Thursday, September 06, 2012



Another fine September morning had little Sweet Pea & I on the road again. Our usual weekly errands run with a stop for gas, some groceries, & a shared turkey salad sandwich. Many years ago in the late 70’s I had come across a rather unique farm near Dungannon Ontario. It was a farm like no other. Frolicking Monkeys, Flamingos, strolling Peacocks & I may even remember a Zebra & Buffalo or two. It was a labor of love for the farm owner with fenced acres of trees & ponds for all the animals . I have been by this farm several times in recent years & everything has been maintained & kept up nicely, but most of the more exotic animals are gone now, but not all. I knew Pheebs would enjoy seeing the animals along the roadside fence line so that is where we headed, sharing our sandwich along the way.

As soon as Pheebs jumped out of the Jeep she was greeted by a dozen Llamas, a couple of Horses, half a dozen Elk, (or were they Deer) and an assortment of Goats, Geese, Swans, & Ducks. And, there may have been other inhabitants there as well which we didn't see. Pheebs was so exited by the Llamas that she raced up & down along the fence line.  They had no fear of her.  If not for the fence between them, Pheebs would have been right in there bumping noses & wanting to play with the Llamas. Remember how well she got along with all the free range cows last March near Congress, Arizona.


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While looking up some info for my Wednesday blog I came across a post I had written a couple years ago. It's a little something about trading in old sacks of problems for new ones. It may be relevant right now for Donna & Russ over at TRAVELS IN THERAPY as they wrestle with a frustrating problem regarding their present & future RVing plans.


We will always have our little sack of problems. The weight & size may very but the sack, whether it be filled with new or old problems, remains with us whether we like it or not. And nope, no amount of 'positive thinking' makes your sack of problems go away. You may handle that sack differently than a negative or realistic thinker, but one thing is certain, we all have that ever changing sack of problems from the beginning of life to the end. To keep it simple, I will try to relate this all to the RV side of things.  And, I should add, these are only my opinions & theories:))

Here's the way I see it. Through life we are constantly burdened with ever changing sacks of problems. Some bigger & heavier than others. We humans are always steady customer’s at the 'Problem Store.' It's probably the busiest store in the world. When you tire of a set of problems, you take that sack of problems to the "Problem Store & get rid of it. In other words, you deal with that specific set of problems. However, you do not walk out of that store problem free. You only trade in that sack of old problems for a sack of new problems. A sack of new problems is generally more exciting than that old sack you just traded in though. I for one sometimes tire of old problems & head off to the problem store to trade them in for some brand spanking new ones.

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Applying this theory to the RV side of life it could go something like this.  You have a dream to be free.  A dream to live a full time RV lifestyle.   You sell your house & all your stuff.   No more problems with yard work, shovelling snow, house cleaning, not to mention all the house maintenance, taxes, house insurance, on & on & on. How nice it would be to not have to worry about all those problems. Whoooops, forgot one little thing here.


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Despite having just been to the problem store getting rid of that whole sack of old ‘sticks & bricks’ problems you now exit the store with a new sack of problems in your hand.   Remember, it was only a trade in, & now you must begin dealing your new set of problems. Its just the way it is & there is no getting around it!!.

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Your new sack is going to contain some surprises for you. Yes, there are still all the old stand-by favs like leaky plumbing, electrical headaches, leaking doors & window, carpet spills & stains, plugged toilets, hot water shortages, blackouts, leaky roofs, & furnace failures, etc. etc. But, some of the new surprises may come in the form of rooms (slides) becoming stuck & leaving you boondocked out in the middle of nowhere with no way to go anywhere. Or how about one of your hydraulic jacks not retracting & leaving you in the same position as above.   Don't laugh, both those things have happened to us. Maybe it’s a blow-out on an Interstate with the resulting flying rubber disintegrating the front of your tow vehicle, or worse yet…... fire!! 



Other surprises hiding in your little sack of new problems might have to do with things like a sudden & messy break in a sewer line at a dumping station, wind gusts while driving or boondocking that are trying to totally eliminate you from the face of the planet, crowded campgrounds that require you to grease the sides of your unit to fit it into a space or hauling 50 or 60 feet of RV through unfamiliar large cities & crowded downtowns.   Breakdowns, accidents, soaring fuel costs, shaky security, sudden or long term health issues with no immediate health services around, no personal physician, & no Tim Hortons for a thousand miles in any direction.   The endless list just goes on & on & on. How about the fact of living in small box about 8 feet wide, 15 or 40 feet long for weeks, months, & years at a time.  All those things can probably be found tucked away neatly in your new sack of problems just waiting for their 15 minutes of undivided attention.

Anyway, I think you get my drift when I say the RV dream lifestyle has to looked at through totally realistic eyes. However, don't look too hard or you just might be forced to abandon your dream focus. You just may resolve yourself to hanging onto your old sack of problems. After all, at least they are predictable.  You may convince yourself that at least with them you know what to expect in their usual boring humdrum routine. 

But, you know what, gimme a new set of problems & let me go live & play where I wanna be. Give me the cold nights, the big winds, the broken water pump, & the flat tires. Just don't make me grind along with the same heavy old sack of boring problems day after day.


Hmmmmmm, I think I just may be long overdue for a good old trip to the 'Problem Store'.....10-4!!


GROANER'S CORNER:(( If a man is alone in the garden and speaks, and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong??
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.


  1. Definitely elk.

    I like my sack of RV problems, most of the time. Now the truck problems have gotten a little old. Must be time to trade that in.

  2. I wouldn't trade my RV sack for the old stix and bricks sack for anything.

  3. meet you at the 'problem store', Al..we will be the ones with the 'big sack'!

  4. I think I made a mistake buying the RV I did in 2008, but it got me to where I am today - certainly not problem free, but RV free at least. Like the old adage goes, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". I learned a lot and met a whole lot of wonderful people along the way, as well as a few not so wonderful. I just try to go with the flow in life and it works pretty well for me.

  5. Even if you were to stay at with the sticks and brick home there is no guarantee that the problems would continue to be the same. Some of the same BIG problems such as trees falling, fire and other natural events happen there as well. What it really takes is the ability to roll with the 'punches', sort out a solution and wing it till you can cruise on again. One thing I have definitely learned... in this life there are no guarantees. Fake it till you make it is a good enough mantra for me!

  6. Well I must say, Al you have a great way to view changes we chose to make.
    I do think there is some good wisdom in them thar words.
    Many people including me have traded a motorcycle, just to get a new set of "what is going to fail next". I get bored with my choices, so I keep them low budget in case I develop a need to swap them for another set.
    Did you hear about the giant storm in Alaska? We may still be on a generator up to 5 days from now. How I wish it was a quiet Onan hooked to my 80 gallon RV fuel tank. It is one of those stick & brick problems you would never suspect.

  7. You've covered an aspect of Life very well with your Problem Store analogy, Al. Both Dave and I sure wouldn't trade our RV sack for the "regular world" one, that's a given.

  8. excellent read Al..and oh so true....but well worth the far...your post certainly puts a new perspective on it all...

  9. Loved the llama photos--Mike and I used to have llamas. Those are definitely elk--it's cool Pheebs is so calm around the animals.

  10. Great Posting!

    Six years ago we traded the sticks and bricks sack for the rv sack. And still just love the adventure, the lifestyle, and the changing scenery that it brings along with it and even the few problems that happen to pop up, makes everyday a new day.

  11. I believe the key here is to NOT concentrate on the sack of problems in life, but the sack of good fortunes, which is also ever ebbing and flowing along....As that old song, "That's Life", says, "I just pick myself up and get back in the race"......

  12. My take is that without problems we'd have nothing to overcome... no challenges, nothing to exercise our brains and bodies, nothing to test our courage or resolve, nothing much to learn from.

    From all problems comes learning. It's how we're wired. Given that we will always have that sack to tote around, I'd just as soon be on the road, getting smarter every day from it's contents. Great thoughts Al, thanks.
    Box Canyon Mark

  13. Great post, Al! I'd sure like to be "sack-free" for a couple of days! Perhaps next time I visit the store I can sneak out and leave my new sack on the counter?

  14. Pheebe seems to find so much joy in every little thing. I cannot help but smile whenever I see her.

  15. LOVE the llamas! I spin them into the softest socks ever-----

    As for the sacks, we traded off a big big sack getting rid of the house, and now have a much smaller and more manageable sack of RV stuff that makes us sooo happy!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  16. Great post Al. I for one am glad I still have the stix and brix set of problems along with the RV problems to deal with - the best of both worlds as far as I am concerned. But we are all different and that is what makes the world so interesting. Even though we have some major problems with the tow car, I am still so very thankful for the fact that we have never been injured and the problems have all been solvable. We keep learning as we journey on and some days are better than others. I think that's called "Life!" Again, great post and wonderful thoughts.

    Loved Pheebs in her "play" posture outside the llama fence.