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From: Becky ( -209.124.141.252)
Subject: Small Living Spaces
Date: July 20, 2008 at 11:28 am PST

I havenít tried using a different browser (Iím not even sure I know how to do that), but if things donít improve at the next RV park (to rule out location being an issue), I will look into that. Thanks for the tip! :)

Yes, I have four girls, no boys, and I have for sisters, no brothers, so itís been different and fun having little grandson(s) to enjoy.

You asked about getting private time away from each other when living in such close quarters. That really can be tricky. Even more so when you travel full time, because you basically only have each other for company, unless you have a network of other RVíers you travel with. Here are some of the ways we get our alone timeÖ

** Dan plays golf, and I donít, so we each get some time away from each other when he goes out.
** Although we both run, I like to go out more often than Dan, so that is a way for me to get out by myself.
** When we are confined to our 5th wheel, it can be more difficult. Sometimes imaginary or virtual boundaries are set up. For instance, I usually sit in the recliner and Dan the couch. Dan has dubbed the recliner my ďquiet chairĒ and says when I am sitting there, I am into my own time. I might sit there (as I am now) doing stuff on the computer, or working a puzzle, reading a book, etc., while he does whatever on the couch. Although we are only 3 feet away from each other, it can be like we are rooms apart.
** When I am in the kitchen, even though it really isnít a separate room from the rest of the living area, it is again like I am in my own space.
** Our 5th wheel has a separate closed off bedroom, so it is possible for one of us to duck in there if necessary to lie down, read, talk on the phone, etc.
** There have been times when one of us will just physically leave if necessary. For instance, Dan seems to have a vacuum cleaner phobia, so he likes to be long gone when I am vacuuming. I donít like him to be around when I have to get on the phone with computer support, as it is very distracting. So, he will take off while I handle that. If Dan is doing maintenance on the 5th wheel, I feel like he is better off not concerning himself with my well being, so I will leave. Itís easier to ďleaveĒ when we are in areas where we know other people or have somewhere to hang out.

One thing is for certain Ė two people living in these close quarters, and often far away from anyone else who can offer support, have to be very respectful of each others feelings. I find myself taking a deep breath and biting my tongue on occasion, and Iím certain Dan does the same. As he says, ďthereís no room in this place to get mad or stay mad at each otherĒ. You canít let things fester, so talking them out as soon as both parties are ready is vital.

You asked how we dealt with our ďstuffĒ. First of all, we offered everything we knew we wouldnít be using in the 5th wheel to our children, trying to offer specific items to those who needed them most. (Dan has 2 sons, and with my 4 daughters, there were many opportunities to share.) Right before moving in to the 5th wheel, we sold our washer, dryer, microwave, refrigerator, bed, and dresser to a friendís daughter who was just moving out. So, that took care of our big ticket items. For the first two years we lived in our unit, we were stationary and still working. During that time we had a storage shed at our RV site where we stored some stuff we just werenít sure what to do with, like extra clothing, bulk supplies we have accumulated (but were consumable or usable), some tools of Danís he wasnít sure he would need or not. Our rule was, if we hadnít accessed or used up this stuff by the time we hit the road, we would get rid of it. That worked out fine, too. The only thing we had left over was one big trunk of mostly my stuff which consists mostly of memorabilia from my children and some other very dear (in a sentimental way) belongings that I just couldnít part with, but didnít have room to lug around in our 5th wheel. This trunk is being stored at Danís brotherís house until we either move to a fixed dwelling or it gets passed on to my children. The only other big ticket item I had to deal with was my piano. So far it has been with two of my daughters and now (weirdly enough) is being stored at my ex-husbandís house. I canít bear to sell it, though Dan would love me to (not for the money, but to just be rid of the hassle of what to do with it). I keep thinking that if we ever end up in a house again, I will want it back, and there will be no way we could afford to replace it.

It was hard for Dan to give up his garage, too. We now have a big metal tool box in the back of the truck he calls his garage, and when he has to work on something it can be tricky. If we donít have a large enough RV site, sometimes we do have to pay to get things handled. But if we are near friends or relatives sometimes Dan can do what he needs to do at their houses.

Well, this may be more information than you wanted, but I hope you found some of it helpful! :-)

Hugs,
Becky




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