Sunday, August 19, 2018

The end of an era and a new beginning

It's been more than a month since I lost Katie.  That was such a sad post to write through my tears.  Thank you all so much for your kind comments, they helped, for sure.  I still miss her, of course, and think about her often.  I'll adopt another dog - I'm not ready yet, but I love having a dog, so I know another little critter is in my future.

There have been lots of changes in the last month.

Before I lost Katie, I started looking for a house to buy in Elephant Butte or Truth or Consequences, NM.  I've been thinking about this for a few years now, and suddenly the time was right and all the elements needed to do it came together.  I've been considering this area, and really only this area, for a while.  I really like Cottonwood, AZ, too, but all in all, New Mexico beat Arizona for me.

When I arrived at Elephant Butte Lake State Park in February I decided to start the process by becoming a New Mexico resident and we lived in an RV Park for four months while establishing residency.

I insured The Palms in New Mexico and got her registered at the MVD here, and when I had met all the requirements and had the proper paperwork, changed my Driver's License from CA to NM.  I've been doing some freelance writing, and got a business license in new Mexico to set up a legal business here.

Then I started looking at houses in Elephant Butte and Truth or Consequences.

We had a family vacation planned for July up at Lake Tahoe in California, and before we left Elephant Butte, I did some house hunting, found four I really liked, both in EB and in TorC.  I finally decided on one that was a keeper.  It has everything I wanted and needed, was move-in ready, is in a good neighborhood, and fit my budget, so I made an offer on the house.  The seller countered and I accepted the counter.  The morning we left town the home inspection was done, and the house came through with flying colors.  Nothing negative on the report.  😁

It was so hot in Elephant Butte I was happy to leave the area for a cooler climate.  I packed up, and Katie and I started the drive to King's Beach, CA, where I was meeting up with the kids and grand kids at my son and daughter-in-law's beautiful house in the lake area.

Before we drove on to Lake Tahoe, we stayed a couple of weeks in Flagstaff, AZ, mostly camping at A-1 Mountain Road, where it was much cooler than in EB.  Sadly, two days before I left for Tahoe, I took Katie in to the Vet for the final time and said goodbye.  I'm doing fine so far, but it'll take time for all the emotion to calm down.  😥❤.  I keep thinking I'm over Katie, then it hits me. Whew... 

I drove on to King's Beach alone and spent time with my son's and daughter's families, and it was a really good visit.  Here's a photo of all the kids and grandkids out for lunch:

And on another day - the photo is a small size, so I can't blow it up, it gets too fuzzy.

And here's me with all five grandkids:

Then I left and drove back to the state park at Elephant Butte.

Meanwhile the home loan and home insurance were in process.  We had a closing date of July 31, but ended up closing a week early, and now I've been here in the new house in Truth or Consequences, NM for almost a month.

I've been setting up house - I haven't done this from scratch since I was a newly married young woman, and it's been fun (but expensive!).  Thank goodness there's a Walmart in town!  It has almost everything I've needed so far.

My son, Tom, and I were talking about my new house, and I said I didn't have a stick of furniture, but I'd camp out inside the house as I accumulated what I needed.  I've done that before and don't mind it a bit.  I'd bring in all my kitchen and bathroom stuff, the mattress and bedding from the rig, and I have camp tables and chairs to use, as well as my clothes, TV and computer.  AND I'd have a large swamp cooler to keep me cool, a full kitchen and a bathroom with a bathtub and lots of water!  The Palms would be parked in the driveway and I'd use her to get around until I found a little car that I liked. 

Tom has been flipping houses for years now, and when I told him my plan, he said he was glad I mentioned that - because he had some staging furniture that he wanted to thin out.  So when we were in Tahoe, Tom and I went through photos on his computer of all the furniture, and I got to pick what I wanted.  How nice was that?

AND...  he also gave me a small truck that he was rotating out of this company's fleet. It has high mileage, but is in super condition and runs like a top.  One of Tom's employees who has a commercial driver's license trucked out the furniture and truck a week or so ago, so now I'm all set.  I still have some decorating to do and small things to purchase, but I'm so far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point!  Thanks, Tom!  Your generosity has been overwhelming and is so appreciated. 💗💗💗

I've met some of my neighbors and they are all very friendly, nice and helpful.  It's a small neighborhood of similar homes to mine, all pretty well maintained.  My house was in move-in-ready condition.  Yards were clean, the house looked like it was newly painted inside and out, appliances looked new, the carpet and tile bathroom floors and wood laminate kitchen floors looked brand new.

With all the homes I've bought and sold over the years, this is the first one that had absolutely nothing to repair or replace - or even a negative comment on the Home Inspection Report.  It was all good.  Truly move-in ready.  I just wiped things down, vacuumed the carpets and then had them professionally cleaned, and that was it! I was really lucky. The seller took very good care of this house and I look forward to many years of living here and enjoying the house, yards and neighborhood.

There's room on the side of the house for The Palms.  It doesn't quite fit because my large swamp cooler is attached to the side of my garage, but my next door neighbor very kindly said I could park her on his property at the side of his house so she would fit. Luckily he has no windows on that side, and she won't be visible or in the way for him. So she's parked between our houses.

And BONUS!  One thing I hadn't thought about when buying a house in TorC was that I wasn't leaving the sunrises, sunsets, bunnies, quail and other birds, or even roadrunners when I left the state parks.  They live here all over the place!

I was happy to learn I have a little cottontail bunny living in my backyard.  I'm told his name is Charlie, and he lays in the shade of a grape plant that is growing on the fence. The swamp cooler drains into the dirt under the vine, and since it's cool and shady, it's a perfect bunny spot on a hot day.  He also has a little depression he's made under my plum tree's shade that he lays in, as well as other spots in the yard.

My bed is in front of the bedroom window overlooking the backyard and when I wake up I look out the open window and some mornings I see him hopping around the yard, as well as lots of quail and other birds.  So I still have lots of nature out the windows to watch and enjoy.  I've rigged up a bird bath in the side yard for the little birds.  It's right out the window by my desk, so I look out often.  They are investigating it, but so far no birds have jumped up into the water.  I've seen lizards there, too, rooting around and sunning themselves.  I'm wondering if they will investigate and find the water.

My house faces west, so I still get to see the gorgeous sunsets here in New Mexico from my kitchen and living room windows. And my bedroom windows face east, so I see the sunrises in the morning.  That seems so lucky - sunrises every morning without even getting out of bed, and sunsets out my front windows in the evening.  Perfect!

And guess what?  I'd heard there's a Roadrunner in the neighborhood, and I just saw him running along the street in front of my house!  I love that!  😍

So now, instead of The Palms being my home, she's my "ticket out of town."  I bought a New Mexico State Park annual permit again, as I do every year, and whenever I feel antsy or need a change of location, I'll load her up and move to a state park for a get-away.  Even if it's a "stay-cation" 12 minutes away at Elephant Butte Lake.

It's hard to believe I'm settled again and no longer full-timing.  It's the end of a 7+ year lifestyle that I loved and will never forget.  That seven years fulfilled so many wants, dreams, issues and needs I've had for years, and I wouldn't change a thing.  I learned so much, met so many people, stayed in so many cool locations.  Only full-time RVers will understand what I'm saying.  It's one of those things you have to do to really understand.  And I will forever be grateful and happy that I had a chance to be a fulltimer for so long.  And so, so grateful that I had Katie with me the whole time.  She really made the difference in so many ways.

My only regret is that Katie isn't with me now.  She would have loved this house and yard.  But, I'll get another dog.  I'm thinking I'll probably rescue a medium size dog instead of a tiny one, which is what I've always thought my next dog would be.  A medium dog would be fine in this house, with RV trips from time to time.  So we'll see what the future brings me.

I plan to continue this blog but will only post from time to time as I have been for the last year or so.  I'd like to keep my private life more private now, but definitely plan to post when I take The Palms out for a trip.

The name "Me and My Dog... and My RV!" will stay.  Katie will continue to be in my header until her successor appears, then I'll move her photo to the top of a sidebar.  She'll always be my RVing buddy, my protector, my mouse finder, my best girl.  I doubt I'll take The Palms out again for a trip until I have my new dog.  I can't imagine taking off without a dog on board.

So... I'll see you down the road, or at least post about it to let you know I'm still out there from time to time.  I've loved writing this blog and appreciate all my followers.  There are a lot of you who posted comments (that I LOVED reading) and many more who read all the posts without commenting.  Thank you to all of you - without your support blogging wouldn't have been half the fun it's been. You are the reason I posted so often for so many years, and now I have a wonderful travel and life log for the past seven years.  A wonderful, special time of my life that I can read about in the future, and my kids and grand kids can read, too, if they want.

So long for now,


P.S.  Even though I won't be posting much now, I'm still checking in on your posts to see what's going on in the RVing world.  I'll be keeping up with what you're all doing - I don't want to totally lose touch!  😉