Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Forethought is Extremely Valuable

Today, April 2, there have been a few comments on a thread on RV Dreams which was started by a gentleman that had purchased a class A RV and began to complain that it was a money pit. In his first post, he referred to the person who sold it to him as not being very smart because he had used the wrong material to patch the roof around a skylight or vent or something. Thus, the roof leaked and the wall began to de-laminate.
My first thought was that perhaps he should have got an RV tech to look the unit over before he bought it. Such a mistake in fixing something should have just jumped out at the tech. But, apparently this gentleman didn’t take a tech to see the RV.
As the thread continued, he began to complain about the cost of fixing the brakes after he had a tech inspect them before a long trip. So, he paid $800 to the tech for the inspection and then paid something like $1200 to fix the brakes and a promise of roughly $3000 more to be done. He also complained about the cost for labor for RV repairs.
If you wish to see for sure what was written, the link to that thread is here:
All in all, he has decided that it is cheaper to fly to where he wants to go and then rent a car. Suddenly, it appears to me that this gentleman doesn’t really want the RV lifestyle as much as he thought. Or, perhaps he just thought an RV would be a cheap method to travel to the casinos.
The whole episode brings home the importance of really thinking ahead on what one wants to do with their life and the lifestyle. Jo and I certainly considered things a lot. While we knew that we really wanted to travel and see the country, we also knew that when we retired, we would never be able to afford the home in which we now live.
Thus, we decided that a fifth wheel could be stationary as well as moveable. While one could find a place to rent, we preferred the idea of traveling as much as we could. Renting would have let us fall back on the landlord or property manager to get things in an apartment or a rental home repaired, but I’ve had cases where those entities don’t necessarily respond promptly.
It is too bad that the gentleman in the thread on RV Dreams hadn’t thought it out in advance. If he had spent $800 to have a tech inspect the RV, he could have saved the $1200 that he spent on the brakes and wouldn’t have had the issue of the leak and wall de-lamination.
So, each of us needs to force ourselves to push our “desires” to the side and really think out all the possibilities of our actions, before we make those decisions that we will regret later. We have to consider costs of purchase, maintenance, fuel, and the occasional repair or replacement of items not expected to fail.
Then there is the issue of our family and what will happen to those relationships. If a family still has children, it is really important to know one’s responsibilities to their future. Will home schooling be a good enough method of educating them? Will they be deprived of the company of peers their own age? Does one’s desire for an RV lifestyle override the ever present responsibility to one’s family? Does one’s spouse REALLY want to live that life?
I would imagine that a divorce would be expensive enough that one would have to sell everything RV-related in order to pay all the expenses associated with that. That doesn’t even take into account the destruction of the relationship.
For a long time, I had the dream of traveling the country and taking pictures. At times I even imagined myself writing and photographing experiences for magazines. However, I never felt that it would be possible because of the cost involved, so I never even mentioned it to Jo in all the time we have been married.
Imagine my surprise and delight when she came up with the idea herself. Imagine my further surprise after an outing with the Mobile Suites to Carthage, Missouri for a mini-rally that she popped up and said that if she could find a way to make a living on the road, we would be there.
It may take us more time, since the house isn’t sold yet, but we feel that the RV lifestyle of seeing the country will be great. In one of my comments in that thread, I mentioned that one could fly somewhere and rent a car of an RV, but then one would miss seeing all the beautiful (and some not quite so beautiful) country on the way. There is also the pleasure of seeing the charm of communities and people along the way.
So, if one is a believer in God, and with all the beauty in this world to see, how could one not believe in Him, then do your research and planning, closely look at the costs both in money and relationships, and then follow your dream. But, keep checking with those that will be with you and make sure that their feelings haven’t changed.
I recall a gentleman who has become a friend via the RV Dreams forums that saw a change in his RV dreams. He had owned campers before, but his wife never seemed to enjoy them as much as he did. He finally sold his and just lived the dream through the internet forums.
Then one day, his wife asked if they could rent an RV to go on their church
mission trip to south Texas. It seemed that she didn’t relish the thought of staying in hotel beds where their sanitation methods were unknown. Now, not only do they have another camper, but she is even suggesting some of the places that she would like to go and they have been camping with her enjoying it.
While the gentleman in the RV Dreams thread linked above seemed to prefer casinos to nature, he obviously doesn’t necessarily believe that life is the journey and not just the destination.
May it be that whatever it is that we love in life, that we get to enjoy that to its fullest measure and thank God for every for the life we have, the family we have, and the opportunities before us.
Silver Falls near Pagosa Springs, Colorado in August 2009.  I suspect that the water flow would be a lot greater earlier in the year, but veils of water is just as beautiful as torrents.
Edit: Since the above was written, the forum thread that has been linked to has been “scrubbed” of some of the comments that were posted on it by forum participants, including myself.  So now, if you try to put this posting in context with what I linked to, it may seem disjointed.


  1. I.M. not sure how many reeders ya got, and I.M. reelly don't need to know. But why I.M. mentionin' it are that yer one of the bestest of all fellers a writin' blogs and I.M. hopin' ya git lots of reeders. It are so apparent yer writin' comes from the heart.

    I.M. does enjoy the folks thats a wrightin' bout there love of what their doin', but I.M. gots to shake his head when he thinks of them thats in it just fer the money cause them folks usually tells what they think folks want to know, not what they oughta know. Thanks fer the good oughta know post.

  2. Thanks, I.M. As you could easily see, I don't have many making comments, and those "officially" following me (to get their icon on my page) is only 13. But, your comment about readers made me go look at the "stats" on blogger to see how many "page views" I have had. In doing that I found a category called "Audience" that was interesting.

    My overall page views for the blog since its inception is 2,899. (Incidentally, I started on January 1, 2011.) Under audience I found out that I've got 2,719 from the USA, 43 from Canada, 33 from the United Kingdom, 19 from Germany, 9 from the Ukraine, 8 each for Belarus and Poland, and 6 each from Denmark, France and Russia.

    Now, that is enlightening. I have no idea what it all means as far as what is attracting that audience. I would suspect that a lot of page views are just of me checking things on the site. It will be interesting to see what else comes about.


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