We’re three weeks into our new odyssey and we are still adjusting. Each week seems easier, until something new pops up or we have an unexpected happenstance. These things aren’t terribly different when one buys a new house, as many of the same issues crop up, just in a different and unusual package. All homeowners have to take things in stride and we are doing our best. Fortunately, we aren’t both freaking out at the same time. So far that is.
We got a lot done in the last three weeks. Mostly, this has revolved (and in some cases, evolved) around our “old” stuff. Downsizing is never an easy process. It involves an ever changing internal prioritization coupled with an emotional releasing (dare I say cleansing?) of things we’ve accumulated. When you up that game to getting rid of literally EVERYTHING you can’t fit in your new space, it can be stressful.
RV space in our motorhome is necessarily small, with pockets here and there to pack as much “stuff” as you can. It is less than you realize in most cases and not always the right size, shape or volume that you’d really like to have.. This is fundamentally stressful because you still feel you need a thing or three, yet there is nowhere to keep it. So, we’ve had several stages of purging we’ve been going through.
A lot of sweat and flights of stairs later (Precor has nothing on our apartment), the purge has been large. Most of our furniture when to family and friends, the lion’s share of which went to my daughter. Actually, that was the easiest part. We, together, had a variety of things that needed different kinds of homes.
I had several musical instruments that needed new homes. I kept my acoustic guitar, but we had to find homes for the electric piano, an acoustic guitar, two electric guitars and some unusual custom instruments I had custom built for me or the one’s I built. A few ended, sadly, at a donation station, but at least I found real homes for a few, including to a young man who’d just had his saxophone and guitar stolen. Music is a special thing and I was glad that some people now have music makers in their lives.
Another passion of ours was books. No real room to put too many books in an RV, which led to many books leaving us. I (used to) collect antique books. I had some special ones, with my favorites being an early 20th century printing of Edgar Allen Poe. As luck would have it, we have a friend who is even more into antique books than I.
Tools. How does one collect SO many tools. Oh, you need a better one than you have, you are gifted better tools, you buy ones you don’t have but need. All happened over the last decade. We lucked out with a friend who just moved back to the Northwest and had to leave all of his tools in the Southwest. He’s a happy camper. Others, well, they were donated in the hopes someone else can make use of them. A workshop is not just tools though, and my workbench needed a home and a friend needed a workbench for her planting escapades. Another happy camper.
Speaking of happy campers, as we have reworked our RV interior to suit our particular lifestyle, we had some RV furniture in need of divestiture. Some friends of ours happened to buy a new (used) fifth wheel that had most of its furniture missing. So a dining table, four chairs and a recliner and ottoman was gifted to them for their rig. I look forward to seeing their transformation into their space. Though, I do understand that my name was taken in vain as the number of staples in RV chairs seems to number in the thousands according to the source.
We managed to get half of our new curtains up (see The Unexpected for many more details on this little gem of fun) and installed our desks and cat box enclosure. This was the smoothest execution of all of our projects and they turned out great. We also hung artwork, rehung it after one dropped and shattered glass. Not all things go smoothly, but we recovered. We also replaced a few bulbs with LED’s, with the balance of lighting getting changed over to LED in batches.
Probably the biggest “done” item to list is actually LIVING in the RV. I’ll be honest, I had serious trepidation about such a bold move. I had many, many concerned in regard to how our fur babies would adapt, especially when the few other times they’d been in vehicles were “here are the songs of my people turned up to eleven.” We had a four hour drive yesterday due to stops and happenstance, but they were troopers and the songs were only a few minutes. They were still stressed (I jingled keys today and one of them ran to the back of the coach) but luckily they seemed to travel pretty well.
Julie has done a fabulous job of organizing our storage in the RV. It is an area in which I can excel if I choose to, but since it isn’t my cup of tea, I was happy for her to do that aspect of the move. What this really means is, I don’t know where anything is. It’s a learning experience for sure.
We are also replacing our brassy (aka nasty) drawer and cabinet hardware with an excellent find by Julie. The knobs and drawer pulls are an antiqued iron inspired collection. It changes the feel of the coach significantly.
Julie installed some long baskets along the back-splash in the kitchen that neatly houses all our teas, gives us a place for bread and other sundries. They survived the crazy drive yesterday quite well and don’t take up precious counter space.
And, finally, we are out of the apartment. Finished up the last load of stuff (nearly all of which goes into the under bay storage) and turned in the keys. Officially done with it and just under the wire, as our lease was up today. It was an hour and a half drive each way, but worth it to be finally done with that. I’m so exhausted from essentially working two jobs for the last three and a half weeks solid. Should have worn my FitBit to see just how many steps and how many flights of stairs I put in. Between illness and forced exercise…I probably lost ten or fifteen pounds. I don’t recommend the regimen, but I’ll take some healthy weight loss (stairs and steps mind you, not illness).
So, a lot has been accomplished and still a lot more to do. But that, my friends, if for the next post. Part 2 is coming soon.