Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Weighing the Last Anchor ...

Even though we cast off just over a year ago full timing, we have always been dragging an anchor.  The anchor was our self storage closet located in Tega Cay which was near our old house.  Stuff we could not find room for in Phaeth stayed in the self storage closet.  It was just as few things we "thought" we might need: an air compressor, extra clothes (mostly mine), cook books (mostly Joanie's), family videos and a few other small items.  For a year we have been paying rent to store this stuff and always knew that we had return to deal with it.

We had to find room in Phaeth for whatever we wanted to keep out of the storage closet and take the remainder to Goodwill.  This required us to do an inventory of the contents of Phaeth and get rid of some things.  We went through the closet, under the bed, all the cabinets, the basement and removed some things. 
Basement storage had to be re-organized...

...and we had to get rid of a few things...

... to find room for items we wanted to keep from the self storage closet...

...and no body does organizing better than Joanie!

Here we were parting again with "STUFF".  We thought all that was behind us when went through the whole, huge process of downsizing, getting rid of the house, the cars and all the STUFF we get attached to.  It was agonizing work and we did not look forward to doing it again.  This time was different.  This time it was a lot easier and a whole lot less emotional.  I guess we are getting use to de-stuffing. 

We handed in the key to the self storage closet and said good bye.  This last month we also said "Good byes" to doctors, old friends and friends at church.  We told them this was indeed the final "Good bye" because we would probably never be back this way again.  Wow!  Did that ever sound final.  Then I thought, "Never say 'never'".

We don't know where God will guide us in the coming years.  That's the adventure!  That's what makes all this so exciting!

Chores...
Traveling full-time is not the "all romance and glamor" you might think it is.  We have chores do to. One I do a couple times a year is give Phaeth her bath. This is not the most pleasant of work when the out side temperature is in the high 90's.  However with the help of our grand nephew, Jacob and a couple of young guys from church, Grayson and Carter, I was able to tackle the job in just a few hours.  Grayson climbed up top and washed the roof which is now whiter and may keep us a bit cooler.

Joanie came out to document our progress.
 
Carter's job was to chamois off water spots.

Jacob, Grayson and myself working in the hot sun.


We took this shot to prove to Jacob's mom and dad that we are not working him too hard. 
 
 

 
 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The NC Transportation Museum

It was nice to take a break from almost a month of chores and doctors' visits yesterday at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC.  We picked up Jacob, our grand nephew who will be traveling with us for the next few weeks, and because he is such a train enthusiast (as are we) we decided to spend some time there.

The Museum was celebrating the restoration of the 611, a Class J steam locomotive.  http://www.nctrans.org/Plan-Visit/FIRE-UP-611!.aspx  The 611 was built in 1950 and is one of a very few surviving streamlined steam locomotives that attempted to compete with the diesel locomotive at the end of the age of steam.
 
As 611 pulled through the yards, it became the center of attention and had its picture taken by everyone with a camera.



 
We were greeted by the blast of the locomotive's whistle which made your heart jump in your chest the first time you hear it and Jacob had to cover his ears.  All day the air was tinted with the sweet smell of anthracite coal smoke.
 
"Stanback's Headache Powders" advertisement can still be seen on the wall of one of the old buildings in downtown Spencer.   In it's heyday Spencer boomed as the rest of the country suffered through the depression of the 1930's.  During the depression other railroads saved money by closing down under-used rail shops and sending their engines and rolling stock to Spencer to be worked on because of it's central location on the Atlantic seaboard. Spencer eventually became just another sleepy little North Carolina town in the 1960's with the decline of the railroads.  The vast majority of buildings in town are vacant.

View out the back door of the caboose we rode in.  Tickets were just $10.  For the more wealthy enthusiast, a ticket to ride in the engineer's cab could be had for $611 and they were sold out all weekend.
Jacob rode in the cupola of the caboose.

The locomotive's air compressor provided the pressure to operate the air brakes on the caboose.
 
 

 Joanie let me take her picture.
 
Over in the round house we viewed some of the other rail exhibits.  The NC Transportation Museum is one of the largest of its kind in the country and has many exhibits of all other kinds of transportation history including a Wright Brother's glider and lots of old automobiles, trucks and some boats. 
 


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


"Stay on the high road with me.  Many voices clamor for your attention, trying to divert you to another path.  But I have called you to walk ever closely with Me, soaking in My Presence, living in My Peace.  This is my unique design for you, planned before the world began.

"I have called each of My children to a different path, distinctly designed for that one.  Do not let anyone convince you that his path is the only right way.  And be careful not to extol your path as superior to another's way.  What I require of you is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Me - wherever I lead."

                                                                            -- from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young for June 16.

Ephesians 2:10; Micah 6:8


Sunday, June 7, 2015

American Made...


RVers in America enjoy a satisfaction of owning something "Made in America".  As of this writing, 99% of all the RVs you see on the road are made here and most of the stuff in and on them, too. We are doing our part to give Americans jobs.  We had the satisfaction of dealing with one of the American companies that makes parts for this industry last week.

If you read our post of May 27, you will remember the problem with our tow bar.  As a result of that problem, it was necessary to have the tow bar repaired - just one small part.  So we carried the 40 pound, 4 foot long tow bar into the UPS Store* and had it shipped back to the manufacturer so that small part could be replaced (because we did not have the specialized tools to make the repair ourselves). We asked them to make the repair and check for proper operation of the tow bar and let us know what the charge would be. They promptly made the repair (in just one day) and shipped it back to us accompanied by a packing slip/invoice marked "PAID" and "Balance $0.00." 

Here is a company that not only takes pride in the products they produce but also stand by the products  even when it was the user's fault the problem occurred.  They didn't ask any questions, didn't point any fingers, didn't put up any arguments.  "Glad to be of service, thank you."

We got the tow bar back on Phaeth and we are ready to tow Hope once again.



So who is the company?  Unless you own a motor home, you probably are not familiar with them as they only make products for the RV industry and very specialized ones at that.  It is a small company in a small town.  NSA RV Products, Inc.  They are located in Iola, Kansas. http://www.readybrake.com/about.html



*BTW, the guys behind the counter at the UPS Store didn't even flinch when I hauled in the tow bar and dropped it on their counter.  They, too, took care of us, no questions asked.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Roads
 


Roads are mundane.  Roads are ubiquitous.  Roads, to some of us, are inspirational, intriguing, even exciting. To some of us, a road will stir our curiosity.  To some of us, roads are compelling.  Some of us suffer from wanderlust, itchy feet, a need for adventure, a desire to investigate, to see and experience more, more than life gives us already.

There is a road you have never been down; you have driven by it once, a thousand times and wondered, “Where does that road go?  What’s down that road?  Who lives down that road?”  The day comes when you no longer ask a question about that road and say instead, “I want to see what’s down that road.”

You turn, turn to something new, different.  You have fed your curiosity and have become addicted.

 

Still 'round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
                                                            -J.R.R. Tolkien