Posting From The Home Front

It’s been a busy and somewhat meaningful 9 days since my last post.

What with the trip up to Tampa for new military ID cards, getting setup for the winter, and whatnot…we barely had time to breathe. 

Gordon our local mobile repair tech was here and fixed our water heater electric heating issue…the thermostat had failed and one of the wires going to it burned through. No thermostat…no heater workie. A quick fix with part from the truck and it was back in business. We also talked about the toilet issues and he recommended replacing it…at 8 years old it’s on it’s last legs and by the time you buy and pay labor for all the replaceable parts you’re almost up to the cost of a new one…so we’re ordering a replacement and he will install it when it arrives.

We got an email from the fellow coordinating the trip for some NHOG folks up to Calgary Alberta for the Stampede saying it was time to send money for tickets…which pushed up the timetable on a decision we need to make as well.

The last travel seasons have been much harder on both of them physically than the previous 6 combined…and by the time we got here Connie was pretty much ready to be done with this RV lifestyle. Our original intent was to wait until the end of the year to make a decision to get some separation from the immediate stresses of the travel season but with the need to pay almost $800 for tickets at the Stampede that decision got moved up.

Neil had already told her that she had earned the right to decide when/what/how for whatever comes next in our life…after all, she’s followed him ‘round the country, cross the continent a bunch of times and such in the Navy then for 8 years as we full timed in the RV. All of that came at some expense to her career…although she’s pretty happy with her work career as it turned out anyway…but given that she’s followed him without much complaint all these 43 years he said he would support whatever she wanted to do…as long as there was no snow or yard work involved.

She thought about scheduling the travel season for next summer…and we considered numerous options involving a shorter travel season with longer individual stays at campgrounds. That doesn’t change the number of travel days…but traveling 1 day at a time and staying a week for a month vs traveling 4 days in a row and then staying a month in one place is a whole different experience…the latter is a lot easier. We considered that we did have a 7 week stay in Cody this past summer for the kidney stone treatment…and mostly that was not a difficult process, but it’s not really where we would have picked to stay for 7 weeks on our own.

After some thought…she came out and said she was done and ready to get off the road, sell the rig, and move back into a Sticks and Bricks house…and with very little additional thought she decided that staying in this area was her choice…she’s got choir, hair stylist, Elks, friends, and all that so this area has become home to her.

After very little thought on his side of the discussion…he agreed with her. First, as noted above it is the right thing to do…and second he actually does agree with her.

So…looks like we’ve arrived at our terminal campground for the full time RV lifestyle. We’ll find a real estate agent down here, look at some places and pick the one that’s closest to what we really want. Then after closing we’ll do whatever remodeling, renovation, painting, or whatever it needs to be perfect before moving in. In the meantime…we’ll continue living in the rig and it as well as Big Red won’t go up for sale until we move into the house. In any event…we anticipate all of that taking until at least the end of April when our current commitment here at Seminole runs out.

So what does this mean going forward to this new phase of our life? 

Beats me…we haven’t figured it out yet. We know we want to do some international travel as there are places that we want to see…Iceland, Spain, France, Australia, New Zeland. Add in Africa for a wildlife safari, a visit to the South Pacific to stay in one of those grass hut hotel rooms out in the lagoon and alll the other places we’ve either been before and want to go back to or haven’t been to and we’ll still be traveling. Our initial thought is that we’ll travel for a month or so two or three times a year with some rest periods back at home in between…that may change as we get into things and see how taxing a month on the go at a time is. What I’m pretty sure we won’t do is anything of the “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium” sort of travel with a lot of travel days…our initial thoughts are to go someplace and get an apartment for a month with both day trip and overnight excursions around the area but coming back to the home base and eating more meals in instead of all out like hotel travel normally entails. On the other hand…our initial thoughts may be completely out of whack with either reality or whatever we decide to do later.

Will there be another RV in our future? Again…beats me. We would like to get out of southern Florida for the serious parts of the hurricane season if possible…either for the aforementioned international travels or perhaps up to VA to see the kids and Alex. We could do the apartment thing up there…or we could get a small RV that’s sufficient for a month or so at a time. Our…well Neil anyway as Connie has yet to express an opinion either way…going in thoughts are that we would not be using an RV enough to make the investment worthwhile and that in the long run doing the apartment thing when we visit longer term up in VA is right…but heck, we can afford it either way so it will really come down to what we feel like doing I guess.

Neil did get drafted to be in the Veterans Day Parade last Sunday as part of the Elks Lodge 1288 Veteran contingent. We were able to rejigger our symphony tickets and trade the ones for that afternoon (that we really didn’t care much about the program for) for another Beethoven concert later on in the spring. So he got to ride in the convertible and wave to the adoring crowds, then went to the ceremony put on by the city of Fort Myers.

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He did see one elderly lady on the side of the road that was really touching. She was about his age, holding a folded up flag like they give you after the funeral of either a veteran or a soldier killed in action, waving to us as we passed with tears running down her face. Don’t know whether it was her husband or a child…or whether they were killed in action or just died after a long life…but it was a touching moment and he wished he had been quick enough to get her photo to post here.

Interesting things found on the net.

More military dog photos.

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Signs that humanity is doomed because somebody found it necessary to post these signs.







And a few more





About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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2 Responses to Posting From The Home Front

  1. Cat White says:

    Well, you’ve seen a lot, done a lot, it’s just time for a new view. We have retired friends who love to travel and they have found long cruises to be an enjoyable way of travel for them. These are trips like 6 weeks in the South Pacific or a barge along the Rhine. Very little packing, repacking, let the scenery come to you.. How that would square with Neil’s watery past I do not know, just throwing it in there. In any case have fun looking for the perfect home base. We understand the situation perfectly..

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Yeah…time to do something different… it it won’t be a cruise, been on ships, done that. I told C I would be amenable to a European river cruise though…that could happen. We found a realtor yesterday and she is looking. Initial want is 3 BR 2 bath and gave her a semicircle about 5 miles across with the flat side on the river as well as a budget. We can afford more than the budget, but for the size and amenities we want it is plenty to start. We will expand area or wants or budget as needed. Our plan is to stay in the rig until April as our 6 month rate here runs through then…that will give us time to close and do whatever we want to remodel with the house empty as that’s easier. Will have to make a trip to VA to pick up storage unit stuff as well as move stuff out of the rig. Hope to put it up for sale March or so so we can close on that shortly after moving out… it will use Store and Stay at Seminole if we need to. neil

      The three kinds of stress…nuclear, cooking and a&&hole. Jello is the key to the relationship.


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