April 2011

This last week, the packing has started to ramp up. We come home from work each night and make sure that we have packed at least one box before we sit down. The staging area in the lounge room is starting to fill up with the stuff that we will move into secure storage. If it fits into the volume we have allocated, then it will fit into the storage area. We’ll have a garage sale on the morning of Saturday 16th and move the bulk of our stuff into the aforementioned storage, then on Sunday 17th, we’ll take a trailer load out to the shed at Gundaroo, including the fridge, washing machine and dryer, and most of our clothes (those of them that aren’t packed in the bus). We’ll then live in the bus in the driveway for a few days (still showering in the house, of course) until we head off to Melbourne. This will give us a few evenings to work out how to deal with what’s left over, get the house cleaned, etc.

I picked up a bus transfer job this weekend, so took the opportunity of taking the bus out to Queanbeyan to make sure we could get it into the storage place with the honkin’ big trailer that we are hiring for the whole weekend at half price. Managed to get some comparison photos between it and one of the Deane’s buses.

The job turned out to be the Old Girls of the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School taking a guided tour of the new National Arboretum. Fascinating. Our guide is the Chairman of Friends of Forests and has been instrumental right from the start in the development of the Arboretum. I took some stunning panorama views from the lookout at the top (as usual, click the picture for the whole thing) and also managed to get one of the guys on the tour to take my picture in the drivers seat.

Holy crap! We must be moving, the fridge has had all of its magnets removed and the lounge room really is starting to look like a staging area. About 2 weeks later, and it certainly was a staging area. We eventually separated stuff into “storage”, “shed or bus” and “garage sale”, each in a different room. After the (dismal) garage sale was over, and Frank & I had taken a load to each of secure storage and the shearing shed at the farm, we than had the rest of the week to stage all the remaining stuff out of the house into the carport, to again be separated into “storage”, “shed”, “bus”, “leave” and “chuck out”. The “leave” pile was the useful (we think) bits and pieces that we thought our new tenants would appreciate being left behind, and not necessarily part of the inventory. The “chuck out” pile was a combination of give away and rubbish.

Julie did an absolutely sterling job of packing all of the “bus” stuff into the various nooks and crannies in the bus. At this stage, we are very pleased with what and how we have managed to pack, and we were very surprised to find that we still had a couple of empty drawers! Julie has just told me that she’s not totally happy with the arrangement of how things are packed. From reading what other motorhomers say, I suspect she never will be, but since her domain is inside and mine is outside, ….

On the morning of Good Friday, we borrowed Tim’s trailer and took another (smaller) load to secure storage and managed to fit all of it into the storage unit. We then packed even more stuff into the car, also destined for storage, and a full load in the Zook, and took both cars out to Gundaroo to leave them in the paddock. Finally, at about 3pm, we were on the road! We made it as far as Cooma for the night. Saturday was a long day on the road, ending at the motorhome park in the Sale showground. I think it’s still sinking in that we really are doing this.

After 3-4 months of being off work, Julie has finally had a chance to process all of the trauma that has pushed her buttons over the last few years, and is now feeling much stronger and more relaxed and stable. She appreciates having made the trip back to Seattle in 2009, during which she really cleared the air with her parents, especially her mother.

The dogs have of course been really stressed by the confusing state of being locked in the yard, but not allowed in the house, especially after it had been cleaned. I think that now we are actually on the road again, they might settle into the “on the road” routine. Certainly hope so, because Kelly’s breath stinks and is not getting any more food until he eats a Denta-Stick, and Angel has had the squirts all day. The good news is that she has just polished off a Denta-Stick herself, so we figure she’s probably over it.

Funny. While shopping earlier in the week, Julie discovered that the price of a carton of smokes is about the same as the total price of a week’s worth of groceries. Especially now that she has to seriously ask not only “do we need it” and “will we use it”, but also “where will we put it”. She says that after this carton is gone, that’s it. She quits. God help us all!

Melbourne. Time with the kids.

Taggerty. Time with fellow motorhomers.

Glenrowan. Dinner with Des & Helen. Julie went to Helen to check out knitting stuff that Helen’s mother had hoarded. Des went with me to Bunnings to pick up water hose and chicken wire to make into a pet pen.