Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Time to Start the Great Annual Migration South by Going North!


Amish in the Morning Mist

Our Southward journey has just begun, we left our lot at Prairie du Chien, WI this morning just as the sun was coming up and headed North.

Yes, I said North. Our Southern journey will really begin at Owatonna, MN, we are going in for our annual inspection and fix up at Noble RV before we take the big turn South.

The Bluffs at La Crescent, Minnesota
Our appointment if at 10:00 this morning, but we had a late start, we were going to leave yesterday but high winds and rain kept us lying in wait, no sense in taking chances if you don't have to.
We headed to La Crosse and noted the trees beginning to change, a lovely thing to see, but it just tells us we better get to going before some snow slaps us in the butt!


We still hae an Event to go in Colona, Illinois before we head to Montgomery, Alabama for and Event we do there.

It always feels so good to get everything packed up and get rolling again, we have had our share of challenges this past 12 months, but we  have put that behind us and charge bravely into our future, confident the worst is behind us!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facing the Unamed Fears of Living On The Road

This started out as a reply to fellow Road Warriors who are facing some pretty scary fears of the weather on the road, in answering and supporting them I realized I had been facing this same challenge myself, almost to the point of wanting to set down roots in some RV park somewhere and never moving again. Here is my reply and some follow up thoughts on this...
Being Full Timers, I know well what you are experiencing, we cancelled our Events in Texas and Oklahoma last Spring because I had an unnamed dread of being hurt in the weather.

Turned out the weather was fine and I felt pretty dumb, but two years before we were nearly hit by a tornado in Oklahoma had had fist sized hail demolish our truck glass and dent our truck and fiver, it make me a bit skittish about that part of the country during the storm season...Here is the video I made during the storm.


I also have had a dread of an accident on the road, to the point of almost having panic attacks, it has gone on for nearly a year now, so I am starting to deal with it and spend a lot of time deep breathing and assuring myself it will all be OK.

I think it has much to do with our lifestyle, we are at the mercy of the elements and bad weather a bit more than "Sticks and bricks" folks, maybe not so much more so, but it seems we are more vulnerable because we have no sturdy shelter to resort to in many cases while we are mobile.

We are also more likely to be in a accident then other folks, we make a big target and we spend more hours on the road than the average commuter.

Trying to get a hold of our fears is the largest challenge we face, I don't want to resort to the false sense of security a regular home brings, so it's mind over matter and just keep rolling....

I do understand what you are experiencing though, just want to let you know you are not alone.

One of the reasons we ended up making the decision to leave the security of a corporate job and solid "sticks and bricks" home was that we realized that all security is an illusion, and if you think your safe from bad things, think again.

Bad things will find you wherever you are, no matter how well you insulate yourself from reality. Everyone gets sick, everyone has accidents, everyone loses the ones they love and the job they thought would last forever. We all die. There is no getting around it.

Creating and keeping a false sense of security will only set you up for mental disaster when the inevitable happens. Living in a constant state of paranoia and dread also has a life limiting effect. There has to be some sort of balance.

I hate people who quote TV shows and such, preferring to hear platitudes about real life, but there is a wonderful moment in, (of all things), The musical "Oklahoma" when the Spinster Auntie says to the young disappointed Bride on her wedding day, "Sometimes you just have to pull yourself up and say, 'Well, All right then!' to the bad things that happen to you and just get on with things".

She advises the young Lady not to always expect perfection and nice things. She tells her that bad things will happen, regardless of how well you live your life. Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason. You just have to put it behind you and just keep going.

Dwelling on the past mistakes and accidents, or foreshadowing the future with dread will not get you going in the direction of your dreams. I know people who lived their entire lives in a "Bubble of Safety and Security" who filed their own dreams away because the path was risky and not assured of easy success.

Imagine their surprise and disappointment when they still had misfortune visit them on a regular basis, that on top of the sure and devastating knowledge that they never achieved the true path of their lives in exchange for a false sense of security! This mindset set them on the path of destruction for sure and for real.

I don't believe in "Destiny" per say as much as I believe that we are all created, (By the Creator or Force of your own personal Choice), with a certain set of talents and goals to be achieved in this "Once Go Round" of life on this planet.

Strangely, that which we must be is the thing we fear to do the most. What? You heard me. If you truly love something you want to protect it close to your heart and don't want it trampled on by the world. Perhaps an illustration of this point is needed.

Charles is a writer. He is a very good writer who has been told he has promise. Promise doesn't pay the bills, so Charles works at a Factory, but writes into the late night, pouring out his soul on paper.

Charles has a wife and Kids so he keeps working and writing on the side, after all, he has to take care of those he loves, which is right and proper. The few articles he publishes are well received, but as yet, there is no financial reward in his work of the heart. As his Kids grow and the bills mount, Charles writes less and his writing lacks spark since he is so tired fulfilling everyone Else's dreams. His writing gets rejected on a regular basis because of this.

Charles stops writing and puts his nose to the grindstone taking care of family business, but a little bit of him dies everyday. Eventually the Kids are grown and the obligations of life are partially lifted from him. But Charles eye has grown dull. Perhaps he has taken up drinking or drugs to soothe his artists heart. His wife no longer takes notice of him. His writings are laying in a trunk in a back room, gathering dust.

All of this is right and proper, the common experience of every man or woman who stumbles into this world and tries to do the right thing. Charles has done what is right by all the world and has in his struggle lost an important piece of himself, perhaps the most important piece, the thing he was truly born to do.

But what now? How does the story end? Does Charles disappear into that dark night or does he stumble across his ancient scratchings and begin anew his writing career with the knowledge he as gained as he struggled to conform to this wretched world?

All of us face this mental challenge at some time in our life, and we must, at some time, take a "fearless moral inventory", (Yes, I am quoting the Twelve Steps of AA), and decide that regardless of what path we have followed in our march towards conformity and world favor that at some point that talented, depressed and sadder-but-wiser person within us must be hearkened to.

As Willy Loman's wife says to her children in "Death of a Salesman" " Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person."

We all have a Willy Loman inside of us and regardless of what we have sacrificed or achieved in this world for others, there comes a moment when we all must pay attention to ourselves, no matter what the cost, no matter how much we fear to expose ourselves to the possible failure of our dreams. What is the alternative? Do we really have a choice at this point?

The reason we now live on the road as we do is because we took care of business for 50 years. we struggled, paid bills, raised kids and did just about everything we were supposed to do. We also battled depression, drug addiction and failure as most other people do who actually try to live a life less followed.

The day came when we realized that we had become cardboard cut outs of the American Dream. Successful, somewhat wealthy, infinitely sure that we were on the right path. 

Then a small voice that we had silenced for decades began whispering in our ears, seducing us with visions of driving down the road, wind in our hair, being FREE. This voice became louder and more persistent until it had to be addressed.

We listened. We considered the possibility. We took a risk and cut our ties to the real world. After all, we could always go back to our lesser lives in disgust and despair if it failed, it would always be there waiting for us.

And so, today we find ourselves here, not really knowing if we did the right thing, having experienced both the good and bad of a lifestyle chosen by whim. Did we do the right thing? We may never know. But that still small voice inside us is quiet now, other than to occasionally encourage us to take a day off and go to the beach.

Do your best for your Family and Career, but there will come a point when you must be paid attention to. Listen to that voice. Your real life may be just around the corner.

How do you know if this article is about you? Your still reading it aren't you? Sometimes the truth comes from strange places, Wipe your tears of regret and muster up the courage to start taking reasonable steps towards your dreams, one step at a time, one day at a time.

Even if you fail miserably at what you know you should do, you will have at least tried, and that makes all the difference in this great pageant we call life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Better Than Facebook, Blog Roll Rules!


What we need to get around these days...
I haven't posted much lately, first my back went out, then we did four Events in a row, then I got this Flu/Grunge/Crud that has been taking everyone down lately. We haven't been sick in more than five years, so this has been a real experience for us, being out in the fresh air constantly usually stems most illnesses, but this one caught us because I was laid up with the bad back....(whine, whine, whine...).

We usually get our truck and trailer maintenance done this time of year, we can't get in early this week because so many Service People are out with the same Crud! What an ordeal it has been!
Camper of the Future..wonder what they tow it with?
One thing after another like this keeps me from posting because I don't want this to become the "Old Whiners Aches and Pains Blog", but it does help me catch up on what everyone else is up to in my Blog Roll, (bottom right of this page).

I have been intensively busy with my new Blog, "Stitching Up History", which I thought was just going to be a place to keep a record of all my web research for myself, but has now turned into a world-wide reference for other historians trying to create accurate Historical Native American Clothing! Who knew anybody cared about this stuff accept me?

The problem being, I didn't get everything I've researched up and running on the site as it was going to be just for me to grab or post stuff to, since it has become so popular, I sorta have to get some basic stuff posted I never intended to, since I had the info elsewhere for my own perusal, but popularity has its costs!

I am excited to have found other "Kindred Spirits" who are on the same quest as I am through Blogging, and that's why today's article is on Blogger being waaaaay better than Facebook!

Especially with the recent changes in format, has anyone else noticed how irritating Facebook has become? With every change they make, it seems that more and more all I am seeing is posts from people who are mentally picking their nose or those darn, "Post this to your Status" posts that make me want to tear my hair out.

Why on earth would I ever be such a moron as to just copy paste someone else's ideas? Don't they realize it turns the entire site into a jumble of multiple postings of the same darn post? And usually most of these posts are STUPID, SAPPY or UNIFORMED, or just Plain WRONG! (Post this to you Status if you agree, 99% of you won't have the intestinal fortitude to it! Ooops, Sorry).

But, my Blog Roll is my First News of choice in the morning, I wake up, check my email, check my Kids on Facebook and then settle back and scan the Blog Roll to see what others of a like mind are up to. It sure is a pleasure after the assault of Facebook!
I see we are facing the same challenges, the weather, sickness and problems with those things not taken care of yet, many are still trying to dispose of their homes and get on the road, some are experiencing break downs and repairs and some are just cruising along enjoying the scenery and making us all want to get those final details wrapped up and on the road again!

As I stated before, we have been down the last two weeks due to sickness and our annual maintenance routine we run through before we head to Colona, Illinois and Montgomery Alabama for an Event we love, then to Georgetown, Florida for the Winter.

It seems like a simple jaunt, but we are ending up complicating everything for ourselves, as long as we are having work done to the trailer we will be in striking distance of an Event we used to do, so we are going to run over and spend an afternoon there catching up on old acquaintances, which will add a hundred miles or so to the road log and eat up a good day.

Then, since we have so much free time, we jaunt over to the Chicago Field History Museum to examine a 200 year old Deer Hide Strap Dress for my research and top it off with an Event in Colona, Illinois the end of the week.

After that we tear down to Wetumpka, Alabama and do another Event, but first we take a day to run over to Atlanta, Georgia to check out an Event and see a good friend from Florida we haven't seen in a year.

Then it's down to Florida to collapse and spend a quiet Thanksgiving, (I think). We just don't know when to stop, but if things get to hairy, we will employ our new philosophy which is "Us First" and cut back on the extra trips to save energy and sanity.

Our main goal is to get through the next two Events and get to Florida, everything else is subject to change if we get tired....except the Museum trip, I have planned this excursion for ten years and, come heck or high water, we will get there to add to my knowledge of what women really wore Before European Influence.

So, if my postings are down recently, you can see what I have been up against! I hope you do as I do and read about other people who want to or are living the Full Time Lifestyle, the blog roll is at the bottom right of the page and makes a refreshing change to the Facebook, and other "Internet Morasses" such as the RV Forums, which seem to have fallen into a state of lethargy lately....


New Camper of the Future!

Since I don't have time to write, I figure I should just pass along some great and amusing sites I have stumbled upon, here is what we will all be living in in the near future, the site I borrowed it from is listed at the end of the article.
Modular Motorhome, portable trailer, Christian Susana
Campervans are great for the wide-open road, but what happens when you reach your destination and want to travel in something a bit less clunky? This variant concept RV comes with a detachable car to let you cruise city streets once you exit the high-speed freeway.

Modular Motorhome, Hybrid Camper Car, futuristic car
This design challenge was tackled by Christian Susana with great attention to detail, from how each portable portion (car and camper form) looks separately to how they appear as whole when plugged back together.
Motorhome car, Christian Susana, future vehicle
The tiny two-seat car part is definitely built for short trips, looking like a cross between a golf cart and a Mini Cooper.
Motorhome, Hybrid Camper Car, Caravan Combo
The larger back-end trailer takes its cues from classic VW-type campers, maximizing space with a lofted sleeping area, flip-down table-and-chairs set as well as compact storage solutions set into any remaining available areas. Curved lines also recall traditional Airstream trailers, which make maximum use of sleek streamlined exterior forms and more spacious-seeming inside spaces.
Modular Motorhome, innovation vehicle
Expansive side windows depart from the classic privacy-oriented caravan style, abstractly referencing tourers in their openness to the outside world. Likewise, a front window long the top lets daring passengers get a sneak peak of what lies ahead … or an unfortunate up-close pavement view if you slide open the back door while someone is driving (safety second!).
Designer: Christian Susana
Source:  Dornob.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where have I been? It seems like ages since I've had a moment to post!

This time of year we are attending Events back to back, (one every weekend), so I have little time to do anything other than work and sleep!

We are going to be taking our Road Warrior in for its one year check up in two weeks, she needs a few touch ups to keep her going string, nothing to really complain about, not when you have the best RV Dealership in the country backing your rig!
Our Rig parked in the Mound View City Park at Platteville Wisconsin

We were at Noble RV just a month ago with our list of needed work, they were so accommodating, they offered to let us stay on the lot for the week, but I wanted to rest up so we actually stayed at an RV Resort near by....it sure was an experience to be in a Park that even had horses and trail rides! Thankfully we were in a quiet corner, so I did get my rest!

They needed to order parts, so we have made an appointment to go back in a week or so. Will post about repairs as they are dealt with, but again, there was nothing that couldn't be handled by the friendly staff at Noble RV!

I also plan on writing a "Year on the Road" retrospective while we are down for a couple weeks, so stay tuned for what should be an interesting article that I have no idea what it will be about, I write "Off The Cuff", so to speak.

I'm keeping up my reading of other blogs, they are listed down at the bottom right of my page, you should check them out too! There's a wealth of information out there to be accessed!

Well, my time is up and I have to get some sleep. we are hitting the road again at dawn to head out for Hartford Wisconsin for a Historical event there, if your in the neighborhood, drop by and have a Root Beer!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...