Winding Down 2016; Looking Towards 2017

Christmas lights 11262016

Holiday lights add cheer

Honestly, I’m looking forward to wrapping up 2016.  We’ve had the usual challenges of Life  this year and said good-bye to our sweet Maggie.  We continue to be grateful for each other, our home on wheels,  work, food, reasonable health for our ages, and so forth.  I’m ready, though, to put this year to bed and move on.

Speaking of moving on, we are in the planning and dreaming stages of transitioning to a new lifestyle.  We have had 6.5 years of living as full-time RVers, but – if all goes to plan – that time is coming to a close.  We are currently both working “normal” jobs (Dave in the community and me telecommuting as an admin assistant) with our home in an RV park.  We might as well be living in an apartment somewhere. 

While we experienced challenges from Mother Nature during our years in NJ as an on-site security team, Mother also provided us with rewards of the Spirit, magical and breathtaking moments, and memories for a lifetime.

Our souls were nurtured.   Our souls are currently starving.  Time for a change.

That, of course, is not the only reason.  We’re ready to get out from under the physical maintenance and related expenses associated with RV upkeep.   We want to sell the rig while it’s in good shape, before it gets much older.  The reality is that I need a home office, not just a wee desk in the corner by the kitchen, as my job has mushroomed over the past months and continues to do so. 

Workstation in RV August 2015

I find that violent storms make me uneasy in the RV, something which never bothered me before.  Of course, we had sturdy buildings in which to take shelter, something we don’t have here, and we primarily experienced snow storms, not the volatile thunderstorms and tornado warnings such as we get here in Texas.  We don’t feel “hitch itch” as in previous years, although we are looking forward to being on the road headed to our new location next year; we do miss seeing new places and the experiences that come along with traveling. Giving up the RV certainly doesn’t preclude a car trip by any means.   We’re tired of … people and traffic in large numbers.  We feel the need to be closer to Nature in a cleaner  environment, closer to wilderness.

So … the plan at this point is to sell the RV and move to a smallish town in northern MN, settling in a cottage within a 55+ community.   Maintenance-free living.  Simplifying our life and expenses again.  No snow shoveling!

Post wash street side 03162016

Will be  emotional selling our home next Spring.  She’s a good rig and provides us a cozy home filled with many memories. 

I hear you saying, “Minnesota?!  Northern Minnesota?!?!  But it’s cold up there!!! “ 

Yes, it’s cold up there.  That’s one of the reasons we want to go.  Having been back in Texas again this Summer, we realize we both need to be in a colder climate for comfort/health reasons.  We know about Winter in Minnesota, having lived there during  2005-2007.  Yes, it snows.    A  lot.  And it’s cold.  Really  cold.

028_25A

Walking around town and loving it – Hibbing, MN 2006

But you know what?   I have grilled outdoors with snow on the ground and more coming down.  Life doesn’t stop up there when it’s snow season.   We both still find magic in snowfall.  We miss walking hand-in-hand, hearing our boots crunching in the snow. The cold?  Well, you can always put on more clothes.  I’m a “sweater girl” at heart, and Dave is from Scotland.  There’s only so much you can take off when the mercury reaches 100+.  It’s a dry cold, too, and that makes a world of difference.  Trust me.

020_17A

Dave on one of our walks in Hibbing MN,  2006

Living in Minnesota is like … well, it’s like living in an entirely different country.  Seriously.  That’s what I thought when I first moved there in July 2005.  Obviously the weather is different.  Buildings are different, especially in the smaller towns.  It’s less ritzy and glitzy.  There is a unique and distinct Minnesota accent one hears.  We’re ready to be back in a small town.  Fewer people and less stuff  around,  enough to meet one’s needs (and ours are basic needs) – shopping, health care, etc. , and slightly larger and more prosperous than Hibbing, where we lived previously.   Where we hope to be is again in the northern part of the state – well north of The Cities – where there’s not much between us and Canada (again) except a lot of trees and a lot of bears.  I’m ready for clean air and clean water.  Fewer people doing stupid, rude, senseless, and violent acts.  I’m ready to return to an area where the predominant cultural influence is Native American.  My Spirit yearns for all this, as does Dave’s.  I’m ready to see Winter be so cold that it literally reboots Mother Nature for the next year.  I’m ready to be back someplace where we can pack a lunch and go out in nature for the day without having to drive and drive and drive and drive …

009_6 (2)

Dave at the head of the Mississippi on our of our day trips – MN, 2006

No, it’s not Utopia.  There is no such place.  However, we believe that our quality of life will be greatly increased.

We are still active and vital, and not ready for your typical “senior community” and rocking chairs on the front porch.  Except for a lazy afternoon when the weather’s nice.  Ha!   We are, however, ready to live in a mature community where – hopefully – our neighbors share the same overall values as us.   Our age peer group, if you will.

It also seems fitting that we return to Minnesota, as that’s where we started our life together here in the States.

So that’s the plan at this point.   The logistics are going to be … interesting, at the least.  But hey, this is the same gal who in 2005, put her Texas property on the market, sold everything except bare necessities, loaded the rest in a 6×12 U-Haul trailer (with the help of awesome friends) and headed solo (but with 2 cats and 1 dog) to Minnesota to an apartment she’d never seen (picked out by an aunt and uncle), to a state she’d never been in, engaged to a man 4000 miles away with whom she had spent a sum total of 2 weeks.  All that was accomplished in less than 30 days.

MN move 2005

Loaded  up  with the help of these 2 awesome friends (and others), ready to head to MN – June 2005

This is doable! 

If’s  … if our assignment in NJ had indeed lasted another 3 years, if by some fantasy that job opened up again, if we indeed had been given another assignment shortly after returning to Texas … we would be carrying on in the RV lifestyle quite contentedly.  But … things don’t always materialize as one has been told.    If we’d known there would not be more security work, we would not have returned to Texas. 

We’ve given this a year.   It’s time to make other plans. 

A bit of envisioning and manifesting going on with this blog post.  We’ve always said we would like to eventually return to Minnesota at some point down the road, and we’ve been talking about making this jump for months now, but this is the first time I’ve put it in writing. 

So, positive vibes, a goal to work towards and look forward to, and hopes I retain a wee bit of my sanity while we get our ducks – errr …. Canada Geese, more appropriately – in a row.  The prospect of this new chapter in our life together is exciting!

What’s on your horizon for 2017?

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements