We started RVing, right after our first grandson’s birth, in September 2013. We were living in South Central Florida at that time and our daughter and family were (are) in Fredericksburg, VA. So we were 900 miles away or a 14 hour drive! Once we decided to travel full time, Bill promised our daughter we’d come see them at least four months a year.
We decided to come in the month of April because it’s our daughter’s birth month and our first wedding anniversary (married 4/11/1975). The next month we visit is August – both of our grandsons birth month and our second wedding anniversary (8/19/1989). Then we visit a week before Thanksgiving and usually through New Years. We add on a week or two to our times in April and August because of extenuating circumstances.
If you follow us on our public FaceBook page, you know what is coming! Bill had offered to remodel the boys (and guests) bathroom. He thought it would be simple job – would only take two weeks to finish. WRONG. Best laid plans…..
He has remodeled more bathrooms than I can count! He said he wanted to see if he still had it in him….Well, he still has it in him, but he had a few obstacles: tools, tools and the right tools makes a huge difference! When we went full time, he sold most of his tools. Plus, the fact the family was living in the area, so he had to clean up everything every night. Of course, for safety, so the boys wouldn’t get hurt and to keep it somewhat livable.
Let’s stir in that deadline matter…but a bit of background. It took us two years, but we finally found a place to park our motorhome hassle free with full hook ups and no other amenities – which is ideal for us. There are only six RV spots. They used to have maybe 30 or 40. They’ve changed to a manufactured homes park. We managed to snag a spot which gives us the flexibility we need with our comings and goings. It’s complicated and we are not at liberty to share the details of our “deal” but let us say, our “deal” expired on April 30 – so we knew we needed to leave by that date.
Long story short, he didn’t anticipate how off the walls were, so he thought, why not also tear out and install new dry wall? Dry walling isn’t his favorite way to remodel, but he knows how to do it. Thus the two weeks he anticipated it taking turned into five! Bill was sweating bullets because he was no where near ready to leave as the month began to wind down. He always aims for 30 days but this time, it was 43 days.
We arrived on Thursday, March 29, 2018 and left on May 9, 2018. Bill set some parameters with me – no weekends – that was before he tore out the walls! Our tradition upon arriving is to set up our “home” which includes washing the car, cleaning the bugs off the front of the bus and putting on our window sun screens and cover the tires (when we stay anywhere for two weeks or more). Then we go to their house, let the dog out, get the car seats and then pick the boys up, getting them out early. We also cook dinner unless Jessica has it already planned for our first night. But this time, as soon as we arrived, Bill was anxious, so he didn’t take time to clean the bugs off the front of our bus – always mandatory so anything else. In fact, he never did. But in the end, our daughter and son-in-law were pleased and the boys we really excited about it (because their PeePaw did it and they got to touch his tools).
Bill had most of the bathroom emptied by Saturday, in time for our son in law to finish it up. Sunday was Easter, but Bill ended up working some more on it in the afternoon. He took the next weekend off and they realized, he would never finish by April 30 – so he began to work seven days a week. Granted, he only worked 4-6 hours a day. He had a good pace once he started each day. Another hindrance was the fact it was on the second floor and our daughter wanted the shower and floor tiled. Bill uses a “wet” saw so that was set up in the garage – each day while he was cutting some of the tiles to fit. We wish had a step tracker – he must of went up and down the stairs a dozen times a day!
I forgot to mention, in addition to the deadline, Jessica and Shane had new flooring installed downstairs, during this same time! Of course, they had scheduled it before the two week project became five weeks. So that meant Jessica and Shane had a huge project as well. They emptied out all the furniture – then after done, they put it all back. Then Shane put down all the new quarter round. Of course, no project is just one easy day install. We had to have the installers back twice! So we handled the additional things for them.
Here is a slide show of some of the remodeling and finished product. No one thought to take a “before” picture. It was a dated bathroom, very basic with a leak somewhere….It needed a new floor!
While Bill and our son and law worked on the weekends, our daughter and I took the boys on a few excursions to have fun. Please note I had over 600 photos of the boys and our fun to pick from. So here are just a few pictures to capture some of our fun moments:
We like to let the boys take turns spending the night with us over the weekend. They require a lot of energy – so we had to cut back on how much we had them over. Since Bill was fully engaged in the remodel, I took over the responsibility of cooking dinner during the week. Jessica cooked every Sunday. If you know us, I stopped cooking a decade or two ago – so I am slow and it zapped me! Because Bill is now particular about what he eats, we give them a break – while we can stay on target with his heart healthy diet. Needless to say, we limped out of Virginia and are now trying to get back into the travel groove. But we can’t wait to get back in August for Bill to make up for some lost time with the boys!
Next up, our summer travels! We’re not going too far away this summer. But we’re going high….
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24