When Kevin was about ten, his family spent six weeks touring the western US. In a small trailer. Pulled by a used van that experienced "problems." More than once. My in-laws are saints. But Kevin really has little to no memory of the cramped quarters or the mechanical delays. He remembers the experience of getting to see so much of God's beauty. It really made an impact on him. So much so that as an adult he had no desire to see Europe. He figured all the splendor and enjoyment we really needed was right here within our reach where no passport was required.
We have a contract on the house and a tentative date of departure. We have about 2 gigs of research on trucks and 5th Wheels. I have a living room full of boxes. I have jottings and clippings and bookmarks and plans for "road schooling." I am only sane right now because I have most of it mapped out on my iPad. Thank you, gracious Lord, for the iPad.
Last week I bought toilet paper and the thought occurred to me, "We will be out of this house before we finish off these rolls." I know that's odd, but this is just how my brain works. If you're still following our blog several months from now you'll thank me for that because it will keep things interesting (my brain, not the toilet paper).
We decided to launch the blog now because several friends said they thought the whole planning and preparation part would be fun to hear about. I'll try to make it sound like more fun than it really is. Because right now, every time I walk into the garage I throw up a little in my mouth. Or just hyperventilate.
I have at least 4 dozen items on my "to do before leaving" list -- BIG items like "get all recipes into PepperPlate app" and "figure out where our mail is going" and "purge hard drive of at least 20,000 more images." But there is no way all of these things will get done, even if I never stopped to eat or sleep. So I will just prioritize and keep working and it will be fine in the end. The most important thing on my mind right now is to be sure we pack in plenty of time with all the people we are really going to miss. Missing everyone is the hard part of all this. It's the thing that gives me a big lump in my throat every time I glance at a calendar and realize January is getting closer...
Those of you who have said you will come visit us or fly one of your offspring out to do so better make good on that.
The photo of the map shows our route. The colors don't mean anything beyond it being the color of Wikki Stik Kevin happened to grab. Our first leg takes us to Franklin, NC and then Alabama to visit friends. From there we head west to Texas where I pray to God we do not break down because I don't think I've ever met anyone who has managed to drive all the way across that tract of land without major engine failure. I bet that's why Lewis and Clark didn't go that way. We aren't entirely certain of the specifics of our itinerary. We're keeping it flexible. Mainly, it's a clock-wise loop of the US, following the best weather and skipping the states that major in corn. No offense if you live in one of them (seriously - I have loads of respect for farmers and I do really like corn).
So on that note, back to work...more boxes to pack, more learning opportunities to research, more hyperventilating to do.