A lot has happened since my last post, as I have been very busy getting settled into our new home, officially retiring, and getting ready to begin our journey across the country.
All went well with the delivery of the RV and truck. We were scheduled to take delivery with the RV in Knoxville (RV’s 4 Less) and our truck had arrived in Nashville by train. But, on the way to pick up our RV, our salesman (Richard Taylor of Tilley-Lane Dodge in Lenoir City, TN) called and said “thank you God and pass the butter, your truck is here”. (I love the South!) They were doing the pre-delivery and we could pick the truck up later in the day. We did our walk-through of our Mobile Suites, which is really nice. There was a small glitch in the Corian countertop, so we filed a warranty claim for replacement. Other than that, everything was perfect. As for our truck, I never thought of a new truck as a work of art, but the new Ram Laramie Longhorn is beautiful. Big, but beautiful!
We stayed two nights in the lot so that we could check out the systems and make sure our questions were answered. After our instruction on hitching and unhitching, and towing / backing a fifth-wheel, we headed back to Chattanooga. Phil drove the big rig, and I followed in our old truck. When we arrived at our campground, I had totally forgotten everything I had been taught about unhitching! Luckily, Phil was on top of it, and the couple parked in the campsite next to us had a Mobile Suites just like ours, so they filled in where I was totally blank!
We began going through our storage unit, and moving in the things that we knew we would want in our Fiver. Phil brought load after load of boxes, and we began filling drawers, closets, cabinets and storage bins. We were amazed that the Fiver holds so much! We found more “stuff” to take to Goodwill and to family. All of our personal belongings are in our RV, truck and a 10x10 storage unit. That feels very freeing.
Next was retirement! Whoo hoo! Although I had already finished my project, Phil continued working until end of May. We went to the office to say our goodbyes, and were treated to a wonderful lunch, gifts and good wishes from co-workers. It was very touching. Phil was a co-owner, and founding partner of the company. The cake was really cute with the RV, and had originally said “Happy Retirement Bill and Deb”, but his partner had it corrected to “Phil and Deb”. We thought it would have been funny to leave it, as if though after eighteen years, no one knew his name! It feels very strange to know that we have volunteered to have our income stopped, and, frankly, a little scary. But, the freedom of having our time as our own is awesome. The lack of stress has to add years to our lives. I feel very fortunate that we were able to retire.
We visited with our families in the Atlanta area, and picked up our granddaughter to spend a few days with us in Chattanooga. We took her to The Discovery Museum and spent lots of time with her at the pool and playground here at the campground. She also helped Granddaddy wash his new truck! Addison is a very happy two-year old, and is a joy to everyone blessed with her presence. We look forward to lots of fun times with her in the future, as we entertain her in our little house on wheels!
We used our mail forwarding services, Dakota International Services, to register our RV and Truck in South Dakota. They registered the vehicles, and then mailed the tags to us. Love it! (I chose them because they will open and scan our mail, if we ask them to, eliminating the need to forward the mail to us.) We also have health insurance, RV and auto insurance secured as residents of South Dakota. All we lack is getting our drivers licenses and registering to vote – and we will be official South Dakotans.
Next on the agenda is to head to South Dakota! We plan to leave Chattanooga June 28th – in less than one week! Our plans at this point are to return to RV’s 4 Less in Knoxville for our warranty work, and to check our 2nd AC unit in our bedroom, which is not working. Then we will spend a week in Crossville, TN at Spring Lake RV Resort. Next will be a week at Hillman Ferry Campground at Land Between the Lakes. Then, we plan to stop in Missouri and visit with fellow fulltimers Bob and Janet as we push forward to South Dakota.
We are very excited to finally get on the road after months of preparation. It is amazing how everything has just sort of fallen into place: the sale of the condo, turnover of the old RV, truck and car at just the right time, retirement, and obtaining private health insurance. Life is good!