Did We Make a Mistake?

Did We Make a Mistake?

Navigating through the twists and turns of life can feel like an interesting (or maybe not so interesting) mystery novel. Each chapter is filled with unexpected scenarios with some chapters more thrilling than others including an abundance of suspense, usually. I can honestly say, the past couple of years were filled with more suspense (more like stress) than I’d care to acknowledge. Thus, it was time to change the plot.

A view from my office.

Time for a new chapter

Even before the pandemic struck, Al and I were feeling unsettled. We’d lost the passion for travel and exploring. Perhaps the law of diminishing return had set in. There were things we loved about the RV lifestyle and there were things we disliked. Our teeter-totter was no longer balancing between love and hate. The negative aspects of RVing had started weighing on us, dragging us down. So, we bought a house, a real house, one without wheels in hopes of regaining some balance in life.

After spending the summer in northern Wisconsin, we returned to Arizona in mid-September. And here we are at the start of a new year settling into life in a real house. The first two months passed in a blur after box upon box was unloaded with intermittent painting projects thrown in in-between. I’m still perplexed as to how much stuff we hauled around in our RV, not to mention all the stuff we had in storage. Some days I’d ask myself, “Whatever were you thinking holding onto to this?” On the other hand, opening some boxes brought a huge smile to my face … “I’m so glad I kept this.” There were times it felt like Christmas morning unpackaging treasures large and small.

When we returned to Phoenix, the focus on our new to us house was liveability and preparing for a festive holiday season. Al and I promised each other that any major remodeling would be pushed down the road. We wanted to relax and enjoy the process and the holidays. Mission accomplished!

We hosted a Christmas brunch for family and friends. I went on a baking frenzy in preparation.

Friends, Family, and Fun

Family and friends are the main reason we chose the Phoenix area for our home base and that decision has not disappointed. November and December were filled with social engagements along with continued house projects. One of Al’s sisters lives less than two miles away, making for easy last-minute get-togethers. Our son and daughter live a mere 20-30 minutes away, which we’re loving. We hosted a Christmas morning brunch with family and friends and had a wonderful day shared with loved ones.

And then there’s the RV community; a community that has been part of our lives for the past ten years. There’s a bunch of former full-time RVers who have now settled in Arizona. With Phoenix being RV friendly and a host to numerous county parks, state parks, and private RV parks, there’s always an RV friend or two passing through this part of Arizona…. not to mention blog friends. Phoenix is a popular travel destination offering a variety of accommodations making it a great place for meeting fellow bloggers in person.

Friend-iversary! It’s hard to imagine that later this month, it’ll be ten years since I started this blog. I’ve made so many amazing friends via this platform as well as RVing. When both worlds meet, there’s a common interest that makes for a long and (hopefully) lasting friendship. MonaLiza and I met via our blogs back in early 2012 as she and her husband were starting their full-time RV journey. Comments flowed back and forth regularly on each other’s blogs and when an opportunity to meet in person presented itself …. well, let’s just say, we haven’t stopped talking or getting together since.

MonaLiza and Steve at our place in mid-December. Tea and crumpets on the patio.

Over the years, we’ve met up in various states and even shared holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas together. MonaLiza and Steve came off the road about a year before we did and now have a home base a mere one-hour drive away from our home base. As soon as Al and I were no longer tripping over boxes, we invited the couple over to our place and as usual, had a wonderful time catching up. MonaLiza reminded us that we met for the first time exactly nine years ago right here in the Phoenix valley. Wow! Where did the time go?

MonaLiza and Steve had a goal of visiting all 50 states which they accomplished during their full-time RV journey. On the other hand, Al and I had no such goal. Quite frankly, we never had a travel goal and traveled hither and yon based on whims. That just goes to prove that there’s no right or wrong way to RV. It’s all about freedom … and what a ride it has been.

F250 Truck and a Keystone fifth wheel camped near the shores of Lake Powell, Page, Arizona

Ah, the memories!

Not only have we had amazing adventures and experienced incredible scenery via our RVing journey, but the folks we met along the way also added a richness to the overall experience. MonaLiza and Steve just happened to be the first of many friendships to have been made via blogging and RVing. I’m fortunate to have met so many more wonderful people over the years (too many to list) and made long-lasting friendships for which I’m grateful.

As I continue to sort through our stuff and fine-tune our decor, I’m reminded of our journey over the past ten years. It wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns but it was most definitely memorable. An adventure I don’t regret, but as with all things in life, there’s a beginning and an end. Al and I reached that point where we were ready for that change.

Although it has only been four months of living stationery in a real house, we have absolutely no regrets about our decision. When we first purchased this house, we weren’t excited. It didn’t check all our boxes (it quite frankly, checked very few). It wasn’t anything that we thought we wanted other than we knew it was time to end our nomadic lifestyle and this house would work for now.

Much to our surprise, we’re liking our house more and more. Granted, the house isn’t new and we don’t have those picturesque vista views that spoiled us during our RVing years, but we do have a nice yard and a location that’s convenient. We’re back to city living and as much as we thought we didn’t want to return to this kind of lifestyle, it’s working perfectly.

My space, my room, my office. Needs just a little more fine-tuning.

So what’s next?

Our plans are a little blurry at this point but we do know we don’t have any major plans to travel anywhere in 2022. We may take the occasional 1-2 hour drive in any given direction for a change of scenery from time to time, but that’s it. This means we do plan on staying in Phoenix all summer. Considering we lived in Las Vegas, Nevada in the 90s, we know exactly what a summer in the desert feels like …. HOT!

We have house projects that we look forward to working on slowly and then there’s the wedding. Our daughter will be getting married later this year and wedding planning is in full swing. I love the fact that I have a great relationship with my daughter and she wants to include me in all aspects of the big event. We’ve already been dress shopping and attended a wedding event at the Phoenix convention center, but lots more to come.

As to my plans for this blog? Hmm, I’m still not sure. Since we won’t be RVing this year, I’m not sure what to write about or what photographs to share. I’m not sure what YOU, my readers, would be interested in. Should I join more photo challenges and share images from our past travels? Are stories from previous travels of interest to you? Does blogging still bring me joy? Does reading blogs still bring you joy? Has the blogosphere changed? These are all questions I need to ponder, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.

So, now you know! We’re enjoying life in a sticks and bricks house … no regrets, no mistakes, and embracing this new chapter in life with hope and enthusiasm.

“It’s not an ending, it’s just the point in the story where you turn the page.”

Cheers to a Happy New Year!

What I’m reading! Thank you for shopping my affiliate links. ❤ As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Teatime Parties: Afternoon Tea to Commemorate the Milestones of Life
Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

Home is Where the Heart is!

Home? What does home really mean? The dictionary says – one’s place of residence, place of domicile, but I think it’s so much more than that simplistic definition.

curious neighbors in our front yard – Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado

I was fortunate to have grown up in a house that my parents owned with a nice yard, nice neighborhood, and have some very fond childhood memories as a result. Once I was no longer living under my parents roof, it wasn’t uncommon for me to still refer to that childhood house as home. I’d quite often say to my roommate, “I’m going home to spend the weekend with my folks”.

Knowing my living arrangement with that roommate was temporary, my heart continued to view my childhood residence as home. In addition to any physical house, I think many of us still view the town or state we grew up in as home.

My “home” in one of many temporary locations – Dillon Lake, CO – this was a fave!

The meaning of home

A home is more than a financial asset or physical structure. Whether you live in a big house or a little house, an apartment or a temporary house, or even a RV, home is a place where you feel that you belong … a place you enjoy sharing with friends and family … a place you connect with because your ideas or attitudes are the same as those of the people around you … a place where you can put your feet up and let out a big sigh of contentment … a place where you can relax and say, “Ah, life is good”.

RVing in Grand Tetons National Park
Another favorite … Home for a week – Grand Tetons National Park

We have a saying in the RV community – “Home is where we park it“. We travel with our houses in tow and have the freedom to change our yard and views on a whim. It’s a glorious way to live, but it’s not without its faults.

Pueblo West Colorado
The house Al and I lived in the longest and raised teenagers in  – home for 10 years.

Al and I moved into our RV on a whim over five years ago, and had every intention of living in the RV for merely a year or two … just until we found a new home base. Over the past five years, we’ve put contracts in on three different houses in various locations, and in each case, we breathed a sigh of relief when negotiations stalled. (hmm, wonder which client stuck their feet in the mud during negotiations? 😁)

Our former sticks and bricks home seen in the distance – photo swiped from our friends Facebook post this past winter. I do NOT miss those Colorado winters.

Do I miss the large custom home in southern Colorado that I designed, generaled, built, and raised my children in? … Nope! As much as I loved that house, and it was home to our family of four for ten years, once Al and I became empty nester’s that house became way too big for just the two of us. Plus, my sense of wanderlust took hold, and I was ready for a new direction, a new adventure, and a change of scenery.

The freedom of RV living is addictive, and clearly, Al and I aren’t ready to change our home scenario anytime soon. We love our RV home and our ever-changing backyard! With that said, we’ll keep looking for that home base, and when we do eventually find it, you’ll be the first to know … well, maybe second … our children should be the first!

Our home – we loved this backyard for five awesome weeks – near Lake Powell

Along with all the fabulous and varying locations we’ve enjoyed calling home over the past few years, we’ve also met some of the nicest people living this RV mobile lifestyle and made some wonderful friends along the way. Friends help provide a sense of home no matter where we’re camped.

This summer, we managed to snag a great campsite in a RV park next to fun neighbors. We adore these neighbors that we’ve lived next to for the past five months, and will be sad, yet excited, to be moving in a couple of weeks.

monsoon season in Arizona
My home for the summer of 2018. Watching storms was part of our entertainment.

And as much as we’re looking forward to the change of scenery, we’re already looking forward to returning to Prescott next summer, if for nothing else, than to harass our dear neighbors 🤣 because yes, we do intend to camp next to these very same people again next summer. Although we realize that there’s a risk they decide to change their housing situation. Run Forest, run!!!

Fairgrounds RV Park
Our home in the background and our neighbors home in the foreground – best neighbors!

Today, some places feel more like home to us than other places. The state of Colorado will always have a special place in our hearts, but it is no longer home. The meaning of the word home has taken on more of a spiritual meaning to us than that of a physical structure or place. Home is where our heart is!

Cave Creek Arizona – hot air balloons routinely flew over our home

Photo challenge – theme – prompt

For this weeks photo challenge, let’s share images of home. What does home mean to you and what does it look like? Feel free to share a link in the comments below or link back to this page on your own post. I’d love to see images of your home.

Lake Pleasant, Arizona. This place has served as home for weeks at a time

Wandering Wednesday – Ingrid’s Photo Inspirations

Each Wednesday I post a different photo prompt as a way for bloggers to share their love of photography and engage with other like minded bloggers. Perhaps this will serve as a little inspiration to pick up the camera in search of a composition or a reason to go through your photo archives. Whether you shoot with your phone, a DSLR or something in-between, don’t be shy, share and connect!

our home in the desert – boondocking in Quartzsite for a couple of weeks a few winters ago!

Next weeks photo challenge – Architecture …. get out and shoot or peruse those archives!

(affiliate links)
 Home is Where You Park It Throw Pillow
Life is Good Adirondack Mug

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful day!scarecrow

Giving Thanks
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home —
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman’s hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought —
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the “Land of the Free” —
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
Author UnknownThanksgiving

Whirlwind….

Southwest AirlinesTime to fly back to Denver.  I could use a little rest and relaxation…. time to recover after weeks of travel and seminars.  What a whirlwind, exhausting, but fun month and a half.

It’s been years since I’ve had the opportunity to spend this much time with my son and get to know him as an adult.  As parents, we all love our children, but do we like them?  If we weren’t related, would we want to spend time with one another?

Well after the past month, I can honestly say I not only love my son, I like him.  And just in case daughter reads this, I feel the very same about her.  I’m a lucky mom to have two grown children I respect, admire, like, and of course love.  And I look forward to spending time with them!RV travel

RV Travel
The Youngens

Ok enough gushing about the kids, what’s next for hubby and me?  Upcoming plans?  Trips?  Adventures?  Well we don’t have any concrete plans other than to escape the Colorado winter.  Don’t get me wrong, Colorado is beautiful and tons of fun in the winter, but for now I’ll leave the snow to the youngens!

The plan is to start packing the RV and head to the warmth of the desert southwest.  We’re hoping to leave early November and meander around Arizona for most of the winter.  The weather will dictate when we leave as well as our destinations.  It’s a plan with lots of flexibility.  I’ll keep ya all posted…..RV travel