Must Come To An End

On the evening of Friday, August 26, we set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Well, it was a cross-country trip.

Okay, it was a three-month work-related field assignment for Papa ‘Skiy and everbody tagged along.

But it’s something none of us were ready to return home from and something we’d all jump at the chance to do again.

We returned home late on November 18, which was also Papa ‘Skiy’s 43rd birthday, but not before spending a couple of days with his parents in Fort Myers to celebrate with them as well.

Once we’d returned home, we looked at the final numbers that we put on both our truck and our fifth wheel: 12,100 miles and 8,079 miles, respectively. Our truck was our mode of transportation for work, sight-seeing, to and from airports, and errands, in addition to pulling our home across the country.

Our only problem was discovered as we were heading home after visiting Papa ‘Skiy’s parents, which were the final 200 miles of our journey. Before our trip we upgraded the tires and rims of our fifth wheel, and apparently the company that sold us the rims inadvertently suggested rims that were too weak for our RV. As a result, every single rim was cracking, two of them to the point the cracks went completely through the rims.

We limped home slowly but safely.

Other than that, we never had a tire blowout, mechanical or structural problem, or disappointing campground experience. Not one. Surprisingly enough, we were never tardy to one of Papa ‘Skiy’s assignments either. Even when we had to drive from Colorado to Virginia in only two days! Papa and M ‘Skiy did end up with a cold after our flight to and from Washington, and Mama and M ‘Skiy did have an ER visit each (Mama fell on her shoulder bike riding in Indiana and we were concerned she tore something, and M ‘Skiy cracked his head open sledding on snow in Alaska and required staples) but untimately everyone is fine and in excellent health.

If someone would have told us those three months were going to go nearly flawlessly, we wouldn’t have believed them.

Now it’s back to everyday life again.

We thought we’d be homesick. We thought we’d be anxious to return home. After all, our house is more than 2,100 square feet and our rig isn’t even 285 square feet.

But we weren’t.

It will be great to catch up with friends, stretch out a little, and use a larger and faster washer and dryer again.

However, we’d be lying if we said we’re not already longing for another extended road trip again.

One Month To Go

Are you familiar with that clustered feeling of excitement, anxiety, nervousness, and exhaustion?

Yeah, that’s where we are right now.

Since last year we knew we had a “big trip” coming up. Papa ‘Skiy is a software engineer and periodically goes in the field for week-long installation assignments. Most of the time the whole family goes with him, and that’s taken us as far west as New Mexico, as far north as Pennsylvania and New York, and off the mainland to Puerto Rico.

The opportunity for another of these assignments was presented to him last year. The only difference was that this was a big one: it was a field assignment, and it would take months to complete.

We’d always said that, if he had the chance to do it then he should take it, especially if he felt we could accomplish it RV-style. So when it came up he didn’t hesitate accepting it.

Then the time frame for the assignment kept changing. At first it looked like it was starting in June, which would put a damper on birthday party plans for the boys and a possible summer camp at the Kennedy Space Center for our oldest son. That went back and forth for awhile, so we cancelled the camp plans altogether and decided on the easy route for the birthday party by holding it at a small local amusement park.

As summertime approached, the assignment got pushed back further and further. Finally, a schedule was established and we could start planning: at the end of August, we’d be on the road.

We made spreadsheets with lists of things to pack, things to do, things to prepare. After all, what do you do when you still have a lawn to take care of, mail that will still arrive, and bills that will still come in, even while you’re not there?

Yes, it would just be easier for Papa ‘Skiy to go on his own. It would also be more lucrative. But that doesn’t play into our family lifestyle. We’re close, we love traveling, and we homeschool. All of these sound ripe for a family roadtrip!

Now it’s a month away. One month! And although that sounds like a long time, there’s still so much to do.

Remember that whole excited-anxious-nervous-exhausted feeling? Yup. We’re there.