Week 2 off to a great start!

Once, after proofreading one of our posts, Bill commented, “This is really good!” ONCE. Then I began to take Blogging 101 courses to improve my blogging. I’m now proof you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

Our last post reflected our mood, so to speak. We were still reeling from our blowout, the weather was either dreary, raining or cold. And every day was “work” except for the day we took off to attend the Florida RV Super Show. And that was a real treat! And perhaps when things began to look sunnier!

I am enjoying time with my sister. Especially when we get to walk together. But we are so glad we have each other to help mom clean out her house and prepare for a new adventure in life (a drastic lifestyle change).

Day one of week 2 started off with a tremendous rainstorm. And we had a 9 am appointment with our GEICO Insurance Adjustor. We were really nervous about them as an insurance agency for our motorhome. You never know how good it is until you need it and then you pray you never need it! All I can say is so far so good! From the initial phone call (Is everyone OK?) to our adjustor’s arrival….and departure.

Here is our disclosure, though. Our daughter works for GEICO as an insurance claims adjustor. And she’s good! No brag, just fact, based upon her performance appraisals, etc. Whenever we need to look at our insurance policies (we normally use USAA since we can), I always get quotes from GEICO and she gets a credit for it. Whether we insure or not. And the few times we have switched, we have saved a ton of money. And these have been for hard to insure things – like in Florida, rental properties are very hard to insure if you have seven properties in the same county! They say it increases their exposure….if you understand such things. And then our motorhome. Both times, we were most surprised and have been very pleased.

OK, this is getting boring but I do want to give GEICO some kudos! And if you’d like a quote just to compare your coverage, let me know so I can give you our daughter’s associate number so she can get credit for it.

Bill had two plans to fix our motorhome. The first plan was to do most of it himself. After all, his background and training meant he could do it. Back up plan was just to take it back to the factory at Red Bay, Alabama. We did love our time there after we first bought it. But the timing would be an issue in the middle of winter. Maybe we would have to wait until May?

For nearly a week, Bill tried to get the part in to repair our steps. That is really the biggest concern. After my glorious three mile walk around our campground, we decided to take some pictures of this issue.

Our adjuster gave us another option after Bill’s attempts to get the part needed failed. Oh the RV industry is not an easy one to deal with. I guess I should mention that Bill used to also be an insurance claims adjuster, was an auto body man and ran an auto body shop among a few of his past jobs. He KNOWS how to get parts. But not RV parts….

We learned there is a GEICO “preferred” repair shop not too far away! That spoke volumes to Bill. I went on over to mom’s to work while Bill went to check out the shop. He was so impressed and excited. First the bad news, they are swamped this month. Then the good news, they can fit us in on February 8, the day we hit the road from here. And it’s only about 45 minutes from mom’s home! So hopefully, I can still have time with her and my sister.

And more good news! They can sell us all the tires we now need, fix the steps AND do the body work. We will then have peace of mind as we really don’t know if our wheel is really safe. On our way back from the RV show, we clocked how far we drove on it after the blowout. At least 1/2 mile (.08 kilometers). We planned to take pictures of that drive, but it was dark when we returned home.

So below is a photo gallery of my three-mile walk around the park on Saturday.

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Love the palms, the blue sky, and the pleasant environment, between an orange grove and a freshwater lake! These photos are not in the best order, took them as I walked from our site and back.

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Week two continues….and we can’t wait to attend church in the morning!

How we became minimalists….

Cow pasture behind the Bays

A view on one of my walks around a campground. Simplicity!

I’m taking Blogging 101, a free course offered by WordPress. It’s really good, but if only we had unlimited data or free wi-fi. That has held us back.  It takes some time to go through the exercises, but eventually, I hope to learn things that will translate into a better blogging experience.

One real huge benefit is to meet and make new “friends” with others who also have a passion sharing their life experiences. One of my new friends, Arpita, a fellow traveler, asked me to write a blog on how to become a minimalist after she read my other blog (click here). Since we are still playing the waiting game, waiting for grandchild # 2 to appear, we needed something to blog about that was related to our lifestyle. You see, this blog is as much for us as anyone. We want to record our memories here to help us later in life…or tomorrow when we can’t remember what we did today! LOL

We never really intended to become minimalists until we had been married 30 years and we were on our 11th move. We suddenly realized we had been carrying some of the same boxes through all the moves and never even opened them. But let’s backtrack to August 19, 1989. We remarried after being separated and divorced for a year. We rededicated ourselves not only to each other but to the Lord. We had a simple and small wedding but were blessed to have a church and lots of new friends help us. The most pivotal aspect was a simple song we selected to have sung at our wedding, from these scriptures: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. And all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:32 In context, these scriptures were saying to not worry about what you wear and what you eat. God knows what you need and He will provide them.

And then, we helped both of our mom’s after our father’s deaths downsize and move out of their homes.  Bill’s dad passed in 1996 and my dad in 1999. Our 12th move was in 2004 and that was when we purposed to become minimalists.  We downsized OK, but the small Florida home we first bought wasn’t spacious enough. So we backslide on our minimalistic lifestyle and bought a bigger home….We really tried to be minimalists, but somehow, we still held on to too many things. For me, it was my books. For Bill, it was tools and Harley motorcycle stuff.

The event that finally got our attention and we realized we had to just get rid of everything was soon after we bought our first Recreational Vehicle (RV) on September 4, 2013. We bought a small and extra light 5th wheel. In other words, we couldn’t take much stuff with us. We suddenly realized it was the perfect minimalist lifestyle for us.

X-tra Light 5th Wheel

It sold in May 2015

Bill was more concerned with HOW to get rid of everything. So he began reading the blogs of full-time RVers to see how they did it. Many either kept a house full of stuff and had relatives or friends keep an eye on things, or rented a storage locker for the valuables they couldn’t part with. Some stored things at family’s homes. And it all just looked like a process.

For me, I just never really cared for much stuff. I’m not a shopper so I wasn’t attached to much stuff. Perhaps the fact that I moved a lot as a military brat had this impact on me. But my books! Oh, how I hated to get rid of them. But I knew they had to go. I had given most away  during our 12th move. Bill especially hated my books because he was the one who had to move them! So I really downsized to 1/2 of a bookcase that fit in a closet. These were really valuable and hard to part with books. But I knew how he felt, so I just said they had to go!

Bill’s turning point was when someone expressed an interest in his motorcycle. WOW, I never thought he would part with it. But he realized he couldn’t do both, RV and ride his bike. This was HUGE….and it was his turning point. Once he sold it, nothing else mattered to him.

2006 Harley Ultra Classic

2003 Harley Ultra Classic

Our daughter was in the process of selling her small two bedroom townhome and moving into a four-bedroom house with three bathrooms. That was our perfect solution to giving her some family heirlooms and some of our favorite furniture.  We also gave some furniture to other relatives that were also family heirlooms. And then we had a huge garage sale over two days and just emptied the house, which had sold in a week with a closing date in a month.  It made it so easy for us.

Due to the lack of sufficient time to really sort through what we thought were irreplaceable, family things (that no other family member would want), we rented a 5′ X 10′ storage locker. These were things that you don’t really sell….and Bill’s cherished big TV (it’s a man thing isn’t it?)! He just wasn’t ready to say we wouldn’t have a house again within the year. So after paying rent for about six months, we realized some things wouldn’t store very well.  We really just prayed over what to do and ended up donating these valuable things to families in need and to a youth ministry that holds yard sales to raise money to pay the rent.  But we still had to pay storage as we hung onto some valuable pictures – to us and our kitchen wares. So next time we go back to Sebring, we plan to clean out the locker.

We are loving our VERY simple lifestyle! We love our time and not having stuff helps us have more time for the things in life that really matter now that we are grandparents and travel full time.

Photo shoot with grandson

A minimalist grandma’s photo shoot with grandson.

Click here for an update on our Minimalistic Lifestyle!

How do we like our new motor home?

Our grandson loves it!

Our grandson walking beside it in the campground.

Usually, we get inspired to write our posts. Since we’re sort of “hanging out” and waiting for the birth of our second grandson, not much to write about. Our adventures have been plenty of time with our precious grandson. And even more time preparing for his sibling. Due date is August 15. But our first grandson appeared 5 days early…..we actually hope second grand baby arrives late, and on August 19….more on that later!

Anyway, oh yes, it’s working out great! So what do we really like?  BTW, these are photos I took for our grandson’s parents. And then that helped inspire the post. Sorry for the poor quality – he’s not still for very long!

1) Our new motor home is nearly toddler proof! He loves spending time with his Mee-maw and Pee-paw (how those names come out of grandma and grandpa, but it’s what he calls us) in our motor home. When his mom saw one of these pictures, she said he’s “tarzan” and I will say, he loves OUTSIDE. Yep that’s about his favorite word.

2) The living area. A full sized super comfy leather couch and two leather Euro chairs with ottomans. We really only need one, as Bill prefers the couch and I prefer the chair. Before, we had a small couch that wasn’t that comfy and the two chairs were my size. As Bill said, the furniture was “dainty.” Not made for a man 6’2″. I honestly don’t know how he did it, other than he really likes the life style.  Of course, our grandson loves the euro chairs and ottomans!


3)  The kitchen!!! Wow, so many new things for us to enjoy: residential refrigerator so LOTS of room for all our home cooked meals; ice maker (Bill has to have his glass full of ice); freezer drawer on the bottom; and, water filter and cold water spigot (it’s on the inside so that’s a bit of a bummer). We have a slide out counter/drawers for more counter space, for when we are both cooking and for bigger meals. So much storage in two pantry areas and plenty room for all our pots, pans, bowls, etc.

His mom said he looks like Tarzan in this picture! He loves exploring and seeing the new places he can crawl into!

4) Dining area.  Our grandson learned to sit in a “big boys” chair with us. So the high chair is now ready for his sibling.  We really like the table and chairs. AND a bonus, there is a computer compartment beside where I sit, so it easily becomes my “office!”


Note the chair in the back ground. It’s covering up the light switches. Not sure why the switches are at toddler level!   Our grandson really likes his grandpa’s scrambled eggs. He’s digging them up!

5) The king bed and bedroom. We sleep like babies on our all foam mattress. We also have a ceiling fan. We like to sleep in a cool and dark room. So we’ve got it! Our 5th wheel had a short queen and no way to make it dark once the sun came up. Well, we did finally improvise and hung a blanket over the window each night and kept the doors closed. Sometimes it got a bit warm….

6) The “bathroom” situation is so much better. We can each do what we have to do without interfering with the other. In other words, we can both get ready for early church at the same time and get out the door by 8:30. That’s a big deal! Before, I used the campground bath house!

7) We have tons of storage space! Now we regret getting rid of some of our belongings, but not really. We were used to living in an extra light RV so we had to keep it simple. We still will benefit from not being overloaded. And now that we know not only our grandson loves it, but now our son-in-law can’t wait to take a trip with us. So I guess all that storage space will come in handy for their things…and babies come with a lot of “things!”

Life will really be grand when we get our new washing machine installed.  That is our one huge disappointment that ours didn’t work after being told by the previous owner it did; and then, all the time spent trying to repair it while at the Tiffin Service Center was wasted. We will have to wait until we make it to a better location with a Camping World close by to have it installed. Tentatively, that would be in October when we hope to spend a month in Myrtle Beach. But all our plans are really made day by day….

So closing thoughts, as we count our blessings for this lifestyle, come from a blog I just read. I’m taking WordPress’s Blogging 101 to work on my personal spiritual journey blog, Lifetime Of Forgiveness. I am having a hard time finding time to blog on our travel adventure blog, let alone work on it (also because of limited wifi)…But I am enjoying reading lots of other blogs of new bloggers that are sharing about their journeys in life. Many are young, some are aspiring writers in high school, many are college students, some in the midst of their careers, many are looking towards retirement, or like us, in our retirement years. One of my favorite new bloggers is just 18, her name is Jessica (maybe that helps) and we share the same faith. She reblogged the below blog today, so I want to do the same. And as I looked at my pictures and our new home, I couldn’t but help notice how perfect it is for us! (Click on notice for the full blog or read the excerpt here – and the bullets are mine):

  • I noticed that your hair has a hint of red to it in the sunlight.
  • I noticed that you’ve been thinking a little more today.
  • I noticed how you organized your bookshelf.
  • I noticed that you woke up earlier today than normal.
  • I noticed your shirt.
  • I noticed the color of your nails.
  • I noticed the kindness of your words to that person.
  • I noticed how hard you tried last week.
  • I noticed your bookmark was in chapter 12.
  • I noticed your eyelid was quivering during dinner.
  • I noticed the smell of your new lotion.
  • I noticed you’re becoming stronger.
  • I noticed you went a different way today.
  • I noticed you wanted to talk.
  • I noticed your smile.

“What do you notice about those in your life? Some of the most gripping verses in the Bible describe the ways that God notices us. When you rise, when you lie down, your hair, your tears, your heart, your words, your desires, your needs, what’s in your pantry, where you climb, where you fish, what you eat, your hiding places, your home, your work, your gifts, your joy, your love, your efforts, and on and on.

“Part of being more like God is to give others the gift of noticing. It’s one of the simplest, yet most powerful actions we can do to fortify relationships and bring people together. In fact, it was the very first thing that God did when humanity hid itself from him in the Garden of Eden. God noticed Adam and Eve were hiding (Genesis 3:9). This was the first step toward bringing them back into relationship with him.

“Notice those you care about.”