Comforts Of Home
For the first time in months, at the end of July, we had time to enjoy reading. We set up our lounge chairs and put our feet up. There was still too much stuff in the trailer and truck, but we enjoyed that first taste of freedom reading as long as we could.
While we stayed at All Fun RV Park, we made sure our gear fit into the truck bed. The folding bikes, the bbq, the propane fire pit, the bins with our cycling and kayaking gear, a ladder, tools, paddles, folding tables and chairs, a lantern, a solar panel, and a generator. Somehow, Jamie fit it all in, but it was tight. The kayaks were strapped to the top of the truck canopy, and inside the cab were bins holding office supplies I figured I’d need, and extra jackets and camera equipment. The trailer was loaded with clothes, food, kitchen gear, toiletries, and extra linens. We brought games and handicrafts too. We didn’t know how long we’d be in our Coffee House so we brought everything we thought we might need for the next year.
We were now together 24/7 in a 20-foot travel trailer. Little upsets quickly turned into cold silences or flaming arguments. We didn’t talk to each other when we were pushed past our limits in this changing environment. For me, the water smelled different, screen doors were slamming, everyone could see us, hear us, and the wifi was horrible. Little stressors I could keep under control in our house were now instant triggers for a complete shutdown.
We created our first travel budget and made sure we planned ahead to stretch our dollars for food and accommodations, but more importantly, for adventure. I had to get coins for laundry. Washing our clothes was difficult for me. I didn’t want to use a machine that someone else had used. Again, one of my quirks. I have a strong sense of smell and I didn’t want my clothes to smell different. I used a drying rack to avoid our wash going into a dryer.
When we were emptying the garage, there was one box that had never been opened during the six years we were in the house. I thought the carpet cleaner hoses were in it. It had much more than that, and the carpet cleaner I kept for our move out day, well that was a dud. I had held this appliance in a box on a shelf for six years and now I had to take it to the dump. We found out the last day in the house that it no longer worked. My attachment to a carpet cleaner, the perceived value I had in this machine, was another lesson for me. Unless I use the item all the time, I don't need it ”just in case”.
I now had to go through the box with the hoses because there were a lot of things inside I thought I had lost. My knitting needles, for example. I don’t know why, but I was so happy to discover I hadn’t lost them. I put the collection into storage. I felt a strong attachment because I enjoyed creating with wool as a kid, and my mom had always knitted. I know that's not a good reason to have kept them. I don't know that I will ever knit again, but the fatigue from making one more decision pushed me to put many things into storage so I could decide later. No, I hadn't learned the lesson yet. The knitting needles were a ”just in case” item.
We bought ourselves a collapsible wagon from Costco before we took The Coffee House out for the first time. It came in handy at Stamp Falls Provincial Park to haul potable water from the pump to the trailer. We used it again at All Fun RV Park to walk over and get our propane tank filled at Costco. I’ve used the wagon for laundry as well. Any time I can use an item for multiple purposes I get excited because I know I’m saving space, time, and money.
We went to the library for our first test of free wifi. We weren’t getting great connectivity at camp, and I needed to attend a meeting on Skype with my accountability partners. After checking out the library, I also checked out the patio at Starbucks as a backup. Jamie purchased a VPN subscription for us (a virtual private network to protect our online identity) . Jamie also purchased a mobile wifi hotspot for us to use in Canada, and with the right plan, we’ll also use in the US.
Before the end of July, we sailed with BC Ferries to Vancouver and started our tour of British Columbia.
It’s common to think you need more than you do when you downsize. It takes a few months to learn what you truly need. Allow for downsizing to continue. There is no end to it.
Think of ways to work through upsets in your new environment. Take a walk, enjoy a frozen treat, and most of all, get distance from the upset to give yourself time to think about the situation clearly.
Learn how to use things for more than one purpose, like we have with our wagon. With reusable grocery bags, I’m able to sort the laundry as it comes out of the dryer and that makes it easier to put away when I go back to the trailer. I can move wet laundry from the washer to the dryer with the wagon, and I can haul 2-3 loads of laundry in the wagon myself, plus my Costco sized laundry detergent I’m still using up.