After a long several months getting ready for this, we are finally on the road. We decided early on that a key to making this work was going to be flexibility and we put that into action right away! Our plan to leave on Tuesday morning began looking more and more unattainable as Monday wore on. By the end of the day Monday, we still had much to move into the RV. Although we had been moving all day, it felt like we accomplished very little. Ian and Owen agreed, but pointed out all that we had done, making me feel somewhat better. Monday night, the wintery mix weather started. By Tuesday morning, we were glad we had already decided to push our departure back a day, since everything was covered with a layer of ice, to the point that I couldn’t even get the front screen door open when I tried to leave the RV at 4:20am. Trying very hard not to wake anyone up, I stumbled through the RV to the back door to make it out. I was full of energy, so worked on packing and gathering, anxious for the others to wake up so I could move stuff to the RV. Tuesday was an exhausting day, but by about 11pm, we were finally moving the last of the food in.
Wednesday morning dawned with all of us excited to get moving. Of course, all of the last minute details kept us busy, like meeting with the auctioneer, and saying one more goodbye to some dear friends and another goodbye to my cousin and her husband, who had come to pick up some items and were gracious enough to store some items we forgot to take to the storage unit. At 10:45 am, we were finally moving! The first hour seemed to pass fairly quickly. As the day wore on, with only a few bathroom, gas, and mechanical stops, the time didn’t pass so quickly. In fact, the last hour seemed to wear on and on. The bathroom and gas stops went well. It was the “Hey, I have no trailer brakes” and “I just got hit by a piece of wood flying off a semi” stops that were disconcerting! The two way radios are now a must have item for all of our trips!
We arrived in Nashville just after sunset. So we got the joy of trying to set up in the dark. We did have lights around the campground to help, but that didn’t help the fact that we had a stuck bar on the fifth wheel hitch and had never set up the water before. We had been sleeping and playing in the RV for a couple of weeks in Ohio, but it was too cold to justify dealing with water when we could easily go into the sticks and bricks for water related stuff. Here, we don’t have that option, so we had to get it working. It worked on the first try!
While some were working on setting up outside, some of us were inside checking on what moved during the trip, trying to make sure the slides would open without crushing anything. Adam had to shimmy down the trap door in the back room to pick up a book and a pad of paper that had slipped off of the shelf and were blocking the slide. Getting down was the easy part. Getting back up required all of his strength. I was concerned for a while, but he made it. After getting pretty much set up, we fed everyone McDonald’s at 9:30 pm Central Time and made it to bed in time to get a few hours of sleep before the storms hit. Although several of the children woke up for the heavy rain hitting the RV, only Abigail ended up climbing in bed with us. Even after a close lightning strike, Owen braved it out and stayed on the living room bed. In the morning, we gradually woke up, then spent a wonderful relaxing day doing as little as possible. The children spent a lot of time playing on the computers, DSs and the Wii, since they have not had much playtime at all the past couple of days. We have survived our first day without any major breakdowns! If we make it through the severe weather forecast for tonight, we plan to visit some of Bob’s cousins tomorrow and another full-timing family on Saturday. I have seen and felt God’s presence protecting us physically and giving us His peace when we desperately needed it. It is an amazing feeling to be completely in the center of His will and to be relying on Him completely. I highly recommend it for everyone – the relying on God that is, not the full-time RVing!