Monday, February 9, 2015

Leaving Home

A quick update on our current travel status. Kathi and I are staying in the Houston area for an extended period this year to visit our sons and help Kathi’s brother, Larry Clark through his leukemia ordeal. Larry has been though chemotherapy and is currently too weak for a bone marrow transplant. He is staying at home and going to Methodist Hospital twice a week for blood tests and infusions of blood, platelets and other medications the transplant team deems appropriate. While we are here I have been writing about our previous RV experiences.

In summer 2003 I retired, my mother died, one son moved to San Francisco and the other joined the Marines, we sold our house and bought an RV and drove it for the first time, all in the matter of a few months. It sounds so easy when you list the items, but there is a lot of consternation with each of these events. We were moving so quickly we were not taking time to process events properly.


Mixed bed in the front yard

Kathi and our youngest son Christopher had spent a lot of time from 2000-2003 creating flowerbeds at our home, with Christopher doing all the heavy work. We had a pool that I worked with every day to keep clean for relatives and friends who came over almost every weekend. We had a fifty inch TV. This was before the LCD screen TVs that are available today. Our TV stood five feet tall and weighed about 250 pounds. We had a fairly new refrigerator, a washer, a drier and a 15 cubic foot freezer. We had recently spent over $15,000 to remodel our kitchen and bathrooms. Talk about poor planning for retirement. We really did not think about retirement until the last six months before I actually retired and we immediately started discussing travel with an RV. Much emotion is still attached to the home we left 12 years ago.

Arlon cleaning the pool.

We bought a GPS sensor and Copilot GPS software to use on a new laptop computer. We joined Escapees RV Club so they could handle mail service for us. All our mail is sent to Escapees and we call to have the mail forwarded to us.

One of our friends wanted to buy our house and we sold it without the benefit of a Realtor. We got a title company to manage the paperwork and sold it as-is for a fair price agreeable to both parties. As-is to us meant we walk out and you walk in. All appliances stayed.

We agreed we did not want to put anything in storage. Kathi jumped into high gear and got rid of all the furniture and all our personal items we had accumulated over a forty year period. Most items we gave away to friends. A newlywed couple got our king-size bed. He worked a minimum wage job and had little extra money, so they were thrilled to get the bed for their apartment. I had fire arms that we gave to a Deer Park policeman for his personal collection. I reluctantly gave away my math and science books and DVD collection.

We gave our record collection to our nephew and we loaded about 200 CDs, amplifier, two CD changers and four speakers into our new RV which was sitting in the driveway of our house. We planned to deliver the music paraphernalia to our son, AJ in San Francisco. He is the music buff of the family, having written enough songs to fill three CDs that he and some friends recorded using the Care Factor name for their group.  The “Welcome to My Pants” CD is still available on the internet. We were finally ready to hit the road. My next post will discuss our first RV trip.

Geraniums and yellow bells.

Small flowerbed of mixed flowers

Yellow bells at the front door

Jasmine and Gerbera daisies around our mail box

Mixed flowerbed in the front yard

Mixed bed in the back yard

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