Well, we did it! We sold our home and are homeless in the traditional sense, but not really. We now have a nice home, it just happens to be on four wheels. The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity. These past few days have been the first few days, that we have been at rest in over 2 months, hence the delay.
We officially signed the papers to sell our house on May 11th. Anyone who has sold a house before knows that the days and weeks leading up to the closing are very busy. Also, no matter how prepared you are, the last day or two is always a crazy mad rush to the finish line. I have moved several times in the past, but nothing had prepared me to move from 2,500 square feet to only 450 square feet. (In the scope of camper living space, we really do have a lot of room.) In the months prior to moving into the camper, I spent a lot of time downsizing and planning how to fit all of our belongings into a much smaller living space. Those who use campers for recreational use only need to take with them enough items for a short period of time. We need to take everything we may possibly need while on the road within the weight and space limits of the trailer! I attempted to prepare as much as I could prior to taking possession of the camper, but there was only so much I could do without actually being in it. The plan was to have the camper in our possession for at least a month prior to closing on our house. A month would allow us enough time to leisurely move into the camper and ensure that everything had a home, as well as being organized. Due to the location of our house, we were unable to park the camper on our property. We made arrangements to park it at a nearby storage facility. Having a home in Wisconsin makes a person cautiously optimistic regarding the timing of the spring thaw. Well, Mother Nature and I were not on the same page this spring. We had several significant snow storms all the way into mid-April along with cold temperatures. We had to then wait for the snow to melt in order to access our camper. This extended winter left us with a very short window to make the transition. Somehow, we managed to sell what we needed to sell, fill the camper with our necessities and cram everything else into our storage unit and hit the road on the date we planned.
We closed on our house on a Friday. That Friday also happened to be the opening weekend of the campground we would be staying at for the summer. Being the newbies that we are, we didn’t really feel like practicing our driving and camp making skills in front of everyone at the campground. Therefore, we parked in a family members driveway for the weekend and decided to “move in” to our summer site on the following Monday. Prior to seeing our designated site on that Monday, we had only seen it via google earth and on one very snowy day in late winter during an on-site visit. Thankfully, it is a very nice site. We are in a quiet corner of the campground and have been very happy with our location since moving in. There is a large park that has been keeping the kids busy nonstop and lots of kids to play with on the weekends. The campground is very family-orientated and we feel that it will be the perfect spot for us to transition into this lifestyle. The kids have been missing their friends, but have been making new ones, which has helped them cope with the big transition.
Something we have noticed developing since moving into the campground is that the kids have grown in their confidence to do things on their own. Due to our feeling that the campground is so safe, we have allowed the kids more freedom than we ever would have in our previous neighborhood. They feel comfortable to go for bike rides, play at the park and also in the rec room all by themselves. The thing they like to do that has given us the most joy is to see them pick up their fishing poles and go fishing for an hour or two by themselves. They work together to put worms on their hooks and take the fish off. Most often they keep a walkie-talkie with them so that we can keep in touch.
Following the sale of our house, it seems like we have been constantly on the move even though our home has been parked in the same spot. We selected our summer location to allow us the availability to help our family with some large summer projects. Living away from our family and friends for the past few years has made us appreciate all of the time we are able to spend with them now.
Even with all of the different things we have had going on, we have continued to fit in school. It hasn’t necessarily been consistent on a day to day basis, but we get it in. I was finding that it was easy to get in the subjects that they do individually (math and language arts), but the subjects that we studied together (science and history) were getting set aside more than they should. I decided to try and use all of the time we were spending on the road more wisely. I found these great DVD sets that covered the subjects of science and history and were much more interesting than when I was doing the teaching. At the beginning of our school year I split the year up into 3 sections and set goals for where I wanted to be at the end of each section. Thankfully, even with all of the chaos that has been going on in our lives we are only a few days behind.
On our agenda for the next few weeks is to do some research and planning. Our plan after leaving Wisconsin will be to head east and then south. As far as anything more specific… we need to figure that out and get a tentative plan together. If anyone has suggestions of places we should visit, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message.
I also need to get a plan together for how school will proceed next year. This year I have learned a lot about how my children learn and how to be effective as a teacher. I need to take all of this into account and figure out how the next year will proceed.
It is amazing how quickly this summer is going by and yet at times it seems to be endless.