It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny

This is my blog about life - travel - new experiences - growth.
Please join me in my journey.......

February 16, 2009

The pursuit of a motorhome

I'm learning the process of buying a motorhome. For me, it's a learning process to be sure as I don't seem to make decisions lightly or quickly!
I don't have a lot of money to spare on a nice motorhome, even though I'd like a brand new fancy one with lots of storage and all the bells and whistles! I've been looking at the class B+ (that seems to be the new lingo for a smaller, more aerodynamic class C) and most of them are expensive. The one I like the most costs more than $100K and it's only 23 feet of living space! Lately I've been looking at the more reasonable BT Cruisers and so far it's only been online - I've yet to see one in person. But what I've seen online looks impressive and the price tag is right. I found one on eBay and I've been emailing the dealer back and forth. I probably won't buy this one, as I'm leery of buying sight unseen but the process of asking questions has been a real learning experience. And thanks to my dad for leading me into asking the "right" questions! I always look forward to what the dealer has to say in reply to my emails!
I've been making charts and comparing specs - it's all time consuming and confusing and if I just had loads of money and oozed confidence I wouldn't care so much.
Jamie Hall, one full-timer I admire, once said that no decision is a wrong decision because you can just make a different one down the road if you need to. Whatever decision you make is going to be the right one at the time - later on, you can make a different decision if you need to and that will be right as well.
But think of what you'll learn and experience in the process! That's the best decision of all - just move - take those steps necessary in pursuing your dream and the rest will follow......
"The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step"

February 15, 2009

Chocolate & Wine

I live in wine country. Yesterday was Valentine's Day. A day for wine and chocolate - what could be more perfectly paired than that? Therefore, eight of us headed for a favorite winery called The Four Graces in Dundee, Or for excellent wine paired with hand crafted chocolates by confectionairre Carrie Wong. We were not to be disappointed. As soon as we walked onto the patio we were handed a wine glass and a package of six chocolate truffles. Each one was paired with a complementary wine and each one was extraordinary and sinfully delicious. The eight of us soon migrated to the outdoor fireplace seating area and spent a few hours sipping wine, tasting chocolate, meeting new people and enjoying a beautiful Oregon day in wine country.

It was a perfect Valentine's Day!

February 12, 2009

Getting It Right

I went to a seminar for my work once where we were required to take a test to discover what kind of work personality we had. I was certain that I would be a "Get Along" type. After all, I seem to be the ultimate "people pleaser." I was wrong. Instead I tested out to be a "Get It Right" personality. In hindsight I think that nailed me to a tee.

I always seem to think if I can just "get it right" then everything will fall into place. Those that I love, the society I live in, the world as a whole, will be as I want because I've worked so hard to make it so. Let me tell you, it doesn't work. It didn't work when my kids were teenagers. I worked hard as a parent to get it right. Trouble is, I never had any definite convictions because my getting it right always depended on someone else's opinion, whether it was my parents, my spouse, my church, my friends, books I read, counselors I saw. Most contradicted each other. No wonder my children were confused and rebelled. I was confused!

I always thought if I could just get my marriage right, then I'd live happily ever after. Again I was wrong. Deep seated fears on my behalf were largely at fault in the demise of my marriage. Disappointment, resentment, guilt were at the core and I had a hard time accepting that I didn't even know who I was or what I wanted. I had a hard time accepting that my partner wasn't right (perfect). Who can live up to that, I ask.

Recently, I've come to realize that financially I thought I could get it right by living within my means, buying a house I could afford, living without debt (yes, without), contributing the maximum to my IRA every year and then retiring by the time I was 55. That all went by the wayside in 2008 when I saw my retirement savings fall by almost half of what it used to be. Now....I'm over 50, so in reality, if I worked another 10 years until retirement age, I doubt I will have recouped the savings I once had. And that is so depressing and discouraging to me. And I'm angry and disheartened about it all because it's not right - not at all. Don't even get me started!

And then my epiphany:

I can never predict the future!!

I can never "get it right" because I don't have the power to control the universe! Wow!! So why keep trying to get it right? It never works out the way I think it will anyway. Therefore, I'm going to quit trying.

From now on I refuse to work at any job that I hate just because it affords me an income. From now on, I refuse to live apart from those that I love just because others may think they know better. From now on, I refuse to put off my dreams just because it's written somewhere that I should wait until the right retirement age of 65 or 70. I'm not going to depend on doing everything right according to others. I'm going to live for today - not put it off until tomorrow out of fear that it's not the right time, or the right place, or the right person, or whatever.......I'm going to do what I think is right, not what others think is right for me.

Maybe I'll finally "get it right" after all!

February 10, 2009


Five days a week I get up at 4am and go jogging with my dogs. It's really hard to drag myself out of bed that early, get dressed, and hit the streets. My dogs never have a problem with it however. They are always excited and ready to go, no matter what time it is. The puppy, Cooper, had a hard time initially. After all, it was winter, dark and cold, and he was a puppy - who wouldn't have a problem with it? We tried. I'd jog about 10 feet and he'd put the breaks on, balking at this new routine. Therefore, it became easy for me to stay home, have a few cups of coffee, log onto the Internet. It was quickly formed habit and one that was hard to break once I was in it. I liked those early mornings at home, where it was warm and quiet. Cooper was sleepy and well-behaved for a change! The problem with it was that no one got any exercise that way. I became more lazy, Cooper harnessed more pent up energy. So a few weeks ago, we hit the streets once again. It must have been a New Year's Resolution that drove me to it! Nah, if the truth were told, it was really just my side-kick guilt that's to blame!

Cooper's older now and he's a great jogging dog - will jog right beside me - doesn't even break a sweat! The older lab, who's 10 now, stays home until the last mile. We jog back by the house, after having gone about 2 miles and get the older dog and then she goes with us for the last mile. Hey, it's hard when you have arthritis - after all, she's 70 in human years - I hope I'm not still jogging at 4am when I'm 70!

I like being out when everyone else is asleep. It's quiet. There aren't any cars on the road yet. Usually the only person I see is the girl that delivers the morning papers. As I jog along, with my dog by my side, I'm feeling blessed that I have my health, my two good feet, a safe, well lit neighborhood. Soon, I'm home again and the routine of the normal work week kick into gear - no time for thought or reflection - no time for quiet peacefulness - at least until the alarm goes off at 4am the next day. Then it's starts again.......

February 08, 2009


One of the reasons I like to move is that it gives me the chance to clean house - to get rid of what I no longer need or use. In the last seven years I've moved a few times and I've downsized considerably in the process. Yesterday, while boxing up items for charity, itemizing it all, I felt like I was purging myself of a former life - slowly but thoroughly getting rid of it all. One box led to another and soon I wasn't satisfied with just the garage - I had moved into the house to purge there too. Box after box of the old me went to charity.

That's a lot like life...purging oneself of the old, the neglected. Transitioning to the new, moving on. I've noticed how it evolves in stages - there were things I was ready to give away this time that I haven't been in the past. There were also items I carefully boxed up to keep, not yet ready to get rid of, even though I haven't used them in years. Carefully, I'd wrap them in tissue, pack them into plastic crates, labeling them so I'd remember, and take them to my storage shed. Where they'll sit, hidden away, until I'm ready to take the next step. Paralleling my life....memories, stored carefully, until I'm ready to take them out, deal with them, and move on.

I hope that whoever buys my "stuff" will use it and love it as I once did. Then it will have served it's purpose.

"The heart that gives, gathers."
Marianne Moore

February 07, 2009

Clutter Control

Today I aim to de-clutter my garage. I've been holding off - thinking that I would have a garage sale - make some extra money. But it's still winter, and cold, and hardly the time anyone is thinking about garage sales. I may be wrong about that, with the economy in recession (or is it depression) now. I guess the reality of it is that I'm just tired of looking at it and miss the lack of space in the garage I once had. I want to list my house and have prospective buyers walk into my garage and exclaim about all the room it has. To be able to see that cute little pellet stove in the corner that makes the garage nice and toasty for working on special projects. At this point you can't even unfold a table to work on anything special!

I guess I'd better get off this computer and get started. Some charitable organization will be very happy today!

February 05, 2009

Let me Introduce Myself

I've never blogged before! I've never even posted anything. In fact, I could be considered a "lurker" in web-talk. I lurk all over the Internet on any site that has to do with RV travel, full-timing, retiring, simplicity.

My goal is to downsize my life, sell the house, sell the stuff , quit my job, purchase a small class C or B+ RV, and hit the road - just to see where it takes me. This new adventure is exciting and scary all at the same time, which leads me to why I started a blog. I would be considered by some to be an organized person and as such it's my wish to create a documented memory of what will hopefully be a very enlightening time in my life. It may be bumpy in spots, it may be smooth as silk, it may have loneliness or it may have opportunity to meet many wonderful people along the way. But through out it all, it will be my adventure to remember and tell.
I've lived over a half century now, and at times I feel like I'm just a new born babe, feeling my way, trying to make sense of it all. There are days that I am so excited to begin and others when I have doubt and fear of whether I'll be able to do this on my own. I find it's best if I just break down the insurmountable into small, manageable goals. That way I'm not as overwhelmed with the negative voice inside my head that tells me I shouldn't do this - "you're not old enough," "you're a single woman who has never motor-homed in her life", "you're leaving a job that pays your bills," "what if you don't like it", what if, what if, what if.....see why I break it down into little pieces? Otherwise I'm frozen in fear, unable to move, full of doubt.
There's another tiny, but very compelling voice deep inside (the one that I try to listen to) that says to me, "Right or wrong, good or bad, it will be okay, just believe, have faith and trust in the unknown." Trust in a Power greater than myself to lead the way.
A favorite quote comes to mind - "Leap, and the net will appear." Today I leap - today I venture out into the unknown world of blogging. I hope I make many friends along the way!