Our departure date is set for February 22. There’s still a lot to do, though. We’ve downsized most of the house except for the basement, and we’re working on that this week and next. That section of the house is probably the most emotionally difficult for me. There are several projects down there in various stages of completion, and they’re mocking me at my failure to finish them. There are quite a few things there from my parents’ house that need to be dealt with as well, and I can’t make those decisions myself, but that’s an entirely different issue.
We have the truck, and we pick the RV up on 5 February. That gives us almost three weeks to get a few modifications (shelves and storage) made, then move in. It would be helpful to get the hitch installed on the truck prior to the 5th though. I had planned on getting the truck over to a hitch shop this week, but Columbus just got hammered with 5 inches of snow and single-digit temperatures, so I’m going to postpone removing the bed-lining carpet until it warms up a bit.
The cargo trailer is another milestone we need to meet. We’ve been looking at several sources, primarily Craigslist, but also places like AutoTrader and eBay. We looked at one used trailer this week, but it would have needed too much work to make it economical. There’s another up near Akron that we want to check out this weekend. I had originally considered an 8 x 16 to be the best size, but the one we looked at this week was 14 feet, and I think that will serve us just as well. It reduces the price a bit as well, which is always a plus.
The big van needs to go in for a major service before we depart as well. We had a couple of incidents last month where the wiring apparently got wet and shorted the main engine fuse, disabling us completely and requiring a tow both times. I’d like to avoid having that happen on a mountain pass somewhere.
We’re transitioning computers this week. Micro Center happily sold us a factory refurbished Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7152 (mine) and an HP Pavilion dv7-4170 (kids), along with two wireless mice and a bag for the kids last weekend. Diana takes over the Dell Inspiron 6000 that we had been sharing. The kids and I are learning Windows 7 as a result, which I basically like. Picking the computer was easy. I probably spent twelve full, painful hours looking at laptop bags though. I finally settled on the Maxpedition Gleneagle messenger bag.
I think the most important thing at this point though is our pets. We have Chaz, an 8-ish year old chow-lab mix, and Amber and Zeta, sister cats who are almost 10. We don’t think they’ll travel well with us, so we’re looking to place them with someone here in the Columbus area. We had one plan for Chaz, but it turns out he can’t leave birds alone.
We still need phones, and we still need to activate our mail service. Figuring out exactly where we’re heading the first few weeks would be good, too. We had one plan, but a cousin reminded me of the dates for Mardi Gras (March 8th) and suggested we probably didn’t want to be trying to visit New Orleans just a week before! Well, time for Plan B. The first jump will be to Nashville to visit cousins there. After that, we’re not sure now. Austin is a planned long-term stay, as is Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Plan A had been to work our way from Nashville (cousins) to New Orleans (uncle and cousin), then through Jasper, Texas (aunt and cousin) to Austin and stay there for a few weeks. I was born in Texas, and Austin figures prominently in my family’s history. From Austin we were going to head to Tahlequah. We had spent time with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in August 2010, and had planned early on to include a visit to the Cherokee Nation in our itinerary.
That’s where we stand at D minus 30. Nervous, excited, and progressing.