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Date: 15 February 2014. I Did It.
Guest author Charlotte in R/V Western Woman.

This piece is for The Writer's Block, written by a website guest in reply to the Time Stopped article about my friend Bob. Comments are encouraged.

I am so, so sorry about your friend. It was the loss of too many friends in the past few years, topped by the loss of my parrot (which I realize sounds silly, but I'll explain), which spurred me to finally take the plunge and apply for the loan for an RV and just DO it last month, after wanting to for eighteen years.

Well, more, really - my parents and grandparents had RVs of some sort (and boats :-) - but small pontoon or motor boats for the lakes in Oregon where I grew up) my entire life. I can remember being at the late every weekend, sometimes longer than weekends, during the summers, parked next to my grandparents. At one point we had a *skoolie, a big yellow thing that I was in love with.

* Skoolie: It's the insider's term for a school bus that is turned into a motor home.

We went to Washington to visit my aunt and uncle, and went to Manitoba. When I saw the red double decker buses, I decided I was going to have one someday, convert it into an RV, live in it, and drive it all over the US, living everywhere for a few months at a time so I could learn everything about everywhere. :-)

My plan was to be an author, and I figured I could type up my manuscripts and mail them off to the publisher from anywhere. Little did I know how easy it really could be now! Unfortunately I gave up on writing in college, but I do travel for work. 

The parrot comes in to the story with the "everything has to be perfect" thing. I got Decker in 1985, two years before my husband died. In the three years after Ralph died, I went into a tailspin and made a lot of bad decisions. I gave away all of my pets except for Decker, had a succession of terrible roommates, and let my parents convince me to move back to Oregon.

[This is a parrot picture -- and it was Valentine's Day you know. Plus I wanted some chocolate. Signed, Janice.]

So, I sold my house and half of what I owned, left my friends and New Jersey, packed up my parrot Decker, and moved back to Oregon, which only lasted six months because there was a good reason I left to begin with.

Decker had been with me through I don't know how many moves. He was almost the only thing I had left from "before." I was obsessed with finding the perfect RV for him - it had to have a space big enough for the very large and very expensive cage I was going to buy for him. And so, there was also never enough money - I thought I would need thousands for a down payment on an RV and thousands for his "perfect" cage.

My writing spot... and Charlotte's will no doubt be just as amazing. She is intrepid and brave. J.

He died in June. I started writing again in August, thanks to some incredibly intense dreams about a character I had written about twenty years ago. The more I wrote about her, the more I realized that I really could do whatever I wanted - if I could get back to writing, what was stopping me from buying an RV?

My parents hate the idea, and Mother sent me the most incredibly mean and nasty e-mail I have read in years - and sent it to my siblings, too. I don't know why I expected anything else. She has done the exact same thing every other time I have told her about anything that meant anything to me.

This is the first time I have actually gone ahead with something instead
 of letting her negativity terrify me into not doing it. But anyway - I did it.

[Thanks to Leonard Steward (http://leonardsteward.com) who provided photos of his skoolie Blue Bird.]

I bought the RV. And, ironically, though I thought I would need thousands down, I only needed $500. That makes my payment higher, but I am going to pay extra every month to pay it off faster. I was finally down to zero debt before this. In fact, I want it paid off ASAP because I want to build a garage for it! :-)

Now my next hurdle will be doing all of the actual sightseeing I
want to do, on top of the day to day living while on assignment.

Again - I am so very sorry for your loss. I have a best friend, another widow, I e-mail almost daily about the novels we are writing. I don't know what I would do without her support.

Skoolie's make wonderful, large motor homes and can be a comfortable choice for road travelers. The following skoolie belongs to sdwarf36 who I met on http://skoolie.net. Thanks for the use of your picture.


The End

Charlotte in R/V Western Woman.

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2014, 2023

Categories:  Boat Talk, Characters, Pets, The Writer's Block

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