The Dunes at Myrtle Beach! (part 1)


Amazing that we captured this picture of the sand dunes at between Myrtle Beach State Park and Springmaid Beach.

Amazing that we captured this picture of the sand dunes at Myrtle Beach State Park. We couldn’t find where we took this picture as these dunes are gone!

We’re in our sixth, or really seventh, stay in Myrtle Beach since we began RVing in 2013. What we love the most is the wide and flat beach – we can easily walk five miles! We’ve been mesmerized by the dunes and how much they protect not only the beach, but the campgrounds, houses and hotels that line the beach front. So of course, we were anxious to see the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October, 2016.  I’ve tried to find old pictures for comparison, but after took pictures upon our arrival and subsequent beach walks.

Hurricane Matthew’s storm surge and waves overwashed about 15 percent of the sand dunes on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 30 percent along Georgia’s coastline, and 42 percent of dunes on South Carolina’s sandy beaches as the powerful storm brushed past the Southeastern states October 6-9, according to USGS experts’ preliminary review of USGS low-altitude before-and-after images along of the coast and NOAA photographs collected after the storm.” (www.usgs.gov)

Continue Reading

Our September/October and Hurricane Matthew


Myrtle Beach has the most beautiful sunsets!

Myrtle Beach has the most beautiful sunsets!

We mentioned in our last post, in order to be a successful/happy/content full-time RVer, one must be flexible! Bill likes life a bit orderly, no surprise to those who know him, “let’s plan and do it!” I’m more of a spontaneous person, ready to rock and roll to most of life’s punches. Or is it the other way around?  😉, anyway, we are a great team!

We continue to reflect back on what an ideal summer we had in Kentucky! (If you missed the posts, start reading here or just for our recap, read about it here.) A well needed action-packed summer full of lots of miles, parks, hiking, sightseeing, etc. We thought after nearly two months of family time, six weeks in Myrtle Beach would be a relaxing break. And besides, we planned to be back in Fredericksburg for six weeks, from Thanksgiving to the New Year (to include the all important Christmas with family). We’d get in at least a five mile beach walk most days, Bill would complete a number of minor repairs/modifications to our RV, plus finish polishing it! Ah, life is good 😊! Continue Reading

2015 Year End Summary Review


boomerang

Boomerang

We haven’t been as good at blogging the second half of this year. At least we can catch up with a review of our year. The main thing we’ve learned is that we probably misnamed ourselves, The TumbleLees. Perhaps the Boom-a-Rangers would have been better! We had high hopes of visiting many more places and states by now. Instead, we have re-visited some of our favorite places. Much of our travel this year  included trips to help family, especially to our daughter’s home to help welcome to the world our second  grandson in August 2015; selling our first RV and buying our second one in May 2015; and, exploring many state parks in Florida. In spite of not traveling to more states, we have had a GREAT year.

Here are some of our stats:

In 2015, we slept in an RV 331 nights (several family visits for a total of  34 nights away from our RV) for a total of 697 nights in a camper since we started in September 2013.  We moved in and out of 31 campgrounds in 2015 with a total of 70 since we started. We hit a glitch in keeping up with the mileage as our truck was wrecked and we didn’t get that mileage before it was turned over to the insurance company as a total loss. Wow, that sure doesn’t happen every year – but it was very timely as we had just sold the 5th wheel it towed. We can guesstimate we drove the truck 10,000 miles between Jan and May 2015. We know we towed our 5th wheel a total of 12,000 miles from September 2013 to May 2015.

Our biggest hike ever, 9 miles in Callaway Gardens, Georgia

Our biggest hike ever, 9 miles in Callaway Gardens, Georgia

If you know us, you know we love to  hike! But we haven’t been very good at keeping a written journal of our hikes. But I do use the Map My Walk (or hike) app. While it didn’t work for every hike (either battery went dead or we were in an area without any cell phone towers), it calculated we hiked or walked on at least 220 occasions, for at least 608 miles in 10,686 minutes! Sure wish I had kept the stats of our hikes for the past 12 years. ;-{

Our 28' Keystone Cougar XLite 5th wheel and F-150 Ecoboost Ford Truck.

Our 28′ Keystone Cougar XLite 5th wheel and F-150 Ecoboost Ford Truck.

The first half of the year was pretty wild as traveled and we tried to sell our 5th wheel to upgrade to a motorhome on our own. Whew, that was a real chore, but it all worked out perfectly. The full details are here and here. Traveling in our 5th wheel, from January to May, we visited 20 private RV campgrounds/resorts, one KOA, and 8 State Parks (in Florida). Of these, seven were repeat stays. We learned we love camping in state and county parks as this was the first year we managed to do so. We also figured out there are some state parks with sites to fit a 40′ motorhome.  County parks may be a different story as we have learned. You can’t accept the word of the person who answers the phone…..

We bought our Class A motor home, a 2010 Tiffin Phaeton QTH 40′, in May 2015 as well as our flat tow, a 2013 Cadillac SRX. As of December 31, 2015, Bill drove it 2,613 miles. We slowed our pace down considerably, considering we were averaging 2,000/month in the 5th wheel!  We visited 11 campgrounds total: eight private parks and then three unique experiences in the 40′ bus, one more state park in Florida, one County Park in Tennessee and one Sevice Center in Red Bay, Alabama.  We stayed in two repeat campgrounds, near our daughter and at Myrtle Beach.  While we did fit into the County Park, we realized it may be more of a challenge than we thought. We were told they could handle a 40′ motorhome, but the lots were not very level as depicted in this photo:

Lake Marion County Park, Jasper, Tennessee

Lake Marion County Park, Jasper, Tennessee. Normally, we don’t need that step!

We also had many family visits, which were both good and sad. We spent time with Bill’s mom, with Bill helping his brother select an assisted living facility for her in Illinois near his brother.  This visit is not in the map since we didn’t take the RV. We visited my mom and stepdad three times in Sebring (home base) as he battled cancer. Sadly, he lost the battle on December 2, 2015. We are so grateful we had the flexibility to spend as much time with him as we did! And the good and best family times were with our daughter. We were there for her last months of what turned out to be somewhat of a difficult pregnancy, then we were there for the birth of our second healthy grandson. Our daughter stayed home with him for three months. We traveled some during this time. Then we returned to watch him for six more weeks.  He was 4 1/2 months old when he went into daycare and we had to head south. That was a lot of family time. And we managed to visit some dear friends along the way.

Click below read the posts about some of the exciting places we visited: (The numbers signify the campground stay since we began.)

68) Pirateland, site 158, 5401 S. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29575 Dates: 10/7-11/11/15 (34 nights)

65) Waynesboro North 340 Campground, Eastside Highway, Waynesboro, VA 22980 Campground office: (540) 943-9573.   6/22-24/201

62)Allegro Campground, Red Bay, AL 6/11-6/18/2015

53)Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226. Phone: 904-251-2320. Site 16. 3/21-25/2015 (4 nights)

52)Torreya State Park, 2576 NW Torreya Park Rd., Bristol, FL 32321. Site: 008. 3/17-21/2015. (4 nights)

51)Ochlockonee River State Park, PO Box 5, Sopchoppy, FL 32358. Sites: 024 & 027. Phone: 850-962-2771. 3/14-17/2015 (4 nights)

50) Blackwater River State Park, 7720 Deaton Bridge Road, Holt, Fl 32564 Phone: 850-983-5363. Sites 024 & 020. 3/8-14/15. (6 nights)

49) Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Fl 32459 Phone: 850-267-8330 Site, Loop: 083, 102 3/4-8/15. (4 nights)

48) Fallings Waters State Park, 1130 State Park, Chipley, Fl 32428 Phone: 850-638-6130. Site 017 Dates: 2/27-3/4/2015 (5 nights)

47)Florida Caverns State Park, 3345 Caverns Road, Marianna, FL 32446 Phone: 850-482-1228. Site 006, BH1 Dates: 2/23-27/15 (4 nights)

46) Crystal Isles RV Park, 11419 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429. Phone: 888-318-1243
Dates: 2/19-23/15 (4 nights)

44) Tampa East RV Resort, 4630 McIntosh Road, Dover, FL 33527 (866) 786-6298. Dates: 1/13-20/15 (7 nights)

In spite of all these great camping and hiking experiences, we have had to rely more and more on the Lord for our strength as we met the many challenges this year. We were blessed to be able to attend church nearly every Sunday, missing only two or three times due to our travel schedule. The last time we had such a challenging year was in 1999 when not only my dad succumbed to cancer, but I also lost my dear brother in law, who was truly like a big brother to me.  He entered my life when I was a struggling 7th grader. He tutored me when I was failing English. During that year, the lesson we learned was that God was in control even when life seemed out of control! These verses became more and truer to us this year:

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

Getting Hitched: “Flat Tow” our “Dinghy” or TOAD


Happy campers!

Our motorhome and toad, fully hitched.

For those who were following our journey last May and June, you will know this is a big deal for us. If you do not know what we are talking about in this title, it all has to do with driving a motorhome and towing an automobile behind it.

Our home is 40′ and is on wheels. When we park in a new location, we need a vehicle (referred to as a dinghy or toad) to drive around in, such as to the store, to church, to go sightseeing, etc. We bought our motorhome in May and until we came to Myrtle Beach in October, we couldn’t find anyone to hitch us up! So I’ve followed Bill while he drove the motorhome for about 2,200 miles:  from Cocoa, Florida; to Troy, Alabama; to Red Bay, Alabama; to Jasper, Tennessee; to Bristol, Tennessee; to Waynesboro, Virginia; to Milford, Virginia; to Florence, North Carolina; to our current destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That means we put 2,200 unnecessary miles on our car.

I was upset when I saw this ugly bar on the front of our new (used) car!

I was upset when I saw this ugly bar on the front of our new (used) car!

There are several ways to tow a vehicle: Trailer Tow (i.e. put a car in a utility trailer), Dolly Tow (two front tires on a dolly while back wheels spin) and Flat Tow (our choice to have all four wheels down).  There are many professional and good quality articles on this subject.  Trust us, we’ve read them all and watched many YouTube videos on “how to.” We did our research. We knew what we were getting into…but until we actually did it, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. (Understand?) So we hope by sharing our experiences, it might help someone else. We hope you’ll laugh with us, now that it’s over. During the process, a few tears were shed. 😂

We also watched a number of videos which helped us learn more about towing. We also have talked to so many people about their hitches and how they like how they are towing their vehicle. But no one shared a story with us like what happened to us. One thing we have learned in this RVing lifestyle is that everyone has a story of something crazy happening to them. This is one of our crazy stories.

First, just to let you know how the name “toad” came about:  Tow-ed = toad.  And dinghy is affectionally what little boats are called. So it’s a play on words.

The hitch is on the back of our motorhome.

The hitch is on the back of our motorhome. It’s a Falcon by Roadmaster. It came with our motorhome.

Once we knew we were buying a motorhome, we formed an opinion, we would “flat tow.”  That means we would have an (ugly) tow bar on the front of the car, attached to a hitch on the back of the RV.  By flat towing, we probably would have to make modifications to our car.  But the downside to a dolly or trailer, is that you have to “store” them and possibly have to hoist around, park and stash when you are on a campsite. Not every campsite has the room for them. But somehow, everyone makes it work. Bill has a back issue, so we just decided we couldn’t handle having to hoist either around. Yes, Bill does the heavy lifting in our family. Plus, I have a few back/neck issues, too.

Hooking the hitch to the tow bar.

We did test drive a few jeeps (probably one of the most popular Toads) a few months earlier when we first thought about changing from a truck and 5th wheel RV to the motorhome. We loved the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was everything we needed and more. Spacious (we wanted to carry four adults and two children), comfortable and more than anything, easy to flat tow. BUT, we later learned, they don’t get the best gas mileage and for long trips (which we’ve done three times since owning it), and it’s really not “luxury” comfortable. With our back issues (and aging bodies), we need a comfortable ride. So we compromised.  The vehicle we bought, a crossover SUV and car, Cadillac SRX, will only fit four adults and one child. Or three adults and two children. But we first eliminated all the other flat towable vehicles before we even thought about the SRX. There is a yearly on-line publication that says which cars are flat towable. The slogan for our motorhome is “Roughing it smoothly.” And that fits us with our little Cadillac!

We stayed in Myrtle Beach for a full month, not only to enjoy a month at the beach but to get our car and RV “hitched.” Parts have to be ordered but we learned, no one wants to hook up a used “hitch.” Except Camping World. And Myrtle Beach was our first location since buying our motorhome that had one. We also needed to have our washing machine replaced, which they did.  We were very happy with that install, so thought the hitch would also go smoothly.

Well, we were a bit concerned when it took twice as long to rig the car up to tow. We had “face plates” installed, modification to the bumper and grill, installation of a bracket for the “invisi-brake,” made connections for the air brakes,  installed a wiring harness, and probably a few more things I don’t know about (or understand).  In the end, it took a day and a half on the car and 1/2 day on the RV.  So all in all, we spent four days of our 35 days in Myrtle Beach in the waiting room at Camping World, which includes the washing machine install and then to fix that which didn’t work properly on our car. And that is what this post is about. Something had to go wrong, right? Or this would be boring – although it probably is unless you want flat tow one day.

We have learned a lot from other full-timers, but especially one young couple. They not only live in an RV full-time, traveling all over the US and Canada, they are also working professionals. In fact, they inspired us to give ourselves a catchy nickname: The TumbleLees. They are Jason and Nicky Wynn or “Gone with the Wynns!”  Here is their video to learn from my (Jason’s) mistakes, and “How to Properly Connect and RV Tow Car.” We watched these several times, when we started our education on what we were going to do and then while we were getting our hitch set up.

So we now have the set up we’ve wanted. We’re educated. Bill is confident in his ability to hook the toad up. I’m learning and watching….and praying all goes well!  When it took them so long to rig the car, we both had a few misgivings. But Camping World guarantees their work.

Hitched and on the way out of the campground!

Hitched and on the way out of the campground!

We do try to travel without pressures and for this to be adventure travel, right? Well, not all adventures are fun. It was time to leave and our daughter has made a lot of preparations for us to come visit. She has our grandson counting down the days (he’s learned to count to 10! Smart guy). And we are ready to go.

So once we are all hitched and rigged to go, we tested the lights. Humm, the blinkers are not working. But the lights are on. Then we tested the brake, brake lights not on. And there is a beeping noise in the RV.  We called Camping World and they said to bring it on in. So off we go.

We arrive and Bill is exhausted from the 10 minute, five-mile drive. He doesn’t say anything to me, but he is wondering if our 360 diesel engine can tow.  😖 Upon arrival, we looked at the car and see smoke pouring out of the front tires (brake area).  YIKES! We begin to panic. Bill says get me a cup of water, it looked like a fire could start. I grabbed our cups of water, then he throws the water on the wheels like it was a campfire.  It hardly affects the smoke, so I ran back and got a pitcher of water.  Slowly, the smoke stopped.  Our Service Writer then tells us to unhook the car so they drive our RV into a bay.

Wouldn’t you know, it won’t unhook!  (We have since learned, that is a common problem. You just need a drift pin and a hammer to knock out the pins.) The hitch seemed frozen and the brakes appeared to be  gone, pedal to the floor. We are thinking worst case scenario. I posted a plea for prayers on FaceBook. This can’t be happening!

We were prayed up, praying daily for the Lord’s protection – oh, I’m sure that is what happened…HE did protect us! What if the blinkers worked ok and we just thought the beeping sound was how it is supposed to be? What if we just went on the nearly 200-mile drive we planned to travel? That would have been a disaster. So in reality, disaster was averted.

Camping World was very busy, every bay tied up when we arrived. But the Shop Foreman took our job to get ‘er done. It turned out that the air brake flow was one way. When the RV brakes were on, the car brakes were off. And when the RV brakes were off, the car brakes were on. It took about 5 hours to diagnose it and repair it.  Fortunately, the car brakes were fine, just overheated, and we are now on the road to our daughter’s home. She’s a bit sad as her maternity leave is ending and she wanted to hang out with us a few days before she returns to work. It’s so great to be loved and your only child wants to spend time with you!

So in the end, what lesson did we learn? Expect the unexpected! And what does the Bible say about planning? We have to have faith, we may have been spared something worse. It just wasn’t our time to leave Myrtle Beach.

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 19:21

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sunset after we settled back into the campground, on this Veterans Day! Loved seeing the flag flying.

Changing Our Minds, Part 3


  • ChangeIs it possible to change after a crisis? According to one scientific study, not many people do. This research was conducted on 3,700 people (for more research on “change”, visit National Institute for Health.) Actually, I’ve attempted to quote the pastor at the church we attended last week,

Could you change if it was really important? A study of 3,700 people who were diagnosed with high cholesterol determined only one in 10 can….They were told for their health, they need to take one pill a day. By the 3rd month, 1/2 had stopped taking the pill to lower it. Then, a year later, only 1/3 continued to take the life-saving medicine. The reason? The pills reminded them they were sick. So the bottom line was, they didn’t resist the change, they resisted being changed.

We couldn’t believe the sermon this week sounded like what we needed from the sermon the week before, Changing Your Minds. Maybe this is what I (Debbie) need to really make that final change I have been struggling with for over 40 years!

To be very honest, I’ve noticed I’m not the only wife with this “problem.” Bill was happy to hear I really am serious about tackling this with our new lifestyle. Those 400 or so square feet we now live in means we REALLY need to get along. And for the most part, we do, almost all the time. If you’ve read some of our first posts about our marriage (we divorced after 13 years only to experience a miracle and remarry a year later), you’d know we are like most married couples. We started out thinking we are the perfect couple and we will have the best marriage ever. And then eventually, reality hits and again, like most marriages, we began to experience the common issues men and women have. Disagreements.

When we remarried, we vowed we would do it right the second time and we honestly gave ourselves over to the Lord for His guidance. We recently shared as guest bloggers on Aprita’s World, what we feel is about the best advice we can give young marrieds. So you would think we have the perfect marriage now.

Well, we are working on it and as our last post shared, there is hope if we allow the Lord to work in our lives. So the challenge the week after the sermon was to see how it played out. And then we had another “detour” to our vacation in Myrtle Beach. This time, our daughter needed some help. The solution was for us to drive 400 miles one way to pick up our oldest grandson. We actually had tried to get her to come for a week with both grandsons, but we know traveling with a newborn and an active toddler wouldn’t be easy.

IMG_8860

We had a great time with him, but our focus was purely on him and only him! So no time for me to see if I had really changed, but something told me, I hadn’t. As we dealt with him, I couldn’t help but ask, “Lord do I act like a two-year-old toddler when you are trying to get me to do the right thing?” You know what I mean, “I want to do it MY way!” Oh, our patience was tested. We worked as a beautiful team, keeping him safe and helping explore a new world, the beach, and gardens.

Off to church, we went on Sunday, taking him along to enjoy the church nursery. He had a grand time and we got what we needed, the sermon topic was “Principles for Change.” We chuckled as we read the bulletin, God had a message for us again! But the scriptures seemed an odd place to focus on change, or were they?

Mark 2:2-12

The healing of the paralyzed man

This familiar story is about the paralyzed man who had so much faith, he asked his friends to take him to see Jesus. However, he didn’t realize how hard it would be to see him. He was in a crowded building and the only way in was to make a hole in the roof and be lowered into the presence of Jesus. And the friends did exactly that. The result, Jesus knew of the man’s great faith and said,

Verse 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Verses 11-12. “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

The sermon continued. Through the power of God, we can change. We become new creations. Old things become new. Much like this paralyzed man. Didn’t he experience change? Our lives change, too, when we meet Jesus. Bill and I have both changed drastically since we both met Jesus in our younger days. But it is a life long process to get to where we want to be. To really change! We know we have to want to change. But I’ve wanted to change this “quirk” and it’s taken longer than we want. Come on Pastor, help me see what more I need to do!

We have to ask, how do we prepare to change? Much like the paralytic. The first principle is to be surrounded by friends and family with faith. He had four friends he trusted and depended upon! And then as we met the Lord, we first need to allow our hearts to be changed. And that is acknowledging we are sinners and are in need of a savior. Jesus clearly saw the man’s heart and his faith. So his sins were first forgiven and then he was able to walk.

Psalm 103:2-3 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases….

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

We need to ask ourselves, who are my friends? W hat is their faith? Do we realize our faith can be seen, so do we see their faith? Let’s go back to verse 5: When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” And like these four men, their faith was evident. Let’s look at some Proverbs for wisdom about our friends:

Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.

In other words, if you want to see positive changes, you want to be surrounded by people of faith who are wise! I’m thankful my husband is very wise! And we are blessed with friends and family who are also living for the Lord.

This paralyzed man needed friends to help him. Then he caught their faith as they brought him to Jesus. No one wants to be a bother, but to change, we need to bother others. To confess our sins not only to God but to each other.

The process is to first seek the PARDON or forgiveness. And that was what he did, by approaching he Lord, even if on a mat! Then to accept the POWER of the Lord, “take up your mat.”  And finally, allow Jesus to work from the inside out. First the forgiveness and then he could walk!

So how do I apply this? Today, we had to miss church due to the round trip to return our grandson. Instead, as we rode, we talked and talked….about this matter!

So here are some notes from our discussion. I wish I could have taped it. We do talk about the state of marriage a lot. Because we are surrounded by married people. And we want the best for them…but like us, they need to WANT the BEST for their marriage.

Here are a couple of thoughts from our discussion:

  • Interesting how our culture wants marriage for all. But it is only for the alternative marriages that the media seems to promote. If we want to talk about a covenant marriage as designed by our Creator, if we are a believer in the God of the heavens and earth, then we are seeking to be married as God intended it.
  • When a man talks harshly to wife, he is called an abuser. When wife does it, she’s “just a nag.” Men say they don’t hear their wives when they are nagging them. Have you noticed, you don’t hear jokes about wives tuning out husbands, but wives say it all the time. Oops, I do accuse Bill of not hearing me. So maybe I am a bit of a nag at times. I need to watch my what comes out of my mouth. Instead of saying, “Bill do this or that!” Say, “Bill, would you mind doing this or that?” Geez, is that all I need to do?
  • As we finalized our minimalism – After 40 years together, about all we kept were our family pictures. They define who and what we are. When people divorce, what happens to the pictures? We decided when we divorced, we would give them to our daughter. How do you think she would have enjoyed them? Looking at all the fun times we had? Would she feel joy or sadness? Happiness or heartbreak? We’re so thankful we are continuing to make family memories in our pictures.
  • We don’t teach children how to be married. They pick it up watching parents and world around them such as TV. What kind of marriages are being promoted? All we can do is pray our daughter sees our marriage as different from what is promoted. In fact, we are so happy to say she has told us more than once, she is so grateful she was raised by two parents who love each other, and her. And now that we have grandchildren, this is even more important as we help her as needed.
  • Going deeper, Bill no longer lets me tell him what to do anymore! Now that’s the CHANGE I needed. He’s a grown man, a college graduate, who graduated with honors as he likes to remind me!
    He asked me, “Do you know how it makes me feel when you try to direct me? Is there something wrong with me?” Oh NOOOOO!!!! I’m so blessed I have such an honorable and wise husband. What’s wrong with me that I continue to do this?
  • Fortunately, we have a desire to succeed! We want it all!!! So I just have to ask for forgiveness, once again. This is not the first attempt at this….but this is the last.

My dear husband, please forgive me once again for telling you what to do. I’ve really worked on this and I’m sure I get it now! Friends, will you hold me accountable?

IMG_8935

Aren’t we happy grandparents? With our two month old grandson this weekend.

For more about the Change our Lord wants accomplished in all mankind, visit http://thelordiswithus.com/2015/10/27/the-new-true-self-must-increase-the-outer-man-must-decrease/

Changing our minds, Part 2


IMG_8543 (1)

Our site on Saturday. Forgot to take a picture with the blue sky!

Warning: This post contains sensitive matters related to our marriage and spiritual lives.

We arrived in Myrtle Beach on Friday, October 9. The weather was beautiful, as it usually is after a storm. In this case, Hurricane Joquin. We liked our site and got settled in quickly. Then off for a three-mile walk on the beautiful beach. We had a wonderful sunset and visited with neighbors. All and all, a great first day.

Saturday, the rain began. Could this campground handle it? While there had been some flooding with the hurricane, it had dried by the time we arrived. And yes, thankfully it and the area survived another full day of rain. We managed to get in another three-mile walk before it started. We decided with as many campers we saw, we best get to Camping World and see if they would be able to install a new washing machine. YES, as busy as they were, they booked us in on Monday morning at 8:00.  Hooray! For those who’ve followed our journey into buying the motor home, you know this is a BIG deal. (One main reason we wanted the motor home was for the washer and dryer capabilities. “Sharing” them in some campground laundry mat is less than ideal. When we bought it, we were told they both worked. But the washer didn’t….and that is fiasco is documented here.)

We were starting to decompress, so how great we were able to walk six miles in our first two days!  But we didn’t really talk about where we would go to church in the morning, which we normally do the night before. We did like the church services they have at this campground, so I assumed that would be where we would go.

IMG_8541

We woke up early and over breakfast, Bill suggested going to a “real” church. It comes out he was a bit tentative about the campground service. I googled First Baptist Churches (seems the best go to for us of late) and discovered their services were 8:30 or 11:00. If we hurried, we could make it. So we began to hurry. Debbie more so than Bill. You see, I want to do what he preferred. I’m fine where ever, as long as we go. But really, what is “church?” It’s not a building. It’s us!

While our new home has lots of space, it can get a bit tight if we are both in a hurry to go somewhere, like church. And we did have a collision this Sunday! It was really my fault. I was “directing” Bill (and that’s my 40-year-old quirk). He didn’t appreciate it….so long story short, we couldn’t make it to the 8:30 service. So off we went to the 9:00 campground service.

IMG_8540

The “church” service is held in the Rec room, next to the campground store.

What a surprise to see it was packed. The first row was open and we arrived right before 9. Of course, we got the prime seats! Bill is an introvert, so he hates having to walk in front of everyone…We had a welcome song and we really felt comfortable being in a church full of people like us, travelers, campers, and “visitors.”  Then Chevelle Turner led us in “Let’s Just Praise the Lord” and “People Need the Lord.”  Her voice is amazing and these songs were old time favorites. Then let the preaching begin.

I was on the edge of my seat as I knew the Lord has a special word for us since we had our little “collision.” And it wasn’t just bumping into each other. It was grating on each other’s nerves! Isn’t that how Sunday mornings are for everyone? LOL

Sermon title, “Changing Your Mind” and it was so geared towards, me, Debbie. (Maybe Bill will feel the same for himself. He hasn’t said yet!)

The texts were from the book of Romans and italics are mine for emphasis of this blog:

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

And Romans 8:5-9

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

Ok, so these seem like some pretty scary scriptures, but I knew we were in for a challenge. And we knew this was the message we needed to hear. So true confessions time, again. Very few people know a side to me (only close family) that we affectionately call, “little Larry” after my dad. Dad was a brilliant man, IQ wise, but socially, he struggled. He would fly off the handle over the little things. Needless to say, I tend to get irrational with Bill on rare occasions, but what happened this morning was one of those times. I KNOW I need to change my mind….

The pastor started out by telling us these scriptures mean it is a continuous process and it occurs from the inside out. The mind is described as housing our attitudes, thoughts, feelings, actions. These things are learned as babies are not born prejudice or with bad thoughts. Medical doctors can’t explain this process, but scientists have been intrigued for centuries.

I’m thinking this sermon must be for Bill. I have a great attitude about life, my thoughts and feelings are lined up with scripture….but the action part….OK, so I act up every once in a while. But for my very patient and kind husband, that every once in a while is a real thorn in his side!  Bill, on the other hand, has the actions down pat.  But his family background has ingrained him with a bit of negativity….but he can better explain it. We are both poking at each other during sermon points, as in to say, “that was for you!”

Let me just outline what the sermon was about, which, in essence, is that it’s up to us and our desire to change and be transformed.  But how do we do this?

  1.  We need to harness our desires. As we move from our past sinful life, we will allow the Lord to work in our hearts and minds.  We will want to be more like Jesus. He gave several examples of what that looks like, but the best was how King David expressed how he was longing for God’s presence, praise, joy, fellowship, and expressed confidence in God’s salvation. (Psalm 63).  He was a man after God’s own heart as stated in Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'”
  2. Deny ourselves (this statement is one reason why Christianity is unpopular – but it really works in our lives AND motor home) and pick up His cross (today, we view the cross as a cherished symbol of atonement, forgiveness, grace, and love) as we learn how to manage our thoughts.  Actually, being married is also a great way to learn to deny ourselves as we seek harmony and learn to put our spouse’s needs ahead of our own! But I digress. He used Elijah as an example.  We all go through trials and testing of our faith as he did.  We learn in 1 Kings 19 that Elijah just had a mountain top experience, but then when word was told to Queen Jezebel, she sought to have him killed. And this is where Elijah’s thinking process is skewed. Why would God abandon him now, after all He enabled Elijah to succeed and do? In essence, it’s not about ourselves as it wasn’t about Elijah.

Ok, I’m pretty satisfied so far and realize I need to do some mind changing things. Remember, I’ve confessed I was the one “directing” this morning. So now, Pastor, tell me HOW do I change my mind?

First, begin by monitoring our thoughts, such as worry, anger, covetous and negative thoughts. (But I’ve mastered these! I never get angry….oops…Guess when I told Bill what to do it wasn’t in the kindest way.) He continued by asking, “Isn’t it a downer to be around people full of these actions?” Remember if you are thinking these things, you are going to ACT on them.  Again, King David is worth quoting here, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23  The Pastor recommends saying this DAILY! How many times have I prayed this? I know I have READ it more than a dozen times since I have read through the Bible at least that many times since 2004.

Second, process life through the eyes of the Lord!  “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him….” 2 Chronicles 16:9a  I love seeing the world through my two-year-old grandson’s eyes. They are filled with wonder as he explores this world! Ah, to translate that to seeing the world through the Lord’s eyes!

Fearless

Awe and wonder at life at age two!

Two more great scriptures is to bring this together are: “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 & 4

Finally, he closes the sermon with these great diaries to help us see how “attitudes” can be so easily displayed. I had hoped I could find this on the web, and yes, here is a great closing, from here:

The Dog’s Diary

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat’s Diary

Day 983 of My Captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now …

I drafted this last Wednesday. Then we got a phone call from our daughter that she needed some help as the two-year-old had an infection the baby could easily catch. So what do we do? We drive the 5 hours to get him. We spent the night and brought him back, but the return trip was seven hours. He needed to stretch his legs and run around! So he’s now been here with us for a week. And we haven’t changed yet, so guess we now need Change Part 3….up next!

A Summary of Our First Five Road Trips


We’ve seen really cool travel maps from other’s blog sites (here’s my favorite one from a couple we are following) but when we tried to make ours,  it looked confusing. It’s at the bottom of this page, so we’re going to break our trips down with a summary of our time spent on each road trip up until we became full timers. We haven’t been able to blog about each location as initially hoped.  We can blame it on poor internet connectivity and poor time management – having too much fun to find time to blog – but then we need the blog to help us remember what we’ve done!

Let’s break this down to our first two trips:

1st and 2nd Trip

Dates 9/5-7/2013 & 9/17-21/2013

We bought our Keystone Cougar X-lite RV on September 4, 2013 at Camping World, Tampa, FL.  We had looked at Class A motor homes for about 3 years, but when it came to buy one, we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. But we needed an RV for our upcoming month long stay near our new grandson.  I’ve blogged about that journey here. We about gave up on buying anything when we stopped at “just one more” RV show.  This time Bill said let’s look in everything. We parked at the same time next to a brand new Ford F-150 Ecoboost.  The new proud owner said he was there to look at 5th wheels to tow.  We were shocked you could tow one, so we headed to the first 5th wheel we saw.  We stepped inside and were so impressed. Then a man came in and said randomly, “Can you believe, you can tow this with a Ford F-150 Ecoboost?” We were hooked and long story short, we bought ours the next day! And it was the end of the year sales on the Ford Trucks, so what a great time to buy a new 2013 truck! The RV salesman gave us two free nights to stay just a mile from the store at Tampa East RV Resort. Even thought it poured down rain our first night, we felt we were at “home.”

So we went home and began to plan our “maiden voyage” to Port St. Lucie RV Resort. We lived about smack dab in the middle of these two resorts, so around a two hour drive to our home. Again, we were so comfortable, we couldn’t wait to make our first trip up to Fredericksburg, Virginia to spend a month with our first grandson.

OUR THIRD ROAD TRIP:

10/4-12/1/2013 (56 nights)

10/4-12/1/2013 (56 nights)

Our daughter had to return to work when her baby was 2 months old.  So we suggested coming up for a month to watch him so he wouldn’t start day care until he was 3 months old. What a blessing that was! We were excited to get there, but to also begin some fun adventures in our new RV.  So we stopped at Jekyll Island, South Carolina (#2 on map) for our first stop on the way up the coast. There was great history (we did a self guided walking tour as well as the tram tour) and fabulous beaches. A very serene island! We enjoyed church at the friendly and historic Baptist Church. What a great time and we vowed we would return one day! But so far, we haven’t….By the way, we love the beach, which was one thing we had in common when we first met!

Bill researched and discovered the closest RV parks that were right on the beach were in Myrtle Beach. While it sounded good, I (Debbie) was a bit concerned about all the sand getting into our moving parts, our slides! But my fears were alleviated when I saw we were actually on the other side of dunes and on a concrete slab.  So we stayed in Ocean Lakes Campground (#3 on map) and discovered Myrtle Beach is the best beach for a long walk! We vowed we would return and we have!

After staying on the beach, it was time to go learn how to be grand parents. So off we were to the Fredericksburg/Washington DC KOA Campground (#4 on map), just a few miles from our daughter’s home. This resort is very nice, but I don’t know how bigger RV’s make it down the narrow and winding road. It is very convenient from I-95 but far enough away that you don’t hear the road noise.  We stayed here for 40 nights and loved every second we had with our precious grand baby. If not for the fun so far in our RV, I may have put my foot down and said we need to move back to Fredericksburg….but that would have not gone over very well with Bill since he vowed he would never move back there due to the traffic!  But I digress.

Bill has a knack for finding interesting places to visit.  So after some research, he selected Forest Lake RV (#5 on map), Advance, North Carolina. We didn’t blog about this stay, but we had a blast.  However, this campground was  a bit lacking in ambience, but it had all the amenities we needed (full hook ups). And the bonus was that since  I post on Facebook where we are, we were able to meet up with a long lost cousin and had a great time touring the Billy Graham Library and Museum with them.  We also had some great hiking (Boone’s Cave, Lexington, NC) as we discovered in 2003 how much we love to hike in the mountains. We both love history, so finding interesting places to visit, coupled with either mountains or beaches makes for a lot of fun and adventure for us.

Speaking of history, our next stop was in Milledgeville, Georgia, the first state capital of Georgia. The campground name was very deceiving but the history we stumbled on made up for the basic campground, Scenic Mountain RV Resort (#6 on map).  Good parts about the “resort” (a term that doesn’t really do it justice) was that it was conveniently located to the wonderful history, the price was excellent (Passport America), laundry room was nice, and the NEW staff was super friendly and helpful. The downside was that most of people in the resort were full time residents.  That tends to change the “ambiance” of a park. What we loved about Milledgeville was that it is a small college town and the historic area has been fabulously preserved. We visited several mansions, but our favorite was the Old Capital Museum.  The Docent or tour guide was a college student studying history. What a bonus and it was our favorite historical tour to date. We enjoyed church at Covenant Presbyterian Church – same name as our church in Sebring. As for hiking, we couldn’t find that scenic mountain! But one mansion we toured had a great self-guided walking tour of the grounds, a good one mile walk.

And the final location, Panama City Beach RV Resort (#7 on map). You get what you pay for! This was our most expensive resort to date, but it was absolutely fabulous! I’m not good at keeping track of how much we spend, but it was around $45 and they did give Good Sam Club discount. We actually met friends here (they camped in a pop-up tent in the Saint Andrews State Park, within walking distance) there for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The bad news was that it was the coldest week ever! The water was turned off one night due to the freezing temperatures. But hanging out with friends made it OK.  We enjoyed an evening at their campsite with a campfire cooked dinner (yummy!) and they came to our camper for a warm Thanksgiving dinner inside (it was so cold outside). We each prepared part of the meal so it was no burden for anyone. We had planned to cook a turkey in our new stove…what a shock when we finally looked inside it.  You can only cook a pan of brownies in it! So we did cheat and let Publix cook the turkey for us. Now the best lesson we learned here was when to travel.  The absolutely worst day to try and drive, especially when it was a normally 7 hour trip, is the Sunday after a holiday.  It took us 11 hours to get home. NOT FUN towing a 5th wheel.  What is so sad is that since we are retired, there was no rush to get home and we wished we had stayed another day or found a place to stop about 1/2 home. So we vowed we will limit our travel days and actually learned the best days to travel are Tuesdays and Thursdays for some reason. And we absolutely loved the long journey and the 56 nights!

FOURTH ROAD TRIP

12/18/2013-1/7/2014 (

12/18/2013-1/7/2014 (23 nights)

We learned how to be flexible this time out. Our grandson became ill and couldn’t be in day care. I can pack a suitcase in about 30 minutes, so I flew up as fast as I could get to the airport. We had planned to return for Christmas, but not sure if the weather would allow it. We had two weeks to decide. Bill joined me about two weeks later, towing the RV!  So he made his first trip by himself, traveling to Jolly Time Acres, St. George, SC. It was a Passport America campground, basic, but the friendly staff made it pleasant. Bill learned he can hook up and unhook the 5th wheel by himself as well as do all the setting up. Then he headed back to the Fredericksburg/Washington DC KOA campground again, for our second stay. That was over 800 miles in two days! But since he traveled mid-week, traffic wasn’t bad. We had a fantastic Christmas, having a grandbaby made it so special. My sister and her husband live about 2 hours away from our daughter, so it was great that they came up for the day and we meet again a few days later.

Our trip home was back to the beach, Myrtle Beach, but this time, PirateLand.  It was next door virtually to Ocean Lakes. We ended up preferring PirateLand because they give the Good Sam Club discount. Both are equally good, although Ocean Lakes may have a bit more ambiance!  This winter was unusual, so we were told, so it was a bit cold. In fact, the day we left it was 19 degrees! As Bill unhooked the water, some dripped as usual, but it froze the minute it hit the concrete pad! Thanks again to FaceBook, we got up with an old prayer partner from our first church in New Jersey. So we hung out with him some, had dinner together, visited his home and learned more about the area.  Our final leg of the trip home was to stay in the Jacksonville North/St. Mary’s KOA. We joined KOA so earned enough points for a free night! This KOA is very convenient to I-95. The staff is outstanding and of course, there are all the normal amenities. Plus it has a nice layout that we could get in a two mile walk at night.  By now, we have spend a total of 87 nights in our RV and towed it 4,627 miles.  We are beginning to dream about going full-time!

FIFTH ROAD TRIP and last before we become full-timers!

3/22-5/20/2014 (55 nights)

3/22-5/20/2014 (55 nights)

Time for our spring visit to our daughter to celebrate her birthday and our anniversary (in the same month, so we make a big deal for both every year). Might as well see as much as possible as we have the luxury of time for this road trip.  We stayed at 9 resorts and this time decided to add the mountains to our return trip. But was you may begin to notice, we are returning to some of our favorite places, if nothing else, they are convenient for our trek between Florida and Virginia.

First stop is back to the Jacksonville North/St. Mary’s KOA. It had been about 10 weeks since we were out in the RV.  It was in the shop nearly the whole time getting a bunch of warranty repairs taken care of. We also began to sell off our rental properties as we now have the vision to go full time.  So Bill had to do a lot of labor (worked 7 days a week for three weeks – but took time off for Church) as he prepared some of the houses for sale. We are learning as we age, we need to take our time doing things (like packing) so we had a great list of everything we knew we needed as we planned for nearly two months on the road. But of course, we forgot the wonderful lunch we had packed for our arrival to the KOA (it’s only about 4 hours from home), rain gear, shower soap, and dish soap. Thank goodness for Walmart for the little things, but guess we’ll get wet if it rains (main thing is to use while Bill may empty our tanks in the rain).

We initially planned to go to Cedar Creek, NC from here, but when we woke up, we heard Myrtle Beach calling us! What a draw it has on us.  We stayed back in PirateLand. This time we toured historic Georgetown. We arrived in summer clothes, but quickly had to bundle up! We loved the history of the rice plantations. We didn’t know that this area was the rice capital of the US until after the Civil War. We only stayed here 3 days as we needed to get to our daughter’s to help them get their townhome ready to sell.

Who would have known we’d be trying to sell our homes at the same time as our daughter.  But it  helped that Bill is a good painter and really can do about any work needed around a house. So that was how he kept himself occupied while I took care of our grandson, who had a cold. Then Bill got sick as a dog with the flu! He was down and out for about 5 days. I ended up with strep throat, but caught it right away so I only missed one day. So without going into great detail, we needed a week off, so we headed down to Cedar Point, NC for 4 days.  We had a great time, discovered Emerald Isle; met up with our family’s Marine who gave us a tour of Camp LaJune and had dinner with his family (he and his wife have a son and twin girls); toured Fort Macon and learned more civil war history, and found a few places for some good walks. It was a really full four days! Then back to Fredericksburg to work and find time to celebrate our anniversary and our daughter’s birthday.

Sadly, it was time to leave our grandson. We never knew a baby boy could change our lives like he did!  But then, there was another Baby Boy who changed the world! We are looking forward to celebrating His Birthday this CHRISTmas!

So off we were to return to Florida via the mountains, after all, it was now spring time. We decided we wanted to travel on the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway.  We did make the entire Skyline Drive and it was pleasant enough, just a bit too slow since we were meeting friends.  So much to see and so little time! We actually thought about returning and possibly boon docking on the parkway, but decided we’re addicted to the luxury of full hook ups!

We stayed at the entrance of the Skyline Drive to get us oriented (and pay $10 for a week of on and off the parkway). I blogged about our stay at North Fork Resort in Front Royal, Virginia. Let’s just say we loved the mountains but we probably won’t return to this particular resort! It was definitely the worst one so far (and as I write this after 39 stays, it is still the worst one). Why?  The way they treated us! It had the basics we needed, full hook up, but the initial phone call for the reservation should have been a clue they don’t like “strangers.” And it went downhill from there….

Our next stop at the Staunton/Walnut Hills KOA had to be better and it was like night and day! WOW, they made us feel so welcome and couldn’t do enough to make sure our stay was the best.  And this one ranks up there as one of the best! We were asked if we’d like to back up to the lake for one thing. Awesome! The “neighbors” who watched were a hoot and very friendly! We loved this place alone and will return one day! Sadly, we haven’t had time to blog about it, but I’m inserting a photo gallery to capture the essence!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No blog for the next two stops, either.  Next, was a short drive so we stopped over night and had a full day to see the sights.  We stayed at Yogi Bear’s Jelly Stone Camp Resort  at Natural Bridge, Virginia. What a nice campground and beautiful sight this was. We didn’t stay longer because we had a deadline to meet up with our friends. We want to return and spend more time here and especially see the night time Natural Bridge Light show, which tells the story of creation.

Our next stop was Mount Airy where we stayed at the Mayberry Campground. This was a love at first sight experience! From the initial greeting at the office, to the site, the sights around town and the hiking, we vowed to return and we have! We stayed three days and they were three of the most relaxing days of all! No wonder Andy Griffith was such a charming and sweet man! This town raises them that way!

Our next stop was our driving force to get us finally to Ashland, NC. We had wanted to visit here for the 10 years we lived in Fredericksburg but just never made the time.  This is one of our best experiences, really enjoyed the church we found, had great hiking and camping with friends – the same friends we spent Thanksgiving with at Panama City Beach. Thankfully, I managed to find time to blog about this GREAT time with our dear friends! Not sure if I ever mentioned, they were the ones who encouraged us to try the mountains for a vacation.

It was now time to get back along the coast, to I-95 to bee-line our way home to Sebring.  But first, we spend a fabulous 6 days in Charleston, NC.  I was able to blog about this great historical city.  The campground was very basic, full hooks ups and a decent enough laundry room. The location was good as we drove both south and north to see all the sights. We tried to see everything so we wouldn’t have to return. We think we succeeded this time. I guess I didn’t mention that part of the reason we are in North Carolina so much is to see if there is a location we would eventually want to settle down in – since Bill doesn’t want to live in Fredericksburg again.  I’m OK with that, but my only request is that we live only about 5 hours from our grandson. So far, nothing has really hit us. But Myrtle Beach is the biggest draw, but we don’t think we could live in a resort town again. We lived in Virginia Beach for 7 years. It is also beyond my mandatory 5 hour drive!  LOL!

Our journey is about to come to an end on May 20, 2014, with another overnight stay at the Jacksonville/St. Mary KOA.  We’re so glad these excursions ended on such a positive note. We’re now ready to make the plunge.  Miraculously, all of our rental homes sold in the depressed market and didn’t kill us too badly (we had a lot of solid equity). So now for the last one to sell – our own home, as well as Bill’s motorcycle (sold the day we “listed it” to someone who had expressed an interest). And to get rid of everything! So in the midst of all this, our daughter’s home sold and they bought a much larger home. So praise God, we’ll gave her a lot of our furniture! We love how things just manage to work out.

But we had no idea how busy our June was about to become because we also have a date to travel to Illinois to spend 10 days with Bill’s mom (June 26-July 8, 2014). We were approaching six weeks of not seeing our grandson – and it’s my birthday and Father’s Day mid-June. So we decided to just drive our car up and stay in a hotel for a “quick trip” from June 12-June 21. We could help our daughter move out of her house along with the celebrations.  And wouldn’t you know it, we listed our house right before we left and it sold on June 15 with a closing date of July 15! Talk about adventures! What a whirlwind June and July became!  We blogged about it here, where we ended up becoming Full Time RVers – on July 15, 2014!

Map of our first five travels “live”