Getting started- The beginning of a journey

You know you've reached New Mexico when you see your first cactus.

You know you’ve reached New Mexico when you see your first cactus.

Today is April 1st, 2015 and we’re finally on our way to begin our new lifestyle. Hope April Fool’s Day is not a bad omen for the beginning of this adventure.
Since our budget was small and we were unable and unwilling to spend too much to get started, we ended up in a smaller and less expensive unit. For one thing, we need to be sure that this life will work for us. When we did this before it was years ago, we were younger and had less health issues. In fact some unexpected health issues were what caused us to ‘come in’ so to speak. We also need to make sure the pets will adjust to it okay. We already lost one pet after the second night in the RV. Our cat, Oreo who is nocturnal and a hunter complained furiously until we let him out. He hated being cooped up and refused to use a litter box. We stayed in that place for three additional days, but he never was found or returned on his own. We even checked at our previous residence.
We bought a pretty old unit and of course it has some issues. It was hard to find what we wanted in our area in our budget. We looked at many that were a far cry from what they were advertised as being. When it came to features and condition, they were not what we needed. We anticipated some problems with an older unit, but often many more surfaced than we expected.
We spent a couple days on a Wal-Mart lot to determine what the condition issues were with the motorhome. Our sons worked on it while we were there and helped to get it ‘seaworthy’ and safe for the road. We are eternally grateful for all our ‘family’ did to help us get going.
The job of eliminating things to fit into the rig and the determination to avoid expensive storage was a very tough one for me. I am at heart a ‘stuff person.’ I am sentimental and a pack rat to boot.
After weeks of selling items, I still had enough unwanted and too large items to accommodate in the available space to fill two or three units this size. First I began by placing some free items on the sidewalk. Lots of good stuff and some junk made its debut curbside. I did this over a three day period. The last day before leaving our residence, we pulled an all-nighter to remove all remaining stuff. Almost everything left went in the free pile. If I must say so myself there was some pretty good stuff in that pile.
Next step was to place a large number of items in the garage, originally to put in storage, but, eventually after some real consideration, all became donations to Goodwill. We arranged for someone to be there to open up and the truck to pick them up. We did save some important keepsake photos and a couple personal items to be kept stored by family but, a small amount considering what we started with at the beginning.
At the end, it was a painful, ruthless procedure and almost everything went to Goodwill again. I still tried to look with a discerning eye to see what items could be eliminated and saved or used. In the next few weeks a left over storage tub will be filled with still more items that can be lived without. Almost everything can be discarded, but that lesson came hard.
One thing I discovered besides I’m a pack rat and hopeless sentimental romantic is that I really like ‘my stuff.’ The other more important lesson I learned was that not being ‘possessed’ by possessions is liberating. Who would’ve thunk it?
My new policy is to make a place for everything I must have and keep everything in its place. Then I can only ‘own’ something new if I get rid of something old to take its place and position in our humble home. No clutter, only replacement items for those that already have a spot. This is forcing us to simplify our lifestyle which was part of the overall plan.

That was the first of many lessons that we are being taught. God is working on us and he sure isn’t finished with us yet. That we did already know. He is testing and tempering us to be ready for what he has in store for us. Keep us in your prayers.

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