Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Truck Road Trip to Indiana: Day 5 - Back to NJ

Thursday May 24: Leaving day.  We got up early and watched the kids get on the bus for school.

After that we said our goodbyes to Tracy and Tony.  Then got on our way to Indianapolis to drop off the truck and get to the airport for our flight back to NJ.  It was a good trip!

Back in NJ we were picked up at the train station in Matawan by our friend, Rob.   Later, we went out to karaoke with Rob and his wife, Cindy, at a local place called MJ’s.  Had a great time.  Thanks Cindy and Rob!

Now back to the beach shack for the long memorial weekend.

This ends our year and a half effort to down size and move out of our S&B....

Next is the actual house closing hopefully next week and then the hunt for the RV begins!!

Truck Road Trip to Indiana: Day 3 - Son's House

Tuesday May 22:  After saying our goodbyes to Diana, (Roger was at work already) we were off to my son, Tony’s, house in Crawfordsville.  Crawfordsville is about 35 miles west of Indianapolis and about the same from the Illinois border.  It’s the city I was born in and was raised a few miles south in New Market.  It’s still largely a farming area, however, that has changed a lot in the 30 years since I lived there.

We arrived about an hour before the grand-kids got home from school.  Tony and I started with unloading the dining room table as theirs was on its last leg, literally!  The grand-kids got home from school and they found the truck with the furniture to be a good play area.  They called it a tree house, probably because it is up high and has the wood floor.

Tony and their former dining set

                                                               Bailey and Savannah


Truck Road Trip to Indiana: Day 4 - Going to School

Wednesday May 23: The second oldest grandchild, Savannah, wanted us go to her school and have lunch with her today.  Her mother called the school and got it set up for us to visit her class and go to lunch with her and the class.  It was fun, food was still as I remember it, “school food”.  After lunch we went out and had recess.  All of us were required to walk one lap around the track.  Seems that is part of a keep fit program they are doing.

Savannah in the center with mother Tracy to the left, Patty left front.

After lunch and recess we went back to unload the rest of the furniture.  A lot of work!

We leave tomorrow :(

Truck Road Trip to Indiana: Day 2 - Brother & Sister's house

Monday May 21:  We were up and ready to go 8 am.  We thought we would check out the free breakfast at the hotel before deciding if we wanted to go somewhere else.  The breakfast food was mostly the usual Danishes, cereals, but also had eggs with sausage and bacon.  The eggs were those kind that we believe were never near a chicken!  We decided to stay and eat and have the waffles that you cook yourself.  It’s sort of treat for us to have this for breakfast. 

With breakfast out of the way, we were on our way to Indiana at 9:20 am.  

Since I grew up in Indiana, it is always a good feeling for me when I get past Columbus, OH as the land starts to really flatten out.  It is just a calming feeling for me. 

We arrived at by brothers house in Acton around 3 pm.  We planned to spend the night there before heading the last 50 miles to my sons house in Crawfordsville.   The main thing to do at my brother,s was to leave with him around 6 containers of personal stuff to store that we don’t want to carry on the RV.  Mostly it’s family pictures and video.  Eventually the kids will take ownership of this stuff anyway.

This is what is left for long term storage.

My sister Diana lives with my brother Roger we got to visit with both of them and cook out.  My sister likes propane and my brother likes charcoal so they have a grille that has both.  We thought that was funny.

By brother Roger and his grille.

My sister Diana cooking.

My sister has been collecting stuff from our father’s life which included his tragic death in 1965 from an automobile accident.   Diana was born a couple of months after his death and Roger and I were 7 and 8 years old at the time.  Diana had very interesting information where the accident happened and how.  I took pictures of the information and plan to visit there sometime.  It happened in rural Missouri.

We all turned in around midnight.  A good day for sure! 

Thanks to Roger and Diana!

We will be on our way to my son's house in the morning.

Truck Road Trip to Indiana: Day 1 - Leaving the S&B!

Sunday May 20:  This is the day to leave the house for probably the last time!  As usual, we forgot to put something on the truck, the freezer!  It is just a 12 cubic foot so it wasn’t too much of a problem to get it pulled up the truck ramp and on to the truck.  Then after pulling up the mattress and getting Coffee, we were off at 11 am on the road trip to Indiana.

I don’t like to drive more than 5-6 hours and in the daylight.  Also, we like to pull over every 2 hours to stretch.  Usually, I can make one of the stops for some food and one for gas so we do multiple things on each stop.   We made it to just about Ohio when we needed to get gas and we were now at 6 hours driving.  So we filled up and decided we would go to the half-way point of 350 miles.  That put us about 10 miles west of Youngtown OH.  We pulled off and got a room at a nice Comfort Inn.  It had an outside pool, which was extremely cold, complete with a young bunny rabbit.

In front of our room was some sort of towed container with a window that has a shade.  I decided to post this on FB and say we found our RV as a joke.  Seems some thought I wasn’t joking.

The girl at the front desk recommended the Mexican restaurant that we could walk to so off we went.  Food was good and cheap.  However, the service people had no personality at all, which was OK - a truck stop sort of place.

Back to the room which was still warm but tolerable and had a glass of wine and watched the news. 
Tomorrow we will start again and end up at my brother’s house in Acton, Indiana.

Loading up for the Indiana Truck Road Trip

Saturday May 19:  Got up early to load the bike on the back of the car and get the Budget rental truck.  Putting the bike on the truck with the new bike rack took much longer than I thought.  

Bike finally on the car at our Highlands rental house

Anyway we were on our way to the Budget rental office in Middletown about an hour late.  Bad news at Budget!  They did not have a truck for us even though we reserved it 2 weeks earlier!   They tried to get one, but there was no other one in NJ!  So I called Penske about a mile down the road and they had a brand new truck for us but at $200 more.  I took it, what else could I do, I also have one of Chas’s friends waiting at the house to help us move.

Finally got to the house 2 hours late and started the load up.  It was a lot easier because we had already moved everything in to the garage the previous Thursday.  Loaded the stuff going to my son's house first as it was going to Indiana.  Next we loaded the stuff for Chas which was going to New Brunswick later in the day.

Finished loading and off to New Brunswick I went.  

New Brunswick is about 40 miles away or about an hour.  After arriving it took about an hour to unload the stuff into the apartment.  All’s good so far.  Got back to the house at 7 pm, showered and got ready to go out for dinner.  We went out to eat one last time at our favorites local places, the Castaways.  We liked it because we could walk there and it was fun walking through the woods at night with flashlights.

We got back around 11 pm and, with no TV now, we went to sleep.  Sleep tonight was going to be on our mattress which we put on the floor in downstairs family room.  This will be the last stuff in to the truck in the morning.

Long day tomorrow!

Moving out, the last of the "last times"

Well here we are moving out of our home and leaving a town that we have been in for the last 16 years.

 A lot of emotion for sure!  I have read on other peoples blogs about the emotional aspects of leaving your home and becoming homeless and we are feeling it now.  For us it is becoming homeless and jobless to pursue traveling the country to meet new people, have new adventures and see the this big country called the USA.  I'm sitting here now writing this in an empty house that we feel we made a better place than it was when we moved in.  It really is a nice house now and it's where Patty's son grew up!  OK enough of the dramatics.

This was a long and exhausting week.  We are staying at our beach house we affectionately call "the shack", which is 75 miles from our S&B in Hopatcong.  We thought we moved everything out of the S&B for the RV with the rental truck a couple of weeks ago.  No, No, NO,,,, we did not.  We have gone back and forth 5 times in the past week to move stuff in our small car, 150 miles a day!

We get very irritable within just a couple of hours of packing as we are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and the memories.

Today is our last night in the S&B.  We are sleeping on just the mattress from our bed,which is on the family room floor.

This is what we had for TV the last few days.  Tonight just this BLOG!

Today day just didn't want go our way.  It seemed the day knew we were leaving one life and it was going to make sure we felt it!

I am giving my bicycle to my son in Indiana so I needed to put it on the car to take it to the rental truck this morning.  We are getting the rental truck near the shack so we can leave the car near there so it is available when we return next Thursday from the airport.  Anyway the "new" bike rack took me 2 times as long to figure out as I thought it would.

Car in front of the beach house with new bike rack.

Also, we both forgot stuff and had to return several times before getting underway to the truck rental place, making us 1.5 hours late.  That is not the worst of the story!  After arriving at the truck rental place the only guy there was busy with renting a car to a German female couple.  This took 45 minutes before I was "helped"!  Ah, they don't have a truck for me even though I have a reservation!  They will let me have two 12 foot trucks for the same price as the 16 foot.  I don't think so!!.. They call around and no other Budget dealer has a 16 foot truck.  So I called Pensky down the road 2 miles and they had a truck that is brand new but $200 more.  What are you going to do, I needed the truck so we took it.

We arrive at the S&B 2.5 hours later than we planned at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Of course we don't have a key to get in now because the garage remote is with the car, not with the rental truck.  Fortunately, a window was unlocked so I could climb in.  Chas's friend Chris came to help us as part of the stuff was for him and Chas for their new apartment in New Brunswick.  So we loaded all of the stuff for Indiana and then the stuff for New Brunswick.

We finished loading at 3:30 and I was on my way to New Brunswick to unload the Chas stuff.

New Brunswick is an hour away.  At a little after 6:00 I was heading back to Hopatcong.  I got back, took a shower and we were on our way to our favorite bar/restaurant, Castaways.  We like it because we can walk there.  This is a type of bar like Cheers where everybody knows your name, well at least the bartender did.  I don't know if we have fully internalized this yet ;(

So tomorrow we head out to Indiana.  This will be our last time at this house and may be our last time in Hopatcong.  It's a little sad :(

Stay tuned for more.

Last house party & yard sale!

Saturday the 12th we had a BBQ for Chas and friends to say goodbye to the "Party Palace", where they all have many memories over the years. He had a good turnout and the food went over quite well.  36 burgers, 25 dogs, 200 meatballs, 5 pounds of pasta salad, and assorted other snacks.

They had some yard games to play as well as the usual - beer pong!

Chas is in the royal blue golf shirt. Great group of young men and women a number of whom graduate from Rutgers this month.

The official tape measure was out, these guys are serious about their bocce ball!

On the same day, The last garage sale!  We added our stuff to a sale our good friends Cindy and Rob were having in Keyport NJ.  The sale was the morning of the party.

After the party on Sunday we packed some more stuff for the RV.  We try to always fill the car anytime we are at the house now.  We plan to only make one more round trip this week so we are a little concerned that  we might not get all of the last stuff in the car.  We really do not want to make another round trip of 150 miles for a few little items.

Also, no confirmed date from the buyer on the closing that is still set for next Tuesday.  We believe that may change.  Very stressful not knowing about something that is only a week away!

Stay tuned!

1st of 2 Moves

This week, we opened the house we rent at the Jersey Shore known as the "Shack".  This will be our 6th year renting the shack.  It's a 4 room 600sqft bungalow with a screened in front porch.  All but one year we have shared the space with an other couple and this year we will again share with Michelle and Tom d'Arcy.  This will be our second year with the d'Arcys and will probably be our last year in the shack.

This opening was a little different than previous years. We are actually moving in full-time instead of just for weekends.  We are very close to closing on the sale of our house in 2 weeks.   This last week we signed contracts for septic repair, removing mold from the attic, and we have a date for the town fire inspector to inspect the fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguisher.  All of this work should happen next week.  Also, the buyer is expected to have their bank commitment this week as well.  Even with out a firm commitment of the closing on the 22nd of May, we need to move as if it is happening due to the short time.

Our plan is to make 2 moves, the first move is with the stuff for the shack that includes most of our summer clothes and the stuff we feel will be part of the RV life.  Also included in this first move is the remaining stuff that will get sold at a garage sale our friends are having next Saturday near the shack.  The second move will be with all of the remaining furniture, mostly heavy stuff, that will go to my son's house in Indiana.

Last week was our week to make the first of the 2 moves.  So, after returning from Florida on Saturday, we began on Sunday to pack and move stuff to the garage for the first move.  We had three areas in the garage, one for the RV, one for the garage sale, and one for the shack.  Patty's son, Chas, and his friend/roommate, Chris, came over Tuesday to pick the stuff they would want for their apartment.  My son, Tony and our 5-year old granddaughter, Livy, came out from Indiana on Wednesday to help make the first move.  They also came out so we could visit and to pick out added small stuff they would want :)

On Wednesday morning we picked up a 10 foot moving truck.  What a piece of s**t truck!  Patty and I moved most of the shack stuff in first as it would be the last stuff out.

Then at 12:30 we went to the airport in Newark to pick up Tony and Livy.  We moved most of the remaining stuff  to the truck and called it a day and went out to eat at Pub 199 in Mt. Arlington.   Tony ordered steamed clams and, to our surprise, Livy ate some and liked them!

Up at 7am Thursday to get started on the "move" part of the move.

Dad and Daughter had a long day

The last things we needed to pack on the truck were the food items, mainly the perishable stuff.  We didn't have enough cooler space for all of the frozen items so we will get those next week when we come back for the fire inspection and contracted work that needs to be done.  About 8:30 am Livy was up and hungry so we stopped and went to have breakfast at a local diner.  Livy had chocolate pancakes which she ate all of! Now back to packing the truck.

Dad trying to get Livy's loooong hair brushed

We finished packing the truck and were on the move by 10:30 am.

Of course, I started the move with the truck loading door open!  Patty alerted me to this by blowing the horn after I pulled out of the driveway.  Patty, Tony, and Livy were going to follow me on the 72 mile trip to our first stop at our friends, Cindy and Rob, in Keyport, NJ.  Cindy and Rob were so kind as to allow us to store our future RV stuff with them.  They gave us a space in their basement that was 2 times what we needed.  We finished at Cindy and Rob's and were back on our way to the shack by 12:30.

At the shack, Tony and I unloaded everything from the truck while Patty put away the refrigerated food and some of the rest of the food.  We decided that we would just get the stuff put away as best we could and stop so were could just spend relaxed time with Livy and Tony.  We have lots of time in the coming days to put stuff away.  We finished up around 4 pm and went out to eat at The Original Oyster.

Friday, Tony and Livy return home on a flight at 5 pm, so we will leave the shack at 2:30 to make it on time.  We were hoping for a nice warm sunny day to take Livy to the ocean for her first time.  It was cloudy and 62 at the beach with a good wind coming off the ocean, so it was chilly.  The ocean temperature this time of year is 58 so that is pretty cold.  That didn't stop Livy from going in with her feet, though.  At one point she fell in and got mostly wet from head to toe. Tony, at this point,  thought we should go and get her dry.  However, Livy didn't want to leave, so Tony let her go in up to her ankles once more and then, we left.

Grandma, Grandpa, and Livy

Livy making hearts in the sand.

Livy after falling in the ocean

We took a walk around noon to have pizza at a really good place down the street about 3/4 mile.  About half way Livy's feet were hurting from the new shoes she had on.  So now grandpa gets to carry her on his shoulders :)

We got to the pizza place and it didn't open till 4:30 :(  We turned around and then walked about 1/2 mile to another restaurant, the Inlet Cafe, which is on the bay.  Livy had fried clams which Tony and Grandpa helped eat.  The waitress gave Livy these waxed bendable sticks to play with.  We all had fun with them.

Love this picture!  Tony's sunglasses with the wax sticks around the lenses.

On the way back to the shack we remembered the plane departing time.  We all had forgotten about the time and then had to hurry and leave quickly.   We made it with about 1.5 hours to go before the departure time.  We said our goodbyes and that was the end of the "1st move".

More next week.  Stay tuned.