Sunday, July 13, 2014

Repairs abound


In late May, hubby took Gertrude to Rocklahoma and on the way home, found himself with a blowout on one of the dually tires. Luckily our insurance took care of replacing it with a spare, but that meant we had to purchase a new tire. On the way home from said tire replacement, he has a minor fender bender with a light post that was leaning precariously towards the roadway. This mishap left us with a completely broken awning and a broken passenger side mirror. I'm actually fine with no awning for a while, but the mirror needs replacing asap. I think it can be done for less than $200 pretty easily, and I'm working on getting this done this next week.

This year we took a vacation that has become an every other year tradition for our family. We went to Oklahoma and stayed in a houseboat on Lake Eufaula.  This is actually part of a timeshare we purchased about 12 years ago or so. We get a week on a boat every other year. We had wondered how this would still work once we are full-timing, but there is actually an RV campground just up the hill from the docks. Yay! The one we stayed in this year is a 52' houseboat that sleeps 8 (2 bedrooms with full-size beds, 2 twin bunk beds, and a sleeper sofa). It feels like a trailer on pontoons and we love it! We took my parents, our daughter, and 3 of my daughter's friends. We went for the 4th of July week (June 29-July 6) and had a great time the whole week, and luckily no mishaps or repairs needed while we were on the boat.

After we get another tire for Gertrude, so we have 2 new tires on the front, and we get the mirror sitch taken care of...we are hoping to take her out again this month. I'm thinking of trying out Lake Grapevine this time around, so we get a feel for some different places. 

My son comes home for a couple weeks in early August and I can't wait for him to meet Gertrude and us to take her out next month with him. Yay!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Maiden Voyage

Let me begin by telling you who about Gertrude. She is a 36’ Georgie Boy Cruise Air Motorhome. Every rig needs a name, and Gertrude is hers. Why THAT name you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Years ago when my daughter was born my mother-in-law decided an appropriate nickname for said child was either Gertrude or Agnes. Neither are in any way a part of her name, nor are they family names. This tended to drive me crazy, but what’s a mother-in-law without a little bit of crazy mixed in. Ha!

We acquired Gertrude on Sunday, 4 May 2014 in Galveston, TX. She was born in 1999 and has had two foster families before us. She’s a strong woman with a v-10 gas powered heart. She’s modestly decorated (I’m sure that’ll change soon enough) with all kinds of bells and whistles (that we’re still discovering). She has a few minor issues that we need to work on, but nothing requiring major surgery.

While I’m at it, let me intrude Gertrude’s traveling companions. First there is Kyle, my husband. He’s a 40something guy from small town Texas. He went to school in Central Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University-College Station in 1995. Whoop!! Gig ‘em, Ags! He works in telecommunications. He enjoys being outside and traveling, namely hunting and hiking, or just relaxing with a cold beverage. I’m Dorsey, an ALMOST 40something gal from Texas also. I grew up around Bryan-College Station and Victoria, TX. I’m a homemaker and currently spend a lot of my time volunteering with a JROTC group in Wylie, TX. Kyle and I got together in 1994. Over the next few years, we had two kiddos, Joshua and Hannah. Joshua is currently in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Jacksonville, FL. Hannah is still in high school and is set to graduate June 2015 and go onto college. She wants to be a teacher/college professor eventually. Our four-legged traveling mate is Daisy Mae. She is a Chihuahua that was born in January of 2001.

Her maiden voyage as a member of the Bell family was taken on 8 May 2014 to Yegua Creek Park on Lake Somerville in Somerville, TX. The night before making camp at Somerville, we slept here with her parked in my uncle’s yard (he kept Gertrude for us until Mother’s Day weekend). We weren’t hooked up to any power or water for the first night. It was a little muggy, but we survived. The morning of the 8th, I needed to take Daisy out for her morning constitutional. There are a lot of sticker-burs in my uncle’s yard and I couldn’t recall where I’d taken off my shoes the night before. So I just lowered Daisy (clad in her harness) onto the grass and I took a seat on the steps. Sitting there, I realized there was a growing need to free myself from some gas build-up. So I leaned a bit to the left and let ‘er rip. Within a matter of seconds I hear a loud *BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!* Kyle comes from the back bedroom wondering what I’ve done (“Woman, what did you DO?!?!”). I told him, “I don’t know!?!?” Then we realized, I’d set off the Gas Leak Detector located to the right of the steps. We both laughed and shrugged “Well, at least we know it works.” I guess it detects carbon monoxide, propane, AND methane. Ha!!

The grand plan with Gertrude is that when my daughter graduates from high school she is moving into an apartment with roommates. The husband and I are going to sell our sticks & bricks house and move into the motorhome full-time. Over the next 13 months will be spent preparing the house for sale and paring down our belongings to be able to fit into Gertrude. I, honestly, am looking forward to not having 3000 sq. ft. worth of stuff to keep up with/keep clean. There are NO plans to have a storage unit at all, if it won’t fit or one of the kids don’t want it (or can keep it) then it goes to someone else’s home.