Challenges of a Small Home Lifestyle

Lake Jennings

I have been in San Diego County since March 19th. I have camped in two places since my return and I am getting ready to move to a third place. It is important to book ahead when Easter weekend looms on the horizon. My first campground was at Lake Jennings. It was a beautiful site, on a scenic reservoir. Now I am a bit closer in towards San Diego at another very nice campground, Santee Lakes. This weekend I will move once again and then when Easter is over I return to Santee Lakes.

Wood Duck Mama at Santee Lakes

When I really enjoy a place, where I have stopped to camp, I find it is hard to let go of it and move on to the next one. I think I, un-intentionally, like to set down roots. I believe many of us do. That is why we buy homes or land. That is why we nest.

I think it is a very good lesson to un-nest and re-nest once again. I have found, since I have taken on this experiment in living that there are two responses from people. The younger generation tells me how cool it is and that is what they want to do. The older generation ( people my age and older) don’t always understand what I am doing. I have to admit I don’t always understand what I am doing.  I do know that the longer I have been living this lifestyle the more comfortable it gets. Do I think I will do this long term? No. I miss my community of friends and eventually community will be what draws me back to settling in one place again.

There are challenges with this lifestyle, as there are with any. When I am back in San Diego I visit my storage locker a couple of times. I like sitting around what is familiar and loved. It feels like all these objects and belongings are waiting. Hmm…I am waiting too. I am not sure what I am waiting for, yet, I am waiting. My belongings know what they are waiting for. They are waiting for a home.

What are some of the challenges?

  • My living space is very, very small. Storage is always an issue.
  • What do I really need to live a comfortable life? This is a question I ask myself several times a month.
  • Things need to be orderly. I am somewhat of a slob. I am not dirty but I tend to lay my clothes and belongings other places than where they should be. I cannot afford to do this in this small space. If something is pulled out, when I am finished with it, it has to go back to it’s home instantly.
  • It is amazing how quickly this small place can become dirty. I clean every single day. The carpeted area gets vacuumed. The floor gets swept daily. The floor also get’s washed every other day.
  • I have a small “wet bath”. When I take a shower, the whole bathroom gets cleaned. This usually happens every other day.
  • The garbage cannot linger. I have to remove it every other day. Smells accumulate in a small space.
  • When I want to go somewhere in my Roadtrek, I can’t simply pull out. I have to disconnect the water, and electric. The refrigerator has to be moved to battery power. Are all the windows and doors closed and locked? And where is Miss Elsie the cat, usually sleeping in the driver’s seat.
  • I have two of everything. That means if more than two people come to visit, they either have to come with their dish in hand or I get paper plates and plastic ware, which I really do not like using.
  • When getting ready to travel, is everything in it’s place. I have a check list that, even after close to four years, I still look at. It is not unusual to miss one thing.
  • When I had a house I noticed when things went wrong, only after they had escalated. In a small space I notice more quickly if something needs attention. This is of course a house on wheels and all homes have issues over time. The time is just shorter in a small home.
  • It is amazing what I can lose in here. Now my keys go back where they belong as soon as I enter my home.
  • I used to have a whole file cabinet. Today, I have one portable file with all the essentials in it.
  • I usually do not read books. I read on my Kindle App. There is limited space for the real thing. I miss turning the pages. I would, however, prefer to read than not read. 📚
  • The cat litter cannot be ignored. That gets cleaned at least once a day. It took a bit of research, I finally found a type of cat litter that has minimal odor. Yay. Tracking means vacuuming.
  • If I have to take my RT in for repairs, what do I do with Elsie the cat? When I am in San Diego I can drop her at my friend Nancy’s (thank you, Nancy). When I am on the road I usually will put her in her cat carrier and if it is longer we find a hotel room.

I am sure that if I took more time I would discover more challenges. The challenges become a daily part of life and I don’t think about them too much. It is better to approach the unique situations as they come up. There is always a solution. The one nice thing about my RV is that if I break down somewhere (hasn’t happened) I have a place that is comfortable while I wait out the solution. That is nice.

I may just do another post on the benefits of this lifestyle. I have found there are many. Right now, though, today is moving day. I am off to Kumayaay Lakes Campground for Easter weekend. I am looking forward to staying here. Until about a year ago it was closed. Now it is open weekends and has come in handy when Santee Lakes was full. Time to do the process.

Happy Easter everyone.

 

 

House For Sale, Adventure Awaits

 

imagesA while ago I mentioned in one of my posts that my goal for 2016 was to fix up the house and get it on the market.

Guess what I am in the middle of? Yes, you guessed it. I am in the middle of completing  some major interior and exterior projects on my house. Last week I had a cracked slab repaired, a new sidewalk with drainage on both sides installed, and a new driveway put in. It looks snazzy.

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Driveway drying

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My new sidewalk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is more to come. I have to get some drywall work done and then the interior will be painted. I am hoping to complete this by the middle of March and then if all things go according to plan the house will go  on the market.

Here is what I know about this process so far. It is stressful. It can be very stressful, at times. I feel that I have done pretty well dealing with the stress of it all. Oh wait I almost forgot I am getting over a cold but that is not stress related (who am I kidding). Every once in a while my not so favorite friend, anxiety, rears it’s ugly head. I try to remind myself that I am halfway through the repair and fixing up thing. It helps that Barbara, my friend and realtor is willing to listen to me. She asks the right questions too.

Once the house sells I head straight into the unknown. I am not planning to buy or rent another place immediately. I am going to sell most of my belongings, put the rest in storage and Elsie and I will live in my Roadtrek RV for the next year. If I really like it I may stay in it longer. If I don’t like it I may not stay a year. This is my plan at present.

stress-article-2015Moving into my Roadtrek is way more challenging to my stress level than getting the house ready for sale. When I was younger, I would pick up on a whim, pack and move. Sometimes I had no idea where I would end up. I am sure there was stress and anxiety with those moves too. I have found, as I have gotten older, moving has become harder and harder. Now I am want to move out of traditional housing entirely. What????

Since Jim’s death selling the house has always been in the back of my mind. It has nothing to do with our life together in our home. If it did I would stay here forever. This is what occurs when one finds oneself in a good and filling relationship. Creating a fresh start is important to me. I find that if I have to start over, I want to start somewhere fresh and in a place that is mine to create.

My problem with finding a home and space that is just mine is, I don’t where it is. I have been on two long trips and I thought each one would help me define where I want to live. I have learned some important things by traveling, yet where I want to live is still a mystery. Here is what I know:

  • I will not live east of the Rocky Mountains again-unless my family needed me. I love the wide open spaces of the west. I love all the mountains and the broad forever vistas. When I first moved to the Rocky Mountains in the 1970’s I never looked east again.
  • I have ruled out two thirds of the country. That’s good.
  • The Pacific Coast is amazing. I love camping and traveling it. I have found that I have been inexplicably drawn to the Pacific since Jim’s ashes went to sea.
  • I don’t mind some humidity. The humidity back east and in the south is overwhelming.
  • I love the lack of bugs in the west. I will put up with mosquitos and those pesky ants. But I don’t have to clean the front end off my vehicles after I drive them once.
  • There is something amazing to me regarding the fact that on any given day, year round, I can walk out of my house and go exploring. I don’t usually have to wait until the weather clears.
  • My car stays in good shape forever.
  • I have good friends all over the country and beyond. I have very good, loving and supportive friends in San Diego. Their support, caring and love would make it very hard for me to leave. All my friends have gone above the call in helping me during the last 3+ years.

Here is what I don’t know:

  • Where Do I Want to Live??????

Until I know more of what I want,  I don’t think I will buy. I may rent, after the year in my RV. I plan to keep an open mind and let in all possibilities.

Miss Elsie and I are going to become the traveling duo. Where do I travel to first? Maybe the photo below will shed some light on this question.IMG_2569

Yep that is right. I am pondering the Alcan Highway later in the spring, depending on the sale of the house. I have a lovely friend, Cat, who has a fifth wheel who wants to caravan with me. I am feeling the slight undertones of excitement. We would make a good team, me and Miss Elsie, Cat and her two dogs, Dory and Bodhi.

2016 continues to be an interesting year. I promise I will keep you up to date as the mystery of this year unfolds.

And the Adventure Continues.