING: When ‘Best-Laid Plans’ Run Afoul or Amok


05-26-17

Well, the moment for which my husband and I have been waiting months has finally come to pass. After closing on our house, one day, we finalized the purchases of our Ford F350 Lariat at A&L Imports and, almost in the same bated breath, plunked down the rest of the price on our fifth-wheel RV, a 2011 Forest River Wildcat, at Fun Town RV. As we pulled away, we reminded each other of so many other times we’ve seen others pulling RVs behind their trucks, we said, “There go Jeff and Kim!”

Now, it’s finally our turn to say “Here go Jeff and Kim!”. But I hasten to say that, just about the time we had it down as to how all of these events — the sale of the house and the purchases of our truck and RV — would come to pass, something or somebody threw a monkey wrench into our plans. It was almost as if Life did his impressions of The Three Stooges’ character, Curly.

“Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk” he would chuckle when he played an evil joke on Moe, the mean one. Well, so goes Life. I’ve had it happen so many times that, every time I tell someone what is going to happen, I hold my breath and wait for “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. I’ll fix you. It’s all going to mush, those plans of yours.”

And so it goes. Our plans to get out and travel, although they came true, morphed into something slightly different from what we expected.

For one, we were originally set to “close” on the house on Thursday, May 25 before we saw the next text message from the title company:  about closing on Wednesday, May 24. Well, that was a pleasant surprise.

But, then, the new buyers allowed us only 48 hours to move out.

“Not a problem,” we thought, until we started trying to vacate our house within that period. Boy, did we ever realize we had amassed a lot of junk!

Another change: we decided to stay local for the first week, to make sure everything is in good working order. Besides, Jeff has an appointment with his cardiologist. Gotta make sure the ol’ ticker’s not going to give out. So, we reserved a space at Trader’s Village. Only, it didn’t turn out to be Trader’s Village in Grand Prairie, which would have allowed us free admission to the grounds. Only it didn’t, because we decided to put down at Treetops RV Village in Arlington.

Then there was the “Big Truck Switch” that resulted in our getting a better truck at a better price.

On the big day, when we drove down to Cleburne to pay for our high-dollar “baby”, someone ran into a light pole and blew a transformer at the RV lot. And when each of our purchases ran longer than expected.

There is some truth to the fact that people should not broadcast their plans. Doesn’t James warn us against it in the Bible, advising us to say, instead, “If God wills,…?”

Or, how about the wise soul who advised us not to “count our chickens before they hatch.”? Once upon a time, someone, somewhere, on up the line knew what dingbats we people can be about telling everyone about what we’re going to do before the day comes. And don’t even get me started about what we tend to do on Facebook!

Still, anyone knowing how Jeff and I have dreamed of this day when I would finally be retired and we would sell the house, liberate ourselves from our car payments, and hit the road.

So, dear readers, what day in your future have you looked forward to? How many people have you told about it, in advance? And what actually happened after you told everyone in the Free World?

I look forward to reading your comments. Until the next time, when I related the first=hand lessons Jeff and I have learned the hard way about living in an RV.

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Living on Island Time: Making It Happen!


4-18-17

We’ve talked about moving down to the coast for years, at least since our first two years of being married. Alas, I had classes to teach, so we had to hold our dream at bay, one semester at a time. At last, on December 31, 2016, I joined the ranks of the retired. Although I had always dreamed of retiring in Port Aransas since my cousin lived there, its pricey real estate and crush of tourists cooled my ardor. Then when BeeGee passed away after nine years of full-on guerilla warfare against cancer, Jeff and I drove down for her Saturday memorial service.

After leaving our room at the Shark Reef Resort in Port Aransas on the day after her service, we lingered awhile in Rockport, a neighboring town only a ferry ride away. Since it was Sunday, we prowled around there to get a sense of the area. A quiet town, Rockport offers its own generous slice of coastal living. It is every bit as beachy as “Port A” but without traffic that can be hectic even in the off-season.

As we had to return to Arlington by Wednesday for rehab on my broken arm and shoulder, we knew this was, maybe, our only chance to explore the town to our hearts’ content so we gave ourselves over to it.

The first step was checking out a local RV dealer to see what he could show us. Unfortunately, the dealership was closed until Monday, but all was not lost. There were still other places to check out: the HEB supermarket, a bakery that served up pastries abd doubled as a cafe featuring home cooking, a mall hawking one-of-a-kind wares by local artisans, and a real-estate office.

Finding a house for sale in town, Jeff pulled into the driveway and called the number on the sign. A realtor named Nancy  answered the phone and gave us the address of the office.  After we visited with her and told her what we wanted, she sent us out to Rockport Oaks RV Park, an immaculately kept layout with cement driveways and manicured lawns. After checking it out and falling in love with what we saw, we drove back into town and brought her back out to the park where we met the couple selling a lot that even had its own little storage shed, which I immediately saw as a possible writing cave. We even met the neighbors. Later that evening, as the Sunday sun melted into the coastal horizon, Jeff and I were signing papers in Nancy’s office and putting down earnest money to hold the lot we had chosen.

As we drove away from her office, we were in shock.

“Hey, babe, did we really do that?” Jeff asked me. “Did we really and truly plunk down earnest money for that property?”

“Yep,” I answered, as we turned into the motel parking lot. “We sure enough did.”

“Amazing,” he said, as he got out of the car. “Be back in a few,” as he headed into the office.

Soon, as pre-dawn rays filtered through the curtains, we were up and at ’em and tracing our path back to the RV lot where a sales rep named Larry showed us several new models including the Salem Villa Classic, Salem Estate, and the Salem Hemisphere. Each of the new models inspired our imagination of the life we could live. After taking his card and a handful of full-color brochures about each model, we promised Larry we would  see him again, soon.

On down the road a piece (as we say in Texas), we stopped off in Seguin for brisket dinners at Bill Miller’s Barbeque and then at a tiny-home dealership where another rep promised to call us when a new shipment of tiny houses arrived.

Since our return from the coast, we have begun rounding up extra books, clothing, and other items we knew we would have no room for and toted them to Half-Price Books, Mission Arlington, and other worthy recipients.

For the past few days, men have arrived to help us get our house readt to put on the market. Carpentry. Painting. Plumbing. Whatever it took. They did it all. Early Saturday evening, after I awoke from a much-needed nap, I found a “For Sale By Owner” sign on our lawn.

Our dream was becoming a reality.

The next leg of our journey — closing on the lot we are purchasing with funds from the sale of our house — starts some time in the middle of May. RV life will prove quite a challenge, especially for an ol’ girl like me who loves her long, hot showers. Or for both Jeff and me who love our “schtuff”. Stay tuned for our next adventure in RV-land on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

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