Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our First Anniversary

It’s been a year! My how time flies when you are having fun. One year ago today we met at the attorney’s office and signed the papers to close on our house. In doing this we ended a long history of “stationary” home ownership. We still own a home….its just on wheels.

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The other day I read a very touching post by Donna of (Cave Dwellings) where she explained the love she had for her RV….a 5th wheel Hitchhiker. She wrote about how being inside her rig made her happy and peaceful. I encourage you to check out her blog and the post entitled - Spiffing Up the HitchHiker….Makes me Smile!…I Needed That.

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How does this fit in with our one year anniversary?? Our new home, the Dutch Star, has become a place for us to feel happy and peaceful. A place to relax in and just be…

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We haven’t traveled great distances and we knew we would be limited these first few years. Mike took an early retirement and so now we wait for his retirement money at the appropriate age. We have my teacher’s pension which includes terrific health insurance and if all goes well…one day Social Security. Until then we knew we would be doing some volunteering, sitting and slow moving. That is ok by us.

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The last few years of our lives in the sticks and bricks were anything but great. Mike was working very long hours….beginning at 4:45 in the morning and putting in as much as 12 to 14 hours. His back was almost gone and he was in great pain. He had two lumbar epidurals and several (30) treatments of spinal decompressions. We were lucky in that these treatments helped the pain and kept him off the operating table. His left knee is bad and he has already had minor surgery on it. More than that was the sheer exhaustion. We hardly had a relationship due to the fatigue of his grueling job in food service.

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We had tried several times to sell our home to pursue our dream of full-timing but the economy was bad and the housing market was heading south at a rapid rate taking house prices with it. We finally took the house off the market and decided to try as best we could to make the most of this situation. That is when I received the phone call from our realtor that she highly suspected that she had the house sold. We showed the house and through the next few weeks the house sold. We sold the house for our asking price and we didn’t have to assist in closing costs. The folks purchasing the house had no problems with financing. It was really a dream closing.

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Life is short…..at its longest it is a short ride. I was already retired from 35 years of teaching and Mike was working himself into an early grave….for what??? Nothing meant as much to me as having him alive and well and happy. We decided to take the offer, sell the house and go ahead and purchase a motor home and give this elusive lifestyle a chance.

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So here we are one year later. Any regrets? No, we are able to enjoy this lifestyle on our terms, move when we can, volunteer when we find something neat to do and enjoy family and make many new and wonderful friends. Most of our new friends are RV related in some way and many are right here in blog land. Some of the most wonderful people I have ever gotten to know are right here on this blog and Mike and I value your friendships.

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I once wrote that every full-timer has to establish their own unique rhythm. We are working on that and think we are doing pretty good. We’ve made a few “timing” errors but we are learning. We may not be moving as fast as some but we are still very much in love with this lifestyle and if we have to be stationary for a few weeks or more I would still rather be here in my little house on wheels than anywhere else on earth.

Thank you Donna for your honest account of your love for your rig and what it means to your life. I applaud you and so totally agree.

Thank all of you for reading and sharing in this adventure with us. You make it special!

On to year two!!

31 comments:

Mike and Peggy Evringham said...

Looks to me like you have had a GREAT year! Happy Anniversary - and our best wishes for next year being even better.

Jessica said...

Thanks for a great post! :) I agree - life is too short and we have to make the most of every moment. :)

Myrddin said...

Yes, this is truly a great lifestyle. I'm so happy that it's working for you.

Linda and I have also been healthier and happier than we were in our stix and brix house. There have been bumps in the road, but they seem smaller than the ones we used to have.

Congratulations on year one. Years 2 through 9 are even better. :-)

Jim and Linda

Karen and Al said...

Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for sharing your story.

I don't think you have to be running all over the country to be happy in the fulltiming life. When we start, we intend to pretty much stay in or near Florida for a few years until I can start collecting SS. My Mom is there and I want to stay close by. We lived in Florida for a long time, but there is still a lot we haven't seen and many, many places we'd like to visit again. You just need to do whatever works for you and if you are happy, then I think you're on the right path. The main thing, I think for you two was getting Mike out of that killer job. I also had a very stressful job and worked long hours. It was killing me and we both knew it.

Your old house was very nice, but I REALLY like your new house on wheels!

Weldon and Sandy said...

What a wonderful first year in your new life. We are now working on our eleventh year in our home on wheels and still love it. We don't do as much traveling as before due to aging parents, but Sandy and I are very content with our life style.

pidge said...

What a beautiful post. All the pictures are great also. There is a mist of contentment that envelopes us when we walk through our RV door. We, like you, love this lifestyle and hope to continue for many years to come. Thanks again for a great post. Pidge

Bob said...

Thanks for the wonderful post about your first year on the road. It sure sounds like you made the perfect decision.

Judy and Emma said...

Glad you've found your rythmn! Remember, sometimes the song changes, but the beat goes on... :)

Rick and Paulette said...

Congrats on your first year anniversary. Great post and the photos are a nice recap of your first year on the road. I'm sure you'll have many, many more to come.

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

Congratulations on your one year. And thank you for sharing your story with us.

Margie M. said...

Happy Anniversary, Mike and Gerri. Your post was wonderful, thoughtful and honest. Everyone develops their own rhythm in the fulltime lifestyle and you have certainly found yours. We are all alike, but very different. (profound statement, I know)

Thanks for sharing your story, and I'm so glad to read that Mike's back is so much better. Job stress is such a killer!

Dennis and Donna said...

Thanks for the wonderful compliments you threw my way...I meant every word I said in that blog. I find a peacefulness in our rig, even sitting here at home on the pad..I even talk to it while I clean...OK, so maybe I'm a little "over the top"..I've never been accused of being passive. That was a really poignant blog...I'm envious of your full-time life...Sticks and bricks do not a home make...YOU make the home... and Congratulations for one year "on the road" in your new home...

Margie and Roger said...

Congratulations on one year! And thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, we are in Portland which is just a little north of Nashville. We previously lived in Gallatin. We had planned to leave Portland on Wednesday to return to Florida but may be delayed awhile (Roger hurt his back). I've read the early pages of your blog when you were preparing to become full-timers...sure brought back memories. It is a lifestyle, not a vacation, and it allows you to go where you want when you want - you are right to do all of that at your own pace and to change plans whenever necessary. Looking forward to following along on your blog.

Phyllis said...

What a timely post. Here I sit in the house that USED to be ours. (Daughter and son-in-law live here now). We used to LOVE this house, love the grounds, love the area.

I was telling family and friends just last night how I do not miss it one bit. It does not even feel like "home" Right now our home is in the shop being repaired. If we are really lucky we will be back in our home in less than two weeks.

So - Gerri and Mike - here we all are - enjoying better health, more friendships and a sense of freedom we never thought imaginable. Congratulations on choosing to LIVE!

Randy and Terry said...

Happy anniversary, friends. We're sure grateful you decided to join this crazy life - 'cause you've become family! Enjoy.

Judi Curp said...

Congratulations on your 1st anniversary. It only gets better. Enjoy the ride wherever and however it takes you.

Carol K said...

What a pleasure it was to read your post today. Happy 1 year anniversary of full-timing! You said it well, and your pictures document that you've seen a lot during this year. I'm so happy to hear that Mike's health has improved--that alone makes the lifestyle change worthwhile. I agree with Donna, I get a sense of both peace and adventure when I step into our Bounder, even if it's to clean it or load it for another trip.

May you spend many happy years together, Mike and Gerri, living out your full-timer's dream!

Freely Living Life said...

Beautiful post! We are so happy that you two figured out how to live freely and truly enjoy life. May you continue to live happy and pain free in this amazing lifestyle. :)

Susan said...

Happy anniversary! We'll celebrate our third in October and still loving the lifestyle.
Happy trails!

Sue and Doug said...

A very Happy Anniversary to you all!!!..I found your blog at the beginning of your full time adventure..hard to believe I have been following you for a year already!!.here is to many more years of happiness!
Home is where your heart is!
One day our paths will cross..thanks for the great ride...bring on year two!!

Wayne and Roberta said...

Congratulations on your 1st year Anniversary. Sounds like you made the right choice. It doesn't really matter what you decide to do or how far you travel as long as you are happy and the stress level has been reduced.

Wishing you many more happy years!!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Happy Anniversary! We love being in our Motorhome too, and are chomping at the bit to get to full time status.

It seems when in the rig, we are so close to the outside... the weather, the scenic view, the noises we hear or the people who pass. When you are stuck in a stix n brix house, it's like you are removed or isolated from all that in a way. When in the rig, we are *RIGHT THERE*! When in the house, we are just *inside*.


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Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

Wayne and Maureen said...

Congrats on the first year and what a wonderful experience you share with others with your blog and your generous spirit. One year from now and we will be on the road! See ya

~~Mike~~ said...

Many Congrats on your first year! This is such a great lifestyle! I am glad we found your blog and are able to follow along with you :)

-Mike & Heidi
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"
HTTP://WWW.VanTramps.Com

Kevin and Sheryl said...

Great reflection on your first year, looking forward to ours.

Darrell and Judy Patterson said...

Happy First Anniversary and we wish you many more. As you are learning, the fulltime lifestyle takes on many personalities, it's not one size fits all. Fulltiming looks a little different for each and everyone of us yet, we share one thing in common - the love of RVing. Take care and we're looking forward to seeing you sometime this fall.

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

Always nice to get that first year under your belt for sure. Ya did good:))

The Gypsy G-Mas said...

I'm a little late in sending my congratulations, but better late than never, right? You obviously have made a lot of friends based on the number of comments you received. Your blog has been entertaining, insightful and most of all enjoyable. Although I didn't follow your blog from the beginning, we have learned so much from you and have been immensely comforted by your support of our growing pains.

I think you are correct that every fulltimer has to find their own rythym, which may take years and may frequently change. But that's just one of the joys.

I wish you much happiness in year 2 and look forward to following along!

-Nellie and Jonathan said...

Wow....a year!! You guys are awesome, and I love reading about your lives on the blog.

Wayne and Maureen said...

So, what you guys doing? Haven't seen you for awhile.

John and Carol said...

Happy Anniversary. You are such an inspiration to us. We are so happy that the full time lifestyle is working out so well for you.