Category Archives: small town life

We’re Home.

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We left Florida to travel home on February 24th. We rolled into Alonsa on March 30. The trip is 1960 miles (3154 km) by the shortest route. That works out to an average of 54 miles (87 km) a day. Okay, we meandered. This trip home was the closest thing to migrating that we have done yet. Migrating birds (with a few notable exceptions) don’t typically fly hundred of miles a day for days on end. They fly a bit, stop and hang out, fly some more, stop and hang out some more, and move north at a very leisurely pace. They wait until the weather is perfect before they leave or they move on because the weather is rotten or the food ran out. That is how we chose to travel north this year. We originally planned to go to Utah but the place we would have stayed at had record snowfall. The campground sent us an email saying opening was delayed so we decided to explore more of Arkansas and Oklahoma instead. I’m so glad we did!┬áIt was the best trip home yet.

We would travel a short distance, never more than 300 miles (482km) and often a lot less than that. We also made it a point to stay a minimum of two nights wherever we did stop. This meant we always had a day off to go sightseeing or hang out or just be at each stop. If we liked a place, we stayed longer. We kept an eye on the weather and if NOAA started making those yellow hatched lines on the big map, we planned our moves to be outside of severe weather areas.

We have always been ready to stop into a National Park or Army Corp of Engineer Campsite for a night. This time we decided to make a point of staying in one as often as possible. Most of these campgrounds do not have any form of internet, most are outside cell phone range, and quite a few don’t even pick up anything on the TV antenna due to their isolated locations. We had to plan on living without internet. The results were surprisingly positive. Both of us got a lot more writing done. I relaxed for hours at a time not following every unfolding of the latest Trump angst. I missed my children being in ready contact but they are adults and perfectly capable of handling their own crises and they did.

We rolled into Canada at about 4:00pm. Our last stop was at a North Dakota campground which was open according to their website and the message on their answering machine. However, we arrived to discover “open” meant only for walk in winter camping with no rig. This left us with nowhere to go and only four hours to home so we just decided to go all the way. That was our longest day driving.

One of our neighbours very kindly plowed out our drive and so we were able to pull in and collapse in our house. What a pleasure to find it exactly as we left if except for a few more cobwebs and a layer of dust. The ground was completely snow covered. We spent the first week home unpacking, reorganizing our life around the stick house, and seeing a dentist (for a tooth that was doing a nagging ache which turns out to be a cavity starting) and a doctor (for refills). Since we are planning on renovating the inside of our house we also picked up a lot of stuff for the renovations. Today we tackled the very first project. We put in an old fashioned clothesline with a wonderful squeaky wheel. Laundry is normally hubby dearest’s thing in our life but I couldn’t resist trying out our new toy first. What a pleasure to hang laundry outside to dry.

Being without internet for days to hours meant I did not keep up blogging. I do intend to backtrack and share our adventures (and misadventures) now that we safely home. Home is where you park it and for the next few months our home will be our little yellow stick house on the prairie. Maybe we’ll hit Utah on the way south next winter.

 

 

Interior of our New Stick House

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The bedrooms are small, I know. That is our mattress on the floor. We have a bed frame picked out and waiting for us at Ikea.

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This space here is the other room. Eventually it will be workspace. Bookshelves also on order at Ikea. Trusty, being her usual self is quite happy wherever she is as long as she can sleep. Fred is equally unbothered new accommodation.

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One disadvantage is that we don’t really have a dining area. The big room is living room, dining room kitchen combined and ever though it is a big room compared to the other two rooms, it’s tiny overall. So my RV life tricks for making do with less space have come in handy. We raided our cabin for the futon and beds. Eventually we’ll replace them and put them back in the cabin but they work for now. The cat has not adjusted well but cats hate any change so I am ignoring his complaints.

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Oh the joys of taking long showers! RV living means short showers as we had only 6 galloons of hot water. Now my only concern is not over filling the septic tank. We have a septic tank and a septic field behind the house. Water is well water from a community well. The cover to the septic tank is behind the house and an easy reach from the trailer for emptying the black and gray water. In essence, we have out own one trailer, RV park. Still waiting on the RV plug parts.

SAM_5547 SAM_5548The basement to the little house is a full basement, unfinished. We have an oversized 200 amp panel which means I can fix the problem of only one plug per room at relatively low cost. Also plenty of room for the RV plug.

If one defines a “tiny house” as less than 1000 square feet, then ours qualifies. The square footage is 480ft on the main floor and even if you count the basement, it is still under 1000ft. The house is also independent of “the grid” except that we have electricity and internet. We share our well water with six other families. Some people define a tiny house as having wheels and in that sense we are a stick house. In any case we seem to have found the perfect solution to multiple small dilemmas associated with tiny house/RV full time life.