Friday, December 30, 2011


Winter has hit the Pacific Northwest; the way my car swayed crossing the bridge coming home from work last night wouldn't let me forget that. I listened to the sound of rain pounding down on the roof of the motor-home running from one end to the other duct-taping washcloths to the ceiling in hopes of keeping the water off my floor. The weather took a turn on Christmas day, and hasn't let up since. There is a say about Oregon; Oregon has three seasons, rain, rain, rain, and road construction. Right now, it feels very true. It’s part of why I love this part of the country though.

Call me crazy, but I have a bond with the rain. It feels like communication from my Father, the heavenly one, and the one who is gone. The day my Dad passed away was beautiful and sunny in Missouri, until the moment I boarded the plan to go home to be with my Mom and sisters. As I passed through the "walk way" and onto the plane, I noticed the rain falling in the small gap between the two. I reached out to touch it; the feeling of wet on my fingers is something I have yet to forget.

For me, it was like his way of saying goodbye. On the day I decided to marry my husband (now ex) and move back to the Northwest from Kentucky, it rained. When I broke up with my husband, it rained. The day I moved in to my very first apartment, all by myself, it rained. The day my Mom and Step-dad offered me the motor-home as an alternative to living in a hotel, it rained. There are many other moments like these. Coincidence, maybe. In fact, as often as it rains here it would be almost impossible NOT to make some sort of life altering choice on a rainy day at least once in a while.

Still, the rain is special to me. I tried not to resent it last night as I found wet spots by the vents and ceiling lights. It's all fixable, and truly a matter of perspective. My original intention was to post about New Year's Resolutions, obviously I've strayed far.

Heavy on my mind lately has been something deeply personal, and the little drips from the ceiling were like an affirmation of how I decided to deal with these feelings. I am going to make this affirmation part of my New Year's Resolutions. I have only four this year, and like Sarah of Clover Lane, they are one word each. Hopefully I won't forget what they mean halfway through the year. I jotted them down in next year’s planner tonight, and hope to come back to this blog next year and celebrate achieving at least a few of them.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary

A month ago this morning I woke up after spending my first night in the motor-home. Insignificant it may be, in the grand scheme of things. Right now though, it feels huge. Many things have changed since that first night. A lot has stayed the same. Problems have been conquered, only for new ones to arise. 

It's crazy, that so few days have passed. It feels like an eternity. The week proceeding moving in, I was staying in a hotel. Before that, I was sharing a home with my sister, her husband, and their two children. We had been living together on and off for going on 3 years, and it has been strange adjusting to all this... aloneness. 

Is aloneness a word? Spellchecker is throwing a fit, but I refuse to change it. Some nights this life is very lonely. Achingly so, when you're used to having tiny children and other adults around ALL the time. Bubbly's presence makes those moments much easier to handle. They are few and far in between, thankfully. I have always been a loner, happy with my books, computer, and self. I feel like ME. Or the me I used to be.

In many ways I didn't just move into a home, but I -came- home. It may only make sense to me, but that's why I am writing here. Chronicling the moments of sadness, the victories, the questions, the progress. I hope to look back a year from now, and shake my head in wonder... where did all the time go?

For now, I can't believe it's only been a month. It feels like forever. Last night I peeled wallpaper off the kitchen walls. My first step towards renovation. One that will require more work than I realized. There is two more layers of paper beneath the one I removed yesterday.

Here I go, off to slay the dragon I call home.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My goal for today was to get new pictures of the motorhome to chronicle how I've settled in to the space without making any renovations. It's raining though, and for some angles I would actually have to step outside and shoot through the door or a window to get a decent shot... so, pictures to come in the New Year!

I will tell you that the chairs that came with the motorhome have been removed. They were Awful. AWFUL. I replaced one with a simple rolling chair, and the other with a bookcase. All in and all I am happy with the change, and find everything to be much more comfortable. Being down one seat doesn't bother me much anyway, as the total amount of people I have had in the trailer is 3 adults and 1 baby... there was plenty enough room for us all.

A gripe would be the overall lack of wall and counter space. Right now my television sits on an end table that is actually sitting on top of one of the fold out beds. Tacky, and slightly dangerous... but there is no where else for it. One day I would like to upgrade to a flat panel wall mount for space reasons... but there is no where to mount one. I could look into some sort of under cabinet mounting system I suppose, but then I run the risk of blocking out natural light from the windows.

Television isn't all that important, it's just there for the noise really. I guess that's a small gripe, and if it's the biggest I have at the moment, I'm in a good spot.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Propane, how I love thee.

Every day I am left in awe of the wonderful people I call neighbors. I have mentioned their generosity before, and can't stop smiling when I think about everything they have taught me, and helped me with the past few weeks.

When I got home from work today there was a fire ring sitting beside my picnic table. All I have to do is decide where I want it... they will do the rest, including getting me wood. HEAT. Wonderful. The nights have been cold here, and I love to sit outside and breath... I am looking forward to my first fire.

The best part of the night though, was another neighbor helping me connect my propane tank to the motor-home. It has been interesting, cooking with a counter-top oven and a hot plate. When the hot plate stopped working I was heating up water in the microwave and crock-pot... dishes... sucked. 

My stove now works though! Hallelujah. The motor-home has a 24 gallon on board tank, but as this is my -home- I'd rather not go driving it every time it needs propane, so I was trying to hook up a small tank to the big tank. It required a special connection and an o-ring... and lots of time fiddling making sure everything worked and wasn't leaking. 

I made a steak tonight, and I swear... it tasted magnificent. Tomorrow we're going to get the hot water heating working, and I'll be able to shower at home, rather than having to go back and forth to The Park's shower.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I introduced you to Bubbly the other day, and wanted to share the other great loves of my life with you as well.

Liam and Kiwi Girl are my youngest sisters children, and they both have wiggled into a very special place in my heart. I am blessed with a total of 2 nephews and 3 nieces, all under the age of 3! Liam and Kiwi Girl are the closest of them all though, and therefor I spend the most time with them. In fact, as I write this Liam is curled up on my fold out snoring away.

Here are a few shots of them from Thanksgiving 2011. Neither were very cooperative, and my camera isn't the greatest... but I love them all the same.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Meet Bubbly, my new baby!
He's a 1 year old Maltese I rescued a week or so ago.
Otherwise known as: Bubbles, Boboli, Bobo, Bubs, Bubba, and Jack.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Checking In

It's been exactly two weeks since I moved in. Yesterday a kind neighbor drove the motorhome a space forward, and helped me level out once more. My old space was a mud hole, and smaller than the rest due to trees. There were "streets" on each side, and frankly... it was one of the worst spots in The Park. The spot I am in now is "invite" only. Meaning the neighbors on the row have to want you to have the space before the owner of the park will give it to you.

I don't know what I did to charm the two older gentlemen who have been a great resource and help to me, but somehow they have become friends. They spoke for me, and now the space is mine. Home sweet home. When I look out the front windows I see the field, alpacas, and sunshine. To the back is a "street", and on each side of me there are quiet families.

The space came with a concrete slab to walk on, instead of mud, a picnic table, and a small herb garden. Rosemary and thyme grow right outside my door. There is space for a shed, another garden, and a run/fenced area for Bubbly. One of these days I will get to building him a small shelter and playground.

The motorhome is level now, and my drain hose is working properly. Soon I'll have propane hooked up, and won't have to heat water for dishes in the microwave! The cable and internet work, and I've yet to go hungry.

Bubbly and I are settling in with each other. He's a rescue, and the sweetest guy I have ever known. He came from a family that had 6 dogs older than him, and was starving for attention. We go for walks several times a day, and he has already made friends with the neighbor dogs. Watching them chase each other in circles never fails to make me smile.

Of course, there are downsides, like space. Funny, how little of it there is, and how many things I manage to lose in a course of a day. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies, and today I found my favorite flashlight under the front passenger seat. No idea how it got there, but it's got a new home hanging by the door!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

At Peace With Myself

It's been an interesting week. Unpacking took me much longer than expected. One would think that having limited space and sparse belongings would make unpacking easier. I was completely wrong.

I had to sleep, wake up, and use the motorhome for several days before the idea of where things belonged came to me. For a while I slept on the pull out near the table and captain chairs... and felt smothered and uncomfortable. So I moved to the pull out in the kitchen, and wham bam! The motorhome suddenly seemed much more spacious and homey.

After a lot of deliberating, things are unpacked (save the bathroom - because some on, it's the bathroom!), and I have cooked, done dishes, changed, slept, relaxed, and cleaned. It feels like home. The last box I unpacked had a few pieces of decor in it... mostly carved whales and sea glass. There are so few places for knickknacks I selected only a few, and hung the seaglass from hooks around the home.

Today I met a little maltese dog who will be making his forever home with me tonight. I have a feeling that having some companionship will really make the motorhome feel like my home.

I'm Movin' On - Rascal Flatts

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The List That Never Ends

This is the list that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends...

There is a companion page to this list. It grows once or twice an hour. When I woke up this morning I got to add: Fix the hole in the roof.

Which I am off to do now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Follow Me

Good morning! I slept in the RV last night and woke up actually feeling sort of spy (after a few cups of coffee and a hazy phone call or two). Before dragging all my stuff in I took a handful of pictures to share. They aren’t the best; in fact they sort of suck… I took them with my phone and didn’t do anything but resize and sharpen them this morning.

On to the tour! Oh, and by the way, investigation this morning led to the 
revelation that my new home on wheels is a 1979 Chevrolet Sportschoach 2700.

See the interior after the jump.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here we go!

The phone just rang, my Step-dad is on his way in with the motorhome... The Park owner knows I'm on my way... I'm packing up my motel room, and getting ready to boogie on home. Butterflies galore!

Motorhome sweet motorhome

The above image is an approximate rendering of the layout of my soon to be home. As each day goes by I get more and more excited. Yesterday I drove out to my Mom's and took a "tour". Before yesterday, I had only been in the motorhome once or twice and had visualized it to be much larger. When my Step-dad offered it as an alternative to the motel I am currently living in I was filled with excitement and ideas. The tour was a quick introduction to the reality of the situation.

It's going to be snug, very very snug. The vehicle itself is old, it hankers back to the 1970s in design... the overwhelming use of brown and laminate is going to take some getting used to. There are some soft spots in the floor, and the lack of plugs has me wondering how the heck I am going to charge my laptop. There were upsides though, the fridge is larger than I expected, the sink has two sides, and the curtains and screens on the windows are all in good condition.

Sometimes I close my eyes and fantasize that this is going to be a long term project I fall in love with. That I will cherish the independence it allows me, and come to enjoy the simplicity such small quarters forces upon me. Other times I pray for nothing more than the next few months to pass speedily. In the best case scenario living in The Park will allow me to save money while paying off debt. Come summer it should grant me freedom to roam and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Oregon Coast.

It could be long term, it could only be for a few months. In the meantime I am making lists galore... what do I need? What do I already have? What do I want to fix? What do I want to experience? What goals do I need to focus on? I truly hope this adventure, however long it lasts allows me a chance to grow, learn, and enjoy life.

There is a petting zoo in The Park, surrounding woods, and plenty of room for my nephew to play on the days I whisk him away. The small church down the road might be a good place to explore the remnants of my relationship with God, and the short but scenic drive to work will give me plenty of time to think. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Traditions

When my Dad passed away in 2006, I knew nothing would ever be the same. A vital part of my heritage was gone in a blink of an eye. The first years worth of holidays were nothing more than reminders of everything missing in my life. I struggled through them, along with my Mom and sister. We smiled, laughed, cried, and forged ahead. To say it has become easier, would be a lie. It's not easier, even after all this time... it's just different.

We've learned to be, without him. We have welcomed new people into our lives, including my Step-dad and brother in law. Each of them brought families of their own into the mix. Their own history and tradition... their own struggle and pain. Three Thanksgivings ago we celebrated with my handsome nephew, and this year my niece joined us at the table.

There is so much to be thankful for in my life. I don't know if my relationship with my Mom and sister would be so solid, if it weren't for the three of us banding together after Dad died. Who is to say my sister would have still meet her husband and had her two beautiful babies? As much as I miss his physical presence in our daily lives, I am thankful for the legacy he has left behind.

He wasn't a traditional man. He lived his life according to a deeply personal code of conduct that revolved around his relationship with God. We moved frequently as children, and often times celebrated the holidays at home, just the four of us. He taught us to cherish what existed in near proximity, to not get caught up in the commercial trappings of the holidays... and that sometimes, nachos and pizza for Christmas dinner is OK.

These things have carried on with us in the past 5 years. For Thanksgiving we celebrated with flat iron steak, french fries, and a fruit platter among other more traditional dishes. After eating we took pictures in the leaf covered yard, and then left the kids with Grandma to go start a new tradition.

My Step-dad drove us up into the hills, and we learned to shoot a 22. Neither my sister or I had ever shot a gun of any sort. Our Dad was a quiet, indoor sort of man whose love of books prevailed over all other pursuits of passions. My Ste-dad on the other hand is a more of an outdoors type.

How blessed are we to have been able to learn from two such wonderful men? I can tell you, squeezing the trigger of a gun was something I had never expected to do. Ever. I did, though. I even enjoyed it. Next year we will do the same thing...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Park

I drove out to the Park tonight after work to talk to the Owner about parking there for a few months. Originally I had planned to go to a park further out of town that was nicer, and more expensive, but after talking to a coworker today I decided to check The Park out.

By the time I got there it was pitch dark, and nothing to see. Working 12 hour shifts is exhausting enough to make it very easy to get lost. When I arrived at The Park, the Owner was standing outside waving a flashlight so I wouldn't miss it. He herded me inside and sliced up a delicious homemade apple pie and warmed up my tea. He refused to talk business until I was warm and fed. It was the kindest thing anyone had done for me all day. I'd drove almost an hour past the park in the wind, rain, and dark and was on empty when I finally stopped the engine. The pie was fantastic, and so was the company.

I harbored so many preconceived notions regarding motor home parks, and people who live in them. This man's house was spotless, warm, and taken care of. What I could see of The Park was beautiful and. Surrounded by woods, I could picture myself out there on a clear morning drinking coffee and enjoying the brisk breeze coming up from the water. I'm going to take the spot.

The motor-home I have is old, and I can't wait to start fixing it up and documenting the process here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011