Tuesday, August 29, 2017

On the Road...Of Thought...

Time has almost come, for our trip, and my mind takes a spin back to the days when we were raising our kids. When there were soccer games to balance with the wife, when there were school lunches, all seven to be made. When we spent weekends, renovating our little piece of retirement and camping in the 34' foot Airstream in the back yard. They were good times, chaotic at some points, but good times all the same. Camp fires, stories, paint, drywall, stone, sanding, more camping, more working, more fun.

In those times, we barely had the time to think about redundancy, even though that's essentially sometimes what parenthood is, was, and often will always be. We thought about the issues or problems we faced, as miniscule, in hindsight, that they may have been, with vigor as if we were solving the world's problems, when in all actuality those problems were just a grain of sand in the larger scope of things. We loved all of our children, we love all the gray hair sprouted like some unwanted vegetable or plant growth, on our head, but it took time to get through it. It took tears, rejection of our ideas sometimes, and it took diligence to get our painting, that blank slate of life, the colors we needed to make it ours and get to the point of completion we are today.

It's ours, we own it now. The children, all grown, have sprouted their wings, making choices on their own, even though some we don't agree with, and others who fearlessly tackle something that scares us like a good horror story. It's a painting all the same, and it belongs to us. Those colors swirl in lights and darks, on that canvas of life that often goes unfinished until I imagine the ethereal comes to great us brightly or tarnished in an array of earth tones. Our life's canvas still has those rare blank spots where we insert our color, make it our own, and move forward, sitting back and enjoying the price we paid.

We are who we are, we think, we do, we move forward, for it is our marriage, our life, and our family that brings us full circle, starting over, only to move head long and forward again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Inspiration, Guts, and Image

There was an array of boondocking information, at the time, about five years ago, mostly listed as longitude and latitude, but I suffered through it, and found the place of our first destination, Bog Hot. It sounds like some foreign place in a sci-fi movie or book, but I assure you it's a place. I've seen actual videos of it, read newsfeeds of it, and have come to the conclusion that it's not as popular as, say, Disney, or anything. I bookmarked most of the information and just this morning over a cup of coffee, I am browsing over things.

It's funny how just years ago, browsing over things, meant reading some old articles you filed away. Picking up a letter that someone once wrote to you, and reading it. Watching old VHS-C or 8mm home movies, which today sit in some trunk, an old cabinet, collecting dust, unwatched. Browsing through things in the past had a different meaning, a nostalgic array. Watching those souls of energy that once lived as a part of your life in a movie, and realizing they're all gone on their own journeys. Now browsing through things brings nothing but vicarious feelings. You're looking at someone else, who most likely are faking something to get subscribers or views on their stint, or even watching one of your own short films from a cell phone that's stored in some internet cloud.

I'm trying to change that thinking up, I try to include all of it, make it one big puzzle. I have maps out, an atlas, my old GPS instead of the trusty smart phone. I do have my internet browser open on the laptop, just in case I come into a hiccup or have a dire urge of drudging up something I've already researched. I watch a video of a man taking a dip in the hot springs at Bog Hot. It looks refreshing even though the temperature can fluctuate according to the time of year. Winter being the best I can imagine the Airstream parked, a desert backdrop behind her, the awning down, our chairs underneath it. Maybe the grill set up on a small table. I could see the sun setting and reflecting off the Airstream illuminating the surrounding area with more light. I can feel the warm water of the springs as I take a soak in them. The image is so burned in my head, that there's that tingling in my gut, that pull which is just not letting go.

There's a rustling behind me, and I see Mary pouring a cup of coffee.

"Good morning," she says, sipping.

"Hey, babe, what are you doing up so early?"

"I'm looking at our first destination for this year."

"Why are we waiting? We have nothing left to do, the kids are all off to college." She sat down in her usual spot.

"I thought it'd be better to wait."

"It's  August, why wait. We'll just be sure to come back before November and the holiday festivities." She was already onto some social media site smirking at some video that was playing in the background.

That's how Mary operates. She gives me some inspiration, and I run with it like a madman. I make it happen, it was that balance we had with each other. I took in a deep breath. Opened up the contacts on my phone, and call some of the locals of the area. I like speaking to people, and the more I talk, the more comfortable I am of the surroundings that I'm going to be living in.

This was it. In a week or two, we're traveling to Bog Hot. I'm a ball of nerves, wound anxiety and like a kid on Christmas day, a conglomeration of it all. It has come. Our plans are in motion.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Boondocking? Anyone...

Now that things are going well with the Airstream, it's time to dig into what a lot of people like to call "boondocking". For those of you with weak stomachs, who absolutely need that bed, cable television, and sometimes, if you're lucky, room service, boondocking is not for you. It's for those with an adventure in their heads, comfort from the small things. The self containment of those small things, their travel trailer, a battery and some propane (these amenities are typically standard with most RV's.)

Boondocking is  living on 12 volt power, or off shore power, and the propane you had filled up before leaving on the first voyage. Once you're set, the USA is a large place with much to see, and many free places to "boondock". I'm going to start with the easy place first, Wal-Mart. No, I'm not promoting Wal-Mart as the number one spot, but it's there, and those blue and black box stores are plastered, unfortunately like a virus through the entire U.S and every rural region (usually wreaking havoc on the local economy and smaller businesses). Wal-Mart's parking lots are well lit, and from experience, I know that the security cameras are up on the building itself, not in the parking lot where the RV's park (sorry to burst most of the bubbles out there). So it's not the most secure place, which is often the myth. It's about as secure as the second spot I'll mention, rest areas. The freedom to get off that stretch of highway you've been staring at for hours (if you've opted for expressways versus the back roads) pull into a spot where the semi's park, lock your vehicle, hop in your RV and take a rest. Sleep overnight.

You can freshen up in the morning, because all RV's are equipped to run a water pump on 12 volt, or the battery running your lights in it. So in a nutshell, boondocking can be done everywhere. There's information plastered over the internet, resources around every corner. I've already chosen our first major trip in my years of semi retirement, Bog Hot. It's a place in Nevada, and it's obscure, that's obvious due to the fact that you're scratching your head now wondering where it is, some of you probably have another tab open in the browser and your looking at some links now. It's nothing fancy, just a place in my head where the wife and I can pull the Airstream up, camp for free and enjoy the natural warm springs. Of course, taking a dip will depend on the water temp, because you don't want to boil alive. From what I hear winter time offers the best swimming temps.

It's a start, make a goal, and get there. Tomorrow's a new day and a new topic for this new adventure. I hear the wife calling me now, she's outside, in the shade, sipping some sweet tea, our small dog, Munchkin, next to her. She might just be wondering if I'm still alive. It's the darker side of our marriage that you have to appreciate, the side that makes us tick, the side that brings out the creativity. On that note, dream up your destination, put it on a map, and ready yourself, that's what we did, and are doing as I write.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Preparation for the "Maiden Voyage"

If you're reading this, thanks, for coming back. I want you all to know that our official first trip don't begin until this winter, after Christmas, so in the meantime, I have a lot of preparation to do to our home on wheels. Cliche, isn't it? No, not really, it's always a surprise to me how many people in the world don't really have an interest in, or desire to use, a travel trailer. It never ceases to amaze. It's clean, easy to tow, cheaper to boondock, and you're not using the sheets or comforters that have been abused in ways that should prevent anyone from covering their skin with. Okay, I went a little overboard with that, but it's true. Every time we would stay at a Hotel/Motel, I would rip the comforter off. I didn't trust them. I know for a fact (from an unknown source) that the comforters don't get washed as frequently as the sheets/pillow cases do. That's disgusting. At least with the travel trailer, your sheets are as clean as you've kept them. I don't want to get on a rant, so will just end with our Airstream is how we do it.

When I say prep, I mean I'm prepping our 1964 Airstream Globetrotter. It's our beauty, and something I've worked on for the past eight years or so. I've got all the bugs worked out of her to make her road worthy. She's 19 feet in length. I've heard it from many, isn't that going to get old, being that close to each other all the time, won't you need space? My short answer is no, we've been together for many years, and our space has been invaded on more than one occasion, especially raising seven children. So sharing ourselves in the tight confines of our Airstream is just a part of minimizing our situation and furthering our goal of retirement. The smaller the Airstream, the cheaper the trip, right? Less gas to put into the truck, quicker to turn around making a "U" turn in the middle of the road, if we get lost, and just less worry. If we stop talking to each other or get into a fight, we have the great outdoors to greet us and separate us. After all, we aren't perfect, we do dispute, and we do argue, on occasion. 

Back to preparation. It's August, so before the weather turns sometime over the next two months, I have to polish the Airstream, give its aluminum sheen some protection. I won't bore you with detail of the job, I'm sure I've posted a video of me doing it somewhere, and the information is endless on polishing Airstreams out in the blue nowhere. Some of the basic preparation is, I've got to plug her in, run the works: the refrigerator, the water pump, the electricity, the range for cooking. Once I confirm it is all functioning, I unplug her and do the rest with only the propane. That confirmed, just have to tow her in to get the old Axle checked by our mechanics, (she is over 50 years old) make sure the bearings are packed and ready, and she's ready.

The bore of detail is finished. The job is set, and I'm OCD enough to do it again a week or two before we take off. So that's the preparation, and for those of you interested in seeing out beauty, I'm posting a picture below, we were actually boondocking (this topic will be covered in the near future) in the picture below at Soldier Lake in Hiawatha National Forest. Until next time, folks, I'll be prepping. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The New FUTURE of Seymour

You may have noticed some changes, or at least I hope I was able to get them to change, here at the old Blog. I'm trying to change my A**hole ways. I'm done irritating people with my harsh opinions on technology, on breeding, on just about every opposition that pisses people off, and I've decided to write about the future, my future with the wife. Sounds fun, right?

Fun is my middle name. We're doing what everyone dreams of doing. We're pulling out our stakes and travelling. We've made the first steps, we've sold and consolidated EVERYTHING! The house we will keep, it's been paid off and we just need to maintain property taxes on it. As for the unnecessary clutter that always gets in the way, we've minimized it all. We're down to our vehicle and a travel trailer suitable to get us where we belong (featured in a future post), our house serving as our headquarters just in case we get bored.

Income, you may ask, well, it is what it is. Whatever job I land I take. The other income, well to put it blatantly, is none of your business...I know, I'm still working on that unpolished rude tongue that leashes out at you, dear reader. I'm sorry. As for the beginning, it's here, the Genesis, the Change, the Metamorphosis. I've become the butterfly, and if butterflies can hold hands, my wife and I are flying through life together, wing in wing, staring blankly at the trailer walls at time, at each other, and out into the fragile veil that separates us from the rest, we have untethered and I'm going to give everyone of you a sneak peak.

It started with a going away party at work. The buzz was humming at the workplace, I even heard that someone was ordering a cake. The place was set, I clicked "going" on the invite of the social media page, and the date had been set. I attended.

It was at a steakhouse near where I worked. The place was cluttered with people, and conversations, I entered and was suffocated instantly (social skills were never my ace in the hole). There were people that never gave me the time or day any other time in my years at the company. They were hugging me and telling me how much the place was going to miss me (as if the company were some living breathing entity, rather than a sociopathic serial killer). I complacently agreed. Head numbed from some Benadryl I took for my allergies, I sat down at the table. One couple wanted to buy my dinner, I agreed. The chatter was a little mundane, so I decided to get done fast, eat up, grab some cake and take off.

"I've got to go, it was an honor to work with all of you, and I'll miss you all." (my inner thoughts were more vicious) "Thank you so much for throwing this party. I'll keep you all posted, stay tuned on the Blog."

Hugs, kisses, good-byes, my life had begun when I exited the the steak house. The sun had been setting and my eyes were blinded by the bright rays. I hopped into the car and drove off into the sunset, literally, my sun visor down so I could focus on the road.

As I drove, there was a heavy weight that had lifted, my mind was uncluttered, a lot like the garage, the shed, the attic that my wife and me had emptied to minimize. I was free and untethered, like my life had been when I was a child. The drive home was long, but seemed quick. My wife was standing on the porch. She was waiting for me. I could hear our Dachshund in the house barking at the sound of my truck.

"How was it?"

"You know." I said.

We hugged. Our life was beginning, again. It was on, a little anxiety surfaced, but I pushed it down, way down and screamed into nowhere, "We're FREE!"