Saturday, November 16, 2019

Redefining Home

October 21 - November 14, 2019
Tombstone, Arizona

For more than four years we've called the RV home. People ask where we live, we say wherever we're parked. People ask where home is, same answer. We've even hesitated to say "going back home" when talking about returning to where we used to live. Because home is the RV. It was something we were proud to say - that we had really done it, followed the dream and made it our reality. "Whenever we don't feel like doing it anymore" was the answer for when we'd "give it up".

So does buying the house in Tombstone mean we don't "feel like it" anymore? Have we abandoned the dream? Where is home now? 

I find myself immediately "explaining" that we'll still travel most of the year, that Tombstone is "just" a winter base, that we're looking forward to "continuing" our travels. Like I have to make sure people know we're still living the dream. That we didn't "quit". 

I know it's silly. 

For me the answer to why we chose the fulltime RV life is Freedom. Being able to go wherever and whenever we want. Never having to "go back home" is a huge draw, and having no other financial responsibilities but those attached to our travels made the reality not only do-able, but easy.

I'd be kidding myself if I didn't admit that losing those with the purchase of a house (see - I still don't call it home) gives me pause. Both will make a difference in how we live, and I'm hoping neither will be significant. 

But we won't know until we combine the two in the Spring. 

Does any of this mean I regret our decision? Absolutely not!

Going fulltime all came together seamlessly for us, and always felt like it was the perfect choice. Everyday we were excited about the next. Everyday was a confirmation that we had done the right thing.

And although we've made this huge change, nothing feels different. 

The purchase came together unbelievably easy and quick. The sellers took care of us like family, our friends are transitioning us into the community, the place has felt like ours since the first morning we woke up here. Everyday we're excited it's ours. Everyday we know this was the right place at the right time.

Everyday we're looking forward to getting back on the road :-) In the mobile part of our home, our warmer months home.

Returning from our weekend gathering in California we've been busy cleaning up the yard, filling the house with comfortable and "more us" furnishings, and making a ridiculous number of trips to "town".

Tombstone is not town. Sierra Vista, 20 miles south, is town. As a national historic site, Tombstone has very few commercial options. We can buy fuel and a few basics at the Circle K and the Family Dollar (faily dollar for a couple of our international traveling friends), and the antique stores are fun for finding a few treasures. But everything else is in Sierra Vista, and Tucson for a bigger selection (and Trader Joe's!).

Always something pretty to see on the drive to town. This day it's cloud waves to the south.
The UPS truck has our address permanently entered in the GPS because Amazon is still king :-))

We meet people out walking, and they all comment that we have the best view in the area. We love our 360 degree views, taking the time to appreciate the beauty that made this big decision an easy one. Working in the yard is still work, but doing it with these views makes it a lot more enjoyable!

Removing the electric fence (to keep out deer) gets rid of the "compound" look and improves the view.

More deer-proof chicken wire and no-climb fence was wrapped around the back porch planters. Removing the fence stakes is a major pain. Going to feel like the chosen king of England when I can finally pull them out!
We love the mule deer who come to visit (so far outside the fence) along with the cotton tails and jack rabbits. The dozens of quail and handful of hummingbirds keep us entertained.

This large Walking Stick is our most unique visitor.
We still get out to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding us. Slowly the intense green is fading, muted fall colors confirm the nights have been getting much colder. 

Some of the most beautiful views are in the Sonoita area - lots of my favorite golden grasses, colorful riverbeds, hills and mountains. It's a good distance for an afternoon drive.

Old Canelo homestead.

High clouds give us changing views all day.

A ribbon of yellow follows the river.

A bright spot along the road.
Back home we're treated to brilliant western skies.
The next morning we have a rainbow with our coffee.
We purchased the property as-is. The HVAC is four years old, and the roof less than seven, but the house was built in 1970, meaning old electrical and plumbing. The sellers had the septic pumped and the new leech line installed before we closed escrow. We expect issues will arise.

Maybe not this quickly.

A few toilet gurgles turn into both toilets and the tub stopping. Living "out of town" means we wait overnight for the plumbers. They would have come out in the evening if we hadn't had the motorhome onsite, but we're fine until they can get to us the next day. 

Not the visitors you want, but sure do appreciate.
When they get the clog cleared the head guy thinks there's something else "weird" going on where the line comes out from under the house. Although everything is working well, he climbs underneath to double check. 

So glad he does!

The pipe is cracked (turns out to be 30 feet of damage) and when the clog backed up it started to leak sewage. Eeewwee! They don't have time or materials to replace it the same day, but it's not leaking with the clog cleared.

As promised they return in a few days and spend over five hours digging, replacing, bringing up to code, refilling.....Not cheap, but we're so grateful they didn't just stop when they cleared the clog. Now we don't have to worry about the majority of our old plumbing!

The drive to Sierra Vista includes crossing the San Pedro River where the Cottonwoods give us a couple weeks of muted Autumn color.

Fallen leaves look more like gold nuggets in the sun.
Donnie's brother Turk and girlfriend Rhonda (we went to high school with all three of them) come to visit them, and we get together along with Anna's sister and brother-in-law for a couple meals/football watching at both Donnie's and our house. The guys spend a day fishing at Patagonia. The gals take a trip to Bisbee to show Rhonda the cute little town and the big pit mines. We forget it's Saturday of the holiday weekend and find no place to park anywhere. Oh well, good company and fun sights, we still have a great day.

Donnie, Anna, Rhonda and Turk enjoying the game after another tasty dinner.
Most days we have a big or small project. It never seems like we do anything big, but when we look at all we've completed it feels great. No matter the size of the project, I love having a bath tub at the end of the day!

Bill found the perfect piece of old wood to complete our new address sign for the street.

I removed all the pantry shelves to expedite demo in a few weeks. This will be open to the living room when done.
Having a house means being able to have family and friends coming to stay. Even those without their own RV! We'll make the trip to SoCal over Thanksgiving to see the kids and grands, pick up our two stored trunks, and take care of doctor/dentist appointments. But for Christmas, Ezra and his parents and uncle are coming to visit for five days!! I suspect stockings on the fireplace will make it home like nothing else.

Our niece and her family are finally moving out of California's bay area, making their new home in Texas. We're so happy for them, and even happier that she and two of the boys made our place their first stop. It was so fun to have them overnight.

Noah, Jessica, Bobby, Jodee and Bill
Bobby and Tessa enjoy the sunshine.
When I consider that "Home is where the heart is", it's easy for me to define our home as part-mobile-part-stationary. The RV is still home, and so is the house. We're blessed to love being in this house, and to also be looking forward to continued travels. 

No pics for now, but on November 10 our first grand daughter Reese Lynn Gravel was born! We're beyond thrilled to welcome her to the family and can't wait to meet her in a couple weeks!

 Tessa makes the best of the changes in her life.

There are lots of reasons we chose Arizona,

amazing sunsets is one of them.