Tag Archives: Apartment

We Took the Road Less Traveled

Hello, World!

The changes in our lives the last year and nine months have been huge, and as I reflect upon them today, in some ways it seems like it has been a much longer time. The 5th Wheel is so much home now that it is hard to believe we haven’t been living in it longer than we actually have been.

Three years ago this month, my husband and I listed our house for sale; it sold to the second family to view it. Within a few weeks, and much faster than expected, we downsized from an almost 2,700 sq. ft. home with a two-car garage to a 1,150 sq. ft. two-bedroom apartment in Metro – Nashville. We enjoyed our time in the Nashville area, but we kept looking for “what’s next.” My husband unexpectedly getting laid-off from the company for which he had worked 10 years was the push we needed.  Jim had been thinking for years about going out on his own in the consulting field, and this was the push he needed for that. While he was working a contract (thankfully) in Nashville and looking for the next “gig,” we hit upon an idea: We could buy and RV and travel together from job site to job site. (You see, that one contract was the only one in 14 years as a traveling consultant that he’d had a job in the state of Tennessee, and it was well-timed for him to have a job locally, so we could shop and plan for our next adventure.)

outside house kitchen front room den


The last day of September 2014, we signed the papers to purchase our 5th Wheel Trailer, and about two weeks later, we had our tow vehicle.  The time between the end of September and the middle of November, we continued to downsize, putting items with which we were not yet ready to part into a 10 x 10 climate-controlled storage unit. The temperatures dropped rapidly, and early for Middle Tennessee, so to keep from having to winterize the camper for three days, we began moving into the RV on the 13th of November; Jim would finish his contract the next day. The next five days, we wrapped up our move out from the apartment and got situated as best we could in the camper, which was parked at an RV park near the dealership from which we purchased the RV. We were then living in a camper with 321 sq. ft. when slides were out.

Our 5th Wheel Trailer and Tow Truck

Our 5th Wheel Trailer and Tow Truck

Then, we headed out to try our hand and RVing by going to Lake Guntersville, Alabama, for a three-day stay. Then, we moved to a campground just off I-65 near some of my family; we stayed there five weeks, really just shy of five weeks since we left for five days to take the camper to Paducah the week of Christmas 2014 to visit Jim’s side of the family.

Our view from the site at Lake Guntersville at sunset

Our view from the site at Lake Guntersville at sunset

It was so cold the winter of 2014, and Jim had no contract yet, so he suggested we go toward the Gulf Coast; we did, and I was so glad. We stayed in southern, Alabama slightly over two months. Then we moved to the Mississippi coast for another month. While in these two locations, Jim worked a 5-week contract – mostly remotely – for a hospital in Colorado; he then worked a 3-week contract with a hospital in Massachusetts while I hung out in Mississippi. Jim flew back and forth, so we got to get play in the warmth of the Mississippi coast together over the weekend.

Entrance to campground where we stayed in MS; the Gulf Coast is across the road.

Entrance to campground where we stayed in MS; the Gulf Coast is across the road.

His next contract, and the one he is still working, was in Corinth, Mississippi, which is in the most northern part of the state where it borders Tennessee. The nicest RV park within a 50-mile radius of Corinth is located in Tennessee between the city of Savannah and Pickwick Dam, so this is where we’ve stayed for a year.  He will wrap up this job this summer, so we are excited to know that we will be traveling again in July as we’re going to make our way to Vermont to attend the Escapade at Essex Junction where we’ll get to visit with other RVers, many of whom will be full time and working on the road like us.

Our current site south of Savannah, TN

Our current site south of Savannah, TN

This is not the road of traditional Americans; it is the road less traveled, but I’m so glad we took this path.  Jim and I look forward to many years and adventures living in our camper and traveling to wherever the jobs take us. We are living and loving life after 50 and feel like kids again living the traveling lifestyle.

Be true to yourself and have a blessed day!


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Filed under Career, Travel

Downsizing is a Wonderful Thing Except for the Actual Work of Downsizing

Hello World!

Oh, our aching backs!  That is what the HH and I were thinking Saturday night after moving the remainder of our “stuff” from a storage unit to our “just for now” apartment.  The storage unit was only supposed to be for a month or two, but here we were nearly to the end of the fifth month of paying storage unit fees, and I wanted to be done with that. Weekend before last, the HH put shelves into our patio storage closet (with permission from one of the leasing ladies), and I ordered a heavy-duty, five-shelf, plastic storage unit to set against one of the walls on the patio.

Boxes Moved from the Storage Unit - Photo: livingandlovinglifeafter50

Boxes Moved from the Storage Unit – Photo: livingandlovinglifeafter50

With shelving in place, we moved all of the boxes, furniture, tools, etc. in storage to our apartment.  It once again looks like we have just moved into the apartment.  Now, I am slowly going through each of these boxes, many of which were moved from my classroom year before last after having been packed in a hurry by students who needed to earn service hours for Key Club. It is a slow and messy and boring job but necessary.

We discovered that four or five of the boxes in the storage unit actually belong to three of our six children.  When these children come to visit, or we go to see them, boxes belonging to the individual kids will have to go with him or her; we don’t intend to purchase a house much larger than where we are living now when we buy again, so there is no need for us to continue to act as free storage for our grown children, love them though we do.

The good news was that the HH went through his huge tub of car parts while at the storage unit, and he pulled out an aluminum garbage can full of metal car parts with which he can part.  That can, with a few other metal items, is going to be taken to the scrap metal vendor on Friday.  After that, we get to cancel our storage unit use with three days left on o our current month.

Downsizing was initially my idea; it is what I really wanted (and still want), but I’m fighting my “pack rat” genes, inherited from my dad and my paternal grandmother.  I’m not sure which ancestor passed the pack-rat gene to my grandmother, but I know someone is guilty.  Letting go of things because there is a sentimental connection or because we might need that again some day causes internal battles that are fought with each box I open.  I will admit that not being able to get to the dining table or walk safely down the hall or into the extra bedroom is incentive to make quicker decisions to “toss” items not needed now.

It is a hard, long, messy job, but I’m battling through because of the goal at the end: being downsized.

Have you gone through the downsizing battle?  Do you have a hard time letting go of things, giving in to your inner pack rat?

Have a blessed and happy day!

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Filed under Personal Stories, Rants, Etc., Random