Anxiety: a side effect of moving

Big Bear Lake

View from our campground at Big Bear Lake, where we enjoyed the RV life.

I’ve been feeling anxious. I don’t know if I recommend moving to anyone. It’s a huge undertaking — physically, mentally and emotionally. I wake up in the middle of the night remembering something that I need to do. Then when I wake up in the morning, I have no clue what those important things were that kept me up in the middle of the night. I think I should put a pen and notepad next to the bed, so I can jot down the items as they come to me.

I sit with a list next to me while I work. I add to it and cross off finished items with a red pen. A friend gave me that tip and it is satisfying to see a page of red lines. My list is now in the 40s and I’ve crossed off 16 things. So much to do and the days are disappearing fast.

Anxiety is hitting me hard. And then we got pulled off course from packing, canceling services, and signing up for utilities by our RV. Yes, that thing we’ve forgotten about for a couple years. You see it didn’t start. So, when friends volunteered to help us out with our move on Friday — so we asked them to help us put in new batteries in the RV. There were three batteries to replace.

Our friends arrived with tools and installed the new batteries. Now the RV starts like a champ. Hooray! Now let’s sell it. But first it needs to get smog checked before we can update the registration and sell it. So my husband drove it to get it smogged. He was told at the gas station that it had to be driven for 50 miles before getting smogged since it was dead and the had new batteries. Next, we learned the tires need to be less than five years old to sell the RV, even if the are in perfect condition. So we drove to Costco to check out tires, hoping to make a dent in the 50 required miles of driving. Costco doesn’t have the right tires for our RV. Then my husband realized the RV was out of gas, and since we were at Costco, he’d buy gas there. I reminded him that we hadn’t been to Cosctco since the advent of COVID so our membership had expired. We went inside, renewed our membership prior to his trying to maneuver his way in the Costco gas lines in the beast called our RV.

Then he drove it home and I went through the drawers and shelves to make sure all our stuff was out. What I discovered was a bottle of Tide laundry detergent that had oozed out soap from a top shelf and dripped and pooled on four lower shelves. I spent several hours over two days, fighting the Tide. Literally.

Today we are driving the RV out of town to an RV consignment shop. They will smog check, get new tires, and sell it hopefully.

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Our RV which is getting in the way of packing.

Now it’s time to get back to packing! Too many days are slipping away.

Farewell Old Car, Your Time Has Come

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Memories of days filled with laughter.

The final straw was a couple weeks ago when I woke up in the morning to a flat tire. I called Triple A and had them put on the spare. I was driving the puppy to a vet appointment and then to the gas station to get my flat tire fixed, when the tire fell off the car and flew across the road, dodging two oncoming cars and landing in an unsuspecting yard.

I freaked out to a grinding and dramatic crashing noise. I was stranded on the side of the road with a three-month-old pug. I shook as I assessed my predicament and wondered what to do first. Waffles the pug snored in his carrier, oblivious to the freak accident and my stress.

That was the final straw. There have been a few others, like my husband being stuck on the 91 freeway, right before the 241 toll road, when the car broke down. Triple A had a tough time sending out a tow truck, because drivers refused due to the recent death of a tow truck driver in the same spot.

In the later years of owning a car, sometimes it’s tough to make the call when enough is enough. Car buying is almost as painful as anything and expensive, so it’s easy to put it off for a few years.

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Laguna Beach with kids and dog.

Especially with this car. There were so many memories with the beastly Sequoia. Hauling pop-up tents and kids to meets stand out the most. We could put six kids comfortably in our car and often did.  Summer vacation with the car packed to the hilt, complete with 108-pound Angus, our faithful yellow lab (RIP), camping trips, driving a carful to the Getty for a Latin field trip—the list goes on and on.

We have no need for an eight seater. We aren’t hauling pop up tents or children to meets. We’re now in the phase of life where a two-door would be fine. But it’s like closing the door on one part of our lives. When we finally say goodbye to this old car, it’s like we’re saying goodbye to days filled with so much fun and laughter.

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Carpinteria camping trip with Angus.

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This old car is filled with memories.

Am I Cut Out for the RV Life? Or, What Could Possibly go Wrong?

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Camping at Carpinteria State Beach

I love camping. My favorite memories as a child were Fourth of July weekends at Ross Lake near the Canadian border in Washington.

Open campfires, roasting hot dogs, followed by s’mores. Families laughing together, watching stars.

We introduced our kids to camping with an annual trip to Carpinteria State Beach, playing cards, sitting around bonfires and flying kites.

So what could possibly go wrong when we looked at RVs and decided to graduate from our tent?  We had the perfect excuse. We would use the RV once a month at swim meets, instead of paying for hotels out of town. Our kids could sit inside between swims diligently doing their homework, rather than hanging out under a pop-up tent with their friends. Yeah. Right.

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July 4th, 2012 camping trip.

We bought the RV four years ago and took it to exactly NO swim meets out of town. We brought it to our own pool to give kids on our team a break from the pool deck during a big meet. I think the kids spent a total of 15 minutes inside.

We took three camping trips with our kids. Here are three things that went wrong:

• The first trip, the RV got stuck inadvertently under the roof of a gas station. The gas station owner yelled that he was suing us for damages to his gas station.

• The second trip, the generator went out while we were dry camping.

• The third trip, my husband said he hates driving it and buying it was the biggest mistake he’s ever made.

We’re trying to use the RV this summer. If not, it’s gone in the fall.

We took it out of storage. We plugged it into our house’s electric, so I could get it cleaned up for the trip to the mountains. What else could go wrong?

First, the power went out in our house. The refrigerator, TV and computers went dark along with the lights. This was before I started cleaning.

Second, the AC went out in the RV so I cleaned in the “hot tin can” heat. When I went outside for breathers, in the 110 degree temps, it actually felt cool compared to inside the RV.

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Mt. San Jacinto in the background on a cloudy summer day.

We got “The Beast” up the mountain by hiring someone to drive the windy roads for us. He got it all set up and we were happy campers for about two hours.

Then, I turned on the faucet and it smelled like rotten eggs.

Next, we turned on all the faucets to clear out the smelly water and someone knocked on the door to tell us we had a leak. Water was pouring out from under the hook-ups.

The toilet wouldn’t flush and started leaking.

The carpet in the bedroom was damp from the leaks.

After our first night in the mountains, we decided to call it quits and come back to the heat of Palm Springs. At least we have a pool, AC, toilets and running water.

The good news is we get return to the mountains to hire a repairman and try RVing once again. My friends keep telling me I’m going to love it. I’ll let you know. 

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View during our morning walk in the mountains.

Are you a happy camper? What problems have you had RVing?