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What’s dreamstreamrs’ Big News?


Each time one of our children calls and says, “We have BIG news!”, we’re thinking they’re going to tell us they are expecting. And, usually, their big news is “We got a new car”, or bicycle, or job and so on. Airstream friends recently told us they had exciting news — we were pretty sure they weren’t announcing having more children. Turned out they are excited because they are planning on becoming full timers. We’re excited for them, they started yesterday.

What did you think when we mentioned Big News two days ago on our blog? We spoofed two years ago about quitting full timing, and most of you saw right through that before you arrived at the punch line. So the big news now? Maybe a big house, much bigger than we had in Charlotte?

Thomas Hoatson Hse, Laurium MI

Thomas Hoatson Hse, Laurium MI

Some of the advantages we’ve enjoyed as full timers are inherent with not owning property other than the RV and truck, both depreciating assets. Our property taxes lower each year, as the value of the vehicles reduces. Too, we have no worries about properties we are absently in charge of — our property is with us, or rather we are in our only property.

Recently we visited Bob, an Airstream and ham radio friend in the NC mountains. While there, we noticed “for sale” signs on land parcels in his area. Bob drove us around a bit to show us the area, he helped us get oriented, and introduced us to some people who had ideas about places for sale. We started looking around.

We had a host of criteria for “our land”. The criteria changed as we learned about the area, the offerings, and our intentions. We are looking for a very pretty wooded parcel with road frontage and loads of quiet. No buildings, no development, just a nice large wooded lot. Maybe fantastic views?

Top of the World Highway, Chicken AK

Each time we return to NC we always feel “at home”. We love the beaches, the food, the Great Smokey Mountains. We like being close to family. Full timing appeals to us now as much as it did when we started over six years ago. A value of full timing, we’ve always thought, is to search the world over for the best place to live. The NC mountains tick all the boxes for us.

Can this be mine?

Almost four years ago we posted about picking the perfect house, but not knowing where to put it. Often we will post our thoughts about looking at house designs, something we’ve always done. We enjoy perusing home floor plans, picking them apart for what we would, and would not, want in “our house”. We aren’t looking to build yet, it simply seems like a good time to pick a nice place for our future.

We’re looking. It’s a fun thing to do, we’ve enjoyed tromping on some of the offerings and might try to make a deal when we find the right acreage.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
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Home is a great place

We’re home.

Benign here, this snowfall messed up transportation state-wide

Weren’t sure we would make it on our first try, the forces seemed opposed.  Charlotte’s weather turned horrible Sunday night, covering everything in four inches of snow.  Monday we added another couple of inches plus half an inch of frozen rain.

Our Charlotte plans for Monday were modest.  We would have attended my stepfather’s graveside service at 1300 hours followed by his memorial service at Providence Methodist at 1400 hours.  The family would gather, reminisce, and eat later at The Cypress where mom and Dow have lived.

Monday morning we postponed the services.  The major roads were mostly good by late morning but the smaller streets were covered with snow.  Nearly no Charlotte drivers maintain studded tires or chains, the tires would rot before twice serving.  We knew we couldn’t have folks driving about for these services.

Family, not counting Debbie and Jim, were in from Portland, Seattle and Boone, and some had early return flights.  Some postponed their return, but we needed a memorial service while family and a few friends were still in Charlotte.  Monday afternoon we gathered at The Cypress for an informal memorial  service and a meal.

The service was sweet and not long.  Dow’s children, Nancy and Harry, recounted their dad’s life, telling stories about background and work and achievements.  Thao, Dow’s granddaughter, expressed her appreciation for mom’s and Dow’s loving marriage.  Chuck, Jim’s brother, told about his special relationship over the past five years with Dow.  He and Dow were buddies, hanging out frequently and cutting Chuck’s lawn on a John Deere lawn tractor.

Later Monday we watched the NCAA national championship game.  Tough break for the Ducks, lucky break for Auburn’s Tigers.  The game could have gone either way, Auburn seemed slightly ahead throughout on the statistics, but almost let the game go to overtime before they kicked their winning field goal.

You want to leave Charlotte WHEN? Ha Ha Ha

The snow and ice devastated Charlotte’s airport processes.  Tuesday we watched the airport news very very closely — hundreds of flights canceled out of Charlotte, what about ours?  Our evening flight to Phoenix showed “on time” all day.  But when we arrived at the airport we found cots and sleeping mats throughout the concourse.  Gate waiting areas seating looked like a hurricane had struck, with each person staking two seats so they could sleep overnight.

One look at the departures board showed us the story.  Very few flights were leaving Charlotte this evening.  A ground crew member told us our 6 p.m. flight would be the last flight to leave Charlotte this day.  Monday the airport, we heard, ran out of de-icer and innumerable flights stayed on the ground.

Same today?  Apparently so, or the destination airports aren’t available because of foul weather.  Our flight carried over a dozen stranded airlines crew members, all probably very grateful to fly anywhere out of Charlotte.  Our flight left the gate ten minutes late, full of passengers and hope we could leave the airport.

Ten minutes later we stop somewhere on the airport and the pilot shuts down the engines for plane de-icing.  This took a half-hour then we were on our way, we were going to fly!  A lot of folks on the plane were very relieved at this point, and perhaps none more than the stranded crew members.

We arrived back to our little silver home, turned on the lights and water, and found almost everything in fine order.  Indoor temperature was 57F, fridge was cold, Alice Aloe looks good if a little thirsty.  Two casualties — the truck’s battery is dead, totally dead.  And the little refrigerator temperature monitor seems to have worn out it’s battery.

The truck’s battery is now connected to the trailer’s two batteries, to restore a bit of charge so we can start it and replace the battery.  We’ll go to the grocery store to restock our refrigerator and freezer.  And we’ll take extra time relishing in the durability of our little home.

Not bad for almost a month’s absence.  We expected worse and are happy to have found everything in good order.  We are happy to have been able to spend so much time with our families, especially fortuitous during this family crisis.

We are happy to be home, sitting by the sunny windows sipping green tea and reading the morning paper.  It’s great to be home.

Jim and Debbie

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