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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good News, But With Some Sadness as Well

Just as we were leaving work today, Jo got a phone call from her sister that lives in Western Kansas. Apparently, they have sold their home there and are moving within the next 2 months or so.

This is the couple that was down a while back to look at RV’s with the thought of living in one. At the time, I questioned whether they really would do the full-time RV’ing aspect, simply because they have an awful lot of “stuff”. If they were to get an RV, it was going to need room for a Clavinova.

After that weekend of looking, we never heard any more about an RV for them except an occasional comment about selling their home in the country and buying a smaller one in town and then maybe being able to purchase a smaller RV just for traveling around the country seeing the sights and visiting relatives.

They had never put their house up to a realtor, but only had the word out there by word of mouth. The last time we saw them (Memorial Day weekend), they did mention that there was talk of a company coming into that area and building some feedlots for hogs. We discussed the issue that if they did move hog farms in that they would really want to sell their home to avoid the smell.

Well, the hog farms are going to move into the area and it was them that bought the relative’s house. It seems that there will be about 10 of those hog farms built and the house would be situated somewhat in the middle of all of them. (I should mention the hog lots will be scattered out some, so the house isn’t physically surrounded by the lots.

We are happy for Jo’s sister and her husband in that they were able to sell their home in a short period of time and actually made money on the deal. What we don’t know yet, and may not for a while, is whether they will be buying a small RV with which to travel.

The sadness comes in when we realize they will be moving another 200 miles further from us. At present, they live about 415 miles and they will be moving to Canon City, Colorado, which is about 620 miles from where we live.

But, then we think of the good news in that when we travel to Colorado, we can again meet up with our family and go camping somewhere. (Yeah….camping in a luxury RV….that is REALLY roughing it.) Canon City is located somewhat centrally in that we would be about 150 miles from Purgatoire River Campground, roughly 200 miles from Pagosa Springs, about 50 miles from Colorado Springs where an acquaintance that Jo works with lives, and then just a short hop, skip and jump away from the mountains.

So, let’s get away with sadness and back to some happiness. While it will be somewhat difficult for us to see the relatives while we are still working, it will be great when we are retired and get to travel. With a little luck, we might be able to travel with them some.

While it isn’t too close, that area would also be close to northern New Mexico and that state also has some good camping sites and one talented artist in the Santa Fe area. That artist is Richard, who goes by the username of RVPAINTER on the RV Dreams forums. We’ve never met, but I’ve followed his blog to some degree and find his writing humorous at times.  His blog is at this link:


Since I feel that a lot of the participants on the various forums that I frequent are my friends, even if we’ve never actually seen each other, I would welcome a trip to Santa Fe to meet Richard. In addition to him being an artist, his wife, Melissa, is also a writer. Anyone who has read most of my blog may be aware that my mother was an artist and I’m trying to be a writer. So, in a way, I relate to both of them.

Sadly, at the moment, Richard is kind of discouraged because the housing market in the Santa Fe area isn’t really strong and they are not getting much action on selling their house. I can relate to that as well, since our house took 3 years to sell and so many others have been able to sell in a shorter period of time.

To those readers who are trying to sell their homes and having difficulty, I can only say to remain as optimistic as possible. If you feel your realtor isn’t doing much, find another one that will seem to be more aggressive with marketing your home. One option that we discovered when selling ours is that we decided to go with selling our house ourselves.

Jo got to looking online and found a realtor that for a flat fee of $239 would list our home on MLS and provide us with a lock-box for the front door for storing a house key for realtors. In addition, he told us that if we wanted him to do the paperwork on the sale and set things up with a title company, he would do that for a flat fee of $1500. So, if we had sold through him, our costs for a realtor would have been $1739 instead of $6600 (3% on a $221,000 house for one realtor).

So, if anyone is having issues with a current realtor, look to see if someone in your area would help out homeowners with their house up as “for sale by owner.” The main thing is to not give up the dream, if it really is your dream. Have a little faith that God will help you, if he sees it for your best interest.

While this is not an RV, it is camping.  We used to do some of our camping in tents.  This was in Purgatoire River Campground in Colorado.


Then when this issue came up,


For a couple of years we used cabins such as these in the Stonewall, Colorado area.  This one came about when we realized in 2001 that after the hunters left Purgatoire River Campground, we would be the only hosts for any bears that chose to visit.  We elected to end “roughing it” in a tent.


This one was a couple of years later when our youngest son decided to go to Colorado with us.  While the first one had one bedroom and a loft, this second one had two bedrooms.


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