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

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bachelder Brook and the Arrival of No Hurry by Rev. Wendy Christine Allen aka EelKat


Literature and the Environment                               
Class Anthology Selection #1

Bachelder Brook and the Arrival of No Hurry
by  Rev. Wendy Christine Allen aka EelKat

A section taken from June 10, 2012 Response Paper for Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi”, answering the question: “How does this reading connect to another idea, reading, film, event etc. and explain the connection.”                                         

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 rubble, 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 simply told after the fact, 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 lifelong 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. My childhood, teen and young adult years, had been spent gardening, writing short stories, and rescuing animals.

Fortunately we still owned part of the land, as my dad had divided it up before taking out the mortgage. Here stood the last remaining barn (still full of hens) and enough land for me to pitch a tent, only I had no money and no idea how to get any. My writing paid $5 here, $10 there. 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, 5 more hurricanes, and Maine’s record breaking cold front with its -48F temps. 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, a sales associate at Macy’s, 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, too wet, or too windy 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, meant I had a huge challenge to hurdle here. Writing since age 3, and having amassed a 10,000+ book collection over the years, put me off the charts in English, History, and Science scores, but Math was then and still is, my biggest challenge. 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. Only one thing now stood in my way: I was still homeless.

The last step, the last hurdle psychologists predicted I could not overcome, 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 had 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 needed to get to college, not to mention the constant repairs needed to keep my car running. Some days its down to a close of do I buy food to eat this week, or do I put gas in the car so I can drive the 42 miles to class. 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 or being forced to skip a lot of classes in order to get a few meals each week. That leaves nothing left over for anything else, however. I can barely afford to eat and to 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”. I live in Old Orchard Beach, surrounded by 37 campgrounds, and 200,000 motorhomes. My tarp-tent is pitched on the border 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 saw them as little more than tents on wheels. Was what I saw in the movie true? Where they in fact a house? The family in the movie were fulltimers, but that was just a movie, wasn’t it? No, in fact it was not. The big red motorhome in the movie, really was the fulltime home of the man who drove it in the movie. People actually live in these things. These are real houses. This was the discovery that changed everything for me. I had never been inside a motorhome before, 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, and here I was in Old Orchard Beach, where I was bumber to bumber with hundreds of motorhomes with for sale signs on their dash. Before I knew it I was in every one of them testing them out. It took me three years to do it, but I finally saved up $4,000 and set out to buy myself a motorhome.

February 21, 2012 was a very big day for me. A milestone. It was the day 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 I am at school, 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 bathtub (a rare thing to find in a small RV). A place to wash, a place to eat, a place to sleep, and for the first time since I started college, I could 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 could finally say, I am no longer homeless.

Mark Twain’s story, Life on the Mississippi, reminded me of these events in my life. The brook which overflowed, throughout my childhood, teen, and young adult years, had long been my friend, a happy place to play, a thing of beauty, a place of peace and serenity. In 1991 Hurricane Bob (the worst hurricane to ever hit Old Orchard - my five best friends were killed during Bob - found dead on the shores of our brook) thrashed through, turning our brook into a river and desperately damaging our house and the barns. The repairs were never done, and when Katrina came through a few years later, flooding the brook again, the building damaged by Bob, were swept away by Katrina. Strange, I grew up always in the brook, waist deep catching frogs, eels and trout, yet after the flooding of Bob, I never played in it again, and kept my distance from the deepest parts of it. I began to see the brook as a bringer of death. Wonderful, beautiful, playful, peaceful one day, the dreadful harbinger of death the next. Like Twain, I had a new look at the brook, I saw it through new eyes, eyes of knowing - knowing the beauty, yet now also knowing the dangers. For 40 years I saw this brook bring happiness, joy, and life, and twice I saw it bring destruction and death. My love for water is still as deep as ever, but my respect for it has grown as well. I understand why Twain, now sees his river in a different light. Now that he knows how to read the river, it has lost its sense of magic, beauty, and mystery. He saw it before, as a child, unknowing, oblivious, able to look and see it only for its beauty. But learning its language, learning to read the signs, now every time he looks at it, he sees only the signs, and no more the mystery. I know the feeling, a longing for the day when you knew it only as a beautiful thing, before you knew that water was far more than just a thing of beauty.



















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Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka Empress EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow






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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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