Brrrrrr. We’ve had some pretty cold mornings here in North Carolina! One thing we have come to realize over the last 19 years, 3 months, and 5 days we’ve been traveling is that we are totally and completely over winter. Oh, we’re fine with the occasional chilly morning, and we do keep hats and gloves tucked away in a cupboard, but we hope that sustained wintery weather is just a memory for us. So when folks would ask us, “What’s next?” (and they seem to be doing that more and more often), we started to think about just what we would like “Next” to look like.
Here are some of the things we’ve considered as we’ve been thinking this through –
They’re kinda spread out! We have children and grands in central Ohio and another set in central Texas. We also have family in Pennsylvania and Vermont. How do we work out seeing all of them?
Yep – If possible, we’d like to remain ‘snowbirds’. Staying in the north in the summer and in warmer climates during the winter. Even if we didn’t live in a tin can, we would like to keep that scenario!
Although we plan to continue with SOWERs for as long as we’re able, we know these days of (mostly) full-time ministry won’t last forever. But wherever we land we hope we can be involved in a local church and continue to be used by the Lord.
Let’s face it – if it is within my control, I would like to be close to the cabin in the summer.
Our Aging RV
Lizzie is now 20 years old. She only has about 125,000 miles under her belt (which is not that much for a diesel pusher I’ve been told) and she’s holding up well. We’ve made enough interior changes so that we are very content with our living situation. But still, she’s 20.
We feel like it’s a bit late in the game for us to be making any RV switches, so the Life of Lizzie may dictate the timing of our “What’s Next” plan.
So we began to think about how all those ‘influencers’ would work out in our plan. And here’s how we began to sketch it out.
During the summer we would find a seasonal rental (that we could afford) near the Cabin. One of the perks of being close to The Cabin (aside from the Cabin itself) is that we would also get to see all the family that comes to the cabin during those summer months. It wouldn’t be everyone every summer, but it would be lovely to connect with those who do come. We’re very familiar with the area, already have some family in the area, and as an added bonus we already have a church family there we love. Mind you, we don’t know exactly what this “seasonal rental” would look like – it’s still in the sketching phase!
During the winter months, we would find an RV spot in Texas, close to the kids in Waco if possible. We’ve been casually looking at some different options there, and I felt that I could continue to live in the motor home even if it were stationary as long as there was some sort of “She Shed” for sewing projects. (Just to free up the interior for that sweet husband of mine!)
We weren’t in any hurry to make a move on either location just yet as we’ve scheduled (or plan to schedule) SOWER projects through 2024. But when we got a call from a friend who lives in the RV retirement community located behind the SOWER office in Lindale (TX) asking if we’d be interested in purchasing his home there, it seemed like it would be worth the conversation. It’s a small one-bedroom house (850 sq ft) with a covered RV parking spot and an insulated shed that is already converted into half sewing room and half workshop.
We really like the community there (it’s small – about 60 lots) and it’s geared towards RVers who need a home base.
It’s about three hours from the Texas crew – not quite as close as I’d like, but still doable. Knowing that sometimes when a door is opened, it’s good to walk through it, come April of 2024, we’ll be owners of our first official Home Base.
It seems far off right now, but it’s exciting to think about.
And since those Ohio kids and grands are about halfway between Lindale, TX, and Bradford, VT, we’ll be able to stop and see them as we make the season shift twice a year. So that worked out well too!
One more thing…
You can’t see it but before each of these “What’s Next” scenarios is a very firm “Lord willing.” Right now we are enjoying (pretty) good health, but we have learned well and often that life can turn on a dime. And so, we echo what we read in James 4: 13-15.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
PS – Let me know if you have any leads on the Vermont rental! =)