Jun 29, 2007


We're parked on a small lake in Sycamore, IL. Last evening, Thursday, I was immersed in an old book I'm re-reading. The sun was setting and, focusing on the book, I didn't notice the gradual change in sky color from bluish-grayish to red. When I did look up I was treated to a spectacular sunset. After grabbing the camera and trying to capture the moment, I just sat there and watched it slowly darken. As it faded, my thoughts went to the adventure at hand and a feeling of certainty? or reality? or something I'm having trouble putting into words, came over me. I'm feeling good about what we're setting out to do. How many more sunsets will we enjoy? And sunrises? Sights? Adventures? Hikes? Historic places? Bike rides? The Lewis and Clark Trail? Natchez Trace? Fall color tours? Mountain vistas? Great river roads? Campfires? Friends? Characters? Small town diners?

This sunset was the end of one day, but also the beginning of the next chapter.


Jun 26, 2007

Fulltimers Now

This past Monday we became fulltimers. We closed on the house and officially moved into the camper. We went from 2500 square feet to a little over 300. Most of our possessions are now possessed by someone else. It's been a difficult and drawn out process, but we're there.

Dar's working through this friday, although they want her to come back for a couple days in July for an audit. I'm making good progress getting our stuff stowed in the camper -- a reconcilliation of our expectations with the available space. Our expectations can shrink... the space can't grow. So you know where this will end.

Next week we'll be in Wisconsin during the week of the 4th. More later.


Jun 16, 2007

Sadness as we finish this chapter

All along this process, on an intellectual level, I knew this chapter of our lives was going to close. But not until I had trouble finding a place to sit and nowhere to sleep did it hit me viscerally. And then came the emotions, the memories, and the inevitable longing for my comfort zone. In fact, I think I'm actually mourning the death of that comfort zone. Consistency, stability, and routine all characterize that place -- and we're ripping it apart to embark on a crazy adventure. We're now a little more than a week from close. Our home is rapidly becoming just a house. Allow me a little melancholy for a while. It will pass as the next chapter begins.


Jun 6, 2007

Lost a week in 30 minutes

Couldn't sleep so I got up to do a post or two to the Sabbatical blog. It's 2:30am. Do you know where your children are?

Monday our visitors from Vancouver were safely home and getting their lives back to normal. And as we settled back into our morning routine, I put some new pictures in our online photo albums and updated the "What's New" section of the tdhoch.com homepage. One of the points I made was that we were 4 weeks from the closing on our house. About a half hour later I mentioned this to Dar and she promptly corrected my calculation -- no, we're 3 weeks from closing, not 4! The procrastinator in me felt a wave of panic. Wait a minute, it's the 4th of June and we close on the 25th of June... 4 from 25 is, is 21! Nuts. I got a calendar out and counted the weeks hoping the space/time continuum had somehow warped and 21 days is really 4 weeks. That didn't work either. The tasks that need to be done by closing suddenly loomed much larger, for 4 weeks is really a month and a month is a much larger period of time than 3 weeks, which is just... well, 3 weeks. I'd been robbed of my month of leisurely preparation time and now face 3 weeks (which is really just a little more than a half month) of anxiety, panic, and terror. There's no way it can all be done in 3 weeks when, somehow, I had it all planned to be done in 4. The piles of boxes and drawers full of stuff, well, they were now bigger and there were more of them.

So, since Monday, needless to say, we've been busy. Dar's wrapping up her last weeks at work and putting in a lot of hours. The perfectionist in her is making sure what she leaves behind is respectable and as complete as possible. I, on the other hand, am going through those drawers and boxes and making quick decisions on what's going with us, what's going to charity, what's getting tossed, and what's going in the "bonus boxes" that will be awarded to those lucky buyers of our stuff. (If I did smiley faces, I'd put one here.)

We're fortunate that we have a number of family members that need or want things at the same time that we're looking for homes for this stuff. As things stand now, almost all the larger pieces are spoken-for. There's going to be a steady stream of U-Hauls in front of the house during the next couple weeks.

Alright, back to bed. I have a full day planned for Thursday and need the sleep.


Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This fac...