Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Nitty Gritty

As I've been researching rv living, I have come across lots of blogs and stories of other people who have made the same decision as we have to live on the road full time in an rv. It's interesting to read their stories, but I have yet to find one that matches our situation. I've read a lot about single guys who converted vans into homes and lived there as a cheap alternative, and I've also read a lot about retired couples who've taken to the road.

For example earlier this week, I came across Howard and Linda's website. They have a journal there where they've recorded the entire process. When they decided to become "full-timers" (that's what we'll be called), they were at the other end of their careers. Many of their feelings were the same - unsure about whether or not they would be able to live in cramped quarters and what their new life would be like. BUT Howard and Linda bought their RV at an RV show - top of the line with slide outs and plenty of space. To haul it, they bought a brand new Ford F450...straight from the factory.

And they paid for all of it in cash with part of the proceeds from the sale of their home and business. They planned to work on the road, but had enough in savings that they figured they could live for about 3 years if they couldn't find work. Even though Howard & Linda and Jeff & I will end up in about the same place (living full time in an rv) our ways of getting there could not be more different.

Like Howard and Linda, Jeff and I are selling our house, but we won't get enough out of it to buy a gumball. :) SO in order to be able to buy an rv, we plan to sell everything we own that we don't need or that isn't an heirloom. We will also be using our tax return for this year and putting that toward the cause. We plan to buy used (obviously) and have been cruising craigslist for just the right truck and trailer.

Howard and Linda and the majority of other couples who've decided to do what we're doing have their own reasons, and I can honestly say that we share some of those. We are excited for the adventure of it and for the freedom of it - to be able to go wherever we want and take our home with us. I mean, honestly, I can't think of anything that sounds MORE fun to me. But that's not where our reasons end, and to me our reason for moving into an rv at this point in our lives is the "nitty gritty" of our entire story. Without it and if I didn't tell you about it, I would feel a lot like those retired me, our story would feel like it didn't have an anchor.

I don't think we could move into an RV with two babies and a dog on the prospect of fun and adventure alone. I just don't think it ever would've crossed our minds if it hadn't been for the financial side of things too. Honestly if we were in Howard and Linda's situation and had the money to buy THAT kind of rv and THAT kind of truck, we wouldn't...not at this point in just wouldn't help us get where we want to go.

Before you can understand where we're coming from, you have to know that Jeff and I both believe firmly in our children being raised by their mother. That may have come from the fact that my mother was always home with me and my siblings, but wherever it came from, it is a feeling we both have deep in our souls. My going back to work is out of the question. Something that often comes to my mind when I think about what it would be like to go back to work is a quote from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Remember when Charlie gets the golden ticket and wants to sell it? Charlie's grandpa (Grandpa George) pulls him aside and says:

"There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket -- there are only 5 of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for
something as common as money.

Are YOU a dummy?"

You might wonder how in the WORLD that relates to me mothering my babies...I see it like this. There IS plenty of money in the world. They DO print more every day. But there are only 2 babies (so far) that I can ever call mine. Only 2 in the whole world, and I won't give up one minute with them for something as common as money. And in that, I am lucky to have a husband who fully supports me, and who wants me to be with our babies as much as I do.

{Our babies}

{My brother-in-law calls ultrasound pictures "skeletor pictures" .... sorry if ours creeps you's the only photo we have for now ;)}

So I'm the mom and wife and that's that. Meanwhile Jeff is self-employed and working his tail off to start a new business, which we also both firmly believe in. I love what he's doing and how he's working to help other people reach their dreams. But as any entrepreneur knows, building a new business in any economy (especially one like the one we're living in now) takes not only an investment of money, but an enormous investment of time. That investment of time is something we are both willing to put in...unfortunately, mortgage companies and utility companies and credit card companies don't 'get' our entrepreneurial spirit and aren't willing to invest their time and resources while we get things going. :)

So in order to reach our dreams and stay true to our hearts, we found we'd have to lower our living expenses substantially for a while. Living in an rv will give us a chance to do that and to have some adventure while we're at it. And now that I'm writing this out, I see how much more grateful I should be than I have been. What an incredible thing marriage is and the chance we have to support each other in our dreams and ambitions. We are a lucky couple of folks.

I don't feel worried about not having a "sticks n bricks" home (that's what the rv'ers call regular We are not worried about letting go of this house and of all our things because they don't matter. What would our home be without the love that is here? What is a kitchen table without the people we share our hearts with around it? Our new house will still be a home....because WE will make it so. Because the things that matter most to us (the things that matter at all) are coming with us, along with the spirit of family and support and an overwhelming amount of love. And as far as I'm concerned all the love that fills up this house will overflow from our little rv and we'll be blissfully happy there because we will be together in every sense of that word.

{My sister-in-law took this candid picture at Disney World a few days after
we got engaged in December of 2006...I love HIM}

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