Yes, it is true! After 22 months of planning this dream/goal has become a reality. It was a very hectic and busy summer trying to make sure I spent plenty of time with the family and friends I will not see for 7 months. Geez, it is almost scary to write 7 months, seems like a really long time, but as time tends to go I imagine it will fly by.
It really was a wonderful summer. First off, I didn’t have to work for the first summer since I was maybe 15. Which left me with lots of spare time to visit and help my mom with a few projects, babysit for my grandkids, and generally bug my friends and family. It wasn’t all spent in Kalamazoo County though!
Our daughter Shauna was married this July , and we couldn’t be happier! Josh is a fine man, and his son Brent is our newest grandson. Now we have a matched set of 3 boys and 3 girls. The entire family, minus Kalob the oldest grandson, gathered at Fontana Village in North Carolina to celebrate the union. I cannot express how wonderful it was to have everyone in one location. This has not happened in years. When you have some family in Michigan, some in California, and some in North Carolina, it is darn tough to coordinate a mass meet up! Shauna went out of her way to make sure everyone was comfortable and had a great time. I did not get any pics of the actual wedding (I wanted to focus on the moment), but it was spectacular with the Smokey Mountains and Fontana Dam in the background. I have always thought Shauna was beautiful whether she is running a marathon, or dressed up to go out, but she truly looked like a princess on her wedding day. Rain threatened, but held off for the ceremony. The bride and groom were trapped in a truck riding up from the dam to the reception for a bit, due to a cloudburst, but were soon in to get the party started. Great food, good music, and dancing ensued, followed by a bon fire. What a lovely wedding weekend and fabulous memories for all their family and friends.
August found us busy in Michigan again as we pared down (for the 100th time it seemed) our belongings. It is tough to decide what stuff to take when one lives in 230 sq ft! We did find time for a family campout with the Michigan kids and grandkids. Lots of food and fun that weekend, and more memories for me to hang onto this winter!
On Labor Day weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to stay at a lake house right on Lake Michigan with or good friends/family Barb and Jim for a whole week. It was nice to be away from the rig for awhile and just enjoy some good times with various friends who showed up throughout the week. And the sunsets, oh my…My friend Laura also taught me how to identify beach glass, so now I have a new hobby when I am at the shore!
After that week, everything began to get real for me. As in I was going to be gone from everything familiar and comforting to me. Tears all over the place. Terrified and excited all at the same time. Talk about conflicting emotions. I was dreading the day I had to say my final goodbyes. I had held it together pretty good (in front of everyone!) til then. We had a family breakfast with Jim and Sara, Jeremiah and Megan, all 3 princesses, and Mom and brother Scott. Suffice it to say, I made it through the breakfast, and the final goodbyes. As I recall I drank my fair share of Coors Light that day. My BFF Janet and her hubby Steve dropped by to share a cold one and get us all hooked up and ready to go. Sissy Pam also came over to enjoy our last fire (gonna use up that wood, darn it!), and say her goodbyes. September was, for me, a very emotional month. I do not consider myself an overly emotional person, and I am here to tell you emotions can be exhausting.
On September 29th at approximately 10:20 am we pulled out of our seasonal spot to head south back to NC. First time pulling the rig for any length of time and Bruce did a great job of getting us to Georgetown KY, where we spent our first night wallydocking (staying free in a Walmart parking lot.) We were up bright and early, and continued our road trip to Franklin NC to spend the next 6 weeks. Shauna, Josh, and Brent live here, so it is comforting to be with family again as we begin our journey. But dang, those goodbyes are going to come up again!!!
In the meantime, we will spend lots of time with them just hanging out and watching some of Brent’s soccer games. Maybe a couple Western Carolina football games, and a whole lotta hikes! Monday we will hit the Appalachian Trail for the first time this fall season. I am betting the autumn season in the mountains will be beautiful.