It’s FALL Y’all!

With winter fast approaching, we decided to go back to the STL area to spend some more time with my parents.  We planned to stay a month once again at Belleville Mobile Home and RV Estates in Fenton, MO.  We had our spot reserved from October 14 through November 15.

We didn’t have a lot of plans for this particular time in STL. We helped my dad sort through some Christmas decorations and other stuff and helped him get a little more organized on the unfinished side of the basement. As a result, Jack and I reorganized and moved the things we are storing there to the unfinished side of the basement.  I visited my mom in the nursing facility often.

This was a time we had planned to experiment with cooking in the RV.  It’s not really a lot different.  Outside grilling is about the same except we have a smaller, portable Weber gas grill that uses the small one pound LP gas containers.  It has a smaller grilling space but that is not that big of an adjustment.

However, inside the RV there is A LOT LESS space for food prep. It also has a three burner gas stove and a microwave/convection oven combo.  I’ve cooked with gas before, but it was a REALLY long time ago.  I liked it back then, so I’m sure I’ll like it again. I’ve never used a convection oven, so I’ll be doing some experimenting with that in the near future. Jack grilled some steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and I cooked chili, spaghetti, and breakfasts. As you can see, I am not a gourmet cook at all! Each time we cooked a meal, food prep became easier, so I guess I’m adjusting to the smaller work space. We also had my dad over to eat with us several times. Once again, I forgot to take very many pictures, however, I did get one of the chili I made in my new electric skillet and one of our breakfasts:

Here is a pic of Zoey cuddling up to my dad on our couch.

At the end of October we had a special trip to Springfield, MO, planned. Jack’s mom (who lives in Springfield) had her 90th birthday on Nov. 1st. We planned a family celebration the weekend before her birthday at the Walnut Street Inn. All of her children, grandkids, great-grandkids, and great-great-grandkids were there for the celebration. Our oldest son, Jeff, flew in to STL from FL and rode down with us for the weekend (we took the car and left the RV). Other members of the family drove in from various places. Here are a few pictures of the celebration:

A few days after we returned from Springfield, I noticed some water on the floor between the refrigerator and the bathroom door. Jack thought it was just from the water he spilled that had not dried yet in the seams between the tiles. However, after a week of water seeping up through the seams between the tiles, we decided it must be a leak somewhere. When we couldn’t find the leak ourselves, we decided we needed to get a repair shop appointment at Camping World just outside of Springfield. We scheduled that appointment for Monday, Nov. 13, which meant we would be leaving the STL area a couple days earlier than planned just in case the RV had to be in the repair shop for a day or two.

Things didn’t quite go as we planned. On Sunday, Nov. 12, my mom became very ill and was admitted to the ICU at Mercy hospital. Jack and I decided he would go on to Springfield to Camping World for the repair appointment. I would stay in STL at my parents’ house with dad and spend a good portion of the days with mom in the ICU. Mom had picked up the norovirus (which is a dangerous virus for the elderly and very young children and infants), and after a few scary days she began to get better. She was well enough to leave the ICU by Wednesday. They moved her to a TCU room (Transition Care Unit) on Thursday when a bed became available because her dementia prevents her from being able to use the call button. On Friday the doctor told us she would likely go home on Saturday or Sunday. Therefore, I decided to leave early Saturday morning to drive to Springfield and join Jack.

We planned to drive half way to our next destination Saturday afternoon and finish the trip on Sunday. Again, things didn’t go as we planned. On my way to Springfield that morning the winds were terrible (20-30 mph sustained winds with 45 mph gusts)! It is unwise to drive an RV in that kind of wind! We stayed in Springfield Saturday night and then made the 7 hour trip all on Sunday. That was a really long day, however, I’m glad to report we made it safely to ……..

…….. I’ll let you know where we are in the next post. 🙂

So, for now … “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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“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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