Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 12-Year of Decision It is Never Easy

The past two days have been pretty difficult.  Tom was in Houston until earlier today and Julio was here to replace the kitchen floor.  A mobile home is a little different in that when you take out a floor to replace it, you see the ground underneath.  Underneath our mobile home is dirt, feral cat nests and the occasional possum.  For this reason the floor has to be taken out and replaced all the same day or be done in stages.  We are doing in stages, it appears.  Tomorrow will be day 3 of replacing the floor. It would be finished now but I did not buy enough tiles and had to go at the last minute tonight to get some more for tomorrow.  I am not going to tell anyone that I bought the amount Tom told me to buy.  That would be counterproductive.

I also have Evelyn for the next couple of days so not much is happening on the sorting front. You would think that I am unhappy and frustrated. It is weird, but I am not.  You have to break eggs to make an omlet, you need friction to make a pearl and time to make a diamond.  All of these things are special.  Well I have destroyed the house, had a fight with Tom and have 5 weeks to get everything done.  I seem to be right on target!!

I actually believe I am right smack in the middle of God's will for Tom and me. That is a wonderful feeling.  Today I have felt stress (so much to do), relief (DH was coming home today), frustration (isn't that dang floor ever going to be finished), joy (Evelyn actually hugged my neck and grinned at me today. Not bad for 10 months), anger (DH should not be mad at me, he told me how many boxes of tiles to buy), and now peace - Jesus' peace - that one that surpasses understanding.

I know I will have more of these days in the next month, year and lifetime I have left.  I just hope God reminds me, as he did tonight, as long as I stay in the center of his plan for me, the rest is just noise.

Good night all, the adventure continues...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 10 Year of Decision - March Madness

(San Antonio, TX)  For those of you who think March Madness is about basketball, think again.  March Madness is deciding to go full-time and giving yourself 7 weeks to get 'er done!

I did not post this weekend because I was up to my arse in alligators. I told you on Friday that my sister Carol was coming in to help me sort my craft stuff to get it ready to sell.  Well we have only made a small start and this is what my living room looks like:

Tom will be back from Houston tomorrow and he is going to croak! I can hear it now, "Damn it Donna (btw that is his pet name for me), I thought you were getting rid of this stuff! Between your crap and the dog I can't even walk across the floor." Yes, honey, I know.  When we sell the living room furniture there will be more room to stack my crap.

NOTE:  I should tell you that I have these conversations in my mind all the time preparing for the real things.  Sometimes I get pretty close.

The plan is to get all my stuff sorted and priced for a craft sale we are having in Corpus Christi on May 15th.  That will give us time to do the same thing at Carol's before then.  She and Jerry (her DH) are going full-time next year sometime. After seeing the disaster facing me, she decided to get a much earlier start on clearing out her crafts. 

Of course, today there is someone coming to replace the kitchen floor in the mobile because it has started to buckle and we can't lease it out like that.  He may run away screaming when he sees the mess. He will need to pull out the refrig and dishwasher... hmmm maybe I can move the dinette table against the wall...

The moral of that story is: (1) Buying stuff on a whim will come back and bite you. (2) Selling stuff on a whim will make you get rid of that one thing you really needed to keep. (3) And finally, Damn it Donna, at least stack that stuff against the walls so I can walk from the kitchen without breaking my leg.

The adventure continues.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 7 Year of Decision - Errands and Family

(San Antonio, TX)  Friday, March 25, 2011 - Today was really busy from start to finish.  Tom left early to drive to Houston to spend the weekend with his 2 brothers.  Bill flew in from South Carolina and the three met at Mike's house in Spring, TX.  It has been a while since they spent some time together so all were looking forward to it.  Tom left his garment bag with all his shirts in it and had to stop and buy shirts for the weekend.  He was complaining that he was planning to get rid of shirts, not buy more!  I however, believe he has a lot of shirts that could do with replacing and this was a good thing.  :)

I stayed home and waited for my sister Carol to get here for the weekend.  We were planning to get a head start on going through my craft room and deciding what I just can't live without. Of all the jobs I have to do in the next month this will be the hardest.  I am a quilter/sewer (I am really offended that sewer and sewer are spelled the same.  Making quilts with a needle and a waste disposal system have very little in common. I believe sower and sower would be better.  One creates things with fabric and thread and the other grows plants and trees and ideas).

I have been collecting supplies, rulers, fabric, thread, basically a stash of things for years. Now I am limited to taking a small box that holds only the essentials and multi-taskers. Linda Payne of RV-Dreams.com told me a couple of years ago that it would be hard, and I believed her. Now I am beginning to really understand the emotional cost of going full-time. Belief versus understanding. The head acknowledged a long time ago that most of our possessions would be gone one way or another. It is very easy to say, we are going to sell all our stuff and live in the RV. It is quite another when you finally get down to the nitty-gritty of what to keep and what goes. Hmmm... Enough of my personal sob story.

Anyway, we did not get that head start because the water to the park we are living in was shut off for the day. Since we could not throw stuff away, we went shopping.  That makes sense, doesn't it? Ok, we just really ran errands and purchased things that were on the list to buy and we had a great time doing it.  It is my personal opinion that sisters make the best friends.  They are required to love us no matter what we do or say!

After coming home and getting dinner we just collapsed and went to bed early.  We will get that head start tomorrow... or Sunday...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 7 Year of Decision - More of the same

Today was another of those days where I got nothing done.  I sort of remember having babies in the house and maybe I am wrong, but I did get some things done during the day. Gramie gets nothing done while Evelyn is in the house. I think two days a week is plenty.

Tom, on the other hand, had a good day. He ran the cable from the cable box to the center of the overhead cabinet in the bedroom and ran power there also.  Instead of the bedroom TV being in the back of the Entertainment Center, we moved it to be in the middle of the room facing out.  We are putting our heads on the other end of the beds than usual.

Then he and Evelyn decided to go ahead and take out one side of the built-in dinette.  That and the table will be replaced with my office/desk. 

Tom has come up with a nice design so that we will both have computer space and a place to eat. We will not have recliners or a couch but I think this suits us much better.  We have never really been the sit on the sofa and watch TV people.  We sit at our desks, play computer games and watch TV out of the corner of our eyes. 

A couple of other things were settled today as well. We are having the kitchen floor replaced before we move out and got that set up for Monday.  Also, I think we may have found a buyer for our Blue Leather living room set.  I am hoping to hear from them this weekend. 

Carol, my sister, will be here tomorrow while Tom goes to spend the weekend with his brothers.  Tom's older brother Bill is coming in from South Carolina and they will meet at younger brother Mike's house.  Should be fun for him.  No telling when they will get together again. 

Carol and I will be cleaning out closets, sorting crafting supplies and just enjoying each other's company.  Sometimes you just gotta have a sister fix.

In the meantine, I am hoping these baby steps we keep taking will add up to a giant leap toward getting everything done in time.  Stick with us as we brave the trials of getting rid of more stuff.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 6-Year of Decision - A Day Off?

(San Antonio, TX)  Today was supposed to be more demolition but it just didn't happen.  Neither Tom nor I slept worth a darn last night.  So many things going through our heads.  He finally got up about 3:00 am and worked on logistics and a time line of what needs to be done when.  I kept pretending I was asleep until about 7:00 then got up to take care of the grandbaby for the day.
First thing on today's agenda was to determine which debts were going to be paid off.  We will be hitting the road pretty much debt free and hopefully will be able to get an occasional work camp or gate guarding job to supplement our income. I still have a ways to go before Social Security so we will be living on Tom's SS and Dresser Pension for the most part. With that decided the day went right downhill.

We were so tired and Evelyn was so awake.  Today was one of those times when she just had to be with me every second.  We decided to not work on the RV and just work around the house.  I have started sorting my books and crafting stuff to see what I can get rid of.  I don't want to get rid of any of it.  ROFL

We got a call from a very good friend who is in Korea tonight - Hi Lora! It was great to hear from her.  She made a great suggestion for the demo and construction work we still have to do. We should get Tom some knee and elbow pads and a helmet to protect him from all the cuts and scrapes.  Tom just wants me to stop taking pictures of his butt while he is working.  I happen to believe he has no butt so what difference does it make, really?

I am going to get a good night's sleep and hopefully tomorrow will be more productive.  Take care all and God Bless.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 5 Year of Decision - Demolition continues

Scratches, scrapes, punctures and cuts, these describe our day today.  Demolition on the interior of the RV continues with the removal of the drawers and carpeting in the bedroom. Tom has this tradition of never working on a project without donating at least a little blood.

There is not much room in the little bedroom, our RV is 27' and the bedroom is 81" deep x 96" wide. The twin beds are 78" long and 40" wide.  When you do the math it is kind of a "what?" moment.  Not much room but the design is pretty good.  Tom cut his leg, arm and one hand removing the drawer in the picture.

The other side contributed with scratches on his arm.  Me?  Well my job was ripping out the carpet which meant my hands were in constant contact with the staples they used on the carpet.  However, due to my expertise and careful attention to detail, I did not damage my nails at all!

The next step was to reverse the doors on the overhead cabinets so they would open from the center rather than the side.  We had expert help with this from our youngest daughter, Kimberly.

And Evelyn was in charge of the water supply:

We felt really good about the day. Demolition in the bedroom is finished.  Design for the bed supports is complete but we plan to do all demolition this week and build the new stuff next week.  Tomorrow, on to the dinette!  Grampy gave Evelyn a lift back into the house in time for dinner.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 4 Year of Decision - Misunderstanding Moments

It has been a whirlwind weekend and the list of things to do just keeps getting longer. The house is a wreck because we have been selling furniture. My clothes are in a plastic bin on the floor and I can't even find my purse.  Still, we have emptied some more from the house and we are one day closer to our dream.

I have to tell you about a discussion Tom and I had today.  I think about it now and laugh but at the time I was really ticked and so was he.  It all started with 4 inches.  Well, really it was 8 inches first.  Then it got divided by 2 and became 4 inches.

We were sitting in the RV after taking out the storage area under the queen bed that we removed yesterday.  Tom started explaining how he was going to build the storage under the twin beds we are putting in. Well I am not really on the same page with him when he gets into his 'engineer' mode.  I just know what I want and expect him to figure it out.  So...

He said, There's an 8 inche overlap over the storage box. I think I am going to equalize them and put four on each side." 

I said, "You can't do that because that will leave a hole against the outside wall. "

He said, Doing that will support the mattress better and keep it from sagging."

I said, "No you can't do that because it will leave a hole against the outside wall."

He said, "Damn it Donna, I am not going to put any holes in the outside wall because I will bring it in 4 inches from the wall."

I said, "No you can't do that because it will leave a hole against the outside wall."

He stared at me and then started yelling that I didn't know what I was talking about and blah blah blah.  Well, that is pretty typical so I paid my usual amount of attention to his ranting (none really).  After 41 years of marriage I can pretty well predict how these things are going to go. I let him ramble and show me how I was wrong and told him to do whatever he wanted to do.

He said "Your going to have an extra 4 inches of storage between the storage box and the outside wall."

I said, "There will be a hole that things would bounce around and in and out of while we were driving.

He said, "Damn it Donna, there won't be a hole, the top would cover the hole.

I said, "No, the top would not cover the hole because the hole would be in front."  (I bet the women reading this get the picture.)

Well about 30 minutes later he got it!  There would be a hole in the front against the outside wall. It was in front of the box not on the top of the box. 

He said, "I will put in a  f***ing plug to cover the d*** hole against the outside wall."

I said, Thank you, honey.  That is all I wanted.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 3 Year of Decision - Selling our stuff is fun - San Antonio, TX

We have spent the day showing and selling our furniture.  It has been a blast.  We said goodbye to the very first real furniture we bought together almost 40 years ago. It was a bedroom suite and weighs a ton. It went to a young couple who just bought their first house.  Remembering how happy I was when we brought it home, it made me smile to see her happy face as they loaded it into the truck.

We visited with a newly retired air force guy who bought his first house as well.  He has travelled far and wide and just wants to settle down in one place.  We, on the other hand, retired and want to travel far and wide. It really makes you think.  God has a place and a time for all of us. I rejoice to see how His plans are perfect each and every time.

When we weren't having people traipse through the house we were in the RV tearing it apart.  We are starting in the bedroom. 

I know some may think we are nuts but we are removing the queen bed and putting in 2 single beds. There is so little room on the sides of the beds that Tom has to sit on the end of the bed and kick up his feet to put them on the side of the bed.  While this is pretty entertaining for me, he gets really ticked off.  The plan is to remove the storage under the bed and open it up for an aisle between 2 singles.

For those of you who have never tried to remove anything from an RV, let me tell you, they sure do secure things down.  This may take a little longer than we thought it would. 

Still, we have begun.  We have holes in the rooms where furniture was and we have started removing and replanning the RV.  Life is good.

Tomorrow is another day.  Keep following the Traill's.  We are on a roll.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 2-The Year of Decision - Inventory San Antonio, TX

For anyone who has worked in a retail job the word Inventory strikes fear in their hearts.  It is a word that denotes the long, monotonous hours counting "stuff."  It could be socks, toys, diodes or ears of corn. Anything owned is inventory and at some point has to be counted.  We started our inventory today.  What a freaking nightmare!

The day started out with two tired retirees.  Neither of us slept well, too many things going through our heads.  So much to do.  We have a house full of furniture and nick-nacks, pots and pans, clothes and shoes.  Decisions have to be made, what to take, what to keep, what to say goodbye to. So naturally we left the house. 

Let me back up a little and tell you what HAS been decided:
  1. We are leasing the house to our youngest daughter and her husband.  They have a 10 month old daughter and want to move to San Antonio.  That works great for us and for them.
  2. We have to be out of the house no later than April 30, 2011 for them to move in.
  3. We are going to gut the RV we have and remodel the inside to meet our lifestyle and needs. (will post pictures of the process.)
  4. We have to be out of the house no later than April 30, 2011 for them to move in.
  5. We have a 3 bedrooms, a living room and dining room to get rid of in the next 6 weeks. I shudder to think that my craft stuff has to go somewhere.
  6. We have to be out of the house no later than April 30, 2011 for them to move in.
You see the recurring theme here?  That is why we left the house.  Neither of us could face it.  We decided to start small. The storage unit we have will have to be cleared as well. We spent the morning going through everything in there: take, keep, goodbye. It wasn't so bad. 

When we came home we brought the RV and set it up to start the demolition work.  Great word, demolition.  It is one of those words that expresses stress relief, out with the old, in with the new. But that is for tomorrow.

We took pictures of everything we are selling on Craig's List and started posting ads. We are praying that God is good and we get the big stuff gone so we can work on the little stuff.  We are going to have several garage sales in April and what does not sell goes to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity because "We have to be out of the house no later than April 30, 2011 for them to move in."

It is 7:30 pm and we are tired.  Tomorrow will be another busy day.  Stay with us, folks. Keep following the Traills.

Friday, March 18, 2011

San Antonio, TX March 18, 2011 Happy Birthday Tom

WOW it has been a very long time since I posted! Everything  has been so boring that I did not have much to share. Well, today I do have something to share.  Happy Birthday to my DH Tom who is 6o-something today. He is, of course, much, much much older than me. Since he retired 15 months ago we have been so busy and yet have no idea how the time has gone by so fast. We have talked about going RVing for a long time now but it seems like something always stops us.  Well, no more!

We are doing it. Part of the problem has been the house in Katy, TX and the one in San Antonio (where we are living right now).  With the housing market soooooo bad we did not want to sell so we have rented out the Katy house and are looking to do the same for the San Antonio one.  To do that we have to sell all our "stuff."  This past week we have discussed, argued, compromised and laughed together as we made our plans.  It really has been great.  We agreed to give ourselves one year of decision. We don't know if we will like being on the road full-time or not. The only way we will know is to actually do it.

Today, it officially has begun.  When Tom posted the leather living room furniture he loves so much on Craig's List I knew he was serious. We have a lot of work to do but are hoping to be running away from home on May 22, 2011.  We can't go before then because my brother is getting married May 21st and I am NOT missing that.  I will try to be diligent and post daily on our doings so you can keep up with us. 

Next year, on Tom's birthday we will decide officially what to do next.  Our Year of Decision has begun.