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Organizing for tomorrow’s fun

tucson-emma-easter-cookie.jpgEaster was a success, by kid standards. An appropriate basket of candy was left for Emma, and a small one was left for Eleanor (a pleasant surprise from the Easter Bunny, who is always full of tricks). About two dozen eggs were stashed in various places around the house too. I think we got special treatment this year because Emma left a basket of goodies for the Easter Bunny, including a cookie with instructions.

Once the fun was over, it was time to tackle our task list. Anyone who arrives at our house this week is on notice: you may be put to work. Gunny was the first victim. He showed up mid-morning for a visit and within an hour we had him helping to move furniture and boxes so I could finish sealing the dining room floor. When Bert & Janie arrive, and Susan & Adam, they might get jobs too, but don’t tell them because I don’t want them to suddenly realize they’ve got to detour by way of San Diego.

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Emma had her job too: entertaining Gunny’s German Shepherd puppy. It turned out that both of them found the same enjoyment in the garden hose. We were wondering which would tire out first. It turned out to be the dog.

We have begun to seriously clear out the Airstream. It is scheduled for an overnight service later this week (for the heat pump problem), and so we will be forced to spend at least one night in our house. I know it sounds bizarre but we’ve reached the point where it would just be easier to stay in the Airstream until we leave for the next voyage.

I would just grab what we need for an overnight “campout” in the house, but this is our chance to re-organize and slim down our possessions. So we moved a lot of our stuff out of the Airstream and into the house today and will continue to do so through Wednesday. The stuff we don’t need will get sorted out and packed away in the house. Tonight we will spend our first night in our new beds in the house. I doubt it will become a habit.

Mostly the re-organizational process means reducing our equipment and clothing, but in a few cases we’ll actually add stuff, like books on Mexican travel. Eleanor is also planning a total refit of our food supply, which is substantial. Right now the 25-cubic foot refrigerator in the house is full, and the 8-cubic foot refrigerator in the Airstream is empty. Somehow all the food in the refrigerator must disappear before we go, and it can’t all fit into the Airstream. Eleanor says she has a plan …

I’m also removing a lot of spare parts. Over the past couple of years I’ve accumulated little-used items (like spare wheel lugs) which are basically souvenirs of past mechanical disasters. These things were useful in past situations which are unlikely to recur, and so I’m finally clearing them out. Other items were never useful, like the caulk gun (it was always easier to use squeezable tubes for the little jobs inside the trailer).

It is hard to pack for a very long voyage. People seem to take one of two approaches: They either attempt to pack something for every circumstance, or they take hardly anything and expect to acquire what they need as they go. Having the storage of the Airstream we tend to take the first approach, but in moderation.

For example, we are often asked how we pack for different seasons. We have learned to take a little something for every season, just not a lot of it. Even though we are heading into summer and expect to be back in Arizona before late fall, we know better than to offload our long underwear, hats, gloves, and warm socks. Somewhere in this country there will be freezing temperatures at night in June and August, and we’ve managed to find those places every year, sometimes without meaning to.

So although my cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirts will be front and center in the closet, somewhere under the bed in a Rubbermaid tub you can also find a set of black synthetic thermal layers, a spare fleece, and a few other warm things. It doesn’t take up much space and it leaves open the possibility of camping just about anywhere this fall.

I really don’t know for sure where we will go. I can foresee mountains, beaches, deserts, swamps, and lakes. I know we’ll attend rallies, birthday parties, and business meetings. We’ll hike urban streets, western mountains, park boardwalks, and shopping malls. We may be back in the heat of Arizona summer or out ducking raindrops in the Pacific Northwest again like last fall.

The uncertainty of this tends to spook people, but it’s really the fun part. So packing the trailer is not a drudgery but rather somewhat exciting. Every decision about what to bring reminds us that all kinds of interesting possibilities lie ahead.

One Response to “Organizing for tomorrow’s fun”

  1. Lou Woodruff Says:

    Gee! You can think of the house like a “honeymoon suite”!! Have a sweet time there! You will be on the road again soon!

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