Driving AloneMonday, June 20th, 2011 – On Friday, with all the running around today, I did not have much time to prepare for Shabbat dinner. I did not want to eat just a frozen meal either. so a Mexican Taco dinner was a great solution – Ground beef with taco seasoning, some vegetables, sour cream and cheese – that’s all it takes. As you will soon realize, my ex insisted on Gal coming back to her house after school on Monday, so I believe that is going to be the end of my stay with my son for the summer. A short meeting with her on Saturday assured me that this avenue, of trying to get her to agree and let my son move in with me, is a dead end. She will not let my son go, at least not willingly.
Knowing this is the last weekend was sad, just like a dark cloud hanging over me. It is also Father’s day W/E, and I was not sure what to do. A friend of my son came over as well as my daughter, to stay for the day, but I wasn’t in the best mood at all. We grilled a little (I ruined almost all the meat), and I had to drop my daughter back home (she had to study, so she said) and took my son and his friend to the movies. I think It’s called super-8 or something like that. While trying to keep a smile on my face I did not have much patience, and I was very tensed the whole time.
I dropped my son at school on Monday morning, knowing I am not going to pick him up that night. From text messages he sent later that day I understood he is not so happy about the new situation.
Night was quiet. No one with me tonight. it has been a while since I was just by myself in the RV, I am not even sure it ever happened before. Thinking to myself I realized that sitting around in the campground by myself is not going to do any good, especially knowing that my son is not coming up north with me, so I decided to start my trip North the next day.
The Journey NorthTuesday, June 21st, 2011 – Some last minute errands and by 10:00am I was already on my way. The trip is 1,230 miles, and I will try to do I in 3 days. That means at least 400 miles a day. When I took the ramp on to the I-5 my Google navigator computerized voice announced – “Stay on I-5 for one thousand two hundred miles”. That was when I turned it off. I will turn it on again when I am ready to exit, near home in WA.
I passed L.A., drove through the mountain region north of it, and started the big flat ride through the desert. It was very hot outside, over 100 F, and the road was steaming! Signs of tire services where almost every mile alongside the road with pieces of black rubber all around. I think it was around 3:00pm when I heard that loud noise and glanced on the driver side mirror to see a big piece of metal sticking out of the RV. I stopped at the side of the road and sure enough – a tire blew off. I was just a mile before the exit, so I drove slowly to the Lost Hills, and stopped at a gas station. I was not surprised to find out that they had a tire shop right there.
After about two hours and two hundred dollars I was on the road again, determined to complete my 400 mile quota for the day. It was about 11:30pm when I finally decided to pull to a rest area for the night, but it was completely full. The next one was 28 miles north (I think around exit 580) where I found a single spot to rest for the night.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 – The loud noise of the semi truck engines around me woke me up. I took Diva for a short walk and hit the road starting my second day. I was still down and unhappy about having to drive without my son, but tried to cheer myself up. I am going to be with Patti after so long, and that is a great deal – at least I will have a companion and support when I am down.
The temperature was still high today, around 117, even though I was already in the southern Oregon. Around 3:00pm I heard that familiar big bang sound again. Oh no.. This is the second tire out of 4. That is not good. This time the nearest exit did not have anything. A tiny gas station that served the gold hills village, they didn’t even have Diesel.
I called Les Schwab from the nearest town, and after 30 minutes they were there. The guy told me that I needed a stronger tire – a 14 thread, and what he brought was only a 10 thread. He also noticed that the tire they put yesterday was not the right one. This Mexican shop yesterday did not have any variety to choose from, so I had to make do with what they had.
I drove on this temporary tire to the shop where they replaced all four tires while I went to lunch and fill gas. Another two hours and this time over a thousand dollars put me back on the road again. The truck itself did great pushing the RV over the hills and mountains of Northern CA, and Oregon. At times I had to drive as slow as 30 mph uphill, and 40 mph downhill but on the flat portion of the highway the truck could easily pull at 70mph, taking about 9 mpg.
When I left Portland and entered the state of WA it was still light outside, that was when I turned on the GPS on my android again. I was less than 180 miles away, around 3 hours of drive, with one more stop to fill gas. Being so close, I decided to try and get home tonight. My estimate was that I will be home before midnight. Not too bad for 1,230 miles trip. Driving through Seattle was no fun. frequent lane changing, bridges and tunnels with heavy traffic of city drivers. 20 more miles and I am home.
When I finally arrived it was completely dark outside, I could not see the house from the road and based on photos I saw from Google Street View, I realized that is the right place. I jumped off the truck to see the RV parking Patti was talking about, but there is no way I can get the RV down this driveway from such a narrow road. Forget about parking the RV by the house. For tonight, I just left the RV alongside the front of the house. I need to take it to the shop anyways, and by then I will have to find some solution for it.
It was very exciting to see Patti after so long. She actually stepped outside and after the XOXOXO she helped me back the RV to its night parking spot. It was very late at night, we were both exhausted and went to bed.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 – Next thing I know, I woke up on an air mattress in an unfamiliar house all by myself. Patti was already out to work. Diva was still locked in the bathroom from last night, and I was about to start my first day of the next chapter of my life – living in a brick and mortar house. I took Diva outside and fed her, then I took the grand tour. it is a very big house, yet very empty. No furniture yet. Most of our staff is still in storage in MN and yet to come. If my son will not come to live with us it would be a huge space just for the two of us. Moving from an RV to a 2,600 SqFt house is a very big change! Going from the bedroom to the kitchen almost felt like a journey in the carpetland wilderness. I can’t even live my cell phone in the bedroom – I won’t hear it!
I made a list of urgent things I need to get from the RV. The rest will be brought in tonight when Patti comes back home. That included the server, Diva’s bed and dishes, and some personal items. Although I do not have any active project at the moment, there are some minor issues I need to address, and those were waiting for me to get here. So the plan is to get those issue resolved first, before I move on.
When Patti came home she first started to prepare for the Challah bread. She will not have time after work tomorrow and before dinner to bake the Challah, so she mixed the dough and let it rise. While rising we started to haul stuff from the RV home. The guiding rule was to leave anything we might need when going out on a trip, except for food. Even with food we left those items that could not get spoiled. We left some clothes, Hygiene items, dishes and any camping items. Even then, we have filled the car twice hauling items home. Lots and lots of items. All the office and work related items, all the food, we emptied and cleaned the refrigerator, some clothes and the list goes on and on. I know that one day, sooner or later, we will haul it back and go back to Full Time Rving. I have no doubt in my mind. I did not say a word, but the act of emptying what used to be my home and the center of my lifestyle in the last 2 years was very hard on me, and made me a little sad.
We had a light sushi dinner tonight and went to bed early tonight, closing the first day at home.
Friday, June 24th, 2011 – Another day to wake up to an empty house alone. This is going to be the norm in the near future, so I better get used to it! I started to put things away from the piles in the living room. On this floor we have the master bedroom, one room is an office and one is a guest room. If my son will join us we will get the basement – a whole floor for himself – that is a bedroom, a family room, a huge game room (with a pool table) and a private exit to the yard. Otherwise – I don’t think we will even use that part of the house. Even just the top floor is plenty big.
When I was done putting things away (on the floor for now), I made myself some fast breakfast and continued my work. Patti starts at 7:00am so by 6:30am she is out. She usually finishes work between 4:00pm and 4:30pm and gets home just after 5:00pm. I hope I will have enough work to fill my day, otherwise I will go nuts.
When Patti came home she immediately started dinner. It is Friday today, and we did not celebrate Shabbat together for some time. We have a new candleholder set and a plate for the Challah bread I bought in CA, so that is the first time we actually using it together.
Around 7:00pm dinner was ready – coconut curry chicken with rice and Israeli salad tonight. and of course – a freshly baked Challah bread. After dinner I put on some Shabbat songs in the background, and we just set around having coffee and talking. That was a nice evening and a good start for a weekend.
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 – Shopping day today. Not too much, but we decided to get some essentials like towel hangers and basic items around the house that will make living easier even before we get our stuff from MN. We also decided to buy an office desk so I can work comfortably. We stopped at some furniture stores, but the prices are outrageous! over $1,000 for a corner desk! Maybe if it was a house we owned and we had to buy a long term furniture, that would be an option, but we were looking for something cheaper. Much cheaper.
We ended up in Office Depot, buying a big L shape corner desk with a hutch for half the price. This is a delivery only item, so it will get here by Tuesday. That’s what they said. I also bought the very basic tools I needed – a hammer, a screwdriver and a ranch. Just in case I need to do something around the house. We came back home early afternoon. I hung the towel hangers and shower shelves, and fixed the Mezuzahs in both main doors of the house. A mezuzah is a small scroll in a fancy housing (usually decorated wood or metal or glass) that Jewish people hang at the entrance of their homes. Patti chose 2 mezuzahs online from a store in Israel, and she received them while I was still in CA, so now it was the time to fix them in place. Not much else is going on today, just taking the weekend easy. I called my son to see how he is doing, and making sure he still wants to come. Last word was not said in that subject yet.
Sunday, June 26th, 2011 – Woke up to a sunny morning. That would be now! this is the first morning with blue sky since I got here. It is so much nicer to see the shades on the lawn and the reflection of the sun rays from the leaves and trees around. Precious day! I understand I will not get to see many of those sunny days in this part of the country. So that’s where I am. Sitting in the only table we have at home right now, the kitchen dining office everything table, looking out the huge window to our back yard and writing this blog.
So what’s next? I believe I will go to MN in mid July to get our belongings. Probably rent a U-Haul truck and get everything down here. Next I need to rent a pickup truck and get our boat from PA. Not sure when I am going to do that, but I hope it will be this summer, so we can enjoy the boat this year. We will slowly furnish the house, build the business and get used to live in a ‘normal’ house. That is, until we will resume RVing.