Monday, February 27, 2012

Nearing our 1 yr anniversary, thoughts from the lady of the house…


Rainy day here in Bushnell, Florida so it was a great day to do taxes. We are even going to get a refund for the first time in a long time. I guess it pays to be poor… :)

We are also just a few days from our one year anniversary of full timing in our RV so to kick things off Sharon has contributed her thoughts about what it has been like living this dream…

2011-11-20 Stuart Florida Musical 001Our full-timer adventure began March 2, 2011 and yet it seems like yesterday when John drove the RV to our front door in College Station taking my breath away.  Once it rolled up to the front door it seemed so gigantic that I began to second guess our ability to tame this beast.  It certainly helped that we had only a few days to get to our daughter’s collegiate softball tournament.  That all- encompassing desire to be at each and every game of her senior year trumped my usual reluctance and fearfulness (even after realizing I would have to drive behind in the tow vehicle since we were missing a crucial towing part). 

After softball, we traveled south to the Florida Keys, then all the way up the Northeast Coastline, back to North Carolina for a short return visit with our daughter and then four months wintering in South Florida.  The scenery in the Keys, Vermont, Maine and Cape Cod all brought tears of joy from experiencing sheer gorgeousness. (We enjoy the countryside whizzing by side by side, now that we have all the parts and can tow the car). I really love sitting next to him in the cockpit!  The enormousness of the bus still gives me pause on mountain roads, bridges and tunnels. I also feel a little stressed on moving 2011-11-20 Stuart Florida Musical 014days, however the freedom afforded us this past year makes me love this lifestyle more and more each day.  We have no schedule and no set itinerary.I look forward to waking up and sharing every day with John exploring our new locations. 

The view outside our dinner table window is different every week or two.  How fun is that?  The simple things are also very joyful such as washing dishes by hand, everything having its place, planning and cooking meals together, as well as our daily walks or bike rides.  Mostly I love reflecting on our day and laughing with John.  I realize now that former lives kept us much too busy to really enjoy each other. We have become a solid team.  It makes me very happy.

So what are the challenges? Sometimes we are a little careless.  We have lost or broken our sun and eyeglasses, we have left behind things at campgrounds such as our double faucet attachment, our 30 to 50 amp converter and somehow lost a part to the brake buddy (yes, we have checklists and still imagethese things happen).  Another challenge is too much togetherness. Our adjustment to this came naturally since I get “me” time late at night after John goes to bed and his “me” time is while I sleep later than he.  Another challenge is living within our budget. I am highly motivated to stay within the budget because I do not want to have to go back to work., Therefore, I figured out how to do my own mani-pedis, John learned from my hairdresser how to color my hair, we get haircuts at cosmetology schools, we have our dental cleanings at dental hygiene schools, and consolidated our medical visits to one facility (the Mayo Clinic). The budget also makes finding a site much more difficult.  We underestimated campground fees because in some locations, the site fees equal what we would have paid for a hotel!  It can be really frustrating and tedious to find a place to land especially in destination locations,but yet we have managed.

The last adjustment was time away from my kids and grandkids, especially during holidays.  I am discovering, however,that I am not seeing them any less than when back at home.  In fact had we stayed back in our home I know I would miss them just as much and possibly interfering in their lives much more.  Instead we are living full, interesting lives and have exciting experiences to share with them when we do see them.  Plus, with Facebook, smart phones, Skype, email, etc.,  I feel quite connected.  John reminds me this is as it should be.  We are, after all, meant to raise them to lead happy, independent lives.

2011-11-20 Stuart Florida Musical 015

In conclusion, despite my fear of mountain roads, finding the right place to stay, careless mistakes, and time away from family, I am living a life with my soul mate that feels to me like a vacation each and every day…


  1. Great to hear from you Sharon (Mrs. Heyduke). I have been along the way with you two ALMOST all the way. It has been fun. Happy Anniversary! ~wheresweaver

  2. John learned from my hairdresser how to color my hair...

    LOL...I never figured I would publicly admit this, but I do Ruth's as well!


  3. I don't color my hair. Is that because I don't have a soul mate?? :)

  4. I loved your perspective and summary of your first year of fulltiming.

  5. Your thoughts so echo my own. Still afraid of narrow roads, love the freedom, have trouble finding the kinds of camping spots I love that will fit within my budget. This was a wonderful post. Thanks for it!

  6. You said it perfectly, we have been full time 6 years now and it just gets better every day! Glad you are enjoying it. We almost met one year ago as you hit the road. But then opposite directions, some day it will happen. Keep on enjoying.

  7. What a great and inspirational post. We should hear from you more often.

  8. What a great read! and I SO relate to your thoughts and experiences and challenges. We just reached our 2 year anniversary of the full-time RV life. We too love it, and are willing to make whatever adjustments we need to make to keep doing this!

  9. Craig and I are experiencing the togetherness right now IN the sticks and bricks. He retired in December and we have been together since. Mostly working on the house, and for that I've just been staying out of his way. I really look forward to the day we can travel and relax together!

    Budget? What Budget? I have always kept track of things, but Craig doesn't do budgets...

  10. Paul and Marsha Weaver... Thanks for following along with us and I am sure ours paths will cross one day as we head towards Texas in March

    Kevin and Ruth... Kevin it takes real men to be able to handle such things as coloring hair

    Judy and Emma... Judy you don't need a soul mate you look just fine the way you are...

    longdog2... The Bright's... and Sherry... Thanks for the compliments - I will try to get Sharon to comment more frequently

    George and Suzie Yates...we hope to still be doing this in 6 years - we will eventually meet on the road as we will spend next winter out west

    Merikay... good to hear from you and you can bet we will be watching your future unfold, I wished we didn't have to budget... maybe one day

  11. What perfect sentiments and a beautiful tribute to your husband, Sharon! You couldn't have expressed it any better! We struggle with budgeting, and that's because once you get to an amazing place, you want to do some things that cost money! So if we can, we do, then we tighten our belts for awhile until the next time. Having the Thousand Trails membership really helps stay in some awesome places, like the Keys, for 11.00 a night!

  12. Nice post - We have many of the same thoughts. Incredible experience, moving day jitters, hate the budget, learning to be a is all good.

  13. This is a great post. We started out about the same time as you and it was interesting to hear how many of the same things we struggled with. Like Sharon I have gotten over many of my fears and the plus side of this life is much greater than the minus (can't even come up with many). Thanks.

  14. I just found your blog tonight and read the whole thing. We are on a 4 year plan so I love to read others from when they were planning and now have a couple of years behind them. I'm glad you enjoyed our home state of Maine. It is very nice in........AUGUST! Not so much in the middle of January!! :) Take care and have fun.
    Martha Russell