I’m always the first one up around here, so I let our little dog, Max, outside and made my coffee. Our son, Sam is almost alway up next – and I’m thankful for that. He and I tend to have the best talks.
Our conversation this morning was especially meaningful. Our sweet Airedale, Willard Monroe, passed away on Monday. He loved Sam more than anything…..the feeling was quite mutual. Sam has shown his true colors this week. He stayed with his dog until the very end, and I could see his heart break as he experienced death in a very real way….but I also saw grit, emotional strength, genuine faith, and a glimpse of the man our 11 year old boy is becoming.
This morning, we talked about death. We talked about God. We talked about change and what the future might hold. We talked about our big trip – and Sam is ready to hit the road.
“How long until we go, mom?”, he said.
We opened up the calendar and counted.
18 weeks. Wow… 18 weeks.
And there is still SO much to do – but we’re making progress. Since my last post we’ve had some experiences that have helped us make some big decisions, so here’s an update.
We haven’t purchased our home-on-the-road yet, but we are getting close. We were researching Class A Motorhomes and pretty sure that we wanted to go in that direction, but a visit to the RV show at the State Fairgrounds led to some great conversations with people who are avid recreational & full-time campers. What a valuable experience. We walked through every kind of camper imaginable, and talked with several people who shared their experience gave us great information which has ultimately changed our game plan.
We are looking now at purchasing a Travel Trailer, which we will pull with our truck. Going with the Travel Trailer is going to free us up considerably because our truck will give us mobility & a greater ability to explore. When we get to Yellowstone, Glacier, Denali, Zion – we’ll find a place to set up our basecamp for a few weeks & unhitch the truck, hit more trails, have more experiences…..plan less. I love everything about that!
So, that decision feels great.
In conversations at the RV show, we learned about a newer manufacturer called Grand Design. The ability to research online is such a blessing, and I was able to read reviews, connect with online forums, and find a dealership nearby that offered Grand Design models with different floorpans that I thought might work for us. The next step was to walk through a few options as a family to see what happened.
So, the day after our Willard passed, we decided to spend the day together as a family and we spent part of the day on a field trip to a dealership in Indy. We walked through huge 5th-wheel campers that had walk-in closets & den-like living rooms with big screen TV’s & propane fireplaces. Swanky for sure. The kids eyes were HUGE and they were excited…but as we walked out, both Edie and Sam commented that the 5th wheels were so big – and maybe we didn’t need so much. (Isn’t that the coolest? I love those kids!)
After looking at the swankiest of the swank, we went to look at 3 different travel trailers. I really wanted to hear their unbiased opinion, so I didn’t tell the kids which one I was hoping for. So we saw the first one & everyone liked it ok. The next model produced a similar reaction – it would work for us. But when we went into This One (my favorite), everyone smiled. Everyone felt a sense of excitement. Everyone was in unity.
The kids crawled up into the bunk beds & claimed their spots. We down at the table and talked about how cool it would be to sit there together and play games on rainy days. I opened all the kitchen cabinets and could REACH EVERYTHING!!!! And there was even a little pull-out drawer made just for Max with dog bowls for his food & water. The trailer is small, light-weight, has everything that we think we need, and everyone loved it. But most of all, we all experienced the sense of PEACE that we prayed for. When it comes to this decision, it is well with our souls.
So, we’re working on the deal….maybe we’ll buy the one we walked through, maybe we’ll buy this model from someone else….maybe we’ll end up changing our minds all over again – who knows. But this feels right, and if we can negotiate a deal that brings us that same sense of unity & peace, I’m all for it.
A big plus to going the travel trailer route is cost. A travel trailer is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than a Class A Motorhome. We were planning to sell our home in Greencastle to help us pay for the trip, but there is a possibility that we won’t have to do that now. Renting the house for a year has become a viable option.
We don’t know what to do with the house, so for now we are going to continue to downsize our belongings, let go of what we do not need, and pray for direction. We invite our friends in the Faith to join us in that prayer.
I know that God will bring peace and unity to this decision as well.
Thank you for reading today, for praying for us if you do, and for being with us during this special season in our lives.
Here’s to the journey.