A little about us. I will start from when Diane and I got together because that is really when US began. The fact that Diane is a native Oregonian and I grew up on a farm in Iowa is as deep as I will go.
Diane and I meet in Portland Oregon in 1998. We both bowled on a extreme bowling league (more party than bowling league). There was something about the stride she had approaching the line to deliver the ball that caught my eye, I guess that’s all I should say about that also LOL!!
Diane worked at a Vet clinic and I was working as a retail manager in a building supply store.
Six months after we met I had a opportunity to take over a larger store in southern Oregon. Diane and I made a few trips to check out the area where the new store was and decided that it would be a nice change from the big city life. A larger store in a growing market, more money and a smaller community. It seemed right.
Diane and I both owned our own homes in the Portland area and we both decided to rent them out and move in together in the new location. We rented our new digs for a few months and after we decided we could really make a go of it we both sold our houses in Portland and built a home in southern Oregon. That was 13 years ago. Since then we have built and lived in 3 homes on 3 to 5 acres and built and sold a couple spec homes for investments during the good times.
Diane and I have always loved to vacation on the back of a motorcycle and see the country. Diane always took vacationing a bit further and traveled to places like Mexico, Belize, Honduras, The Caribbean, Australia and others that I can’t even name. Most of them were designed around diving, something Diane loves to do. I didn’t have a chance to tag along due to the fact I only had 3 weeks a year vacation and wanted to spend them touring what I could of the US on a Harley and I had a career to tend to and I loved my work. But things change.
For years we have talked about getting a RV and travel the US at a slower pace and really get a flavor of what’s out there. We just didn’t know when. I grew up poor and always had that in the back of my mind I guess. Feeling I had to make more and more and more. And I had to have the toys that went along with success. Not that we was every CRAZY successful like some but we enjoyed comfortable homes, always bought new cars and motorcycles, quads and sand rails, pure toys to play hard with that cost way to much and cost a bunch to keep running. It was all fun and we met people that enjoyed the same things and made some good friends along the way. And we wouldn’t trade those times and memories for anything But again, things change.
The summer of 2011 gave us a huge scare when Diane was found to have cancer. The whole world seemed to turn upside down. It was the most scary thing I think I have even encountered. I was amazed and proud at how strong Diane was during the whole thing. Blood tests, scans, drinking terrible fluids and a long long six hour surgery. But the doctors at OHSU did a outstanding job and Diane has been cancer free for a year now!! Times like that really make you think about what’s really important in life. And how you should enjoy it while you can.
Diane has been telling me the last few years to step down at work and do away with the stress that went with it but I kept saying just one more year, just one more year, just one more year. Until one day in Feb of 2012 when I came to the harsh reality that I was nothing more than a worker at the place I dedicated so much time and effort to. I know it has happened to countless people that thought they really were appreciated at the work place. And I don’t feel alone but it was a horrible day none the less. One that I have thought about every day for the last six months. Well enough of that.
So,,, after that dreaded day I gave it a couple weeks to soak in. And to give me time to really think about how I felt so I didn’t just have a knee jerk reaction and walk out the door. After that couple weeks I decided Diane has been right and it was time to step down as store manager and buyer. I did agree to stay at the helm until they found a good replacement. And at that time we decided to really push to sell what we thought was our perfect home on 5 acres with a fantastic 40×50 RV garage and shop with bonus room. We started selling off the toys, the quads, the sand rail, trailers, the Harley (ohh the Harley). We sold off furniture and tons of misc. crap we had gathered.
It’s funny how things come together. In May we had a buyer for our home on the hook and in June they hired my replacement and in July we collected our money from the house and moved into our motor home full time. And I changed positions at work and dropped to 4 day weeks. Talk about tossing your life in a blender and pushing the button. What a whirlwind.
At times I stop and say, what the hell have we done. Doing away with a good paying job in a down economy, selling our home in a down market, moving into a 400 sqft tin can, taking a huge cut in pay!! Have we lost our minds!!?? But then Diane reminds me that we have worked hard and saved money and have been fortunate to have made some good decisions and it’s a smart thing to start enjoying life a little more while we can.
We have however bought another 5 acre parcel knowing we will want to build and live in a traditional home some time in the future. We put in the well, ran cable, gas, electric and phone up to the building site. And will fence it in so when we decide to settle down again or come back to this area to visit we can just pull up on the lot and park. A smart thing,,, I don’t know but compared to everything else we have done so far this year I don’t think it’s the craziest thing HAHA!!
Along with stepping down at work we agreed that when the labor crunches started in the winter months that I would be the first to be laid off. Normally Nov. or Dec. At that time Diane and I plan to lift the jacks, put in the slides and turn the key and head south for the winter.
WOW,, even with a bunch of fast forwarding this little ABOUT US thing turned lengthy. So that’s it. Probably won’t be much exciting to add until we hit the road. But at that time we plan to use this to document our adventures, travels and obstacles as we move around this great country of ours.