Every time I pay my monthly stack of bills, as I did before 6am this morning, I’m reminded that we’re not quite here yet. I still fork over rent for two storage units in central Ohio, a large locker and a small one that hold the residue of our household liquidation a year ago.
We don’t miss much, really, and we’re not wanting for anything. What we carry in the motorhome has supported our American Life just fine for two years. Still, some of what’s in storage 700 miles away could be useful to us on The Mountain, and it’d be nice not to have to pay that bill the first of every month.
For now, we let it ride. The time will come when we’ll drive up there and rent a trailer to bring a portion of it down to Ozarkansas, perhaps a truck to haul it all at once.
Just not yet.
We have another move in front of us. This one we’re handling piecemeal, one truckload at a time. It helps that it’s RV-to-RV — with a few exceptions, we can apply what keeps Ernie going directly to the fifth-wheel. That simplifies things.
Sure, in many ways the whole process has been (and is) maddening. This time last year we couldn’t’ve imagined that we wouldn’t be in our house on The Mountain by now. But it’s also amusing — bordering on slapstick, anything but smooth or graceful.
In our sanest moments we remember that our situation, complicated (and comical) as it is, doesn’t meet the hardship threshold. We’re fine — just a little clumsy.
These are the year’s longest days. The solstice is few weeks away. On the 21st we’ll crest that ridge, enter The Dog Days — a whole different thing in The South, believe you me — and coast toward autumn.
We’re never more alive than we are during the summer months.
For Deb and me, splitting time between the campground and The Mountain, having to account for two hours’ drive time going and coming, long days give us permission to get a more leisurely start. We have bonus daylight to play with, which also allows us to linger later at day’s end.
There’s a very good chance that by the solstice we won’t have those considerations anymore.
For the last few years, from long weekends in the Bumper Bunker to thousands of miles with Ernie, I’ve played the role of Mr. Outside and Deb has been Mrs. Inside. It’s a division of labor that works for us, and we’re carrying it into life with the fifth-wheel.
Today Deb set to work deep-cleaning the coach’s interior, while my agenda included organizing the basement storage and running the sewer line. We’re starting with new waste-water gear — fresh Stinky Slinky, fresh elbow. Laying out the run on the gravel next to the rig, it looked like what I had would come up a bit short, so I dug through our sewer supplies and found a couple of adapters. That gave me what I needed, just barely.
I threaded the hookup elbow into the drain at the septic tank and attached the hose. Back at the fifth-wheel, I removed the cap from the drain and promptly got a lapful of waste water.
Okay, so I knew that the valve for the gray tank from the galley sink was broken. What I didn’t expect was that the dealer would cap the drain and then use that sink. What washed over me was nasty, but at least it wasn’t black water. That (literally) would’ve been a shitshow.
I asked Deb to switch on the water pump. Using an outside hose and liquid soap, I cleaned myself up the best I could and then finished what I’d started. The upstream end of our waste-water setup would make Rube Goldberg proud, a strange collection of parts and fittings, but it’ll get the job done.
Then it was time to put the basement in order. I’d brought along seven of the Husky totes we’d first packed over two years ago — one assigned to fresh-water gear, one for sewer, another for electrical, the rest devoted to stowing various other essentials. Over the course of two hours I sorted, discarded and, since we have less space below than the bus provides, consolidated wherever possible.
On this rig the basement is one big compartment, accessible from three sides. By the time I was done arranging it today, I’d produced one empty 20-gallon tote. The other six, plus two medium-sized Husky totes that came up with us on Tuesday, stowed easily — with lots of room left over.
I insist that a space like this be organized and tidy. That’s the way I’m wired. I’m pleased with the way that our fifth-wheel’s basement is turning out.
Meanwhile, Deb has managed to get the bedroom and the galley sparkling-clean. Quite frankly, it smells a lot better in there than it did a week ago.
That’s a big deal.
This afternoon’s high was in the upper 80s. Deb had generator-powered air conditioning indoors, while I had a battery-operated fan and the shade of the awning. We worked our asses off, and the heat got to us eventually. We stopped around 4:30pm and headed back to the campground.
We’ll be in Harrison tomorrow, running a few errands and pulling together more stuff to take to The Mountain. We’ll resume our nesting on Saturday.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.