The Storm before the Calm, December 2016

We didn’t go anywhere last winter after I tore up my shoulder after falling on the ice. I had it rebuilt in February followed by six months of rehab.  I tore three of the four rotator cuff tendons and one of two bicep tendons.  Don’t do this. The surgery was difficult and painful.  Then almost a month before you can sleep in a bed. And then rehab, twice a week for another two months and then once a week.  My rehab person was great.  I know much more about how shoulders work than ever before.

After the “Empty Space Recovery” we winterized the coach. This means we drain out all of the tanks and all of the water lines and then pump an RV potable anti-freeze through all of the water lines, all of the faucets, all of the drains and the water pump. This is essential to protect the water system from freezing. We also fill the fuel tank with #1 diesel and a winter anti-gel additive and a biocide. And the we drive the coach about 40 miles, run the generator for at least a half hour and the AquaHot diesel boiler until the water is hot (about 20 minutes). The anti-gel keeps the fuel flowing when it gets cold and the biocide keeps algae from growing in the fuel, really it does  grow in diesel fuel and it will quickly clog the fuel filters.

And then the coach goes in the coach house (barn), the tires are inflated to maximum pressure and the coach waits until we are ready to go.  Well almost.  We try to get the coach out on its 40 mile warmup run once a month when the roads are clear and dry and run the generator and the AquaHot.  A little exercise is good. None is not.

November and the first half of December was very mild, warmer than normal, not much snow but we got rain as late as Christmas. It makes us wonder why we want to leave.


And then snow and cold.  Our target exit date was January 7-9. We are headed for Texas, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.



Now I remember.  But it is still beautiful.

Just after the New Year we turned on minimal heat in the coach, enough to warm it up to about 40 degrees.  I adjusted the tire pressures to normal. We started moving stuff into the coach and bins we had removed from the basement back in.  The basement spaces are heated as well so they were OK. On Thursday the refrigerator was turned on. On Friday the diesel side of the AquaHot was on.  The coach is now at 68 degrees and the engine is being preheated as well using the heat from the AquaHot.  All of the last of our clothes, pantry food and refrigerator and freezer food is loaded.  All of the last-minute stuff that needs to be done in the house is finished up.  We are ready to go. Saturday morning, the water is off, cameras on, heat turned down, everything that needs to be off is off and on is on.  It is minus 4 degrees. I am ready with my new Minion Christmas hat.  Is it Bob? Yes!


The barn doors are opened, the coach starts right up, the engine is at 65 degrees right away, the Jeep is connected, lights are tested, thumbs up all around.  The barn is closed up and locked.  One last pass through the house and all is as it should be, doors are locked and garage doors are closed.  Inside the coach it is close to 70 degrees, all is ready for departure especially us. One last deep breath and we are off at 8:30 AM.  Perfect. It is clear and  dry, an 8 hour day including stops to change drivers and lunch and we will be 30 miles south of Kansas City at Camp Wal-Mart before dark.

I have had a couple chats with my friend Mike Harbordt from Nacogdoches about what happens when we travel. Neither of us is going on vacation when we travel.  We are just going to be somewhere else. We are in our coaches, a different place than home but at home just as well. All of the busy stuff gets left behind.  Of course what has to be done still gets done but a sense of calm comes with leaving, leaving all of what is not necessary behind. There is time to look out the window and wonder, to read a good book, to take a walk listening to the new sounds around you. To be quiet, to talk with each other, to go to bed early and sleep late. Sometimes this happens quickly, sometime it takes a while but it comes.  We both feel like time somehow slows down a bit, less to do has more time. It is a comfortable feeling, the calm after the storm.

More later,

Roger and Susan




One thought on “The Storm before the Calm, December 2016”

  1. Beautifully written. Very descriptive. Your writing about things being slower, with more time to smell the new smells, and look out the window and wonder, are a good reminder to me that I should continue to seek out those moments even when living fulltime in the coach. It is a good life, and not a day goes by where I don’t mention how lucky we are. I’m thankful our paths cross down the road. You are both dear friends.


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