Friday, June 18, 2021

Packing

 When we were newly-minted full time RVers - back in 2004 - I remember having to unlearn the need to pack for travel. We would be living in our RV in a park for a few weeks, or even a month, then it would be time to move on. My brain would get busy thinking of what I needed to pack for the trip, then I'd shake my head and realize that wasn't necessary! I was taking everything, including the kitchen sink, with me. We were driving our house! 

It didn't take long to get used to that. I LOVED traveling in my house. Wherever we were was home. When we're ready to go, we just stow everything in place, turn the key and head on down the road.

Now I find myself in the opposite situation. It's time to get on the road - we are booked to give seminars at two RV rallies in Wyoming in July - and I want to just turn the key and go. 

Not so fast. 

The kitchen stays fully equipped

We keep our little camper van fully stocked with everything needed in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. We have a full set of silverware, plates, coffee cups, wine glasses, coffee pot, and cookware that stays put in the cupboards and drawers of our Roadtrek. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. stays put in the tiny bathroom, and a full set of bedding also stays in place. We even leave a few clothes in the closet so we can be ready to leave on a moment's notice in a hurricane evacuation or other emergency.

But, we're going to be gone for 2 months. We need more clothes. We need our computers and various technology. We need food. 

The final thing we need to consider is tasks to perform around the house to leave it ready to withstand a hurricane while we're gone. Bring items in from the backyard that could fly away. Close the shutters, make sure a neighbor has a key bring in our mail, and to keep an eye on the place. etc. etc.

We start a week or so in advance, both Jim and I set up a "staging" area where we put things as we think of them, like the couple of Baby Yoda figurines that Jim 3D printed for our friend's kids that we'll be visiting, and my coffee table Blog book that I like to use as show and tell during our seminar. Things that aren't necessary, but they're important. 

Then I start to stress out.

After this past year of covid confinement, travel has gone from being commonplace to unthinkable. What are we doing? Why are we leaving our comfortable home? What am I forgetting? Why did we say yes to Wyoming? 

I decide that we should stay the first night at a local campground, so we could go back home if we discover we forgot something. Good idea right? But, I think it just prolonged the stress. We drove the couple of miles to Easterlin Park - one of our favorites anywhere - and had a delightful night. Ahhh, our comfy, cozy camper van with all the necessities of life. We only forgot one thing - the Berkey water filter - a necessary item. Since we use it in the house as well, it's something we need to remember to take back and forth. Maybe we should just get another?

We had planned to go back to the house once before actually leaving. We left a few tasks, like closing shutters and running the dishwasher, for the morning. Now I am worrying all over again, what are we missing? Will everything be ok while we're gone? Oops, I need to run the dishwasher, but Jim wants to shut off the water - so we have to hang around for a while. More time for me to worry! We look at the weather and see a tropical storm headed for the gulf coast - just where we're heading. Should we wait a couple of days for it to pass? But, we're all ready to go. How about this - we could leave now but visit friends in N Florida for a couple of nights. But, what if the storm comes to N Florida? Decisions, decisions.

"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure." 

Well, we got everything taken care of (I think) and we got on the road. The sound of the tires on the highway is like a lullaby - erasing all my cares. If we forgot anything now, we'll just have to do without, or find a way to buy it. All is well. We're RVing.

We ended up visiting with 2 different friends in N Florida - Nick and Terry in Edgewater, and Alex in Melrose. I'll write another post on that. Suffice it to say, we like friends with driveways!

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