Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not Down About Downsizing

I spent some time with my folks who live in a nice retirement community near Atlanta. I flew down, leaving Tillie in the capable hands of my friend, Sr. Helen, who arranged a great spot for me to park this summer.

After selling my townhouse almost 3 years ago and living full-time in this 27' RV, I am amazed at how this compact space suits me.

The bedroom I stayed in at my parents' home has more than twice the square footage as I do in Tillie. I'd rather have less space. We don't need what we think in order to have a comfortable life.

So, despite the skyrocketing gas prices, Tillie and I will band together to take the HEAR US mission everywhere we can.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Solidarity of Sweat

Nothing like weather to remove the "them" and "us" barriers. The heat and storms of June in Illinois make me want to escape. Where to? Alaska?? With gas at $4 a gallon, let's see, that would be expensive, mosquito-enhanced cooling.

Air conditioning isn't my favorite comfort, though I can appreciate it on days/nights like this when the inside temperature at 10:00 pm is 85 (and I'm counting my blessings that the next round of storms haven't rolled through forcing me to close my windows). Trouble with RVs (at least cheap ones) is that the AC units are NOISY and suck propane by the tankful.

Seems to me RV manufacturers are a few paces behind the environmentally-conscious needs of consumers like me. Things you don't think of when buying an RV...I was clueless 3 years ago when I was contemplating this little venture.

My temporarily technology-impaired self (the heat has a big something to do with it) is pondering an internet search for smaller AC units--portable, not noisy. But not tonight.

I'll sweat it out, complaining to anyone who wants to listen, knowing that many people don't have the comforts I have. Without getting outside of this country's borders to the disaster-ravaged areas around the world...we can look under our bridges, in abandoned buildings, or in the millions of over-priced, substandard housing units that people call "home" and find people way worse off than me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gas Pains Bode Ill

Ever eat the wrong thing and suffer in your intestines because of it? That's kind of the sense I have about life in Tillie the tin-tent turtle.

Last week my good friend--and (real tent) camping buddy--Helen and I took off for northern Wisconsin for vacation. We chose to use Tillie despite the $4 a gallon gouging hitting the Memorial Day holiday travelers.

Our choice wasn't made ignorant of environmental concerns, but weighing the overall benefits/shortcomings of RV travel in this day and age where nothing is simple.

We were glad for our choice except when we stopped to fill up. Even then we knew we could afford the gas--albeit painfully--when some people who don't have adequate income can't afford to get to work AND pay rent.

After decades of camping in the wilds of the Boundary Water Canoe Area in northern Minnesota, Helen and I have succumbed to the comforts of warmth, indoor plumbing, and real chairs. We both can't believe we're there--but we are.

Lest readers who don't know better think we're complete wusses, we played disc golf like 39-year-old puppies, hiked with a vengeance, biked for miles, and wrestled ticks as we sought to spend every minute possible outside.

We don't know if that was our last pleasure trip in this HEAR US
mobile office (I personally pay the loan payments, insurance, upkeep, etc., and we paid gas from our own pockets). We just know it was an awesome trip!

Highly recommended--Copper Falls State Park, and Highbridge Disc Golf complex.

Check back. As I have time I'll share a fascinating comparison with our camping 20 years ago and today.

Happy motoring. Yeah, right.