Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Planning the "New" Life

This past year has been one of health issues for Fran.  It has also been a year of deaths of friends and celebrities that has been stunning.  We decided, given the evidence, to take seriously our ages and to get going on our next adventure.  In other words, it was time to grab the brass ring on the merry-go-round.  

Our research has begun for loading our van.  Most of the blogs I've been reading suggest that for two people to live full time in a van they need a Class A or Class C recreational vehicle.  Ours is a Class B, meaning it is much smaller than an A or C.  In fact it is only 18.5 feet long and 6 feet wide.  The largest Class B, called a Class B+, is both longer and wider.  A Class B+ might also include a pull out for a bed or the dining area.  That means we're going about as small as one can go for  "fulltimers" as we will be called. 

Not having had a van before, buying Thistle is a jump in faith.  We had a small tent trailer for a few years, but used it only for weekend trips and vacations, the longest being about 8 weeks.  Before the tent trailer we were tent campers.  Lots of car camping but also some backpacking.    Although we have strived to live small and with few possessions, van-small is a new game.  Our current home is only 870 square feet, almost 8 times larger than our new van.  Although some of our friends think we're already living about as small as one can live they haven't seen anything yet.

Fredley Main Living
seems spacious and almost too big
(This home is For Sale, Windermere Real Estate, 360 221 8898)
Our first van modification was to remove the microwave.  We have remodeled homes twice and built a new home once, yet never designed in a microwave.  Never having had one, we see no reason to start now, and, quite frankly, we want the space for what we really, really want -- our Vitamix.  The previous owners of our van removed the television set and given that we have lived without television for 30 years now, a TV will not be put back in.  We do enjoy movies, but with each of us having a  computer we'll have plenty of movie and news viewing power. 

Our biggest storage dilemma will be bicycles (two singles and a tandem) and the associated bicycle gear.    We will be looking at bike racks but that doesn't address biking shoes, helmets, tools and all the other gear that goes with biking.   Will we need a small trailer?  I'm hoping not, but we have some major issues to resolve.  Other issues of overflow include outdoor chairs, ice chest, BBQ, and clothing needed for non ordinary situations like snow or dress up occasions.  Our heads are churning with thoughts of what is a necessity and what is a luxury; what goes to the thrift store and what do we keep; do we need bulky boots or can we get along with hiking shoes only?  We do not want to be tripping over too much gear.  On the other hand, we want to have what we need to hike or bike or compute or go to a wedding or to put on chains.  We do indeed have a puzzle.

Both Ed and I are virgos so we know all about tending to details and we like the puzzle of figuring out spaces so we're having fun with the challenge -- at least for now!


"Plans are nothing; planning is everything."
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

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