What Would YOU Pack?

How do you pack for a year away from home?

It’s easier to think of it as moving.

Into a tiny house.

First, we downsized. And it was fairly easy. If we hadn’t worn it in six months, off it went to the thrift store. If we hadn’t touched it in six months, it was boxed up for the church Christmas fair.

The refrigerator and chest freezer were both emptied, cleaned, and unplugged. Detritus went into the trash can. Canned foods were culled, some to go to the food pantry, some to go with us.

Then we purged. Old computer components, miscellaneous electronic gear we’d accumulated, old TV’s, lots of batteries…all went to the hazardous waste day at the transfer station (dump).

And on and on…so liberating!

From about 1440 square feet with an attic and a barn to . . .

Our new home…

440 sq. ft.  Perfect. We did it.

We had to choose carefully what to bring with us for a year’s journey. What was most important?

We must bring:

  1. Camera gear
  2. Clothes (only clothes that fit NOW – none of those I know I’ll fit into this again someday clothes)
  3. 3 pairs of shoes each
  4. Go Pro
  5. Popcorn popper (oh, rats! We forgot it!)
  6. Roku
  7. Our Pixstar digital frame with its own email address (grandkids pics!)
  8. Too many tools
  9. Drone
  10. New bicycles
  11. Instant Pot
  12. Hiking boots and poles
  13. Sewing machine (and fabric!)
  14. Our computers . . .
  15. And chargers. Many, many chargers!

We can leave behind:

  1. Snowblower
  2. Two cars
  3. Gardening tools
  4. Lawnmower
  5. Snow shovel
  6. The popcorn popper (apparently!)
  7. Ice scraper
  8. Spinning wheel
  9. Ice grippers (you wear them on your shoes in January!)
  10. Gardening catalogs
  11. Ski goggles
  12. Weaving loom
  13. Sleds

We probably forgot a few things. But there will always be a Walmart, Target, or Home Depot nearby. Or maybe we can just learn to do without.

What would YOU take with you for a year? Ready, set, GO!

How’d We Get Here?

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s August 19th and we are ON OUR WAY! Where to, you ask? How’d we end up here?

We love to travel. Al just retired. And we’re tired of New England winters.

Ugh.

Over the last three winters, we came to love the desert southwest. Being warm in February really appealed to us — it felt great! “Hey, I can really understand that snowbird mentality now,” I remarked to Al in February 2016 after our first trip to Arizona. Wow.

We fell in love with the Arizona desert.

When we returned there in March of 2017, we ventured northward and were blown away by Page, Sedona, the slot canyons, Horseshoe Bend, and more. We ducked over the border into Utah one afternoon–wait a minute — there are FIVE national parks in Utah. “Wow! Look at those affordable condos!” I quipped.

Horseshoe Bend is simply stunning!

But did we really want to be stuck in just one place? There are many fabulous national parks, state parks, national monuments, and more. We didn’t want to be obligated to travel to the same place each year and started musing about RVs. Hmmm. . .

We started investigating RVs and Al joined several RV forums online (Psst, honey? Don’t look now, but you’re using social media!). We started visiting a few dealerships in our area. Over several months, we went from Class A motor home (too large – and who wants to tow a car?), Class B motor home (if we didn’t tow a car, we’d have to pack up everything just to go for a dozen eggs?), and soon we were considering a fifth-wheel (and a truck!). Let’s go to the Hershey RV Show in September! Yeah, that’s the ticket! We won’t buy, we won’t buy…we’re just going to lookwe won’t buy!

We thought this would help us wait…

Meanwhile, I was starting to get a bit more encouraging. . . um, pushy…er, insistent…about the prospect of Al’s retirement! We could travel a lot! And we could do it while we’re still young and healthy enough to hike, ride bikes, etc., etc.  It was a well-timed choreography — just before we left for the Hershey RV show, he decided he was ready to set a date for retirement. Yay!

Well, let’s just say that despite our good intentions, we signed a sales agreement for a 2018 Grand Design 310-GK fifth-wheel before the weekend ended! We fell in love with the layout, size, and many, many windows in the 310 (I need lots of natural light). We’d have to come back to PA to pick it up as soon as we were pretty sure winter was over.

Soon thereafter, time to buy a truck. A BIG truck. A ruby red, long bed, crew cab, dually! We named her Scarlett (thanks for the color suggestion, Nancy Jones!) and had to name the 310 Rhett. Of course.

Scarlett and Rhett, our traveling companions.

So after many months of planning and more planning, Al is retired, and we have chosen the start of a route to travel the US — we’re not sure for how long and where our travels will eventually lead us. We can’t wait to share our travel adventures with you.

And, oh, yes—why “The Lobsters”?

Our grandkids named us Grandma and Grandpa Lobster years ago to differentiate us from their other set of grandparents. We live in Maine. And we’re traveling. We’re Lobsters on the Loose! We hope you’ll follow our adventures as we discover and rediscover each other and these amazing places we know as The United States of America and Canada!

Much love,

Kathe and Al
Grandma and Grandpa Lobster

The Lobsters

Exploring the United States and Canada by RV