Oh the People We Meet!!

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.  Prov 2:6-8 esv

Oh the people we meet.

Finally Loaded and ready to go!

We pulled out of the driveway in VA and headed for TX. All systems were go!  We had a reservation for a KOA near Nashville.  It was a rainy and breezy day but for the most part it looked like it should be good driving. It was only about an hour into the trip and we saw the sun peak through the clouds.

Beautiful sunshine after the rain.

We pulled in to our first fuel stop, topped off the fuel and checked/added air to the tires and grabbed some lunch.  As we pulled out of the fuel stop, we realized the Excursion had developed some sort of issue, It was running rough and didn’t want to idle! We pulled off the bottom of the exit ramp and after a bit of time it smoothed out a bit and we pulled out and continued on. It seemed to pull ok but something still wasn’t quite right.  We thought it was possibly bad fuel.

We hadn’t crossed out of Va and suddenly J said…. Oh we have a blowout on the Trailer! We eased off the edge of the highway and put on the hazards. That didn’t seem to matter much to the drivers passing us just inches away from the Trailer. I told the boys they HAD to stay buckled.  I was very thankful that the flat was on the guardrail side of the trailer and we had a bit of protection. We called roadside assistance but started working at changing it ourselves.  Just as we were finishing the guy showed up. He wasn’t quite sure what to do or if he should even charge us for the call since he didn’t need to do anything. We asked him for a recommendation for getting a new tire and headed to the closest Walmart with a tire center.

Blowout #1

The excursion was really starting to act worse and J was on his phone and talking/messaging his network of Diesel Pro’s. After we got the tire fixed at Walmart we decided to keep going toward our Nashville KOA and hope we make it. Relief doesn’t quite describe the feeling when we arrived at the KOA in Nashville and pulled into our spot! We quickly stabilized the trailer, slid out the slides, unloaded the bunks, found a quick snack for everyone, and fell into bed.

Morning came very quickly, we ate some breakfast and showered. The boys and I began the process of  getting the slides in and the stabilizers up. As we were doing this J was texting and calling contacts that the DPN (Diesel Pro Network) had sent him.  A couple of the guys were willing to help but were not close to our location, but there was one guy who was on our path about 40 min up the road!! We pulled out of the campground and gingerly headed towards the Flying J where we were to meet up with him. He said he would put a computer on it and tell us what he found and then we could decide what to do!

We had to wait about 2 hrs. at the flying J until the guy could come,  we didn’t complain because he was sacrificing his free Saturday to come help us. We just relaxed and people watched. After a while a dark minivan pulled up and a red bearded guy walked over with a water bottle and a computer. RB (Red Beard) got right to work eliminating possible causes, finally after checking for water or gasoline in the fuel and running through codes on the computer, he came to a conclusion. It was most likely a sensor. The issue was that the sensor was in a hard to reach location and the engine was hot. After thinking a bit RB decided to have us follow him 7/10ths of a mile to his shop, and then bring his minivan back to Flying J and eat lunch there at the Dennys.  We followed him and pulled into a parking lot down the rd. He opened a gate and we followed him into an unmarked lot behind another business. He climbed into his service truck so he could bring his family back with him. ( unbeknownst to us, his family was eating lunch at the Dennys, while he was diagnosing our issue.) We got into his minivan and headed back up to the flying J. He sat down with his family and ate the food she had ordered for him, (who knows if it was even still warm) We ordered and ate our food then headed back to RB’s secret ford mechanic shop. By the time we pulled in RB had already dismantled the air box and coolant overflow tank and drained the coolant and was waist deep under the hood working at getting the sensor out. While the guys were working, I visited just a bit with his wife, and the boys payed with his two boys.  RB replaced the sensor (he just happened to have one in stock) and J and he reassembled everything and cranked it up. It worked perfectly!!!  RB and J took it for a test run and he pronounced it ready to run for another 100,000 miles!  We paid our bill, thanked him and shook hands. We pulled back out onto the highway and continued our westward journey!

We arrived very late at our OK. KOA, but because we had reserved our spot there was an envelope with our name and spot marked on it at the office! We pulled in, and went through the steps of getting everything ready to go to bed.  We slept very well and woke to a beautiful Sunday morning in OK.

Sunday Morning in OK

We didn’t hurry to pull out, we ate breakfast , washed a couple loads of laundry, and straightened up some stuff in the camper. As we were working in the camper, the KOA owner walked up and introduced himself. He had noticed our state and last name and wanted to meet us, turns out he had spent time at EMU!

Around lunchtime we headed west, enjoying the changing scenery! We were going through Oklahoma City when we had the second blowout on the trailer! This time we were near an exit and able to pull off the road much further and were under an overpass, which gave us shade! We didn’t even call roadside assistance, in less than a half hr we were back on the rd.

Blowout #2

Google maps came in handy again in finding a Walmart outside of OK city limits with a tire center. We pulled into the Walmart and the boys and I went in to get some supper and use the restrooms. When we came back through the tire center we discovered that we had chosen a very competent and friendly tire center. They were already finished and had even helped J swap a couple tires around so that the two new tires would be in the rear.  The friendliness of strangers had once again helped us on our  westward way!

The scenery was very beautiful and we were enjoying our adventure, but it wasn’t over yet. The turbo on the excursion started to malfunction, (this is a very necessary part of a diesel engine)and the engine was starting to get to hot. We pulled into a Loves parking lot and J again started to tap into the knowledge of the DPN.

Unscheduled Stop.

We were not sure what it was, maybe a bad turbo, cracked up-pipes, or just stuck turbo vanes. Since it was Sunday eve we decided to just “make camp”. There was a motel right beside the Loves and we noticed a large RV parked there and decided to join them.  The boys rode bike, scooter & rip stick, we ate supper and got the camper set for the night. J had made contact with a mechanic that could come out around noon on Monday, so we just settled in for the evening.

We all slept well and woke to a beautiful sunny but windy monday. When we stepped out of the camper we noticed the RV beside us had the front open and it wasn’t long before a Ford dealership service truck pulled in and a couple tech’s were checking something out.  The owner of the RV introduced herself to us and asked where we were from. Turns out we both came from the same area of Va, Elkton to be exact!!  The ford tech’s couldn’t figure out her problem, so she called another mechanic that was recommended by her RV place.  As we visited, J started checking out the issue on her RV and was able to narrow it down to a control box.

Helping the neighbor

When the Wise ol mechanic showed up, he concurred with J. diagnosis and put a band-aid fix on it to get her to his shop. Then he looked over at our rig with the hood up and asked what was wrong with it. J. gave him the rundown and WM had J start the Excursion.  The engine and turbo sounded fine,  but he gave us directions to his shop and told us to see what it did while we drove there. The WM’s shop was along the highway in the direction we were headed! J contacted the other mechanic that was going to come and found out he hadn’t even started our way yet. He was good with us having the other, closer mechanic, help us. Quickly we got the camper ready to travel and headed toward WM’s shop. The Excursion ran perfectly, no turbo issue! We pulled into his shop in line behind the RV.  We told him that it ran fine and his expert advice was “put it in the wind and continue”!  So we took the Wise ol mechanic’s advice and proceeded west once again.

It was pretty amazing to see the changing landscape as we continued west. The Texas border came into view and we pulled over and took pictures and rejoiced at arriving in TX safely!

Almost there!

As the journey continued we were wide eyed with wonder at the unique landscape and took pictures like tourists! There were so many unique things that we noticed (more on that in another post) but it was a wonderful feeling to see our destination come into view.

Praise be to the Lord for the many details large and small that were solved and his able grace and protection as we traveled.

Dorcas For the Heatwole’s #familyadventure #harvest2017 #ohthepeoplewemeet

Disclaimer for Affiliate links!    The links in my posts are links to items or articles I personally use and want to share. These items are not paid advertisement, I do get a bit of a percentage if you purchase through my links. The proceeds gained from the affiliate links help support my blog and our family on our adventure west.

 

 

I Say Burn It All!!

Nothing is Precious

It has been a Very Crazy month! In my last post about packing I said we should just sell  it all, I am thinking now that burning it all would be much less hassle! I had 3 yard-sales and listed numerous items on the face book marketplace. Wow, I’ll just say FB marketplace is not for the faint of heart (or for the non Spanish speaking)! I have never answered so many messages or repeated my self so many times!

I have been purging and selling and trashing and purging some more. As moving day got closer and closer I donated and sold even more, It is very eye opening to realize how little you really need to live.

As we started packing the camper and packing the items to store I realized again that there are no precious items. I took 2 trailer loads of stuff to Gift & Thrift and gifted items to friends and threw out even more. Oh It is ridicules how much stuff one family can accumulate. The irony of this is, it is not the first time we have moved, its not even the 5th or 10th time !!!!

On the last couple days before we pulled out, a couple good friends came over and helped me wrap up the final details. One stopped in with doughnuts and folded laundry, one of them packed the last items into the camper from the kitchen and bathroom, and the other started sweeping through bedrooms and helping me finish the last purging, donating, and trashing!

On the morning we headed for Texas, our good friends D&M showed up and brought doughnuts! They helped us finish up all the last min details and snapped pictures for us as we pulled out.. There were tears as we waved goodbye to them and our Virginia life!

It has been a truly crazy but blessed and enlightening month. If I can pass any advice along it would be , “hold nothing to tightly especially if it could bless someone else”!

Dory for the Delightful Cottage

#harvest2017 #thedelightfulcottage #familyadventure

Ready to Head West

Look for our next post  on the trip west and All the People we met!

Disclaimer for Affiliate links!    The links in my posts are links to items or articles I personally use and want to share. These items are not paid advertisement, I do get a bit of a percentage if you purchase through my links. The proceeds gained from the affiliate links help support my blog and our family on our adventure west.

 

Big Changes = Family Adventures!

Sunset
Changes on the Horizon

Change Ahead

There are times in life were you look ahead and see a big fork in the road.

I feel like that time is approaching for our family.  One side of the fork is the comfortable and normal life we are use to, and the other side of the fork is a Family adventure, We have chosen to take the path of adventure!

New Path

We are looking forward to becoming part of a harvest crew this spring.   Crabtree Harvesting  has hired us for the 2017 season! They travel as a family and serve the Lord with their harvesting crew!

We will travel with the crew from May till Nov. Josten will be continuing what he does here,  driving truck but it will be hauling grain. The rest of the family is going to travel along, we will help with various things such as cooking and parts pick-up as needed.

This family adventure is going to cause another family adventure to start, one that I can’t say I am as excited about . We will officially become a Home-schooling family! Well, Road Schooling might be more appropriate!

So the crazy begins!

I must start collecting boxes again, I really do not like boxes. Boxes signify a lot of work to be done!  We will be having a massive yard sale in about 2 weeks and this will help finish out our camper fund.  I am going through the house room by room and deciding what we actually really need. I have already started a pile of tupperware, clothing, kitchen stuff, etc for this yard sale!  We just rent the house we are living in, so that means packing to move out of it. I do not enjoy this process called “packing”! This time I am going to do what I have threatened to do the 12 other times we moved, I am selling 90% of our stuff!

We are planning to keep the very basics of household stuff to stock the camper, essential clothing, and of course things like bikes and rip-sticks (aff. link). There are only a few pieces of furniture that have sentimental value and we will need to find a spot to store those, as well as basic canning supplies, tools, and china.

Currently we are camper shopping, oh that is a big job! We know what features are needed to make it user friendly for us, but finding those features in our budget is proving hard. Hopefully in the next week or so we will be able to locate a camper in our budget. I am really hoping to have it here for a couple weeks before we leave so we can pack it and do any needed maintenance. Time is counting down!

I’m hoping to do a small series of posts on the packing process, and then also use the blog to follow our trip west! Please feel free to follow our journey.

Dorcas for the Heatwole clan. #Harvest2017

Disclaimer for Affiliate links!    The links in my posts are links to items or articles I personally use and want to share. These items are not paid advertisement, I do get a bit of a percentage if you purchase through my links. The proceeds gained from the affiliate links help support my blog and our family on our adventure west.

 

 

Want freedom? Sell all your stuff!

Chalkboard Notes
Chalkboard brain dump

Crazy Time

We are packing to move into a camper. This means downsizing greatly! I do not consider myself a pack-rat but I have plenty of stuff that will not fit into the camper. So we have made the decision to sell most of it!

It is interesting how differently you look at your possessions when you have made the choice to let go of them.  These many numerous items that need to go were really weighing me down. I heard a quote some were that said ” All the items we own possess a space in our brains” That is a very true saying, I am loving the freeing feeling that comes with getting rid of stuff!

Getting Organized

I am currently making a list on our chalkboard ( aff. link) that helps me separate items into 3 main categories! The categories are Sell, Keep to Store, Pack in Camper. I also have a couple small categories like: Things to return, Things to give, Items to scrap!

Today my job is to empty a couple closets and set up a space to place boxes for the upcoming moving/yard sale. I read this article on how to have a successful yard sale. I am planning to implement many of the suggestions.

Thanks for stopping in and visiting with me while I pack.

Dorcas (Dory) ~ For the Heatwole’s

Wonder why I’m packing read about our adventure here!

Disclaimer for Affiliate links!    The links in my posts are links to items or articles I personally use and want to share. These items are not paid advertisement, I do get a bit of a percentage if you purchase through my links. The proceeds gained from the affiliate links help support my blog and our family on our adventure west.

 

Does Mom need this?

Mom needs
Mom needs
How do you know the difference?

Is this truly a want or need? This is the question I try to ask myself every time I am shopping. To say I love to 2nd hand shop would not be overstating, and I also enjoy the convenience of my amazon prime account. Often I catch myself putting things in my cart because they caught my eye. Shopping in real life or online is fun as long as you don’t have buyers regret later. I have discovered that if I pause before checking out and take a hard look at my cart, and ask myself “want or need?” I am much less likely to have regret later.

Want or need?

I am currently shopping for a new stevia shaker.  This has become a need. I buy my stevia from THM in a baggie and then transfer to my shaker.  The one I use now was from a purchase of stevia a couple years ago, but it is not very air tight and it just looks yucky. Amazon has a couple nice ones, but I am not sure I’ll be happy with them. Will they be air tight, are the holes fine enough, is it durable? I don’t want buyers regret.

Reality Check

I double checked the bank account and decided that it is not a need right now. Funny how that works!

Walking through goodwill last month I saw a cute tote that would work for toy storage. I picked it up and put it in my cart. As I continued shopping I realized I have plenty of similar things at home, crates, totes, baskets ect… maybe I should just re-purpose one of those for toy storage. It is such a freeing feeling to put something back and realize that you don’t need it!

Truly a Need ?

Sometimes there are true needs, like new work or school clothes, new tires, or a vegetable seeds for the garden. If it is a real need, we will find that often we already have the means to fill the need! This is especially true if the budget is tight and we have been careful to not squander our resources. Sometimes we have to get creative and make it ourselves or sell something to purchase something else. Bartering with a friend who has the needed skill could also be an option. I would gladly do sewing for a friend who liked to paint, or babysit for a friend with graphic skills.

It is a tricky thing, Want vs Need ! If we really stop and think about what we have it helps put it into perspective. Working on our spirit of gratitude also help immensely! If we are grateful for what we already have, only then will we truly be satisfied with what we have.

What are your current wants or needs? What have you re-purposed lately to fill a need?

Dory ~ Copilot for The Delightful Cottage

 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, Proverbs 13:6a