It’s been raining outside…a lot. In fact, it’s the first time that I’ve been able to see the water in the small lakes in front of us while sitting at the kitchen table.
On our way to breakfast we saw a refreshing sign alongside the road:
That’s a vast improvement over the signs that were posted all summer:
Side Note: At breakfast I ordered Migas…you know the eggs with tortilla strips that I posted a recipe for a few weeks back?
Well, the eggs came…without one single crumb of tortilla chips. What’s up with that? Is there a new cook in the kitchen who’s not familiar with these Mexican eggs? Come on…we’re in Texas and we love our Mexican food. Enough said!
I recently read an article on RV.Net by Bob Difley about Walter Cannon bringing his Behind the Wheel driving classes as part of RVSEF’s RV Lifestyle, Education & Safety Conference. I became excited because I’ve been looking for a driving class for months. The only problem with this class is that it’s in Bowling Green, Kentucky!
The Pilot does the RV driving when we’re on the road. I do the car driving to help even things out. It’s not that I’m opposed to learning how to drive the RV…in fact, I want to. I just want someone to teach me the correct way to turn corners, back-up, etc.
We have a neighbor who is close to 80 years old that is constantly telling me he will teach me to drive our RV. Now, I love him to pieces but he has a tag along trailer…not a 40’ RV.
We carved out time while we were in Florida to drive over to Ocala for the RV driving classes that are offered by RVSchool.com. I sent my enrollment form in only to find out that the instructor would be off while we were there. It appears he was recovering from heart surgery…hopefully not from wannabe RV drivers!
It’s hard for me to fathom that there aren’t more RV driving schools given the number of RVs being sold.
We have Mark Polk’s DVD on Drive Your Motorhome Like A Pro and I highly recommend it. It’s quite concise and easy to understand.
But, here’s my problem…and, rest assured it is my problem. I can watch this DVD many times over…and I have. However, I’m such a visual hands on type person that I want someone beside me, coaching me as to when I need to turn, letting me know that I’m inside the white lines and, more than anything, patting me on the back to let me know I did well. Okay…the last part doesn’t actually have to happen but it’d be nice.
The bottom line for me is that I want a professional instructor so that I don’t learn someone else’s bad habits.
If anyone has any suggestions or knows of any RV driving schools here in Texas, please let me know.
Until next week, let’s hope the rain helps end our Texas drought and fill up Lake Conroe once more.
This past week found us at Phil’s Roadhouse & Grill not once…but twice. And, for good reason. Not only is the food good and the ambiance great, but we were able to relax and talk about a week that’s had us on edge.
We’ve been following the weather and news just as almost all of Texas has. We talk on a daily basis with our daughter who lives in Magnolia…where wildfires, as of Sunday morning, have burned over 21,619 acres in three counties, leaving in its wake 59 homes destroyed and scorched earth as a drawing board for a new life.
Living vicariously through my daughter, as she relays what steps they have taken in preparation for evacuation, I’ve learned a few lessons of my own.
I’ve found that as the Mother of a grown married daughter, with children of her own, that the pain in my heart over their situation doesn’t lessen with age…theirs or mine.
I’ve found that my family and grandchildren can still find humor in spite of the uncertainty of their future and the possible loss of everything they have. It’s good that they can still make me smile. It relieves some of the stress.
And, I’ve found that even though there was never any question of my love for my daughter and her family that my heart has grown fuller with Mother love and is filled with pride as I watch the example they set for us.
It wears you out to worry about kids…even when they’re grown. I found myself waking up at all hours of the night for a couple of days, wondering if they had to evacuate during the dark of night. Were they safe? Did they get everything they needed? The list is endless of the litany that plays in your mind as you worry.
Side Note: I chose this photo of Timmy to show you an example of the sense of humor that has been displayed during the wildfires. This particular photo was taken months ago when Timmy and his friends found these bathrobes in the store and couldn’t resist a photo shoot. I crack up laughing every time I see this picture.
When the Pilot and I get up each morning it has become our ritual to look out the windows to see if smoke is still in the air. And, it has been for over a week. It’s hard to breathe when you go outside so I find myself holding my breath and running for the car when we need to go somewhere.
One of the places that we went to is the subject of this blog. Phil’s Roadhouse and Grill sits just up the road from where we’re camped. We pass it each time we go to my daughter’s house. We finally decided it was time to try them out.
The roadhouse is built just like it says…it’s a house that sits right beside the road, isolated from other businesses but still a part of the community.
Your eyes are pulled in all directions to the décor that fill the walls of all the rooms. The biggest centerpiece of the roadhouse is undoubtedly the deer hanging on the wall. Not just hanging there but with their antlers wrapped in lights and proudly guarding the sign that hangs between the two of them.
There is tin along walls that are almost obscured by old signs. As you go down four steps into another part of the roadhouse, you know instantly that it was decorated by someone with a love and fascination of trains. There’s even a chalkboard train schedule for the Montgomery train over to Dobbin.
We think the sign directing you to the restrooms not only is clever but is in keeping with the theme of deer.
We love the food and the service is great. But, most of all, we loved the fact that it allowed us to take a deep breath and reorganize again. If you want to find your way there go to http://www.philsroadhouse.com/PHILS_6222007/index.html for directions…and other information.
I have plotted and replotted our trip numerous times trying to hone it down into a feasible and reasonably priced trip. I’m learning valuable things as I work our way on the map to our final destination.
Because it can be so expensive staying at sites up the East coast, I’ve been looking at the Bureau of Land Management and trying very hard to absorb Bob Difley’s suggestions about Boondocking along the way. Bob has a host of ways to enjoy your trip without feeling compelled to spend a fortune at some of the campgrounds.
If you’re interested, you can find his website at http://www.healthyrvlifestyle.com/. I earnestly want him to feel proud of our accomplishments along those lines and I desperately hope that we don’t embarrass him should we fail in one area or another.
So, we begin another week with higher hopes for all things normal….whatever normal is! It’s like Phil says, “It’s a state of mind.”
Bella, wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
The year is ending and my predictions of us possibly being in an RV fulltime by the end of the year haven’t materialized. I find myself on the outside of a community that is already doing what we plan to do.
I feel like a kid with my nose pressed against a window, serious eyes that are filled with longing, as I read about and watch others live the lifestyle that we’ve chosen. Does it count that I secretly wished upon every star and told Santa, via mental telepathy, that I wanted to be in an RV before year’s end?
We subscribe to several RV online sites and voraciously read what is new, suggestions on where to go, how to maintain your RV and, the comments of other RVers listing their suggestions and experiences. So, our life really encompasses the RV lifestyle…just without the actual RV.
We’ve followed RVEducation101 with Mark Polk (rveducation101.com) leading us through the finer points of an RV; Jaimie Hall and Alice Zyetz (RVLifestyleExperts.com) and their words of wisdom on fulltiming and possibly working on the road; updates from Janet Groene (SoloWomanRV.blogspot.com) that talk about how to furnish and live in an RV and as a bonus, different recipes that she has created and tried; Bob Difley (HealthyRVLifestyle.com) educates us on the finer points of Boondocking, should we go that route; and, Terry Cooper, The RV Professor (MobileRVAcademy.com) and the different classes that he teaches in our area. There are scores more of other websites but you get the idea. They are our mentors.
Since the decision to RV fulltime was made by us in January 2010, we’ve mapped a route towards that goal. So far, our journey has been filled with hard work, some disappointments, great support of family and friends and, always the laughter along the way that helps us maintain our sanity in a sometimes chaotic world. We have traveled on that route almost to the end but just couldn’t quite get it done this year. The economy slowed our advance a bit longer than we had expected. This, too, shall pass. The end is in sight. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I wrote in one blog about the heartbreak of watching an RV that I fell in love with be sold to someone else. I knew I wasn’t suppose to do that but it was so beautiful and I find myself still looking for that particular RV. My secret wish is that particular one will be available when we are ready to buy…after our house is sold. The Pilot, on the other hand, reassures me that there will be the perfect one available at the right time.
I look at all our books on RVing that sit on my desk to the right of my computer. I’ve read them all. Some of the books are now leaning against their neighbor as the Pilot removes them to read and review. We are back into our soaking up information stage. We know that we are closer than ever to making the move. The good thing is that nothing has deterred us from our goal. We know this is the lifestyle for us.
Perhaps this delay has been a blessing in disguise. It has given us more time to soak up more knowledge and to consider what to pack away and what to take on board. We’ll continue packing up our things and making that drive to the storage units. We affectionately call them our “Home on the Lake” since they sit directly across from a lake.
So, this is the last blog of 2010. As the year closes the Pilot and I have many things to be grateful for as we continue towards our goal. Here are our top ten reasons for being grateful:
10. We are in good health and still young enough to go;
9. Our family & friends are a continuing support system;
8. Because no matter how serious life gets, we can still laugh;
7. We will be financially free to pursue hobbies and goals;
6. The economy seems to be turning around;
5. We will have the chance to see America like never before;
4. We will be able to see many of our dear friends soon;
3. Warm weather…all year long;
2. We can be with our family members more often;
And, the number one reason we are grateful
1. Because we know that there are people out there who are already on the road in their RV and are willing to share their friendship and experiences with us.
The Pilot and I are looking forward to 2011 with enthusiasm and an eagerness for change. We wish you all a very prosperous and happy New Year and hope to see you on the road real soon.