Paradise in a Corn Field

On Saturday we visited Jim’s aunt and uncle in Donaldson, Indiana. Jim’s aunt is a nun in the order Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ that has its roots in Germany. She had the honor of being in charge of her order in the United States, and was also the first non German born member of the council that leads her order world wide.

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Diana is standing in front of the mother house. It always amazes us because you drive Indiana country roads through acres of corn fields to reach this bit of paradise. There is a full size cathedral, a small college campus, retreat center, retirement homes with several levels of care, lake, cemetery, cattle farm, and art center. Jim’s uncle has an apartment in the independent living portion that is open to the public.

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Above is a conference center where groups of any faiths may hold meetings.

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This is the independent living home for the retired sisters. To the left in the background of this picture is the cemetery for all of the US nuns in PHJC.

We enjoyed spending time with family in this little slice of heaven.

A New Chapter Begins…

Today, after 30 years of home ownership, we closed on the sale of our home and have moved forward into a new chapter of our lives.  We are now officially full time RVers!  This past week has been a flurry of packing, sorting, storing and cleaning. For a while, it seemed as if our stuff was appearing out of nowhere in our home, and progress was increasingly harder to come by.  One dear friend likened it to sweeping the dust in a circle and not quite being able to get it into the dust pan.  But Thursday evening came, and we knew we were headed to the finish line.

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Mom Belisle used to paint landscapes, and we knew she was panting the Thursday evening sky from Heaven to assure us all was well.  We were able to get everything done, shy of sweeping the garage floor.  That was done this morning, and the circle of dust was in the pan.

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We hooked up the rig, loaded Jenny in the truck and headed on our way!

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The clock on the truck showed 9:26 AM on 9-26-14.  We then headed to Woodchip campground and set up in our spot.

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This is the spot we will be setting up for this winter, so you all have an idea what it looks like without snow.

Following our setting up, we headed to closing.  All was said and done by noon, and we were free to enjoy the rest of this beautiful autumn day!

Safe travels to all!

RV-Dreams rally

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This past week, we attended the RV-Dreams fall educational rally in Goshen, Indiana.  It was held at the Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds, which was a nice facility for this type of get together.  The rally itself was extremely informative and a lot of fun.  RV-Dreams is owned by Howard and Linda Payne, a charming couple we first met in Grand Rapids this past winter at an RV show.  They have been full time RVing for just shy of 10 years, and have chronicled every bit of it on their website RV-Dreams.com.  Although we were planning this lifestyle for years, they can certainly be credited for our accelerated move into it.  We highly suggest that you follow their journeys, as they know their stuff.  Salt of the earth folks, for sure.

We met so many wonderful people at the rally, and we are sure that we will keep in touch with them in our travels. Of those that we weren’t able to get to know, we are sure we will catch up down the road. One of the nice features of the rally was the “open rig walk-throughs”. A lot of us opened our rigs for people to look at, which was very informative.  Another feature of the rally was tours of the local RV manufacturers.  We took a tour of the DRV facility, which we found to be extremely educational.

The last night of the rally was a catered dinner, followed by a glow party.

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We hadn’t danced that much in years!  Definitely a great time!

On the final morning, we had a catered breakfast, followed by a goodbye speech by Howard and Linda.

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Linda sang “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.  Howard tried to join in, but was a little choked up…as were most of the rest of us.

As we pulled out, we had our rig weighed by them. They are safety specialists with RVSEF, and they weigh each individual wheel.  We were pleasantly surprised that we were only heavy on one tire in the entire rig, and we can easily remedy that with a shift in our cargo.  Howard gave us recommendations for tire inflation, which we will be sure to follow closely.  It was a huge relief to know our truck and 5th wheel are correctly sized for each other, and that we also don’t have to jettison weight.  We came fully loaded for what we feel we need on the road, including our kayaks and bikes.

We will be finishing up packing the house this next week in preparation for our closing on Friday. We may be a little busy up until then, so we will try to post an update after that.

Safe travels to all!