Monday, August 31, 2009

Of Waste, Sewage and Disposal

So, I did it. I emptied our "black water" tank for the first time today. (This post was originally going to be titled "Taking a Dump", but I thought it was just a little too crass.......)

It seems the Town of Amherst, in its infinite wisdom, wants RV'ers and campers to dispose of their waste properly, so the waste treatment plant is open for free dumping Monday through Friday from 7am to 3pm. Apparently, many towns offer the same service (what's 30 gallons of waste in a million-gallon stream, anyway?), so I donned my latex gloves, hooked up the hose, happily discharged our tank into the friendly little concrete hole in the ground, and drove away many pounds (and gallons) lighter.

Oh, what a relief it is!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our First Meal Amidst Herculean Efforts

After a long day of cleaning our house and jettisoning even more of the flotsam and jetsam of 11 years of living, we came "home" to our rig and Mary cooked us our first RV-based meal this evening, and it was delicious. The menu, you ask?
  • Corn on the cob with umeboshi paste instead of butter (try it!)
  • Organic tomato and sweet peppers from our local CSA (community supported agriculture) farm
  • Local goat cheese (Mary doesn't touch the stuff)
  • Whole grain bread
  • Omelettes from local eggs cooked with organic onions and Cretan olive oil
Even though our refrigerator died a miserable ammonia-tinged death just two days ago, we are lucky enough to have access to a fridge in our friends' home next door, so we are not relegated to using our plastic cooler and ice purchased from the local convenience store. On Monday, we hope to pay for a new fridge and have it installed by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, the closing on our house is indeed scuttled until the end of the week, and we are continuing to adjust to our new lifestyle.

Tomorrow, we will (hopefully) remove the last of our personal effects from the house, finish cleaning, hold a yard sale (as long as the weather clears), and continue the forward movement currently underway.

These have been some trying times, and the work of downsizing and adjusting to these changes has seemed at once Herculean and Sisyphean. But in this mythic struggle for independence and change on a massive scale, Hercules will most certainly win, hands down.


Friday, August 28, 2009

The Woes of Refrigerators and Ammonia

Wow. Two days ago, on our first morning in our new rig, we happily opened our fridge to see what we could make for breakfast in our new home, and we were blasted with a cloud of ammonia gas so strong that we both reeled from the exposure. It seems the old fridge had waited to fail until we became it's new owners, and the ammonia was apparently meant to be our first wake-up call that life in an RV can be as complicated as any house.

Today, a mobile RV tech came to our rescue, removed the offending appliance, and now there is a gaping hole in our mobile kitchen. Luckily, we're staying next door to our friends' home and have a small shelf in their refrigerator, allowing us to at least store some basic staples. On Monday, we can go to the RV place, pick out a new one, and lay down about $1000 (not including labor) to once again be able to store cold and frozen food in our rig.

Meanwhile, the closing on our house has been delayed at least five days due to an apparent bank error, and we are still adjusting to life in a very down-sized space as we continue to clean out the house (just a few miles away) and prepare it for sale. Tina the dog has been a real trooper amidst the tumult, and we hope that life on the open road (in six or seven weeks) will afford us some well-deserved rest---and adventure.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's Official: We're Full-Timer's

Well, this afternoon, we are driving our new RV over to the home of some friends and will begin sleeping and living in our new rig. Although our house belongs to us until Monday the 31st, the mold remediation specialists have begun their work in the attic and we are loathe to be exposed to the fungicides that are being applied up there in the eaves.

Most of our stuff that we need for travel is now packed in the rig, and some of it is in our nearby storage unit waiting to be sorted through before we really hit the proverbial road in late October. Even more stuff is waiting at Mary's workplace down the street for a massive yard sale that will (hopefully) net us several hundred more dollars and a decreased burden of physical possessions. Whatever is left over will be jettisoned in one way or another.

And what have we gotten rid of? Hundreds of books, sheets, towels, vases, dishes, glasses, shoes---all manner of flotsam and jetsam that naturally accumulates in a house. Nature abhors a vacuum, and our current "vacuum" has been crammed with stuff since 1998.

While many "full-timers" living in RVs are actually on the road, we will be "cheating" for a bit, having access to our friends' sweet apartment, helping with their baby in the mornings, using their laundry and enjoying an extension to our new mobile home. In fact, we will do the same whenever we pull into friends' driveways along the way......and isn't that simply convenient and lovely?

Living in our rig for six or seven weeks will afford us some time to get used to the space, figure out what works and what doesn't, and how to negotiate our new lifestyle. These next weeks will test our mettle, help us detox from homeownership, and simultaneously embrace our new chosen living environment.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and we will be posting more often once this moving out process is completed on the 31st of August.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our New Home!

Greetings and thanks for visiting! Here is a photo of our new (mobile) home, a 29-foot 1993 Scotty HiLander, complete with solar panels and a 6-cylinder Cummins diesel engine with only 57,000 miles. It runs on diesel, biodiesel or a diesel/veggie oil mix. 

We will be moving out of our home in Amherst, MA on Sunday, August 23rd, and thus will begin our journey living full-time in our new rig. Until some time in October, we will be "practicing" the full-time lifestyle here in our beloved Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts until we officially set sail! 

Please stay tuned as we pack up, put things in storage, jettison most of our belongings, sell our home, and embark on this new adventure!