Thursday, May 16, 2019

How Do You Do It?

That is a loaded question…. But it is the most frequently asked question by those new to or not in “the lifestyle” More specifically, the question is “How do you do it, how can you be with your spouse 24/7?”

Life on the road is so different than our prior lives. Work separated us 10-12 hours a day during the week. Barrel races and hunting/fishing trips separated us many of the weekends but going from that to rarely being apart came quite naturally for us. We never had a question that this might be an issue. It is really a common theme of nearly all of the couples we have met on the road. We have yet to run into a couple who do not seem like they are best friends and show any signs of issues in this area. I guess if this were an issue those individuals either never went on the road or did not last very long.

Oh, everyone needs their time alone, even us. That’s why I don’t go with Barb when she does the laundry, or the shopping. I will even go so far as give her alone time by sitting in a deer or duck blind. Selfless I know, but that’s just how much I care about Barb and giving her some space.

These past 6 weeks, when we started building the house have been the most stressful in the past 5 years. In fact we have had couples who have been living in their RV fulltime for years ask us "How do you do it? I could never build a house with my spouse!" Working together side-by-side on something new to both of us, something we are not totally confident with is just a little more than stressful. Truthfully, the first two weeks were rough but the past 4 have been almost argument free! If only she would realize that I am right all the time, we would not have a problem!

Speaking of couples who seem to tolerate each other just fine in 400 square feet. Steve and Deb McCormick stopped by this week for a few days. They were going to stay right on our property with us but recent rains left the driveway a mess. As it ended up the driveway dried up and they could have stayed here after all. Oh well, we had a good time regardless.
Their first full day here was Saturday which coincided with Kevin and friend Tom arriving from Wisconsin. The main reason for Kevin and Tom’s trip was to drop off a semi-trailer filled with windows and other goodies for his house. But as long as they were here they spent a day helping put up the remaining trusses over the garage. Thanks to Debbie for the pictures!
Kevin is driving the skidsteer while Barb guides the trusses with a rope
It was an absolutely miserable day for working outside let alone putting up trusses. Throughout the day we had rain, hail and 40+mph winds.
Hard to see but that is me perched on the left wall, Tom is in the middle and 
Steve is on the scaffolding

The finished product!
Kevin said that if he were home there was no way he would have set trusses in that kind of wind but we did not have a choice and were able to get it done. That is a huge milestone for us as it was one thing that Barb and I could have never done by ourselves.

After the work was all done the 6 of us sat in the rig, had dinner and medicated our weary bones with a variety of remedies that Steve brought over or were in our liquor cabinet. Early the next morning Kevin and Tom were on the road headed back to Wisconsin and Barb, Deb, Steve and I headed to our favorite fishing hole.

Since it was Mother’s Day Steve and I were the true gentlemen and let them catch the biggest fish.
Barb caught several nice ones
Not to be left our Deb landed this beauty!
We then treated them to the Hill City Brewery tour which consisted of The Firehouse, Sick N Twisted and The Miner Brewing Co.

Then it we headed back to our place where we had Chili Verde that Steve had put in the crock pot before we left.  That was followed by cocktails around the campfire. Their visit was short but we had a great time!

With all the trusses set we were ready to get started on the roofing! Not quite yet, I needed to cut the tails on each of the trusses, install sub-facia and put hurricane screws into each of the trusses. While I did that Barb planted 50 trees that she had ordered from the county extension office.  


Trees planted, trusses secured now we could start the roofing. But how to get the sheets of roofing 16' up in the air so we could get started? Thank goodness for Kevin's skidsteer. We put 6 sheets at a time on the basket and lifted it high enough where we could just slide them onto the roof. The first couple were a struggle. In fact Barb sent me for a time out so I could readjust my attitude but once we got our rhythm we were moving pretty fast and by the end of the day we had one half of the house section with roofing on it!
Whooped but smiling Barb admires her work!
The weather was brutal again but in the opposite direction. We have the craziest weather here! In the last week we have had rain, snow, hail and hot scorching sun. It just cannot make up its mind.
Plus we have more guests arriving this week so we will have some help as well as an excuse to set down the tools and play a little as well!

35 comments:

  1. We have been full-time now 13 years and have no issues with this lifestyle, I do the shopping, Laundry and cooking Suzie sorts the laundry and does the dishes, this just seems so natural for us.
    You are moving right along getting things taken care of, you will have a nice place when you get things all done.

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    1. I think having a little alone time is smart. I think the people who do have issues being together so much don't last on the road and end up going back to sticks and bricks.

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  2. It's coming along great! Let me know when we should arrive for the final inspection. I am glad that Barb is able to give you time outs. I have to stand in the corner once in awhile myself.

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    1. It's ready for inspection now, come on by! There is absolutely no work left so it is safe for you to stop by.

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  3. We became best friends before we started dating and got married but like yourselves there are alone chore times that give us our separation time.
    You two are doing a great job on your house as it's really taking shape.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your time together.

    It's about time.

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    1. Wow, so how long have you two known each other? Barb and I only knew each other for 3 months before getting married.

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  4. It’s amazing how much you guys have done in such a short period of time! So true about being together 24/7...us RVers are a special breed but you guys have taken it one step further. Those are some nice fish!

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    1. Not only that, it is not very often that you run into a grumpy fulltimer. Oh, they are out there but they are few and far between!

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  5. Wow your barndo is sure taking shape. Way to go both of you. Once it's done you won't have anything to do then what???? I'm sure you will fill your time with other fun things. lol Hopefully the weather gets more steady for you while you are building.

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    1. We are already dreaming about the days that we wake up and think we have nothing to do. You are right though, we will find something fun to do!

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  6. Our lives after retirement sound similar actually. Leslie & I were both shift workers and I had night shift every second set as well, some months we saw each other for only 2 or 3 days. It was odd at first but we found a rhythm and it works good. Plus we're Canadian and our guns are locked up and I don't bring them south so I sleep pretty good lol.
    Great work on the house! Trusses and sheathing on the roof is huge with the weather you've had. We've been getting the same weird weather, from shorts to a winter coat. Play safe !!

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    1. We hope to have it all dried in by the end of June then head up to Ontario for a few weeks for a well deserved break!

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  7. "...sent me for a time out...". Been there, done that. You two are doing a great job.

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    1. I will have to admit, I was getting a little grumpy and probably deserved it.

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  8. We got that same question from so many of our friends. It takes true best friends to life full time in an RV. We knew we would be fine because we were always together before retirement. Even now in 2300 sq ft we are still always together. So sweet of you to let Barb have some alone time to take care of your laundry and shop for food for you. And you are extra special to let her sit alone in the blind/tree stand. What a guy...haha! Love that you got a time out. I am sure you needed it. We can appreciate all your hard work. John and my dad built an A frame camp years ago. John was just reminding me about how the two of them got the tresses up. What a process. My parents also had a tree farm and then moved to Egypt. They ordered 125 seedlings that turned out to be year old trees that needed a 12x12x12 hole. John and I were left to hand plant them!!! Thanks goodness my parents came back for awhile and rented a digger. But we did over 50 by hand...ugh!! You guys are really rocking it!! Hope your weather improves for you. Nice to see you had a little fun.

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    1. Those trees sounded like a lot of work. There is so much rock here and so little topsoil that Barb could not plant them where she wanted to and had to hunt and peck around for places she could actually get deep enough. They are all planted now and hopefully will take root!

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  9. Wow - I continue to be so impressed with you guys! Bill and I also need “time-outs” occasionally - but not too often! People also ask us the “how do you do it” question - after almost 34 years of marriage and 5 years together before that and having been friends since so early in our childhoods we don’t remember the first “meeting” - it comes naturally to us, as natural as breathing air. It’s an awesome lifestyle for sure!

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    1. Man, you guys have been together FOREVER! That is awesome.

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  10. Yup, we've gotten that question plenty of times too. We are together just about 24/7 - we even do the shopping together... I have no explanation for it. It just works and I wouldn't have it any other way. I definitely agree with you though: if your relationship isn't 'built' for this lifestyle, you won't last long in an RV. There is no way to 'paper over' problems if they do exist.

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    1. You are right, it is kind of like having a baby thinking it will fix your marriage.......

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  11. We couldn't wait to retire so we could be together more. We even prefer to volunteer together. A lot of folks just don't understand that...but it just works for us. To each their own, I guess!

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    1. I think if we were to volunteer together, we would like the same shifts but different duties in different areas.

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  12. You guys are amazing...honestly, I never met anyone who built there own house...I feel kinda like a wimp! LOL...honestly, so happy for you. ....and the "time out". that is PRICELESS...

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    1. Some days we are motivated to get out there and get working, other days we look at it like we bit off more than we can chew. This week the weather is not cooperating so we are just staring at it out the window while it rains and rains......

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  13. We aren't full timers but we are together full time and I can't imagine wanting it any other way! We've been married almost 47 years and together since I was 13. Your home is coming together beautifully and I give Barb a lot of credit for getting on that roof and doing that work! The brewery tour is something we would definitely enjoy too!

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    1. The Black Hills has a dozen or so breweries, our plan is to hit them all one by one until they are all checked off our list. We have been to the local ones several times. Miners is probably our favorite so far.

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  14. We do most things together, since I don't fish when we're in TX we both do things by ourselves. Elsewhere if I want some along time I head up to the bedroom with a book and chill out there. Years ago we took on a large construction project, our house went from 900sq ft to over 3500 sq ft, the only thing we didn't do was the foundation and we had help with the trusses. In 1984 we were in a major car accident on 6/21, the immediate after affects were I had no upper body strength and he couldn't move around because of a knee injury. We learned quick to work as a team and it still carries over to today. In this lifestyle if you're not best friends with your traveling partner you probably won't make it. Wish we could stop in and help out like so many have but alas this is the summer for the northeast. Kudo's to you both for all your hard work.

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    1. The bedroom is a good get away to read a book or watch a movie. When ever I go up there to ready a book I usually fall asleep within a few minutes. Barb says I am a very loud "reader" as she can hear me from the living room!

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  15. Being as we've been fulltimers 16+ years, married 36+ years, we figure this works pretty good for us as a team and best friends. Living in a small space, you learn to do the RV dance and then there is a time or two that 'time-out' is sitting outside to reflect on your comment or action. We all have those! ;) You two are a great team, working to make your dream home on your land. It's looking great and we look forward to seeing it sometime this summer before wintering south. XO J & B

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    1. You two are a great example and I thought of you while writing that post. Hurry up and get back here, the bucks antlers are about 3-4"s tall right now and they are waiting for you!

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  16. (Don) Donald WubbenMay 23, 2019 at 9:23 AM

    Those are nice trout. What was fly or bait. If flies did you ty them?? Construction is really moving fast. ...

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    1. Barb and I both used flies and I caught one of them on a San Juan worm that I tied myself!

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  17. Your progress on the house is amazing. Way to go Team! I agree I think most RV couples are closer than most couples that live a "normal" life. Of course it takes very giving guys like the two of us.

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    1. Thanks! There is a lot of give and take until you get into your groove, then things seem to go along pretty seamlessly.

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  18. Lots of progress! And a good thing some friends stop by to help you with the trusses and some fun times in between.
    My alone time is shopping and laundry!
    We continue to be amazed by your teamwork but most especially to Barb, she is a wonderwoman.

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