We played cards until late last night, eating fresh-baked cookies (thanks, Jen) and relaxing with Bob and Faith. Bob’s and Faith’s house in Boise, Idaho, was a nice stay for us the past week. We parked our rig by their driveway in front of their motor home, had 15 amp electric service, and enjoyed staying the week with them.
The weather has been cool, mostly sunny, and wonderful for working outdoors or indoors. We arrived Sunday afternoon from Emigrant Springs, 26 miles south of Pendleton OR, where we had one more delightful campfire in a nice old state park. Emigrant Springs is one exception to our rule against staying in a park close to the interstate. The campground is really really nice and too bad about the traffic out there — we have great trees and nice comfort stations with hot showers and it’s so pretty.
Earlier this year we posted here about our “top ten” advantages of full-timing. We fully intended, well before now, to expound upon the same. Finally, we’re talking about full-timing advantages again.
Our house-on-wheels allows us to park anywhere we want, for as long as we can, to do as we will. This week we have spent time with good friends in a nice mid-western city with very nice weather. Bob and Faith have been full-timing three years and lost their renter this year. So we want to help prep their house for sale.
We’ve had fun working with Bob and Faith on their house, mostly some small repairs and painting. Debbie painted a bunch of closets and a stairwell. Jim repaired, scraped, primed, and painted siding, soffitt, and fascia on the second story and did a little trim work inside. And we all worked on taking down an old cedar plank fence along the back yard’s perimeter.
You might, or not, like doing painting and house repairs for more than a week. We spent 3 weeks last month working with NOMADS at Ocean Park Retreat in southwestern Washington state, and this week getting our fix on home maintenance. Sorta reminds us of watching other people’s children, pets, or houses to inoculate you against catching any must-have desires.
We totally don’t miss owning our house (see Time Magazine’s Sep 6 2010 article on re-examining home ownership) for multiple reasons. Our house was a really nice house in a fantastic location, walking distance to our church and dozens of restaurants and bars and jobs. A 3,000sf house, with its upkeep requirements, might be just the thing for a couple of retireds lacking much else to do.
Who has not much else to do? Perhaps we could maintain our house in a few weeks annually and spend the rest of the year going where we want when we want doing what we want. Or the house might just suck us in, require lots of time to get it really fixed up the way we want. After all, we have time now.
Ah, but we don’t want to paint and repair on our own house. We don’t want to spend a couple of days on spring cleaning. We don’t want to spend weeks getting rid of stuff we never should have accumulated in the first place. We don’t want to ceaselessly (it seemed) trim the shrubs and beds. We don’t want to pay the insurance and taxes and utilities on five or ten times the space we really live in.
We really do enjoy painting and repairing for a few days with friends. Invite us over, give us parking, utilities, meals and beer, and we’ll work with or for you. The tasks don’t daunt us because we can’t see the big picture. We only know the tasks we might tackle this week, and we aren’t burdened by knowing how much there is to do.
Helping friends is less like work for us, perhaps because we approach it as a short-time gig. This is a chance for us to visit Boise, visit with Bob and Faith, and help them a little. Okay, you’re thinking, this is their fun but is it attractive to others? How is this an advantage of full-timing?
The advantage in full-timing, for us, is the flexibility it affords us. Wanna go on a caravan next year or the year after? Okay, sign up anytime and plan on it. Wanna stay in Arizona this winter and play tennis? Okay, plan on it. Wanna change your mind and not go on caravan in 2011, and instead hang out in the Carolinas all summer? We can do it.
Don’t need to find anyone to rent or watch the house. Know where we’re going to live, and almost always can find a place to park our house. Can make changes pretty rapidly when needs so indicate.
2010 represents a pretty flexible and varied year for the dreamstreamrs. We spent 3 months in Florida, a few weeks in North Carolina, a couple of weeks traveling west to join a caravan, six weeks on the caravan, a month in Wyoming for the Airstream club annual rally, another two weeks in Montana, three weeks in Canada to visit Deb’s daughter, five weeks in Washington state including three weeks in Ocean Park for a NOMADS project, and a week in Boise with Bob and Faith.
And that’s just the first three quarters of 2010, we have lots of fun still to come. Were we still home owners we might not spend twenty-eight of the first thirty-six weeks away from the house enjoying a tremendous variety of activities in a great range of locations from Florida’s Atlantic coast to British Columbia’s and Washington state’s Pacific coasts.
Full-timing allows us to not only visit but to stay in places for weeks at a time exploring eateries from Stern’s book, Road Food. National parks, monuments, and historic sites are often near our routes and we try to catch them. Sometimes we get to swing by and visit with friends along the road. Sometimes we make new friends, too.
Our house goes with us, and our basement and attic and Jim’s shop (such as it is, the truck’s tailgate is Jim’s shop). So we have our stuff with us wherever we go, and don’t worry about how the house fairs in our absence. No issues renting it for a season while we travel. No deferred maintenance while we go away. We’re always away and we’re always at home. It feels great. Let’s go another season, eh?
See you down the road!