We started our journey as full timers (meaning we no longer own a home and we live in our RV exclusively) on July 8, 2014 in Buttonwood Bay, Sebring, Florida. It was about 10 miles from our soon to be sold home so it was a good location for us. We had heard from a neighbor at a previous RV resort how nice it was. Sebring has many RV resort/campgrounds so that recommendation helped us since it was also close by.
First, a quick review of the resort: As you can see from the pictures, it is beautiful with many amenities. All we look for is safety, full hook ups, convenient and a place to get in a one to two mile walk! This did that for us. Only two downsides was that there aren’t many RV spots and RVers are spread out and NO cable or antennae hook up for those who stay under 30 days. We were able to use our Passport America membership and only paid $21/night for 7 nights (their limit which was generous) and the other one night was $31.
We only had a week to clean out our house as it sold on June 15 with a closing date of July 15. We were out of town for Debbie’s birthday, we drove to see our grandson in Virginia while the camper was in for service. We also had another trip to visit Bill’s mom in Illinois traveling from June 26 to July 8, with our reservations made and Bill’s family counting on our visit. This gave us the one week time frame to move out. Since we had planned on selling the house, we were slowly cleaning it out, but taking our time. I guess like everyone else, we work best under pressure!
We decided we had to cut our Illinois trip short, so instead of flying back on July 8, we were able to change our rental car to deliver to Orlando instead of St. Louis. So off we went on Sunday afternoon, July 6, after a nice morning at church and lunch. On the trip home, we listed our car for sale on Craigslist and posted it on Facebook. We were prepared and had all the pictures and info as we wanted to be prepared. A friend saw it on Facebook so they wanted to see it when we got back into town! When we returned to town on Monday night, we had to plan the week carefully.
– Tuesday morning we had to drive about 45 miles to get our RV from Camping World where we had it serviced, anticipating an extended travel itinerary – so blessed as we had no idea when we picked it up, we would be transitioning to full time! We had warranty work done, max air vents put on and service the tires and wheel bearings.
– Tuesday afternoon, set up at Buttonwood Bay. As it turned out and you can see from the pictures, it is a very nice campground. Our main focus in campgrounds is for them to be convenient to whatever we are doing in the area (from walking on a beach, to hiking in the mountains to sightseeing), to be safe, have full-hook ups, and to have a nice area to take at least a two mile walk each evening. That is how we love to end each day unless we are walking on the beach or climbing a mountain! We showed the car and this wonderful couple wanted to see what else we and for sale…They ended up buying some of what we perceived as hard to sell items, so that really helped us!
– Tuesday night, we showed our car and then stayed in our house because we just had too much to do!
– Wednesday, I had a minor dental surgical procedure appointment set that I couldn’t postpone. So around that appointment, we sold the car, showed this couple what else we had for sale, pointing out the hard to sell items (which in the end, they bought) and continued to clean out the furniture which we were shipping north, which was most of it! In the meantime, I was listing things we knew our daughter and son in law didn’t need or relatives or other friends wanted to buy. Did I mention I was supposed to take it easy for two days? Oh well….
– Thursday, I woke up concerned about the incision, so off to the dentist to have him look at it. It was OK, but he needed me to come back on Monday to make sure. So we continued to prepare the furniture for shipment, sold things as people saw them, and packed boxes. The movers came at 3:00 and worked for four hours. We now had no choice, we moved into the RV for the night!
– Friday, now to prepare for our garage sale to be held on Saturday. We actually had a small row of things lined up for sale. Neighbors were having a yard sale so as we drove by, I saw fiends their with their grandson. I invited them over to show them our stuff and say goodbye. It was fun as the 10 year old grandson was a “technocrat” and went right for some small electronic things. I ended up selling him a never used mini-recorder for $1 (value around $50). I told him the first sale of the day will bring us good luck! And that opened the doors! Bill began running the garage sale as our neighbors sent people over! I stayed inside, cleaning out our clothes, etc. , but brought things out as I came across them!
– Saturday, we finished the garage sale around 2:00 and had sold nearly everything we needed to sell. Now we had to finish packing up for storage the few things we couldn’t part with and to begin to clean the house. We thought we were going to have to miss church as we had to be out of the house by 2:00 on Tuesday. We had run into our Pastor and his wife and they had hoped we would be there on Sunday. The Pastor said he had the perfect sermon for us!
– Sunday was a sad day as we attended our last church service as members. Our Pastor had us stand and thanked us for our years of service to the church. Then he gave us the perfect last sermon, from the Book of Ecclesiastes. If you recall, that was the book where the wisest man to live said in the end, all is vanity or meaningless, and in the end, to remember our Creator, to fear God and keep His commandments! After church, we went out to lunch with some dear friends, then back to the house to finish cleaning it up and out.
– Monday, we couldn’t believe we were so far behind, still so much to clean and pack and one more trip to the dentist (isn’t that how things always go?). We had planned to be done on this day, and enjoy a last meal with our family in town. But our garage was full of stuff, so we had to postpone it! We ran to a self storage business to rent a locker in the pouring down rain right at closing time. We hoped it would stop in time to bring back a load of stuff on our way home from our former home. As it turned out, we took two truck loads and it seemed our garage was still full, of things we should have sold in the garage sale but missed! So I posted on Facebook that I had more stuff to get rid of. Thankfully, a friend knew of a need for things for her mom’s church’s upcoming garage sale. So she stopped by and we filled her car up!
– Tuesday, the deadline for the walk through is 2:00 and our garage still wasn’t empty and still more to clean inside. But we did all we could until 1:00 and took a much needed lunch break and quick shower, so back to the RV. The inside was ready for the joint walk through and for us to show how to work a few unique things to the new owner, but we still had a truck load of things. We got there after they were inside and started the walk through. The closing was at 3:00! So much for a shower as it was so muggy while we finally fully packed up the truck for the trip to Virginia with fine china and a few other things we didn’t want to ship (or forgot to ship). We made it to the closing on time and we were out in 15 minutes. We had time now to go change our driver’s licenses and voter registration, pick up our mail at our mail box, meet our financial advisor and finally, dinner with the family at 5:00. The only thing we couldn’t do was change our Voter’s Registration. Not bad for a full day!
And so our new perspective is that it is all meaningless (so it was so easy to get rid of everything except some family heirlooms and more stuff for our daughter that we didn’t have room for, but to thank God for the creation of our precious grandson and to obey Him in all we do as we begin our new journey in life!