Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It's Good to be Back at Silent Valley

Well dear friends, here we are back in southern California at one of our favorite campgrounds, Silent Valley.  If you are not local and that doesn't tell you where we are, I'll explain.  When one travels on I-10 to Banning (that would be going west from Arizona), one would exit and go up Highway 243 about 9 miles.  Then you turn right onto Poppet Flats RD and continue about 1 mile to the park entrance.  We weren't able to get any of our most favorite RV sites, so we had to go up into the more silent area to find a nice, large, site with 50 amp service!  The drive here yesterday, from Quartzsite, AZ was beautiful and scenic most of the way.  The desert area is quite dry and bare, as you can see.
However, the trip was not without stress.  About 50 miles into CA. we had to stop for an accident on the road.  

Sadly, it didn't look like there could have been any survivors in either vehicle.  The vehicle in the picture on the left was all the way across the road, and the one on the right was on our side of the road.  I said a prayer for the people and for their loved ones.
Yesterday after we got settled, we drove down to the WalMart in Beaumont to pick up our new curtains and comforter for the bedroom, and a few groceries.  Now we are set for a while!  I haven't taken pictures of the comforter and curtains yet, so I'll include them in the next post.

Today our friends Carol & Ray came over to visit us.  They are here in the park with their FMCA group until Thursday.  We have kept in touch while we traveled, but have not seen them since we were all in Quartzsite back in January.  It was great to see them again, and we had a great visit.   They stayed for lunch and we got all caught up on everything.  It was so much fun seeing them today.

Now I would like to talk a little about living tiny.  We enjoy watching TV shows about Tiny House living.  We do NOT intend to buy, or build a tiny house, but we like to watch for ideas that would apply to making the most of RV living.  It always amuses us when we see people who want to transition to tiny house living.  Often, they have tons of clothes and stuff that they need to pare down to fit into a smaller size home.  Their problem is that they THINK they need all that stuff!  We have found that getting rid of stuff we don't use makes life much less stressful.  

When we started our RV life, Jim had three suits, two tuxedos, and four or five sports coats, and I had at least ten long dressy dresses!  Jim ended up with one suit and one sport coat..........and he rarely wears either one!  I have only one dressy dress now, and I can't remember when I have needed it yet.  We have a rule that whenever something new comes in....something else has to go.  This works for us.

Our weakness is kitchen gadgets.  In addition to the basics (stove, microwave and refrigerator), we have:  
a 4-slice toaster & a coffee pot
electric griddle and Power XL air fryer
NewWave Oven and Ninja 3:1 cooker/crockpot
also we have a Cuisinart Griddle, bread machine and an ice cream maker.  

Besides that, we hate going to the laundromat, so we have a portable washer that we can use inside the shower and a spin dryer.  That means we have to hang clothes either outside or in the shower. That's still better than hauling everything out to the laundromat! 

I realize this may not sound like we have pared down very much, but we really have.  We used to have three sets of dishes, but now only one.  We had many pots and pans, but now we have one small and one medium sauce pan.  We have two copper frying pans, one round and one square.  We got rid of many small appliances and serving dishes.  The bowls we have now are collapsible plastic bowls that weigh less and take up less space.  

We got rid of extra sheets and pillow cases, place mats and dish towels, and other linens.  Last week we even went through the dogs clothes and got rid of items that don't fit or have not been worn in a very long time.
I don't feel sad to get rid of things we have not used.  It feels liberating to clean out closets and free up space.  It means the RV is not carrying excessive weight, and that makes it safer for travel.

I have had people ask me about things with sentimental value.  There are a number of ways to deal with that.  One is to give beloved treasures to family members.  They may be thrilled to own a piece of family history.  Another is to take pictures of the item, and keep it on a flash drive so you can see it whenever you want to.  Then the actual item can be donated to someone else who might need it.  Please remember that THINGS are only that, and as such, are not what life is all about.  Yes, we all like to have nice things, but it's important not to let your possessions possess you.

When you travel light, and that applies to all people, not just RVers and other travelers, you are free to enjoy all that is around you.  As I have said before, life is an adventure, so live it.  Life is to be savored and experienced.  Life is not about polishing the silverware, and cleaning the crystal.  My wine glasses are plastic, and the wine still tastes great!  Enjoy the moment.  

Thank God each morning that you wake up to begin another day.  Praise Him for this beautiful world and all He has given you.  And ask Him to take over the tasks of the day, since He knows better than we ever could, what really needs to be done.  Just put your life in His hands and enjoy it.   Pare down your belongings AND your problems, and enjoy life.  None of us knows how many more days we have, so let's not waste any of them on worrying about trivial stuff.

That's it for today.  Have a great one.


  1. I've been through the same process of sort & discard/donate moving from my house to a boat. It's liberating.

    1. Yes, today we discarded stuff that had been stored under the bed! We still had tax records that dated back over 10 years! Also planning a surprise for you when you come to visit.

  2. I've been through the same process of sort & discard/donate moving from my house to a boat. It's liberating.