Tuesday, June 20, 2023

While We Wait.....And Some Big News

We are keeping ourselves busy while we wait for our August 14th date to bring in our damaged RV for repairs.  We had a family graduation, Eldy got hired as assistant golf coach for the Concord High School girls' golf team and will be coaching during a short golf season under the direction of the head coach, his granddaughter (!). So we decided to get an apartment for the remainder of this year and into next summer. We will rent an apartment for a year, recover some of the financial costs of repairs, deductibles and other things and have decided we want to downsize our RV to a class C or small class A if we can sell the big fifth wheel. Campgrounds are getting much more expensive and even with our Thousand trails camping membership, we were starting to have to follow the same travel patterns repeatedly in order to afford to travel full time. We'd really like to branch out and see more of the country with less restrictions on where we can stay. We can do that if we come off the road for awhile, save some money get a smaller rig, and not travel full time. We don't know how long repairs will take and that could be months, so that's another reason we decided to stay put for awhile.

So with some sadness at coming off the road for awhile, but with much gladness at the benefits of having lots of Eldy's family close by and a chance for Sparky and Eldo to both work for a bit, we look forward to the next chapter in our lives of being stationary for awhile. Sparky will still post on the blog, but we certainly understand if readers stop following us since we are not going to be full timing for awhile, or possibly changing over to part timing as snowbirds when we downsize our RV. It seems to be the natural progression of aging with full time RVers to come to the point of traveling less and less due to lots of different reasons. 

So here we are, in Elkhart, IN, our home for the next year...We have an apartment lined up, and we are back to shopping for furniture! Trying to be frugal about furnishing an apartment as we don't have any furniture of our own, we have been visiting thrift shops and garage sales and here is what we have so far.....an almost new couch for 85.00....

An old HEAVY entertainment center for 6.00.....Sparky landed that one at a thrift shop on a 50% off day!

Sparky has removed the really heavy slide out trays and heavy fan motor and is going to outfit the interior with shelves for craft supplies. (Of course! says Eldo,) She might lighten up the finish a bit, too.

A floor lamp for 10.00....

A small roll top desk for 60.00...It has a hole in the roller part, but we think we can fix that enough so it won't be too visible....Why somebody would make holes at the top of the roller part of the cover is anybody's guess!

A craftsman style (?) end table. Sparky is going to refinish the top and paint the lower half of it a deep charcoal gray to go with the gray of the couch. Ten dollars....

And how could you not buy lemonade from the cutest kids and the cutest lemonade stand at this garage sale? (Sparky is a sucker for kids' lemonade stands. She bought lemonade the very next day from Amish kids selling it on Father's Day weekend! explains E.)

Sparky is on the Pumpkinvine Bike Trail at least two to three times a week...trying to keep her sugar and weight down. The spring wildflowers have died down but there are a few colorful summer ones now...The beautiful bluish purple spiderwort....
Sweet William perennials on the lane to Moody's Ice Cream Shop off the trail...
Sweet pea blossoming outside of the Winnebago plant near Middlebury...

The scenery is ever changing on the trail....

The Amish are plowing their fields....
A buggy peeking through the trail's vines and trees...
A bit of whimsy on the trail just outside of Abshire Park...
Seen the day after Father's Day on the trail...

You can see two of the Heritage Trail quilt gardens as you ride from Goshen to Middlebury. Kryder Gardens is a beautiful rest stop in Middlebury with picnic areas, gazebos, a little waterfall and even a windmill. There is a quilt garden there.
"Tree of Life" quilt garden at Kryder Gardens

Another quilt garden is right at Abshire Park in Goshen, at the beginning of the Pumpkinvine Trail. It's called the "Crosshatch" pattern. In another month, the flowers will have filled in and the pattern even more beautiful.

Every Tuesday and Wednesday is the Shipshewanna Flea Market. We have been going to it for years and years. It's really changed. There used to be a TON of individuals who crafted beautiful things...lots of handpainted woodwork, doll clothes, etc, but now, most of it is from China or other places. Lots of yard art and home decor can be found. It seems though, that handmade has gone by the wayside, except for a couple of booths. But you can find lots of home decor, faux leather goods, clothing....and bargains if you look hard.

There are multiple auctions going on in a building next to the flea market. That has changed as well. There doesn't seem to be as many furniture finds and vintage stuff as there used to be, at least that was our impression when we visited last week. But it's fun to watch the action and the bidding. Who knows what you might be looking for, it's possible it's here! 

Sparky liked this shot of people watching the bidding and the statue pose.

Some might say the flea market is for the birds, haha, but we don't think so!
Sparky liked this metal sign....
Lots of pet lover merch....
dog breed wooden spoons
We finally visited Biebs & Ash in downtown Goshen, IN for some terrific smash burgers and fries...WOW! Highly recommend...
beautiful fabrics at Lolly's

You know what else is in Shipshewanna? Besides lots of cool little vintage furniture, ice cream, and home decor shops? Handmade pretzels at Jojo's in the Mercantile building, and Lolly's fabric store, filled with LOTS of quilt ideas and the most extensive quality cotton fabric selection you could hope for a small town shop. Sparky hopes to make some home decor small quilts this year. (Uh-oh, worries E, there goes the budget!) Naw...Sparky plans to exercise restraint and not go there very often this summer....(HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's Eldo rolling on the floor laughing his butt off.) Hey, they do have rockers for you guys to wait on your woman shopping at Lolly's but you might be there awhile.....

With that we will say bye for now.....You may not hear from us for awhile, but if we do something special in the area, we will let you know! It's been a great ride, a total of SIX YEARS full timing, but it's not our last foray out into the great USA...Don't be surprised if we say, HEY, we are going out on the road again, we do love to travel! We will keep you posted as our plans evolve and our lifestyle keeps changing. Thank you for following along and hope you still will.

                                        Sparky and Eldo


  1. Sounds awesome given the circumstances!

  2. Sounds like making the best of a difficult situation. You guys have a great attitude.

  3. Good luck with all your new plans, and we will be here when you feel like posting.

  4. Always enjoy your adventures & admire the willingness to adapt to changing circumstances-& looking forward optimistically.There are many smaller RVs & I’m sure you’ll find one that fits.Enjoy the summer;all the best.

  5. Thank you all for the kind comments!

  6. I will look forward to future posts, but I love that you’re so close now!

    1. Would love to know who we are so close to now, haha...

  7. Love all the furniture choices. . .way to go!

    Missing the weekly updates though. . .I always look forward to them. . .just sayin'.

  8. Weekly? I wasn't even keeping track...Dang! But not as many people will want to read about furniture as they do travel experiences, but what are ya gonna do? I just like keep a record of what we are doing so I can look back on it later and try to remember it.