Saturday, February 15, 2020

Feels Like Lazy 'Til I Start Writing a Post

January 24 - February 14, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

It's weird.

Actually, many things are weird.

About this whole "winter base" thing.....being in one place for months. Being in a house. Having projects. Building permanence.

It's weird not being on the road and seeing new things. The absence of planning places we'll visit over the next several weeks, of unexpected adventures. 

Yet looking back over our years of fulltime RVing, it is the weird places and experiences that stand out. So weird isn't bad, it's just, you know...weird.

Although we only traveled fulltime for less than five years, it became who we are immediately. So although we've pretty much always lived in a permanent structure, being in a house now feels like we're living such a different life. 

Do I want to get rid of it and travel fulltime? Nope! 

But we are both looking forward to April and hitting the road again :-)

Although it feels like we haven't done much, that we've been lazy slugs since the holidays, once I started gathering photos and looking at my calendar I realized we've been doing a LOT!

Our diligent construction crew finish the kitchen, including the new shelves, moving the dining room light, rewiring the outlets and disposal along the wall with the sink, paint, and installing the sink after the counter tops are installed. We're so happy with how it all turned out!

Our new kitchen. Love the counter tops and how perfectly they matched the stain on the new shelves!

How that corner looked when we moved in.
We didn't need the pantry or broom closet that we took out. We're so happy with the new, open layout.

From the updated dining area.

We don't miss the lamps :-)

Feeling spiffy now!

With the original microwave we had very little usable counter space. And then there was the kitchen carpet!
Not long after we joined John and Pam to see Mike and Janna, we enjoyed a visit from John and Pam with Dave and Sue! To say that we've made dear friends in our travels and blog reading would be an understatement. We've met up with these four all over the country, and although we each have a base we return to now, we still have wonderful travels to share and the love of travel in common. It's great to get caught up and too soon it's time for good-byes-for-now. Three bloggers and none of us got a photo!!

An hour later (not a week or a day, but an hour) after our four travel buddies depart, our high school buddies show up in their fifth wheel to spend the week! Our new two-space RV lot with 50 amp and water was completed the day before - another crew of hard workers who do a great job. 

Getting electrical from the house to the RV spaces.

Jesse's a pro at laying down the gravel.

Room for two with awesome views.

Our first campers! We watched the Super Bowl at Jimmy and Maggie's house the last two years so it's great to have a place we can host them!
Ten of us gather for Super Bowl in our new abode - six of us went to high school in overlapping six years! We certainly never thought 45 years ago we'd be watching the big game together.

Never a lack of things to eat!

Explaining we have BBQ and cole slaw for Kansas City and crab dip with sourdough bread and Ghiradelli Chocolate for San Francisco :-)) just noticed the interesting rabbit ears over my head!

Turk, Jimmy and Jimmy (Cindy's spouse). Donnie and Anna won three out of four quarters in our pool - cheaters!!

Rhonda, Tessa, Maggie and Cindy (Anna's sister) comfy on the couch with Donnie holding down the carpet in front of Anna.

Lizzie wasted no chance every time Bill left his chair :-)
Me and my beautiful buddy Anna.
Yes, it seems we know a lot of people everywhere we go, and here in southeastern Arizona is no different. In addition to our Tombstone friends (there may be more of them soon), we have five(!) more friends who live in nearby Safford, Arizona. We meet up with them in Benson for lunch although sadly Marvin isn't able to join us this time. It really is amazing that so many of us have stayed in touch from a very small town.

Clockwise from the left - Jodee (class of '73), Bill (class of '74), Anna (Donnie's spouse), Donnie (class of '74), Turk (Donnie's brother, class of '71), Jimmy (class of '75), Paul Scott (class of 72), Clyde and Sarah (married, class of '73), Jack Wininger (class of 74), and Maggie (Jimmy's spouse).
Rhonda (also class of '74, and now with Turk after 45 years since we left Eagle Mountain), Anna and I make another (this time successful) trip to Bisbee while Maggie gets caught up with work. It's a beautiful day and although there's little parking, there aren't a lot of people. We do a little shopping although all of us manage to leave without a single item, and stop for yummy coffee before heading home. It's really nice to have some girl time :-)

Bisbee is all about layers.

And the old west.

And lots of pretty colors.
We hang out with our friends and spend evenings between Donnie and Anna's and our place, playing cards and Cribbage. We get out for fish and chips in Sierra Vista one evening.

Dinner at the Landmark - Donnie, Anna, Jimmy, Maggie, Jimmy, Cindy, Jodee, Bill, Rhonda and Turk.

A round table was the right choice!
Tessa's alter ego as a pillow.
Over the weekend we are treated to incredible sunsets. Sadly they're all in between our friends' visits :-( Jimmy and Maggie leave, and two days later our RVing friends Ron and Renee arrive!

While those flaming western skies are stunning, we love our southern views of the Mules and Burros (mountains).
One of those "in between" days, Donnie and Anna take us out to the area south of Gleeson where they were hunting Javelina a few weeks ago. It's a gorgeous warm day with clear blue skies. We need to do this more often!!

Before we bought the RV I was active on the RV-Dreams forum and so was Renee. When she noted we were going to the RV show in Pomona, California, in October, 2014, she reached out to meet up. It was our first meeting with anyone from this new life style we were preparing to join. We had a great time getting to know she and her spouse, Ron. Fast forward 5+ years and we've stayed in touch through our blogs, Facebook, and a couple additional meetings. And now we get to share our new place with them (and Rufus) too!! They're only here for two nights, and the weather is cold and wet (including snow their last night!), but we have a lovely visit and tasty burgers in Tombstone.

Renee, Ron, Bill and Jodee at the Longhorn.

We're fixing it now, but unfortunately our RV space is too tight a turn for bumper-pulls to back into. Fortunately we have 30 amp and water in the driveway with easy access!
Now don't laugh, but the day Ron and Renee leave, more high school friends arrive at Donnie and Anna's! Seriously! Kevin was in Bill and Donnie's class and has been married to Bridgette for 35 years so she's family like Anna and Maggie. They're here for awhile, looking at maybe also making Tombstone their home. There are no more visitors on the schedule as of right now. We'll see how long that lasts :-)

Donnie and Kevin giving Bill a hand taking down the old TV antenna. Nice to have friends in the neighborhood!
Somewhere in all of this my leg starts hurting, and I finally go to the ER to get some answers. X-rays show nothing, including zero arthritis which makes me very happy. Most likely inflamed pinched nerve, and a few pain killers and a small leg brace give me relief "most of the time". Getting old is not for sissies!

With everyone in the ER waiting room sounds like they have the plague, I'm grateful to have the "back room" all to myself!
So I'm enjoying the weirdness, looking forward to our future travels, and realizing we haven't been nearly as lazy as I thought :-)))

Thursday, January 23, 2020

This and That in Arizona

January 10 - 23, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

It's so nice to have a free overnight stop-over that includes good friends. A relaxing dinner at our home-on-wheels with Kevin and Bridgette makes for the perfect "break" in our return drive. We're up and gone at sunrise Friday morning. It's a pretty time of day we rarely see.

Sweet view from our mooch-dock spot at Lake Tamarisk, California.
For me one of the main things that defines the freedom of fulltime RVing, is never having to "go back" to a home base. Always moving forward from one destination to the next is such a great feeling. As much as I love our new Arizona winter home, I realize we've lost that piece of the life style. I can tell I'm going to get tired of Interstate 10!

That revelation aside, it's sweet pulling into our driveway. Everything is just as we left it (would have been nice if the new year fairies had taken down all the Christmas stuff), and this time it does feel like home. 

A couple days later our crew returns to start Phase II of the remodel. Our goal is to be done before Super Bowl. Then the kitchen will be complete and we'll be through until we return from the road at the end of the year. Then we'll tackle the bathrooms!

This phase includes a new custom cupboard and the new counter tops due on the 29th. 
Ever since we retired, our lives have slowed down in a very good way. Being back in a sticks-and-bricks for a few months we've slowed down even more. Every day we're doing something on the property, and almost every day I find myself on a "necessary" drive into Sierra Vista. Tessa knows exactly where the treats are kept at our Home Depot :-) Still, we spend a lot of time just enjoying our amazing views and the perfect quiet of our little place on the hill.

We're often treated to subtle sunsets.
On a rainy Thursday I run errands in Tucson, including picking out the granite slab for our counters. Even better I also have a 90 minute hot stone massage AND lunch with good friends John and Pam (ohtheplacestheygo) It's been way too long since we've seen each other, and it's wonderful to get caught up. Since they're now part-timers as well, I'm happy to hear their experiences. No photo of course.

The drive home is so pretty with the sun setting, making the desert glow. I love this time of day!

Golden glow in the gloaming.
Friends Kevin and Bridgette come for a few days, staying with Donnie and Anna. We all get together for football playoffs - yay Chiefs and 49ers!, dinners, and most exciting to look at property in the area :-) How fun to have more life-long friends as neighbors! We'll know next month if they're able to make it happen. Certainly never imagined 45 years ago that we'd be living in the same place as these high school pals!

Winston guards Bridgette from all the crazies in the house.
Long overdue, we make the hour drive to see our friends Mike and Janna (restorationcowboy) who continue to make magic happen at their Pearce, Arizona property. We last saw them on a rainy winter afternoon two years ago with John and Pam. It's a nearly identical repeat as it's another cold and rainy day, and John and Pam arrive at the same we do!

I still find it odd to have fog in the desert!
The time goes by too quickly in the company of great people who have so much in common. Conversations about beautiful places we've all been have Bill and I both wanting to get back on the road!! Tessa is delighted to see Gramma Pamma again, and Emmi is good about sharing both her space and the attention. 

These two have done so much work creating their beautiful desert adobe home. When we're expecting company I might prepare some snacks and fluff the pillows, Mike and Janna build a half-bath! 

John, Pam, Janna, Mike, Emmi and Bill

Nearly impossible to remember how it looked when they bought it. It's fun following their progress on her blog!
The pups are very happy the treat lady has come to visit!

The clouds give us an especially beautiful drive home.
Life is not only slow, it's also rich and full. We love our desert surroundings, our dear friends, and the fun of making our home together at our own pace. 

Meanwhile back in SoCal, our number five grand, Henry Miles, is just perfect.

Subtle warning above the door at our local cafe......