Each day I'm a few steps closer to the Magical Mystery Tour. Today a nice couple from Kent came and bought my TV stand. TV is now sitting on the floor. The dogs have noticed and are watching TV more intensely, especially when Miss P. comes on. Miss P. is a most beautiful Beagle who just won Best of Show at the big hairy deal New York Dog Show. J.P. and G.G. are smitten with Miss P.
Yesterday Evan (friend since Issaquah High School) painted art studio walls and took home one of my enormous drafting tables. The table must weigh 200 pounds. When you take it apart in two pieces, it is manageable. I love these tables! Got'em from Boeing surplus for $50 each about 20 years ago. Just another lesson in letting go. Though we made a deal if he gets done with it he'll let me know and I'll have a chance to get it back; supposing I have the space.
The table goes up and down with a foot pedal (smooth as silk) and using a lever in front one can set table top at any angle from horizontal to vertical, like an easel.
As I clear the house of stuff I'm enjoying the daylight changing across the open space. Life seems simpler already, however; there is gobs needed to learn in order to boondock in an RV comfortably and safely. I'm talking about going off the grid at times. It sounds so fabulous I 've gotta try it. My Honda generator arrived today. Its only 50 pounds and everyone says so quiet.
Confusion about what kind of RV to get consumed me for over 6 months. I considered all types: van, camper, Class A Motorhome, Class B, Class C, Travel Trailer, and 5th Wheel. I test drove several motor homes. I had a crush on the Mercedes Sprinter Van and thought it was perfect. Price is sky high ($115K-$155K), but I was on a dream cloud and in the grip of fantasy. I was ready to buy right then and went to find one to test drive. I went to 4 or 5 RV lots and nobody had any!
It made me want one even more (scarcity). I finally located one at one of biggest RV dealerships in Washington. The guy looked me up and down and politely refused me for a test-drive. Wow! Judged unworthy! I hadn't shaved but really! I got panicky feeling, like maybe this was too much status for me...
I found a Pleasure Way on Craigslist located North in Snohomish area. Made an appointment to drive it.
Loved it. The owner said everything worked and it was in great condition. I was ready to buy. Decided to have it checked at 5 Star RV. They were nice to squeeze me in and took a good 3 hours to do inspection. Very thorough.
Results were that the house battery was near shot. 5 Star informed me that it hadn't been winterized properly. Owner had assured me it was. I decided not to buy it based on the seller not being trust worthy. The $200 was well spent. I'm convinced the van would have been trouble.
Kim and Joe are friends who've been RVing for years. I called on them to get their input on RV living.
They had a 5th wheel with a few slide outs. We sat in it and talked. It was huge, like a rolling apartment. I doubted that I could handle such a beast. And how could I go under the radar? Everyone could see me coming in this rig. Still, I tried to have an open mind.
After comparing costs and hundreds of considerations I came to conclusion I need the living space and needed to be thrifty.
I needed the comfort, flexibility, and towing ease of the 5th Wheel. After hundreds of searches all across America I found a 28 foot Nomad on RV Trader being sold out of Bremerton by a private party. I recruited a friend, Andy to go look at it with me. It looked huge and glamorous. We both liked it and the couple (the Cooks) were so nice. They were obviously conscientious folks and I trusted them.
They mentioned to throw in a hitch and a tripod hitch lock to prevent theft. They allowed me to keep the RV parked there for 2 months until I could find a spot to park it. On top of that, they offered to deliver it to me in Seattle area! The Nomad has 1 slideout, sleeps 8, and self contained. No generator. I surprised Andy when I made an offer. The Cooks counter offered and I accepted. The feeling was of exhilaration when I received the title in the mail.
So my search now turns to finding a truck for the trek. I started by researching what would be the right truck load size.
Cousin James advised a 3/4 ton diesel. I drove a few but found them noisy and smelly. Drove a few more and then found one at Emerald City Auto on Aurora, a Ford Superduty 250, 2011, bright white, not a lot of bells and whistles. Definitely the power is there and purrs like a cat. Takes gas and ethanal both. I liked it immediately upon driving it. The guys there were very nice and treated me well. Jim offered to change the utility box in back since it would interfere with a fifth wheels movement. They'll change it out after hitch is installed. Also, the day after driving it off the lot a warning light came on about tire pressure. I was upset but decided to take it back. Of course the sale was "as is". They didn't need to do a thing for me.
They explained that this was a common occurance with the tire sensors and it could be a hassle to correct.
I mentioned that I didn't know anything about this but for safety reasons would like it fixed.
They fixed it for me at no charge!!! It took them a whole day to remove tires and install new sensors on each tire. The idiot light is out on the dash now and I feel very good about telling the whole world what a great place Emerald City Auto is.
They've earned my trust and I will return there for routine maintenance work. Rob even offered me a ride to pickup truck when it was ready so I didn't have to take a cab!
The extended truck cab will provide a perfect little habitat for the dogs. I found a dog "hammock"
that is designed to fit between the headrests on back seat to cover seat and give dogs more usable space in back. Haven't tested it with dogs yet but will soon.
So now I have the Truck!
My fifth wheel will be delivered first week of March.
About the same time my house will be listed for sale.
Most all my stuff is packed away in 2 storage units.
Many changes ahead for Kim.
Have you ever felt your stuff was holding you back? Tying you down?
Controlling your life? It suddenly smacked me on the head last summer that life had become routine/comfortable/predictable/determined and I was sinking into a giant toybox of stuff.
The 'nose to the grindstone' existence for the past 15 years has rewarded me with a 3 story house. I've loyally filled it up with stuff. Stuff I've collected: like hundreds of Seattle Worlds Fair nick-nacks. I love that stuff from 1962. It sits on shelves staring back through dust, making me wish I could go back to be inspired by the future as they were. The irony is they were looking into the future where I live now and I'm looking back into the past where they once lived.
They looking forward and me backwards to be inspired.
I bought 47 artworks by famous Northwest School artists at art auctions. I hung them all over the house, channeling the creative spirits of Mark Tobey, Morris Graves,Kenneth Callahan, Guy Anderson, and Bill Cumming. I surrounded myself with stuff I thought would inspire me. Not more than a few square inches of empty space anywhere. Turns out the opposite effect transpired. The stuff slowly sapped my creative will and lowered me into the hot tub of complacency.
I collected posters from every arts and crafts show I attended. Any printed matter with interesting imagery. Snagged it for the last dozen years. And T-shirts. Could not toss anything out. All of it is packed with memories and meanings. So this stuff has piled up around me, though I arrange it carefully to make it seem natural. Chronological order.
Something happened. Something snapped. My inner rebel fighter has emerged at the age of 59. I have identified the enemy. Stuff. I am fighting stuff.
My mission now: unload stuff. Tables, chairs, shelves, flat files, fans, lamps, cushions; all of it is being scrutinized. I've sold dozens of items on Craigslist.
The garage sale brought in $1200.
A lighter feeling overcomes each time I box up a hanging kite or a lovely ceramic pot and drop it off at Goodwill. I wonder who will be controlled by this ceramic pot now that I've let it go.
Letting go is the bigger theme. Let go of the awards and trophies. The pictures of life over the past 20 years, the stamp collection and the albums of civil war pictures. I'm freer today. What can relocate tomorrow?
In a few more weeks my house will be an empty container. A symbolic void ready to be filled again by the next eager one.
I will put it up for sale in March and trade for a home on wheels.