Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Careful What You Say… We May Just Show Up

When we were in Indiana last year, our niece and her husband, Shelda and Brad, invited us to park our 5thwheel in their driveway.  Looking back, we are just hoping they were serious.  When we decided we needed to come back to Indiana to see George’s mom; we decided to take them up on their offer.  They were not expecting us until August, however, when Hazel ended up in the hospital we felt like we needed to move our plans up.

We called Brad and Shelda and they graciously let us stay at their home.   From the first time we saw their house, we loved it!  It is a single Ranch style house with a basement.  The rooms in the house are very spacious.  It is a red brick house, which we love!  There is a breezeway leading from the house to the garage—which provides great separation.   They are both very talented and skilled and so they continue to do little home improvements.  They have painted much of the house and were having a new roof put on while we were there. 

They have a very large lot, with beautiful green grass and large trees AND there is a long driveway!  It is a really nice neighborhood.  We are thrilled to be able to stay here.  They even installed a 30amp breaker for us, so we had enough power to run our air conditioner and most everything else in the RV.  Did I mention how great they are???!!!
We certainly appreciate being able to save the money on a campground.  But for us the bigger benefit is being able to spend additional time with this family.  The more time we spend with Brad, Shelda and their precious Kylie; them more we just love them!  We have not run out of things to talk about and are thrilled to take any opportunity just to visit for a few minutes or over dinner.

When we stay on the property of friends and family, several things are important to us.  We want to be the smallest inconvenience possible.  We know we are going to take up much of their driveway, but we try to park in such a way that it leaves as much space for them as possible.  We want to spend time with our hosts, but not make them feel like they need to take care of us or entertain us.  We use as little power as possible.  We do not run unnecessary appliances; and we are very conscious about saving electricity.  We also try to give them a little money toward their electricity bill—because we essentially are an added house plugged into their electric meter.

We are planning to be back in August and look forward to seeing them all again.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Family Emergency pulls us to Indianapolis

George’s mom lives in Mooresville, IN, about 20 minutes from Indianapolis.  She will be 94 in September.  She has been living on her own in an apartment, although she gets a significant amount of help from her 84 year old sister.  (What a pair they are. J)  Even at their age they sometimes bicker like kids.

We got a call that she was taken by ambulance to the hospital and has been put on a ventilator.  One of the blessings of being retired and living in an RV is that plans can be easy to change—without much effort.  So we scraped our plans to go through Iowa and rushed to Indiana instead.

When we got to the hospital, she was still unconscious, but they are planning to bring her off the vent in the next 24 to 48 hours.  They have determined she didn’t have a heart attack.  The only thing the doctors know for sure is that her heart rate slowed down to below 50 beats per minutes—which is barely enough to support her life.

We are not making any plans, except that we are where we need to be.  As I often think about our traveling life, I find myself being more grateful for the people we are able to visit.  I am reminded of how blessed we are to be able to come to Indiana and be here for longer because we have that flexibility.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Mooch-Docking"--LOVE it!

There are all kinds of places to park your RV for the night—or even longer. 

“Boondocking”, or dry camping, is when the RV is parked somewhere other than a private, full hookup campground.  Generally there are limited to no hook ups available.  This is a great option if everyone involved wants to be in a more secluded area.  It also requires that you ration water and power.  We have a 100 gallon fresh water tank and have gone as long as 3 ½ weeks without adding water to our tank.  Limited power is always our challenge.  We are not able to have solar right now because our 5th wheel doesn’t have the space available for the battery storage necessary to store the solar power.  Generators are not a good option because there are limited hours that it is appropriate to run a generator, no matter where you are parked.  Although the scenery can be breath-taking; this is not our preferred way to camp.  Power is just too big of an issue for us.

There is “Mart-docking”.  This is basically staying in a Wal-Mart or store parking lot.  This is a reasonable option, although power is still an issue.  In some cases an RV can be parked far enough away from anything or anyone that running a generator is not a big problem.  We will do this if we are passing through and just planning to sleep for a few hours.  We have also done this when there were NO campgrounds available for us.

Then there is “Mooch-docking”.  This is one of our favorite places to park.  This is when we have the opportunity to stay on the property of friends and family.  We love this because we have been able to stay a little longer and spend more time with family.  We enjoy the visits partly because we have our own space, our own beds and we feel like less of an imposition to people of we are not in the personal space of our hosts. 

Steve and Charlotte, Lisa’s brother and family have a very long and relatively wide driveway.  We have stayed in their driveway “campground” so often that we now refer to this as our Kansas City Vacation Villa.  We plug into their regular 20amp outlet and are able to power one air conditioner and basic electronic needs.  We came from Colorado directly to Steve and Charlotte’s and we plan to be here for 2 or 3 weeks.

We have plenty of room and they still have room for all of their vehicles.  They live in Edwardsville, which is outside of Kansas City.  It is a more rural community.  We feel like we are camping in the country.  Our parking space at their house is larger than some of the campgrounds that we have stayed.

This visit has been especially great.  Every day Kimberly, our niece, comes down to the RV to hang out and visit for a few hours.  At 24 we still really enjoy her company, and we love to be part of her life journey.  Steve has been able to work his normal schedule and has not been able to take time off work—he has a very new job so it is hard to get time off.  Although he drives an over-the-road semi-truck; he is home most nights.  Charlotte is in the middle of a very big project at work, so she has been busier than normal; so we are happy when she is able to slow down and visit.  When we are here for the longer visits, encourage them to continue their regular schedules.  We have dinner together throughout the week and have more great times on the weekends.

NOTE:  There certainly are more options for parking/camping… I really am just reminding myself that there are fun free options.  I would never have considered inviting myself to hang out at someone’s’ house for 3 weeks before.  But when I come with my own food and bedding it feels less like an imposition and we also enjoy it more.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Back in Colorado for doctor and dentist appointments

I can’t believe I haven’t written anything for several weeks. 

Living our Full Time life has made us both more flexible about our surroundings and our schedules.  That being said…  When we are home in Colorado it is easy to get back into the routine of doctor appointments, errands and visiting friends and family. 

We spent 5 weeks in Colorado.  We had planned ahead for doctor and dentist appointments.  Medical appointments are very hard to deal with when we travel.  George has Medicare—so he has more flexibility seeing doctors around the country.  He also has NO medical issues, which frankly drives me crazy.  He is 67 and basically healthy.  At 53, since getting Fibromyalgia; I feel like I am falling apart. 

I had finally decided to give in and ask my doctor to prescribe one of the drugs that has been approved to treat Fibromyalgia.  I had scheduled my doctors’ appointment within the first few days of getting home.  I wanted to allow time for doctor follow up appointments.  It didn’t even cross my mind that there would be any issues with the prescription.  I have seen the same doctor for over 10 years.  She generally is great, easy to talk with and takes time to work through any medical issues.  Thanks to all the new online forms she is required to fill out for every appointment, she spends most of her time on the computer while she is in the room.  At several points I wasn’t even sure she was listening to me.

I told her about my increasing pain and the other symptoms I was struggling with on a daily basis.  Her reply, “I’m not sure what to say.  You will have pain every day for the rest of your life.  Nothing I say or DO is going to change that.”  She increased my pain meds, but other than that… “Sucks to be you.”  L

I am going to continue doing research on fibro and see if there is anything that can bring relief—since it feels like I may be on my own to find help.  I am going to work to put together some resources that I will be able to share.
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