Oh, what a year it has been! At the end of May last year we boarded BAM and left Phoenix as newbie RV’ers. We didn’t have the experience of what to bring with us, so we took a lot.
Our year with BAM has given us a lot of experience and taught us many lessons.This year, Deborah has indicated that she will be able to cut back on the 28 pairs of shoes and seven jackets she thought she needed last year. I also over-packed, bringing sports coats, dress pants and shoes, and yes, even extra dining room chairs. We learned that BAM can easily host cocktails for six, dinner for four and is best when it just sleeps two!
Also, starting out last year, we didn’t know much about BAM, and quickly broke several things. Our first of three roadside service calls was less than a week in and left us without our main awning for the rest of our 144-day adventure.
The malfunction of our entry steps conveniently kept a Washington State Trooper out of BAM at a later stop, but the repair cost $1,000. Other unexpected news from home in Phoenix, while we were on the road, included a sprinkler break and an $800 water bill.
RV Newbies – No More
Despite the downsizing and the getting-acquainted pains, we loved our time in BAM, and somewhere along the line, we quit calling ourselves “newbies.”Once back home, we talked and agreed that we wanted a more simple life in Phoenix, so we could continue traveling in the summer to the many wonderful parks and places. BAM has given us an entirely new lifestyle.
“We’ve got nowhere to go and all the time in the world to get there!” – Tim Bateman
Getting Ready for the Next Chapter
Since getting back to Phoenix, the “intensity” of life hasn’t slowed down. At all. In fact, here’s a sample of our activities during our time at home:
- Get rid of space cluttering stuff in preparation to sell the house.
- Sell the house.
- Sell the furniture.
- Get rid of more stuff.
- Host the grandkids.
- Get Sick.
- Get Well.
- Go to Seattle to babysit the grandkids.
- Get sick.
- Get well.
- Remodel BAM.
- Buy a new Condo.
- Buy new furniture.
- Get rid of still more needless stuff.
The attachment we have to stuff we don’t need or use is sometimes a hard bond to break. Some decisions were easy. Other things went into the ‘I’m not quite ready to release this yet’ pile. There was even a second ‘still not quite yet’ pile. Some decisions are monetary as in ‘I paid a lot of money for this so I can’t just give it away’. Then there is the emotional attachment to some items.
I have been storing my Grandmother’s “Shawnee Puss and Boots” cookie jar for over 40-years. Never used it. Just stored it.
My daughter doesn’t want it. She never knew her great-grandmother so it doesn’t mean anything to her.
But for me, it was memories of climbing up three steps on a step chair to reach it, carefully remove the head, don’t drop it, pull out a cookie and replaced the head. ‘The Lecture’, before every trip to Gramma’s was — “Whatever you do, do not break that cookie jar. Fall and break your arm but not that smiling cat!”
Maybe my emotional attachment was not with the cookie jar but with the accomplishment that 65-years had passed from the first time I put my hand in that jar and there was still not a chip anywhere to be seen. Today, somewhere, it has a new home. For my part, ‘The Lecture’ worked.
Packing this year for another summer in BAM has been a snap. With just a few days to go, we simply haven’t packed a thing. Our mantra, this year, is to take less! But, if we don’t get some clothes together soon, we will return in the same outfits we leave in. I guess this must be a sign that we are fully engaged in our new minimalistic lifestyle.
Preparing – New Considerations
I never owned a gun or even thought much about owning a gun until this whole idea of buying BAM and going out on the road became a reality. So I approached the conversation with Deborah. In BAM it is quite possible we’ll be spending the night, who knows where. And that spawned the idea that just maybe, we might need to have a gun for personal protection. Damn, I hate this conversation because if nobody had them, nobody would need them.
The next conversation was, if we have a gun, we better learn how to use it. Our good friends, Michael and Sharon Lechter, are founding members of Scottsdale Gun Club and introduced us to one of the finest training ranges in Arizona. We went to work learning how to use our new protection and this past week, we had another target practice session.
Deborah’s Shooting Range Story
Excuse me for interrupting, but I’d like to share a story about what happened at the range. If you know Tim, then you know that he is very competitive in anything he does. Whether it is about being the best salesperson or winning on the golf course.Tim views life as a competition. Tim enjoys being the winner.
So, we are at the range and he can’t use this opportunity to just develop a feeling for the gun, pointing it, shooting it, feeling comfortable and safe firing it. He needs to make a competition out of it.
Once he had a few practice rounds completed, he saunters over to my stall and says, ‘let’s put a target out at 20 feet, pick up the gun, and fire six shots, and see who wins!!”
So the guns are set on a shelf before us. Tim provides the countdown with “Intruder with a weapon, shoot”. We each pick up a gun, aim, and fire at our respective targets and in a couple of seconds, it’s over.
We pull in the targets, and I very proud to say that all six of my shots were concise and in the red chest area. I felt quite accomplished. Tim leaned around and studied mine, looked at his again and then mine again before declaring — ‘It’s a tie!’
Wait a minute!!! I only see five holes in his red target area but I give in to, “yeah, it’s a tie,” as I roll my eyes and glance over at Sharon, who’s smiling and not about to say a word.
Tim’s Addendum to Deborah’s Shooting Range Story
While examining the results, I realized it was a close call. What Deborah didn’t realize was that while I only had five holes in my target, the sixth shot had to be so precise that, I am pretty sure, it actually had gone through the same bulls-eye hole as one of the other five shots!
And, so we are ready to begin this year’s Risk Blossoming adventure. We’re grateful that you will be following us on this adventure, We’ll be posting daily on our Risk Blossoming Instagram Page and our Risk Blossoming Facebook page
Please share, leave comments, and let us know if there is an opportunity to connect or a suggestion to go see one of your favorite places! We love hearing from you.
“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin