It was the week after our Camping World excursion with my siblings. We were newbies to the RV world, inundated and overwhelmed with information. Like drinking from a fire hose. There was SO much information out there to swallow! We read blogs, devoured RV manufacturer information, combed through national camping organizations, scoured catalogs, and signed up for RV facebook groups.These were the words that kept coming out of our mouths:Oh, crap. Are we really going to launch into this lifestyle?and…Oh, crap. I’m so excited! How are we going to survive the wait till we can live this RV dream?
John and I found ourselves waking at 2 am to stick post-it reminders on our computer screens. You know, important stuff like:
Check to see if my hair color will stain the walls of the shower.
Decide on what food to make for our bon-voyage party.
Where will the dog kennel fit in the RV?
Check out those cute unbreakable dishes at Pier One.
Find out what a Domicile is.
So now we were overloaded with information AND sleep deprived.Even though we had absolutely no experience RVing, we were feeling cocky. This was fun and going to be a breeze, we thought out loud. Oh, we were SO SMART!That was January of 2015.By the end of February we continued to be filled with anticipation – but there was a giant hurdle we had yet to jump over. That was,Um…how were we going to afford doing this RV thing?This is where Ken comes in.
Each year we met with Ken Wundrow, our financial advisor and tax planner. Since 2005 Ken had been spearheading a successful financial strategy for me, and that continued after John and I were married in 2010.Ken is not just our trusted advisor, additionally, he is fun to play jokes on. For instance:Joke #1: This mischief began when I announced that I was getting married in May of 2010.“Whaaat?” Ken exclaimed.He had no idea. Ken had me pegged as a lifetime single woman. Yup, and I informed Ken that I wanted to introduce my fiance’ to him at our upcoming February meeting in 2010. I casually mentioned to Ken that my fiance’s name was John, but I purposely left off John’s last name. The day of our meeting we just about gave Ken a heart attack. Ken strolled out to the waiting room to greet us, his eyeballs nearly jumping out of the sockets when he laid eyes on my ‘John’. You see, John Emmerich had been a former client of Ken’s!
One more time!
Joke #2. In 2015 we were ready to spring another whopper on Ken. We had called a few weeks before our February tax and financial appointment letting Ken know that we had some surprising news.(And yes, he wondered if I was pregnant.)We walked into Ken’s office holding three spreadsheet scenarios for when we could launch our RV lifestyle. We carefully laid them out in front of him. We wanted his approval for at least one of them.
Sheet #1 contained our plan to full-time RV in 10 years.
Sheet #2 contained a plan for 5 years out.
Sheet #3 contained a plan for 12 months out.
Once again, we shocked Ken. He meticulously studied three excel spreadsheets we placed on his desk. We sat nervously across from him. His fingers were punching the calculator rapidly.After 15 minutes he said “You can do any one of these scenarios, but shoot, if I were you, I’d do it right now.”Did we hear him correctly?!We freaked out with happiness, thanked him profusely. We flew out of his office to continue our mad plans, “scenario #4.”
Paralysis in the basement
Now, back home, John and I were tasked with sorting through all our belongings and making decisions about what we would take along in our RV.
The good news was, we were not pack rats.
The bad news was that I suffered from paralysis of the analysis.
There on the couch sat our first blue bin that we were to sort through. It happened to be some of our camping gear. John held up some wooden spoons to ‘vote’ on.Paralysis.Um….I simply couldn’t decide how many to keep in that blue bin.This was going to take hours, no, correction, weeks!I had to step away.It kind of frightened me how frozen this simple task made me.Eventually, (thanks to John’s ability to throw stuff in trash cans) we managed to fill up our spare bedroom with the basic items that we knew we would want in the RV.
Estate Sale to the Rescue
To avoid my paralysis of the analysis, we decided to have an estate sale. We interviewed three estate sale companies and decided on Chris Bennett of Bennett & Roelofs Estate Service LLC in Sun Prairie, WI.Chris’ 11 year-old daughter wanted our turtle, Mr. 11, and so we hired him. I know, not a logical way to choose a company…but hey, it shows you where my mindset was. (BTW, I will be posting a funny blog later on about the number “11”).The sale was scheduled for June 19th, 2015. It felt fantastic and freeing to have someone else in charge of this huge process.
The final Plunge
By June of 2015:
we had sold everything we had,
had a bon voyage party with over 100 of our dear friends and family
celebrated John’s last day of work
closed on our home
driven our U Haul of belongings towards Elkhart, IN to pick up our BRAND NEW RV!
The checkbook jammed in my back pocket
Humble pie time. Remember my previous story of brother Paul and how I was making fun of him when we went RV shopping? How I was smirking at the checkbook sticking out of his back pocket? Well, now the laugh was on us.WE were the ones walking into our RV closing signing a check to finalize the purchase of our new RV.Click here to read about the ridiculous paralysis I experienced downsizing. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry!