Not every week is spent in a lovely new destination. Sometimes, we are parked near Barry’s work or are in transition from one place to another. And sometimes, because life is the same in many ways whether you live in a RV or a sticks and bricks house, we have to take care of normal life “stuff.” Lately, there has been a lot of stuff requiring time and attention. And along with the doing, there can often be the chance to learn something new or try something different.

As those that read us frequently know, Big Al (our 37 foot home) was acting up and had to be towed. While they thought it was something simple, she ended up being in the shop for two weeks. Now, when my house previously had something wrong, I could usually still stay in it unless it was air conditioning not working in August. And usually, the handy person comes to you. When your house has wheels, you go to them and have to find just the right service place for your issue. Luckily, there was the right service place about an hour from where we broke down. Unfortunately, this was not a situation where we could stay in her.

The good news was that we have some good family friends living nearby. Cheryl, who is my first friend in life (better than saying my oldest friend), and her husband graciously let us stay with her much longer than expected. It was a blessing in disguise as we haven’t spent that much time together in years and we were able to really connect. Plus I was able to see my godparents, her mom and dad. I even got to spend my birthday with Cheryl for the first time since I was 14.

Just as the rig was released, it was time for me to fly to Denver to do the mom thing of orchestrating the moving of belongings for the new school year. Drew is spending his senior year at University of Glasgow in Scotland so we packed up all his things to move to Fort Collins where Jason is starting his junior year and needed furniture for his new place. Drew still had a couple weeks at his internship so was not yet in the mindset to pack. As I surveyed his belongings and furniture, it seemed unlikely to fit in the pick up truck he borrowed, so we decided at the last minute to rent a Uhaul. Luckily, I own a RV – driving a 12 foot truck is nothing!

While I was parenting, Barry drove the newly repaired rig north to visit clients and position us for our next big destination – Acadia National Park (a future blog). I met him in Hartford and we drove to Freeport, ME for me to hang out while Barry traveled to lead a photography workshop helping others learn how to take great photos in cool locations.

Barry traveled to Big Bend National Park to co-lead a workshop through his side business, BentonDowns Photography.

I stayed behind and had the opportunity to reset after our busy summer. Even when you live in 300 square feet, a good fall cleaning to organize and refresh is a great way to get back in the groove after a lot of unexpected situations. However, one thing you learn is that even on the days when you need to clean house or grocery shop, living in a RV tends to inject some adventure into your day as long as you stay open to it.

Here are some of the learnings we had over the last month:

  • Spending thousands of dollars on an engine doesn’t always mean it is all better. The engine light returned enroute and the new codes signaled more issues, including needing a new radiator while in Portland.
  • Shopping at farmers markets means only getting what is in season for that area. So, you get to learn about what is in season and adapt your menu to eat what tastes best and fresh. Or just enjoy the flowers.
  • A walk in the neighborhood can give you a lesson in mailbox creativity
  • Freeport, Maine offers incredible shopping and LL Bean Flagship Store does a wonderful summer program including free yoga in the summer. I learned I will get up for a 8 a.m. class when it is free and the weather is amazingly lovely.
  • Sometimes a walk around the camp can be a history lesson. At one site on some old family land, we found the cemetery and an American Revolutionary hero and his daughter.
  • Sometimes you just have to decide to add some adventure to your day. It is unlikely I would have tried this when I was back in Dallas, but surrounded by water and with the great LL Bean Outdoor Discovery program, it was perfect time to try kayaking. I did really well – I didn’t go in the water and I saw a seal!
  • If you are not confident enough to take your house out of the shop by yourself, it is time to take the wheel and get confident! I proudly drove from one campsite to the next – all three hours including the turns, two lane roads, and drives through small towns.

Here is to hoping you add some adventure in your daily routine!

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