“Hit the Road Jack” ……. and Betty!

I started this blog when I retired from teaching in 2012. I didn’t post daily or even weekly, but I did post with some regularity. After a couple of years, my mom got really sick (which I shared in a couple of posts that you can go back and read), and I pretty much abruptly stopped posting. I was spending a lot of time traveling to their home to help out. Things with them have finally settled into a “new” routine and both are doing well considering their age.

NOW……on to the GOOD NEWS! My husband, Jack, finally retired from banking on July 28! Therefore, we are now BOTH “footloose and fancy-free” as the saying goes.  We have talked for years about what we wanted to do when we were both retired. We kept coming back to traveling around the country in an RV.  The big question was whether or not to keep a home. 

We finally made the decision to sell everything we owned (house, furniture, appliances, tools (except for a small tool box with the “basics” to keep in the RV), house decor, etc…..EV. ER .Y. THING!).  We were VERY fortunate and our house sold quickly, but what was even MORE fortunate was that the buyers needed to give 60 days’ notice to get out of their lease.  That was SO perfect for us!!  The details of selling everything would probably bore you to death, but let me tell you — it was a BIG job! I sold A LOT of our stuff on Facebook Marketplace, and we sold some things just by word of mouth.  After about 6-7 weeks of selling, we decided to have a garage sale to try to get rid of the rest.  I wish I would have thought to take some pictures during the selling process, but I was too busy to even think about it.  Oh, well…. I did take a couple of pics before the garage sale:

There was a lot more stuff that hadn’t been put out in the garage at the time I took these pics!  We had a great sale, and sold most of the stuff.  The rest we donated to local church missions organizations.  

The at the same time we were selling all our stuff, we were deciding what to keep and put in the RV for our day to day living.  The first chore was culling out clothes and shoes!  Everything I had read said people who RVed full time need VERY FEW “dress-up” clothes because everything in RV parks is casual.  We eliminated clothing based on that.  Jack had the biggest job.  His every day clothes were all suits, dress shirts, ties, and sports coats because of his job in banking.  Needless to say, he got rid of all of those except two suits, four ties, and a couple of dress shirts!  We took one or two dress-up outfits each, and enough casual clothes for 1.5 – 2 weeks.  Jack did better with that than I did.  I’ve already decided in the coming months I will probably be getting rid of more clothes!

I’ve also read that you shouldn’t keep a lot of breakable things in an RV.  So we have plastic or melamine everything (microwaveable ones, of course!).  I kept a couple of “real” coffee mugs and a couple of small corningware dishes to warm up leftover in the microwave.  Pretty much everything else is plastic and big items are collapsible (dish drainer, salad spinner, measuring spoons, etc.).  I’ve also gotten some super advise from several experienced RVers that I am making use of or writing down for later use.  

This will most definitely be a learning process, and I am positive that we will be doing some A LOT of rearranging (inside and under the coach) as we discover the things we need most frequently are not in the easiest places to reach.

We “moved” into the RV the last several days as we did the final “clean out” and “clean up” at the house.  At the same time I was  frantically trying to arrange things in the RV.  We spent our days running back and forth between house and RV.  Each night when we crawled into the bed in the RV we were so tired EXHAUSTED.  The “big” day came last Thursday, and we turned over the keys to the new owners of our home their house.

Needless to say, our poor little shih tzu, Zoey, was somewhat confused about going back and forth between the house and the RV. However, she seems to have made herself right at home on the couch in the RV!


Friday, September 1st, was the BIG day!  It was the day we were starting our big adventure and the next chapter of our lives.  We were pulling out of the town we had lived in and raised our family in for 27 years.  This was the town where we worked, went to church, and made many dear friends.  It was a day filled with SO many emotions: happy, excited, sad, anxious anticipation, and more.  


As we pulled out of Dexter, so many thoughts, memories, and emotions flooded our minds.  It’s impossible to describe.  We loved living here, meeting so many good people, and will cherish those memories forever.  We will definitely be back to visit!  Now on to our first stop:  the St. Louis area to spend some time with my family!  

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THE DASTARDLY DEMON DEMENTIA, by Betty Huffman

 

DEMENTIA….

Demeaning, devilish disease that degrades its victims….

Diabolically erodes a person’s ability to recall memories and process incoming and outgoing information….

Daily it wreaks havoc in the life of the individual as well as the lives of all who love and care for the person with the disease….

Delusional visions and disconnected conversations dominate the days….

Detestable anxiety and ominous nightmares have dominion in the darkness of night….

Despicable is the only way to describe its effect….

Damn Dementia!

I truly DETEST what you’ve done to my mother!!

 

My precious 81 year old mother was diagnosed with mild subcortical dementia mid-June, 2013. August 6, 2013, she became very ill and was eventually diagnosed with West Nile virus.  The virus attacked her muscles and worsened the dementia tenfold.  She has needed 24 hour care ever since.  It has been a trying eight months, to say the least.  My 83 year old dad has managed quite well taking care of mom with minimal assistance from Visiting Angels and my two sisters and myself.  However, around the second week of March, my sisters and I noticed our father’s health declining.  We had decided last October when we brought mom home, that if daddy’s health began to suffer as a result of the constant care he was giving mom, we would have to move mom to a skilled nursing facility.  We agonized over this decision, but we knew it was best. We moved mom on March 21st, and I stayed with dad for the following week (my sisters had already scheduled their vacations for the week of March 24th).  My dad was very sad at first, but he has gotten some much needed rest, has worked out his “routine,” and visits mom every afternoon.  He is doing so much better now.  It was the ABSOLUTELY HARDEST thing I/we have ever done.  Once I got home and rested up a bit, I kept thinking about how much I hated this disease called Dementia.  Hence, I wrote this poem as a way of expressing my feelings and frustrations.

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