One Year on the Road

Where to start?

Now that we’ve decided that this is what we want to do, we’re looking at everything it will take to get from here to the road.

Our house during a rare snowstorm

We’ve lived in this house for nearly a quarter of a century. We’ve raised our kids here (and half-raised our goddaughter, Aly). We’ve remodeled, expanded, redecorated and then redecorated again. We’ve planted trees that are now 100 feet tall. Watched neighbors come and go, and made the fastest friends with some of them. This home and neighborhood are too perfect to up and leave for good, so we’ve decided to rent it out while we’re gone.

Deck boards always seem to need replacing.

We bought this 3,100 sq. ft. home in 1990 and moved into it from a 900 sq. ft. rental. The place felt cavernous, and we only had furniture for a few rooms, but each year we added more. Since then, we’ve filled every cupboard, closet, and corner. And then some when our mothers died and we had treasures to preserve.

How on earth do we get this place ready to rent? Aside from all the stuff we need to let go of or store, there’s the usual toll time and family takes from a house. Boards on the deck we built 20 years ago need to be replaced. Wallpaper that Kate was so proud to put up herself is now a 90’s eyesore. The whole house really needs new carpeting. And the exterior needs at least some touch-up paint.

Then there’s that 1953 Chevy pickup we can’t bring ourselves to sell. The 1999 Saab convertible I cherish and treat like an invalid now that I can no longer get some parts for it. And we’re never letting go of the tiny teardrop that started this whole take-it-on-the-road craze for us. We need to find dry, warm homes for them for a year.

Chevy pickup and teardrop

It’s hard to keep the palpitations at bay when we look around the house with clipboard in hand. But we’re not on any specific deadline. For now, we will tackle the projects one by one. This weekend, we’re painting the downstairs hallway. Next weekend, maybe the deck boards. And when we need a break, we’ll check the internet for the perfect RV, because that’s the part that keeps us moving forward.

6 thoughts on “Where to start?

  1. mtroth

    Jennifer – I am envious and excited for you and Kate. I will defintely follow your trip and stay in touch,

    I have a few more years to run hard, but look forward to full retirement – while admiring your pretirement.

    Mark Troth

  2. RebeccaAdams

    Hey there gals,

    How wonderful for you two; great idea to do this now. This is something I have been pre-planning for, for a while. In my research, I found a couple of GLBT RVing groups; ‘Rainbow RV’ is the one I remember. If you aren’t familiar, check them out. They have lots of gatherings, at various spots, all over. Seems like a pretty active group.

    I go back and forth on parting with everything, or just some of it. We do gather mounds, over the years. When I am able to save enough money, my choice is to buy a Class C, for myself and my 3 pups. I would be home-based out of Santa Cruz; live in it and travel. My folks did it for years and they always said those years were the best.

    Best of luck on getting everything ready and renting out your home.

    I look forward to keeping up with your adventures; maybe we’ll meet up, on the road, one day.

    Love and hugs to you both,

    Rebecca Adams

    1. Jennifer Meyer Post author

      Thanks, Becca. I’ll check into Rainbow RV. Also, there’s RV’ing Women, which we met up with once and will probably join. Maybe we will get to cross paths with you on our journeys! We’ve been looking at lots of Class C RVs, trying to keep it under 30 feet so we can get into national parks. Right now we’re leaning toward a 26-foot Class A. So hard to stay focused on all the chores around here and keep working our jobs when really all we want to do is go RV shopping!

  3. LindaSpencer

    Are you working with a real estate/rental management company to handle your rental? They may have contractors who can tackle some of your pre-trip/getting house ready projects. Just a thought.

    I was thinking about road trips and remembered John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” (his standard poodle) and, of course, Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Any books by women out there? Oddly enough, a quick search of Amazon doesn’t reveal too many other books about American travel other than, of course, travel guides (my favorite title is “From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame”). Some titles turned up by Bill Bryson (“I’m a Stranger Here Myself”) – I’ve listened to some of his books on tape while on my own road trips…good fun, I like his perspective. So what I’m trying to say in my dithery way is to also think about a travel library – what will you read and what will you listen to?

    I look forward to following your posts. I’ve tried to think about possible places to go but only remember my own travels along Hwy 101 between Bandon, OR and San Jose. There are many parks, and RV parks, but the particular place I remember is a stretch of road on the coast south of Crescent City where I always see RVs just parked. The Pacific is on one side and a lagoon system on the other side. I hesitate to mention it because it is just before and after two very twisty, and steep stretches of highway…and yet it is serenely beautiful and I’ve often wanted to stay there but had no RV. Ah well.

    I envy you two and I look forward to your posts.


  4. LindaSpencer

    Ha! Just used Google Earth to pinpoint the location of the place I just mentioned, it is much further south than I remember, north of Trinidad, CA. Unfortunately one of the pictures that is posted is a “Day Use Only” sign, by which I think that this RV paradise is no longer. So sad. But I will cling to my memories and I say, go forth and forge your own memories. There are so many places of serene beauty to be found.

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