Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.

~Wendy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No Hurry or How I Came To Live in a Motorhome


No Hurry
or
How I Came To Live in a Motorhome

May 9, 2006 started like any other day. It was warmer and wetter than usual, seeing that a hurricane was currently trapped in the Gulf of Maine and spending the week flooding rivers, washing out sand dunes, and uprooting trees. May 9th was the first day of no rain in more than a week. My first chance to go out in the garden and examine the damage. I had no idea that when I stepped outside of the house that day, I would never step inside it ever again. The house was in one corner of the farm, and the garden was in the opposite corner, over a steep hill and across a dangerously swollen brook. The farm being boarded by beach on one side and swamp on the other, with a brook crossing though it, meant even without the hurricane we live in a very wet area. The swamp could no longer be seen, as the flood waters had risen over the top of the grass, making it look like a small lake had surrounded us. I had been examining the damage in the garden less than 3 minutes when my 14 year old brother came running down the hill and across the bridge, his eyes wild with terror as he said: “There’s something wrong with Daddy and the house is full of water!” The rest of the day was a blur of police, EMTs, and ambulances. Daddy was in a coma and the house which had stood there only minutes ago, was a pile of rumble, crushed by a flash flood which had came and went in only seconds.

What we did not know was Daddy had taken out a “reversed mortgage” on the house, which stipulated, he could live there until he died or was unable to take care of it. Daddy had only been in a coma a few days when the bank came to us and told us the farm was theirs, by being in the hospital over a certain amount of days my dad had forfeited the loan, and me, my mom, my 3 teenaged brothers, 2 dogs, 3 birds, and 9 cats suddenly found ourselves not only houseless, but now landless as well.

It would be another 2 months before Daddy would be pulled off life support, because his medical insurance said they refused to pay another day of the $13,000 a day machine my dad was hooked up to. We were not given a choice, we were simple told one day by the doctors: “We took him off life support last night, because his insurance was cut.” By some miracle he continued breathing on his own, and would be in the hospital another 6 months. Nearly a year after the flood, he was sent home and found out what had happened. Now disabled, barely able to talk or walk, my dad, a life long poultry farmer, suddenly found himself crippled and living in his car.

Meanwhile, my mom had gotten a divorce, remarried and left taking my 3 little brothers with her. Me? I have Autism. I was 30 years old. I had never been to school, never driven a car, never really had contact with humans outside of my family, and had barely spoken a word most of those years. I had been removed from school at age 8, told I was too retarded to be worth teaching anything to, told I would never amount to anything, never drive a car, never have a job, and college was out of the question. No one attempted to teach me any of those things and my childhood, teen and young adult years, had been spent gardening, and rescuing animals.

Fortunately we still owned part of the land, as my dad had divided it up before taking out a mortgage. Here stood the last remaining barn and enough land for me to pitch a tent, only I had no money and no idea how to get any. The concept of a job had never been taught to me. I built a tent out of a 8x6 tarp, and that is where I would live for the next 6 years, including through 3 blizzards and 5 more hurricanes. I was alone for the first time in my life. My dad was in the hospital and who knows where my mom had run off to. By October 2006 I had my first job, at age 31. By December I had my car, a $900 1992 Volvo 240GL, which I have since found out was so cheap because it has a bad habit of falling apart, usually while driving down the road. Though I had the car, I was not yet able to drive it, but it was a place to live in on days it was too cold or wet to stay under the tarp.

I discovered that if I had a college degree, I could get a better job, so college became my next goal, though to jump from Grade 3 to college 27 years later, with no schooling since I was 8 years old, meant I had a huge challenge to hurdle here. Math was than and still is, my biggest challenge, but I finally received my GED in December 2010 and my driver’s licence August 2011. September 2011 I started my first semester of college at YCCC. I transferred to SMCC in the Spring 2012. I had now completed nearly everything the psychologists had said someone with my kind of Autism would never do: I had a job, I had and was driving a car, and I was in college. The last step was to be able to live on my own, in a place of my own, without the help of shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries. I had to move out from under the tarp and find a place to live. This has troubled me for the past 6 years. See, while I can work, my Autism limits what I am able to do, and also limits who is willing to hire me. The result is I make $7.75 a hour for only 14 hours a week, which barely pays the $40 a week gas I need to get to college, not to mention the constant repairs needed to keep my car running. Thankfully I can eat at the college for only $5 a meal, otherwise I’d still be eating only 1 or 2 skimpy meals a week at soup kitchens. I can barely afford to eat and drive to college, how can I afford an apartment when prices are more per week than my income is per month? After searching high and low for a solution, a solution presented itself one day when visiting a relative and watching Robin Williams (than) latest movie: “RV”. My tarp-tent is pitched on the boarder of The Powderhorn Campground. I spend each summer surrounded by thousands of RVs in all shapes and sizes, but I never once thought of them as anything but vacation vehicles. I had never been inside one, and I had no idea that nearly 20 million Americans live in them full time. I could not afford a house. I could not afford an apartment. I could however, if I saved enough money, eventually afford an old motorhome. It took me three years to do it, but I finally saved up $4,000 and set out to find myself a motorhome.

Yesterday, February 21, 2012 was a very big day for me. A milestone. Yesterday I bought a 22 foot 1975 Dodge Sportsman F40 Class C Motorhome. Her previous owner, a race car driver, had used her as a rally car, and painted her to match his race car, a Sublime Green 1970 Dodge Charger. He called her “No Hurry” because she moved so slow and never seemed in a hurry to get any place. She is bright fluorescent, metallic lime green, with flat black racing stripes, and covered sides and back with race car sponsor stickers. Inside she has NASCAR decor and a 2 inch thick shag carpet. And now for the first time,  I am at school today, as a person who is no longer homeless. My house may be small, just 22 ft long by 9 ft wide, and it may be on wheels, but it’s a house, none the less. Once again I have a bed and a toilet, a full kitchen, a dinning room, there’s even a bath tub (a rare thing to find in an RV), a bright 1970’s mustard yellow bath tub surrounded by green shag carpet, but a bathtub never the less. A place to wash, a place to eat, a place to sleep, and for the first time since I started college, I can do my homework at home, no more coming to college early and staying late, trying to get all my homework done all in one day! And more importantly it’s warm and dry. Everything is small of course and being 40 years old it has it’s problems, but still, it’s a house and for the first time in 6 years, I can finally say, I am no longer homeless.




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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat



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3 comments:

  1. Thanks Wendy, I really enjoyed reading about you and what you have done that no one thought possible.

    Doug

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! This is awesome. Given all that you have lived with, you've made an amazing transition — tent, to car, to college, to movable home.

    Blessings and Bear hugs in the rest of your adventure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful story and so wonderful that you have a dry warm home. You are an amazing woman. Bright Blessings as you journey on....

    ReplyDelete