The next chapter of our lives has started. Just over a week ago, we threw the remaining bits and pieces of our lives into our Airstream or creatively shoved them into the burgeoning shed for storage, scrubbed the bathrooms, cleaned the counters, swept the floors of our empty house, and then drove away to travel full time for the next few years.
The week before we left contributed to the buildup of mixed emotions. Lunch with my friend Cindy, martini night with some neighbor ladies, graduation celebration with our daughter Rachel in Boone, NC, an impromptu potluck get together with my Mom and siblings, dinner with my friends Sylvia and Chris, and then the night before the big day, time with my daughter Madeline and her boyfriend Layne as well as Carl’s brother Brad, wife Valerie, and our niece Brianna who bought our car. Thinking about that evening is bringing back tears right now. It will be a long while before I see these folks. Our daughters are sure to fly somewhere to see us at least once, if not twice, over the next several months. But seeing others in person might be about two years from now, if not longer. I am grateful for technology – texting, calling, and WhatsApp are sure to be used regularly!
I have mixed emotions about leaving our house as well. The one we have called home for 24 years … raising our daughters, caring for our dogs, operating our home-based businesses, creating great memories with friends, neighbors, and family. We have found a nice, young couple to care for it over the next two years. And we can tell, from some social media pictures, that they are settling in and enjoying it. Our plan is to not move back into that house, but to find a new place to call home when we have completed the full-time RVing chapter. Many adjustments and much to transpire before we know what that will look like – at least for me. Carl has already started the search. I just want to enjoy the journey over the next couple of years.
It was hard cleaning a bathroom while crying. It was an emotional day. A few of our neighbors watched us pull away around 12noon, after some hugs, holding back tears. One neighbor brought to Carl’s attention the jack we almost forgot to raise and the jack stand that needed to be put in the truck, then he and his wife held a ribbon in front of our pickup truck as we drove off. I was a wreck. After years of gestation and weeks of labor, the “birthing” of this new adventure was painful. As we headed down the road toward Stuart, Virginia to stay with friends for our first stop, I was wishing for just a few days to be alone and sad and to process this big change.
Luckily, Wendy and Billy’s house was the ideal first place to be. Beautiful home on 21 acres of wooded land tucked away in southern Virginia. She knew I needed time to process. What a great friend! We were given a fun tour of the Town of Stuart, shared some delicious meals that included potatoes from their friends’ garden, was introduced to a new “adult” beverage (Tim’s Titillating Tonic – a working name for it), took a long walk around their property, sat around a little campfire, and watch two parts of The Matrix trilogy. Fun, Fun, Fun.
We are now at our next stop outside of Lynchburg, VA. My view is a beautiful lake. We will be in Hershey, PA by the end of the week, and in New Hampshire by mid June. Then we will head west. I admit it—I’m in vacation mode. I don’t have a new routine yet; planning meals is tough; and I will soon need to think about doing the laundry. All of that will come in time … Right now, I’m going to take a bike ride around the lake.
Enjoy your days!