Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Good Old Days...

 Ah, the good old days, living life without a care in the world. Having someone feed you, cloth you, clean up after you, make all your decisions for the day…. That is the life of Zoey. That epiphany dawned on me the other day as I watched Zoey in the grass chasing a butterfly without a care in the world. I guess the more I think about it my life is not that dissimilar to Zoey except for the carefree part. I have even been known to get distracted and chase an imaginary butterfly (and squirrels) or two. If I were ever to lose Barb I would be in a world of hurt. Sadly, I am losing Barb in a Monday as she takes both of the dogs with her back to South Dakota.

 Speaking of Barb, she made one comment this week that really got me thinking. Back in our working days we had goal dates of when we were going to retire and Barb hit one of those goal dates last month when she turned 62. We used to get these retirement statements from work show how much our pensions would be worth at 55, 62, and so on. The longer you wait, the more you get. Barb’s was quite a bit more if she waited until 62 but she retired at 55 and never regretted it. The thought of working the last 7 years is almost unfathomable. Although we enjoyed our jobs and the people we worked with, the adventures, time together and people we met are worth more than the extra money we would have made.

In a way, I envy the people who are hitting the road this year. When I read blogs or talk to people who are just starting their adventures I see the excitement and sense of wonderment in their eyes and actions. Although we still love traveling and look forward to our upcoming adventures, that initial excitement of going on the road has been long gone. We feel the same way with people who are now building a house, we would just get giddy when we turn the corner to go onto our road to return to our new property thinking about and then actually building our house. That giddy feeling is gone and has been replaced with a warm comforting feeling knowing we are home.

So what if we had waited the 7 more years and left the road amid the pandemic? The world of traveling and the world itself has changed a lot in that time. We certainly would not have met the friends we met, our property would have long been sold and the prices of land out there have almost doubled so we could have never afforded the property we got. Plus, there are thousands of new RV’ers competing for campsites and crowding tourist attractions.

No, we have absolutely no regrets retiring early and leaving that extra money behind. My advice to anyone out there is to do the analysis and figure out how to retire as early as possible and enjoy life.

Zoey continues to entertain us with her antics everyday. Discovering her new world, making friends and yes, chasing the occasional butterfly. Here are a few pictures of her life this week.....



She went for her first 4 wheeler ride!

Doesn't Dakota look thrilled to be sharing her bed with Zoey?!?!?


She met her first cat friend.... 

The cat (Cheetah) love playing with her and will even somehow get between the cab of the truck and the camper window so they can play through the glass.

We put her bed in her crate and now she sleeps in there (during the day) with the door open. I even left her alone in the camper while I was working outside for 30 minutes. When I came back she was sound asleep in her crate.

Zoey continues to annoy the hell out of Dakota but Dakota is putting up with it more and more. Dakota has resigned herself to the world of her life with a puppy and now lets Zoey pull on her lips and ears giving an occasional growl when she pulls too hard. 

Here are a couple of short videos of Zoey annoying Dakota, one with her playing with a ball and one of Dakota taking Zoey for a walk. 



With a little over 2,500 acres in, we are a little over 1/2 way done with planting. The peas are in, the wheat is in and we have now switched to Canola which there is 1,100 acres of. Chris is planting things a little deeper so when the seed germinates it will sit dormant under the soil until the next rain, when it will sprout above the surface and have a better chance of growing in these drought conditions. At least that is the hope!

I got out and rolled the 220 acres peas the other day. I equated this to dragging a 51' kitchen rolling pin behind the tractor to compact the soil, capturing what moisture there is and push all the rocks back down into the ground. 

Other than that I have been busy hauling seed and fertilizer then helping Chris fill the drill cart.

We have been working on taking down another old fence in our spare time, this one is again about 1/2 mile long and is a combination of barbed wire and woven wire. The barbed wire I just need to roll up with the fence wheel after detaching it from the posts. 

Wire roller makes quick work of pulling in old barbed wire

The woven wire we need to roll up by hand.

Our adventures for the week included me going to Bismarck to get a bell with Bob. This one was 28" and was an absolute pig to move. Bob and I could carry it about 5' before we had to rest so it took a while to get it to a concrete area where we could put it on a cart and roll it to the truck
Bob rigging up the carrying pole
But once we got it to the truck we had to lift it into the bed!

Do you ever wonder how many people you can fit into an 11 1/2 foot camper? Well, we know it is at least 7 (and 2 dogs) as we all gathered in there the other day before going to supper in Minot. 


24 comments:

  1. Love the Dakota taking Zoey for a walk vid...that was cute.

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    1. It is fun to see Dakota finally starting to tolerate her!

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  2. Great advice on retiring early, Jim. We couldn’t agree more.

    My back hurts just looking at that bell! Was it from a schoolhouse?

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    1. Yes, it was from a school house just south of Bismarck, I forget the town he said it came from. Boy, are those things loud!

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  3. Dakota took to Zoey pretty quickly. Too cute!! As far as retiring, in the long run, you get more money by retiring early, not to mention the advantage of NOT WORKING!!!

    I also have to say THAT'S CHEATING!! I never had any wire roller when I took down about 25 miles of barbed wire fence on the ranch. I had to hand roll every inch of it. Looks like you are having fun though, and that's what counts. I'm with you on enjoying the home part. Never thought THAT would happen.

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    1. Believe me, we have taken down our fair share of wire without a roller. that roller is sooooo nice! You simply take the wire off the clips, pull it away from the T posts and roll it up!

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  4. I could have written the first part of your posting as it was so similar to us. Although our full-time travels were on boats it is the same. We decided to retire early (no pension for several years) sell everything to make it happen and see the world. Later we learned that it was important to have a home base and have a house again. We do not regret any of our decisions. If you want to travel, do it early while you are fit, don't wait for pensions etc. but also don't forget there comes a time when you want to settle again. We still love and want to travel, but are glad to have a house to come back to.

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    1. Our sentiments exactly! We never thought we would find our dream property and build a house so soon. We thought we would FT for about 10 years and then settle down. We still want to travel and plan to a lot this summer with some home time mixed in.

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  5. We feel the same "the good old days". We don't regret going back to a bricks and sticks life with the possibilities of travel thrown in after the pandemic. We were on the road ourselves for 7 years and loved every minute, but enjoy a new chapter in our lives as well. Zoey sure is a cute little monkey. Happy to hear Dakota is adjusting to her well.

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    1. We are in the same boat as you, glad we did it, want to do it some more but glad to have a home base as well!

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  6. I may have some thoughts on the whole "go while you're young and don't wait too long to do the things you want to do" concept. :) We've been reminded early and often how fragile life can be and we just weren't willing to take a chance. Of course, now we have to figure out what we're gonna do next, but I am very, very glad we did this RV travel thing when we did. The costs and aggravation of camping are getting higher and higher. Of course, the cost of home ownership is spiraling too - which is exactly why you guys timed it perfectly.

    Zoey is just too freaken cute!

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    1. I bet you do! I bet you could give a class on the pros and cons as well stresses of going on the road at a young age. You are right about us timing it right, we could afford what we got after just these past three years!

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  7. Zoey seems to be adjusting well and you are having way too much fun on that farm.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  8. Wise words on hitting the road at a younger age. There are no guarantees in life as far as health and mortality. Zoey has sure fit in quickly.

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    1. Wow, that is the first time anyone has said that about words I have written!

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  9. So happy to be on the road and a big yes to meeting RV friends! Puppy us do cute and Dakota is so good with her. What’s you’re friend doing with the bell? Love all the farm stuff!

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    1. Right now it is just being displayed in their front yard. He plans to refurbish it and paint in sometime this winter.

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  10. Totally agree with everything you said. We retired as soon as we could and early. One never knows what tomorrow brings. We have said so many time how glad we were with our timing. We managed to stay ahead of the crowds that have come since (at the time we didn't know how lucky we were). I wouldn't want to be just heading out now. We, too, are quite pleased to have a nice spot to enjoy life when not out on the road. So very glad to have been settled when our world fell apart. It's a good life, for sure. Love Dakota "walking" Zoey!!! Zoey looks like she is settling in just fine.

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    1. Our timing was very similar to yours as far as having a home base to ride out the last year. Now we are itching to get out and see the country again!

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  11. If I may be so bold as to offer a comment. I never knew you were so deep and philosophical. It must be from those endless hours of sitting in a tractor cab with nothing to do but wax poetically. I too agree with you, that when we started the fulltiming lifestyle, it was new and full of adventures. There were so many places we have never seen or been to. But as time went on we started going through areas we have already been too and the newness was gone. Finding places to stay started to become a hassle. So building the cabin and barn was a way to occupy time away from the road and a good place to stay for the pandemic. Is it our restless spirit that is calling us to want to get on the road again because we know there are is so much left out there to explore?

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    1. I think we had pretty much the same feeling as you. We love our new home but are looking forward to new adventures as well!

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  12. Zoey is just the cutest and sweetest tiny bundle of love. Arne't you glad that you are living life to the fullest everyday? It won't be long before Dakota and Zoey will be inseparable. I'm sure you could double that amount of people in your RV if you really tried::::::!

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