Simply, we should just have to clean the bus and load it- then hit the road, right?


Cancel trash service
Cancel newspaper
Suspend phone service
Unplug all small appliances
Move the plants downstairs
Roll up the trampoline mat
Take down the swings
Introduce the house-sitters to the neighbors
Rotate the tires and change the oil on the van we're leaving behind
Finalize & file 2009 taxes
Wrap up all sign jobs and ....

pack 10 pairs of underwear for myself, a fleece, a waterproof jacket for layering, and ...

You get it. We're almost ready to pull out. Kelly and Anya depart Thursday for LA, California. Anya is scheduled for a palate surgery, and their return flight is one week later- that is, unless we can get there before their flight departs... which will depend on how fast the van upgrades are completed. Truthfully, I expect to be able to pull out around Tuesday the 3rd if all goes well. If not, Kelly and Anya will join us for the great departure.


Yesterday we gratefully slowed the pace for a slice of the afternoon as some friends dropped in to wish us luck with our trip and we had the chance to chat about their Westfalia, and about their great adventure last week.... Get this- a trip to Oregon marred by an engine problem that stranded them in Utah. Sound familiar? Yeah, OUR FAMILY in the summer of 2009 in Tremonton, UT. They pleasantly encouraged us and we had the chance to really visit without being hurried. And we liked it. And we look forward to a lot of that kind of visiting. And slowing down. And- have you ever seen so many fragments start with 'and'? And I'll apologize for it.

Our friend Chloe assumes the Captains position (complete with CB stance), ready to communicate with the nations truckers.

One of Trevor and Ethan's jobs today was to remove and store the trampoline mat in the basement... I read last month that "Boredom is the precursor to creativity" (or something close). T & E give me hope that they will indeed be able to make the best of situations, and play nicely together with their handling of that chore:

Removing & folding the mat as assigned:

Then, making the best of the steel frame in the absence of a legitimate trampoline:

Part of the difficulty of leaving is not knowing what will happen to the customer base of business that we have serviced in the sign business for the last 15 years... Fortunately we have a few friends, and some are in our business. Kent and his wife Judi have been in the sign business for many many years, and can competently handle anything that must be done in lieu of me doing it myself... There's another guy in town that can do most things- and together I know that we won't abandon customers - and it gives me hope for our return when we'll be back to full service signs in the summer of 2011 (?!). You know, that part where we come back from ourBigtrip and start working to pay off our 12 month 'sabbatical' for the rest of our lives...

The Smith's dropped by the house to talk shop.

One of many experiments we will be conducting is that of the shower towel. I have tried with success the use of a hand towel sized drying textile that will save us immensely in laundry and storage hassles- if we can get the troops to buy in. As you may know, kids use 1-3 towels on a bad day as they wash and re shower and waste towels. It stresses a standard household washer and dryer- but an RV plan would crumble.... so we've decided that we'll giver everyone a hand towel of their choosing and let them keep track of it. That will be one of the interesting trials of this trip. We will pack some bath towels for the times we are actually on the beach, but they are special occasion only.

Anya and Meila pick their towels as the girls worked on loading the bus today.