Sunday, January 8, 2012


Earlier, when we would begin our trips, I could hardly wait to arrive at our destination - so we could enjoy our vacation.  We would drive "straight through" for sixteen or twenty hours - in order to be there sooner and start our vacation.  We would arrive totally exhausted, but we were there, it was time to enjoy!  (After we rested for a day.)

Then I learned that the journey was part of the vacation and that I needed to be thankful, slow down and appreciate the drive.  

Why am I talking about this now?  Because I have learned another lesson in "enjoying the trip,"  the journey.  

John and I have talked about selling the house and full timing for over a year.  It was a dream in the distant future, something to chat about, to read information and blogs, to investigate.  

As the last eighteen months have progressed, the talks were more frequent. We talked about traveling to the art and fiber shows as part of our full timing.  We would just make our journey fit the show schedule.

Selling our house became part of those wishful discussions.  We sure didn't want to full time and have a house back in Indiana.  So we interviewed Realtors and set the plan in motion.  

We decided, before listing the house, we wanted to do some work to increase the value and decrease the waiting time for the sale.  The cherry hardwood floors were already down.  That was one thing we had in our plan book from the day we moved in fourteen years ago. 

We made a list of all the other things we wanted to do prior to the day of listing. We also set a goal, an unrealistic goal of January first. Now keep in mind that this goal was set the second  week of November.  

Today is January eighth and we are still working!  Gee, what a surprise.  Our second goal of January fifteenth is fast approaching. We will not meet that goal either.

Let me digress about ten days.  John's health is not the best.  He has emphysema.  He is on three inhalers and oral medications.  He has to stop and catch his breath often.  To add to that, he has always been a slow worker / mover.  It is just his nature.  I have tried to challenge him to walk faster, work faster, think faster, drive faster.  But that just isn't John.  Finally, I have accepted it and am thankful for what he does in his own speed.  

With his emphysema and my arthritis, setting up our sales booth has become a greater challenge at every show. We drive to the city where the show is located, unload, set up the booth, greet customers for two or three days.  But we are exhausted.  

When the show is over we are back to packing up, transporting merchandise back to the motorhome and reloading the basement with the shelves, displays and merchandise. All the time, I'm grouchy because I hurt all over and John is just trying to breathe.  Now does any of this make sense to you?  Not me, not John.  I have had two huge meltdowns in the last few days.  How ridiculous. 

We have decided that we do not NEED this extra work.  The money is not worth it.  The work is hard on us physically and hurts our relationship.  You just can't put a dollar amount on health and relationships.

I will continue my art work. I love my art work.  It is part of me.   I will sell on line ..... if and when I choose!  I do need to work on an excellent website and establish an Etsy and Ebay outlet for my work.  

Okay, back to the subject of enjoying the journey.  Now that we have decided to withdraw from the shows, we do not have to be in Tennessee mid March!  That means we do not have to "break our necks" to get the house ready to sell so fast in order to get out to southern California and back to Tennessee!  Whew, what a relief.  

Yesterday, we both worked outdoors. John installed new outdoor lighting.  I mowed part of the pasture that needed some TLC.  While mowing, it was so nice to look over the ground, at the trees, to watch the wild life even if it was voles and rabbits running from the tractor.  I began to enjoy the journey to full timing.  

We burned downed trees, branches, brush.  I cleaned the chicken pen and around one of the barns.  I enjoyed the journey a bit more.

Today, is a day of rest for us.  We will enjoy this journey too.  We are going to the motorhome to watch the New York Giants play Atlanta in their wild card game.  We must support at least one Manning since our poor Colts did so miserably this season.  

I have two more beams and the fireplace brick in the family room to paint.  John has four columns to finish and to put baseboard down where we installed the new hardwood floors. (kitchen, front, family, dining rooms and the entry.)  Now THAT was a journey!  Oh yes, I must paint the columns and baseboard.  Oops, there are windows to wash and cabinets and wood trim to polish.  Oh oh, there is one closet left to empty.  And my studio!  Eeeek! We both know that there will be more tasks to raise their ugly heads, don't we.

Tomorrow, we continue the journey to clean the barns.  Can anyone say dumpster?  We continue to work outside as the weather allows.  I am amazed that we are outdoors working in January.  I am thankful for the Journey.

One thing we have continually asked ourselves during this journey is why didn't we do these tasks earlier for ourselves?  Why didn't we get the new appliances so we could enjoy them?  Why didn't we do .........Why?  

Maybe the reason is to teach us to enjoy the journey.  Every journey that God blesses us with.  


  1. I went through all the same thoughts and feeling. I did not do all the repairs and upgrades to the house that were on my list and the house sold anyway. I ran out of time and energy, I wanted to be out of Chicago before winter, and now, there is not winter in Chicago this year. Oh well, I am happy to be where I am today. Enjoy the journey!

  2. I know what you mean. We did something like you described last year with my condo - had a three week marathon redo. It was NOT fun. With our house, we had a pretty good sized list of improvements that we wanted to make. I can't even imagine trying to do all that in just a few months. I think we would have been more likely to try to hurry up and get it done in our excitement to hit the road, except that we are tied into our timeline by when Harry can retire. That's probably a good thing! :)

  3. Hello, Nan, and nice to meet you. Thanks for following my blog. This is the first post of yours that I have read, and it is so interesting to me. In the 90's I did the show circuit, I grew and sold flowers and crafted them and sold retail and wholesale, and I so remember the setting up a show, the excitement, the frustration of a bad show, the let down of tearing it all back down. It was a rush and exhausting at the same time. After 8 years I went back to work for a paycheck and am now retired. I learned making my art my living was very hard to do. Wishing you well in your choices and your future.

  4. Very nice post Nan, acceptance is certainly part of a journey. I certainly have learned that. Here is hoping for healthy, less stressful days for you and John.

    Just BS! (Bob and Sue)

  5. first time here. I looked for your blog earlier but never could find it. I found you through another blog.
    The one big suggestion I can make is make realistic goals. We wanted to sale our house fast also but the market just doesn't always corporate. Your health IS the most important aspect! If you aren't well, you won't enjoy the journey. Try to relax and enjoy the anticipation of the sale and the journey!

  6. So nice to have the wisdom of fellow bloggers. My heartfelt thanks to you all. Acceptance, realistic, health, enjoy, hope are some of the words that touches my heart. Thanks for the kind, uplifting and encouraging words....N

  7. Yup.. you know we are in the same boat here. And my list of "things to do to the house" is getting smaller and smaller. Not always by getting them done, but realizing they don't NEED to be done.

    I sold houses for nine years as a broker/realtor. It's amazing what some people will buy and what others expect to be done. You have to find the middle ground and reasonable buyers.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard


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