On July 28th, 2018, my husband, Tommy, and I set out on our big cross-country RV adventure. On July 28th, 2019, we drove away from our home in Hollister to begin our next adventure as mortgage-free, RV travelers. It wasn’t a coincidence; it was God-incidence. The wild ride of the last year has been so chucked full of miracles that I’ll be stretched to remember them all. I certainly won’t be able to fit them into one blog post. It will take a book to accomplish that, and I intend to write it one day. I’ll try to tell the Readers Digest version of our home sale experience. Upon returning home from our cross-country trip in October last year, I finally settled into the idea of selling our house. Those of you who have been there you know what a beautiful place it is.For a long time, I couldn’t imagine selling it, while Tommy was already in Shingletown in his mind. We’d purchased the property in 2012 and Tommy had added the solar and septic system so that we could be completely off-grid. He bought a back-hoe and spent a lot of time at the property, clearing trees and moving boulders. Tommy was ecstatic when he was working at the property.In God’s perfect timing, He prepared my heart to leave our home. After spending almost five months in our motorhome, and enjoying traveling more than I could have ever imagined, selling it was the only way to go. Having the financial freedom to travel more and no house to take care of sounded great to me. Tommy couldn’t have been happier. For about two months we worked our tails off, cleaning out storage areas, closets, drawers, and cupboards, in preparation for listing our house in April. I packed up anything that I thought we may not need for a while and Tommy made numerous trips to the dump and to our property to store boxes into his thousand square foot shop. We gave three trailer loads of items to, My Father’s House, a local homeless charity with a thrift shop. I took down all personal photos and packed away all of my books, which were many of, even after donating 250 of them to our local library. The open house was planned, and we headed out in our motorhome to avoid being home while it took place. We returned home to two offers, one of which seemed almost too good to be true. As it turns out, it was. It was a cash offer well above the listed price. The prospective buyers loved my koi and were even naming them. A buyer that wanted to maintain my pond was critical to me. They had ten days to make inspections and take care of all of the due diligence things a homeowner does before the escrow clock started ticking. On day nine, they pulled out. They decided it was too much house for them to take care of. I was VERY disappointed but understood completely. I did, however, ask God why He let us get our hopes dashed like that. Then I straightened up quickly though and told Him that I knew He always has a better plan than ours. We had a few folks come to check out the house when it went back on the market. The work that went into making sure everything was tucked away and perfectly clean before the visits was a severe pain in the backside. When a realtor friend mentioned to me that June was not a good month for home sales because of all of the weddings and graduations, I decided to take the house off of the market for June. I wanted to enjoy my home for a little while before moving anyway. June was beautiful with lots of hot days, and I thoroughly enjoyed my pool and my yard. After my workouts at the gym in the mornings, I packed more non-essentials and continued cleaning out cupboards, closets, and drawers. It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate that you don’t even use. On most days by 2:00, I was at my pool enjoying it and visiting with my family and friends. On June 27th we listed the house again and jumped in the motorhome for a 17-day holiday to Oregon to visit friends. So many of our pals have moved away, many winding up in Oregon. We visited Tommy’s daughter in Red Bluff on the way north, spending one night there. We spent July 4th weekend with, Sylvia, a long-time employee and friend in Roseburg, Oregon and then stopped in Creswell to spend a night with our friends the LaLande’s. We met them at a Joyce Meyer conference in Sacramento, California two years earlier and hadn’t seen them since. From there we headed to Sisters, Oregon for a five-night stay at the Bend/Sisters Garden RV Park. It’s a beautiful place with the most pleasant staff you’d ever hope to meet. Our good friends Lys and Tom moved to Bend a few years ago, and my pals, John, and Verana Bell moved there last year. We had a great visit with both couples. On the return trip home, we paid a visit to Tommy’s youngest daughter in Chiloquin. We thoroughly enjoy traveling to visit with family and old friends. We’d changed realtors because my friend that listed the house the first time was going to be out of the country for most of July. Our new agent, Susan Fixen, moved very quickly with an open house the weekend left and we received a full price offer that Monday. It was contingent on their selling the home they owned in San Juan Bautista, but it was a beautiful place, and we didn’t see that as a problem. We agreed to give them 25 days to sell their house and accepted the offer. DocuSign is an amazing thing. You can handle all of the paperwork via the internet, and travel plans don’t need to be interrupted. Within an hour of accepting the offer, Susan called to say that another offer was coming in and there were no contingencies. On her advice, we pulled our acceptance of the first offer and waited for the next one to come in. It indeed had no contingencies and offered a 21-day close, but they offered much less than we were asking. We countered with full price and, bammo, they accepted. The wheels of the sale began turning quickly. I had assumed that the 21 days would start after they made their inspections and such, but I was wrong. It started the day we accepted their offer. We returned from Oregon on July 15th and needed to be out of our home by the 28th. We flew into action packing up every bit of our home and the many storage containers. Tommy’s studio and the shop had a lot more stuff in it them then he realized and so did the few cupboards that I hadn’t packed yet. I moved everything that I figured we would need for the next eight months into the motorhome. It was a tight fit and a tall order. We planned on only keeping a few items of furniture because we simply didn’t have the room to store it. I also figured we may as well start fresh in our new home next year. I put up a post on a couple of Facebook sites with pictures of our furniture and got an overwhelming response. Many wanted to know what was free. God provided the perfect people to buy every item. I was able to bless them with great prices, and they blessed us by getting the stuff out of our house. By Saturday the place was empty and the excellent house cleaner I met through Nextdoor Sunnyslope came and spent 8 ½ hours making the place look pristine. Shauntel is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. She is a single mother of four. If you have any cleaning needs, you should look her up because she does fabulous work. Our buyers came to the house to meet with me on Friday. They needed to inspect the place and let me know what they were okay with us leaving at the house. I’m sure I looked like I had been run over by a truck. It’s certainly the way I felt. Tommy missed meeting them because he was on yet another trek to Shingletown to add a second loft to the shop and pack more stuff into it. All of our furniture had been removed by that time, but there was plenty of outside furniture, a washer and dryer, garage refrigerator and assorted other items that we didn’t want to take with us. John and Donna were a Godsend. I would point to something and say, “What about that?” and John would say, “You can leave it. I’ll take care of it.” I told him that my husband was going to extremely happy when he found out that he didn’t need to pack any more stuff or make another dump run. In total, I know there were at least 18 dump runs, and more trips to Shingletown than either of us could count. As well as being great about letting us leave things, the wonderful couple was thrilled to have a koi pond, and John was prepared for me to go over all that is involved in pond care. Donna said that she would be glad to care for Batcat, the outdoor stray that had made our place his home. He is getting up there in years, but he is as sweet as he can be and not much trouble. This was a blessing I will be forever grateful for. They are the perfect family to own our home for so many reasons. They had been looking for the ideal home for a very long time, and they know that they found it in ours. Having someone buy our home that felt so blessed to have it means more than I can say. Donna has been a doll and even sends me pictures of Batcat enjoying his meals. God answered my prayers for a buyer in so many ways. By the grace of God on Sunday, July 28th, the ¾ of an acre property with a 2400 square foot home, huge shop, multiple garages, and storage areas was empty of all that we were taking with us. We met with John and Donna in the morning and spent more than two hours going over everything from light switches to koi pond maintenance. They let us park the truck and trailer, full of our belongings, behind the house in the RV parking spot so that Tommy could relax a little before driving the last load to Shingletown. It was appreciated and much needed. We spent a week at the Thousand Trails in Paicines, where we have enjoyed staying often. While Tommy made the final trip with the truck and trailer to our property, I stayed back the campsite with Paddy in the motorhome. I enjoyed the pools at the campground and ran necessary errands while I was still in the area. Our good friends Gary and Chris came out to spend the weekend with us, and we celebrated my son, Allen’s, birthday on Saturday. He and his sweetheart Sophie and our good friends Cheryle and her lovely daughter Kennedie made it a joyous gathering. On the way home to Shingletown, we decided to spend a night in Orland so we could enjoy dinner at Farway’s. It’s pretty cool when you can plan a trip around a good meal. We had been there on a past road trip and wanted to experience another excellent meal. And we were not disappointed. My steak with a zippy tomato puree was fantastic. Our spinach dip appetizer was tasty, and Tommy enjoyed his polenta with chicken and shrimp. If you are ever near Orland, CA, you need to stop for a meal at Farway’s. Next, we stopped in Redding to enjoy another great meal and indulge ourselves at the Urban Retreat. I booked us both for The Cosmopolitan, the retreats number one package. This day spa is fantastic, and I make it a point to get a treatment whenever we are in the area. After all of the hard work that went into the move, Tommy and I deserved it. The package consists of a massage, facial and a pedicure. The $175.00 price tag is more than reasonable for a three-hour pampering session. We actually wound up being there for four hours. We left feeling relaxed, with silky smooth skin, and feet as soft as a baby’s behind. When we build our home on our property, I’m sure I’ll make monthly visits to the Urban Retreat. Yesterday we headed to the home front. Shingletown, CA, is our new official residence. However, we aren’t planning on putting a home on our property until next year. We are doing a lot more traveling this year, minus a knee scooter. Last year I managed to enjoy seeing many wonderful sights while rolling around on the scooter because of my broken ankle. This year I’m really going to relish the trip without one. We are flying by the seat of our pants on our upcoming expedition. We learned so much during last year’s 25 state excursions. For starters, reservations aren’t always necessary and can hinder your enjoyment. Being pressured to make it to the next location made for stressed one night stops and were, for the most part, unnecessary. It’s a smart idea to have reservations at an RV Park on holidays, but mapping out a long trip, stop by stop, with many, must make, advanced bookings was a mistake. I won’t be doing that this time around. We will be spending a little time in Shingletown before heading out on our next trip. We haven’t figured out how long we’ll stay here, but it doesn’t matter. I’m still overwhelmed by the freedom of being mortgage-free, with no PG&E, solar, water, or internet bills. Being relieved of the financial burdens as well as the responsibilities of maintaining a huge home with a koi pond and a pool is more exhilarating than I can begin to describe. I’m ecstatic. God is so good. Our first destination this year is Pahrump, Nevada. I’m sure you are saying, “Pahrump, what the heck for?” We are going to the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. We are both signed up for a two-day defensive handgun training class. This place is renowned for firearms classes. We are second amendment advocates and believe that we should know how to handle our guns safely. This is a travel post, not a political one, so I’ll leave it at that. From there we will make our way to Pueblo, Colorado for the Fleetwood Discovery Rally. We’ve owned our motorhome for over a year and a half, and we still don’t know everything about it. These model-specific, rallies are a great way to learn everything you need to know about your recreational vehicle. We are looking forward to meeting other Fleetwood owners and enjoying the company of like-minded people. Figuring out how to turn the LED lights on under our awning will be great too. From there we’re headed back to Arkansas. We stopped there for two days last year to visit our friends, the Moore’s and discovered what a beautiful place it is. We plan on staying for at least a week this time. The Petite Jean State Park is a must-see. The waterfalls and fabulous views abound. I wasn’t able to enjoy any hiking last year, but I plan on doing some during this visit. From there, we will probably head to Tennessee to see my younger brother’s new home before heading to Florida to visit my older brother’s family. We will most likely spend the holidays in Florida, before making our way towards Mexico. We have a trip planned with the Escapees RV Club. The caravan consisting of 51 RV’s are escorted across the border together and into San Felipe, Mexico where we will enjoy a ten-day stay on the beach enjoying camper’s camaraderie, walks on the beach, nighttime campfires and Karaoke and lots of other fun stuff. We are very excited about it. If you like travel news or just want to keep in touch and see what’s going on in our new wonderful world keep an eye on my Facebook Group RV Road Trip with Tom, Cat, and Paddy. I plan on sharing a lot of great travel tips, restaurant, and RV park reviews, and fun travel tales. I would love to take you along on our newest life journey. People were disappointed when we got home last year, and the travel stories ended. We’ve got almost eight months of travel planned this time and NO KNEE SCOOTER. Yahoo!!
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