We were newlyweds, just barely over a year of marriage, when the bottom of our perfect new lives together, fell out. Or did it?
Just as everything seemed to be going great for us, the company I'd worked at for over twenty-six years, decided to close the doors of our local division. We were devastated. We had no idea what we were going to do. I'd been a printer for over half of my life. Sure, there's other printing plants around the area, but no one's hiring. The places that might hire, would never pay me what I was making currently. I'd gotten to the top of my career, working for a few different places, but mostly at the plant that was now nearing its demise.
We had opportunities though. I could collect for as long as possible, while either learning a new trade, or looking for decent work in another area. OR... we could take our retirement dream, to live as FULL-TIMERS in our RV, and make that an early reality. It was pretty much a no-brainer. We took my severance check, and purchased a Chevy Van and an older model, Fleetwood Prowler, tow-trailer. Our new goal in life, was to fix up the trailer, and hit the road. We'd been planning on an early retirement anyway, so what's better than pushing up the date of a retirement, right?
So with this new goal in mind, we started on the camper. It was in rough shape. Actually in much rougher shape than we originally had thought. It actually overwhelmed us, as we found out the extent of water damage that had been done to the roof and ceilings in the front section, and the bathroom. We knew we'd never get out of our Northeastern Pennsylvania life with the camper, BEFORE the wicked winter that was coming our way. SO... we decided to just pack our van up and head out.
We converted our van into a very comfortable living and storage area, and we embarked on a three month tour of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. We had intended to go farther South, into the Carolinas, but the weather had turned so bad this past winter, that we decided to cut our trip short, and return to Pa. Between us, we have five children. Three of them are adults who live on their own, and our twins live with their mother. We'd be missing them under the best of circumstances, but this was unbearable. We were stuck inside a van, even though it was comfortable, it was still a van. The weather made it so there was nothing worth doing outside, and our budget didn't afford us to do much otherwise. So with all this, we headed home for Christmas.