Thursday, December 7, 2023

SOLD! Time for a New Ride.....

After waiting and waiting for repairs to be done to our rig, we decided to sell our truck or trade it in and then sell our RV. We are not going to be RVing any longer for quite awhile, but when we do, it will be in a smaller rig IF we head back out on the road, or decide to be snowbirds. It's been tough driving around down in a big dually, finding big enough parking spaces, and finding decent diesel prices which are currently hovering around 3.99 here in northern Indiana. Oil changes on this behemoth are over 300.00 each time, in addition to extra expensive parts when they are needed, so we thought it was a good time to jump in on a trade. Car dealers are having to get many used cars from auctions, and are not getting very many trade in vehicles, so Eldy did his research, we did our due diligence on driving some different SUV's, and here is what we settled on:

We traded our truck in for a 2023 Bronco Sport, the Outer Banks trim model. Owners affectionately call it the "Baby Bronco."  It's got some great safety features, some awesome new technology in it, and the ride is amazingly smooth for a truck type/sport vehicle chassis. 

We have a built in phone charging pad. We have heated seats and steering wheel which is so nice for our aging bodies! We have a terrific sound system in it. We have adaptive cruise control which slows down the car if the car in front of you slows down.  Lane assist, lane centering, what's not to like? Especially if you have a tendency to wander a wee bit from side to side while driving. (Just like Sparky is starting to do on her own feet when walking! lol...) There are lots of safety features and interesting technologies that are going to take us a bit of time to figure out. The inside is steel blue and gray, a really pretty combination. We are going to put a hitch on it, so Sparky can transport her bike.

What about our RV, you might be wondering? We have put it up for sale. It's just too big for us now and with getting older, we need something smaller and easier to travel in and for shorter periods of time. The repair shop did an AMAZING job on the body work. It looks like a brand new rig!

Hopefully, down the road, we will look at a class C, which is a smaller recreational vehicle. With a class C, you don't have to tow a car behind unless you want to. We would take off for the worst of the winter months in the midwest, heading towards the south and west, and then return back to Indiana for the spring, summer and fall. We shall see.....

In the meantime, Sparky went to Houston for a quick trip over Thanksgiving, passing through O'Hare Airport on the way. Sparky loves airports, and they are getting more and more interesting with art work and architecture, to enjoy your temporary stay, IF you are not in a hurry to get somewhere! This C terminal at O'Hare is so cool!

There are also beautifully designed walkways with artwork. This one had a park bench shaped like a guitar along the side further back.

Eldy had Thanksgiving with his family, but didn't take any photos. Phooey! 

Back to Houston....Sparky's grandson is now almost as tall as Sparky, and he loves playing basketball. He's quite the reader, too, and when we last talked, he was recommending books for Sparky to read. (Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). We went to a fun arcade place and played a variety of fun games. Sparky's favorite was air hockey. She was ahead 4-1, then got slammed by her grandson and ended up losing. Guess he let her win the first few as he didn't want to shut her out completely right away, he said, haha.

It was 40 degrees in Houston that day!

The visit was over too soon, and it was back to school after the weekend.  Bye-bye Houston, TX for now....
Boots made for walking-Houston airport

And back to Indiana....Sparky has been super busy subbing and really loving it. She only will do grades K-4, but even kindergarten is getting tough. The kids really have a hard time sitting still at that age, and there isn't enough physical activity to help their little bodies settle down for awhile. It's much more academically oriented and quite a few are just not ready for that yet. Sparky sees a lot more emotional difficulties in the primary grades--kids are very stressed these days, and teaching is much more difficult than it used to be. Teachers are seeing a lot more emotional outbursts, anger issues, inability to focus issues, and many are quitting the field due to micromanagement of teaching practices. Teachers can't teach the way they'd like to teach any more. Tests, tests, more tests.....There's no room for creativity, no time in the day for it, but the really talented and gifted teachers manage to get a little imagination and wonder into the day despite that. 

Sparky was in a second grade classroom last week and the kids were required to listen to a video all about the War of 1812, and expected to understand how it occurred, and what led up to it. The instructional vocabulary was way above their heads, and there were maybe two students who actually had somewhat of an idea about politics and the direction the country was headed at that time. That was the main focus of the reading program curriculum---history. Times most certainly have changed! In other schools there is a heavy emphasis on phonics, which Sparky has always advocated for, so everywhere she goes, she sees different aspects of education, and she finds that very interesting. Part of the allure of subbing, besides trying to make a difference with kids, is that Sparky loves the interaction with the kids and being called "Mrs. Sparkles" or "Mrs. Sprinkles" often. So she will keep subbing until the day she no longer can or somebody gently suggests, "Have you thought about volunteering at the local food bank?" Haha...

Blog posts may be coming fewer these days, but we will stay in touch. Thank you so much for following us along in our journey and if you are still interested in reading, we appreciate that even more as our lives keep changing and moving in a different direction. 

Bye for now.....Sparky and Eldo


  1. Love the new wheels! Sounds like you have a good plan for the future.

  2. Love the update, your new wheels, and the plans for new adventures. Life's only boring if you allow it to be, so I know you are going to have a blast, no matter the circumstances. Onward and upward Mrs Sparkles!

  3. Thanks for dropping us a line and all the best for you on what ever path you ride down.

  4. I can fully understand your reasons for the changes. Downscaling is for our generation. Also agree on your schooling thoughts. My 2 daughters are primary school teachers....

  5. Love the way you folks adapt to the circumstances- vehicle's,new technologies,lifestyle,Class C ,inquiring minds,etc.Thanks for keeping us abreast the evolving journey & all the best.

  6. Thank you for the lovely compliments and taking time to comment.