We took one last day of activities with family in Central Florida yesterday. With a borrowed car (thank you Cassidy) we headed to Silver Springs. The adventure started with this truck, thanks for making us laugh “Big Sexy!”
It’s been about 20 years since I went to Silver Springs and I forgot how cool it is. The zoo and the water park disappeared after the state took over, but the nature remains untouched. It felt like going back in time, walking through those gates and a dark canopy of massive old trees. Shortly after arriving, thunder loomed and the boat tours were promptly postponed. Why do I always forget that lightening happens in Central Florida’s summer afternoons? There’s no excuse!
The wait turned into a blessing as we wandered through the educational centers. We learned about the wild life, the segregated parks of the past (two parks, owned by the same people), the old time movies and television series that were shot there, and we watched videos with people who worked in the park for decades.
No one in our party saw a monkey or any type of creature from the black lagoon, though we did see an alligator, turtles, fish, and remarkably clear water. Simple pleasures are the best.
Still in steamy Florida. It’s 92 today, but feels like 98! Friday we stopped to meet with dear ones and received blessings at their door. After a very special meal we were gifted papaya right from the garden.
Once we got to the next stop we presented the papayas, which were promptly turned into salsa and dessert enjoyed by a large crowd. Food is such a great way to bring family and friends together. It’s the best gift for people living a minimalist lifestyle. It shows love, is enjoyed right away and best of all it does not leave behind any burden of stuff. Feeling the love.
One thousand miles behind us, and five thousand more to go (to paraphrase JT– for those who know). It’s so great being able to do this amazing journey. It never could happen without going tiny. Planning to relax in central FLA, with family, for a couple more days… then on to MS, LA and TX… and beyond. We may decide to stay here a bit longer, to wait out (potential) Hurricane Barry (I blame you for this Bazzer Hall 😀 ). Anyway, life happens and the Universe laughs at our plans at times. This is how we learn patience and maybe become blessed with unexpected experiences.
The little cabinet to the the left of the refrigerator was a tiny life-saver for us. It gave more storage storage in the tiny kitchen without blocking access to the existing narrow attic door. We bought regular sized cabinets and then cut the backs off to make them more shallow. We cut them down on a table saw, and of course each of the shelves had to be cut down too. It was a fairly quick job.
They were attached directly to the wall without backs. Because of their size they were very stable. The depth was seven inches, which fit all kinds of things. We filled it with large mason jars, olive oil, vinegar, peanut butter, maple syrup, and of course a few spices. It added so much.
Another creative cabinet, shown below, was a wall cabinet that we put on the floor. It allowed extra storage without interfering with the walking path. Initially we put a pretty wood cutting board on top of it, but did not end up loving the look. The granite company was all to happy to sell us a little matching piece of granite to put on top. Another helpful solution in the kitchen was base cabinets with drawers. It’s fairly conventional and allows so much more useful storage than the more typical doors and shelves. That set up ends up involving squatting or kneeling and dragging things out from the back at times. With drawers, even the lowest ones let you see what you have and access it easily. We used the four lower drawers in this set of cabinets to hold food, pots and pans, mixing and storage bowls, and tea towels. It’s a little more money for drawers, but so much more functional. In the living room we found a little second hand toy storage chest. It allowed extra seating and storage without shrinking the room too much. A remarkable number of things ended up in that bench– paper, the scanner, the printer, blankets, and little odds and ends.
On the very first day, I basically failed at getting down to a minimalist life on board the RV. I guess it really is smaller than our house. As the hours wound down and we were basically forced out of our home for an open house (being the people who want the sale and all), we stopped sorting and began randomly shoving things into boxes and throwing everything everywhere. No more organization, no more minimizing, nothing but flat out pandemonium. Plan B is now in effect… continue to sort and minimize on the road (cringing).
It looked like this… really (Don’t look at me like that, I know it’s hideious!)
In CT, when Honey began battening down the hatches with the remnants of our smashed AC, I began sorting in earnest. By the end of the morning the tools were mostly organized and there was a good pile of gifts, donations, and trash. More to go at our next stop, onward!
Lucky people that we are, we received an invitation to a lake house as we rolled into The city of Danbury. They fed us well, then treated us to the town’s early fireworks show over Candlewood Lake in Connecticut. It started off with an atmosphere of anticipation and low murmuring voices. As the sun set slowly, dozens of little boats lit up and dotted the lake.
This part of the lake is situated near hills that echoed the sound, and we imagined being surrounded by battle in 1776. We witnessed a burst of light, quickly followed by a pop, and then a thunderous boom echoing behind the hills a second or two later. Crank up the sound and check out the video… with your ears.
So there we were following friends back to their place in Danbury, CT and just when that little railroad bridge seemed okay… Bang! Bang! Bang! Goodbye sweet little air conditioner. And here we were with a plan to head south in July. Not okay.
Here’s Honey doing damage controls bright and early
Fortunately we got a referral from a friend to a great RV repair place in Pokomoke, MD. What amazing service! We called from New Jersey and four hours later they assessed the damage. Sadly our little AC was beyond repair. They got us chillin’ again by 6:30 in the evening. This friendly crew even stayed 30 minutes past closing to get us on the road again. The bill was reasonable to boot, thank you We RV! Here’s a link to their website: https://wervllc.com
Before we bought our own tiny house, my family got me gift certificate for a stay at a tiny house with Get Away (http://www.getaway.house/). We stayed at a 160 square foot house in New Hampshire. It was lovely. The woods were so peaceful and pleasant. It was great trying out a few features. I learned I don’t love a tight loft space. To me I feel like I’m in an MRI… not my favorite feeling. I also like a place to hang my coat or sweater and bag when I walk in the door. I am not a fan of a set up that’s like a studio… I like to have a bedroom that has a door. The dog really enjoyed the open concept though. Overall there were many lessons learned and we had a nice time away to boot. I would definitely recommend this company.
We let go of tools and building materials this weekend. How wonderful that the Habitat for Humanity ReStore takes such things. They took old shelving, working power tools, and unopened packages of screws. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that they do NOT take everything. For example, somehow we came up with about TWENTY unused extension cords. What?! Why??? I have no idea, none. Apparently, we just kept buying more because we did not know where we had squirreled away the others. I am truly horrified. So down to the ReStore only to find out they do not take extension cords anymore, because people bring in too many of them and they don’t sell. In other words, I am not the only one. They also would not take any used hand tools, or extension poles (yep, seven of them— I could cry). All I can say is, the next time you think you need an extension cord, try the closest ReStore. Onward!