Birthdays and Rabbit Holes


Foster Falls

Foster Falls: Marion County, Tennessee

Last weekend was beautiful, full of warm sunny days, birthday celebrations and time in the woods.  My family has 4 birthdays in April, my step-father, my niece, my sister and me.  Mom, who’s 86 and likes to cook, entertained the family at the 64 year old home place.

Great fun to visit with all the relatives and spend the next day hiking in the Cherokee Forest.  A Happy Birthday!

What a difference a week makes!  Sometime between last Sunday and this one, a rabbit hole swallowed me up.  Can’t seem to get the happiness thing back.  Spending my time eating poorly and lying in bed reading, finishing a 500 page suspense novel in 24 hours.  Not wanting to call anyone or even send emails or texts.

The difference?  Starting to work in our basement and feeling so overwhelmed at the monstrous task that lies before us.  I tell myself that it is the thoughts I choose to think that makes me happy or sad.  I tell myself that all of the other “full timers”, those that permanently live in their campers, had to go through this purge of possessions.  I tell myself to pick up one thing at a time and dispose of it.  And nothing seems to help!

So what do we do?  Run away!

Today is about blogging away these negative feelings and starting to pack for the Townsend rally.  Called and reserved an extra day so we will be leaving in about 48 hours.  The weather looks good and we can’t wait to get back with our Casita (and  Escape) family.

Plan to put all the stressful thoughts of property disposing behind me for the next  10 days.

Changing the subject, slightly……this was a big birthday…65!  And I know I am only as old as I think, but the oldness is creeping in.   Navigating the Medicare obstacle course started as soon as we returned from Arizona.  (And I learned later that it would have been so easy to have applied online while in the southwest.)

Turning 65 also make me eligible for my permanent Tennessee fishing license.  Since we rarely fish, it’s nice not to spend the big money for the yearly license.  For $10 I have this nice little card that makes me legal to throw in a line.

The new license and a new pole are being packed as we have reserved a river site for the rally.  This is the 7th annual Eggscursion, our fifth year to attend.  Love the Smoky Mountains in the spring!

The following are random pictures from the past month.  (Can’t have a blog without photos.) 

The leading picture of Foster Falls was taken during a hike this month.


Late March snow!

Sylvester and Princess

Sylvester and Princess enjoying a (rare) moment of tranquility.

Foster Falls hike

Hiking on the Cumberland Plateau.


Backyard, Kwanzan cherry tree.



Crested Dwarf Iris

Crested wild iris found in the Cherokee National Forest.

Benton Falls  Cherokee National Forest

Benton Falls: Cherokee NF


  1. Oh yes, I still remember the painful month of May 3 yrs ago cleaning out our house. Focus on the end result of liberation, not the overwhelming depression & fatigue of purging.

    1. I keep thinking that it will get easier once we really get into it. Still very glad that this rally was scheduled one year ago and people are counting on us to be there. A great excuse to not deal with it!

      Did you clean everything out in ONE month? It feels like it will take a year (which we don't have.)

  2. Gorgeous waterfalls! Isn't it odd how an inanimate phenomenon can evoke emotions? Awe. Wonder.

    Loved your trail photo -- especially fun to see the little dog sniffing and exploring. And nice to see Princess and Sylvester enjoying a temporary truce. :)

    Sorry to hear about the trauma you are dealing with in cleaning out the basement. Hope the rally perks you up and gives you new perspective.

    1. Interesting on how you zoomed in on the dog! Not too many truces with the two black and whites....ready to find a new homes for the screamer, Princess.

      Already feel better and we are just half way packed!!!

  3. I agree with Glenda, focus on the end result, then make a plan that has stages, on what you have to do to get the end result. It can be frustrating at first but once you get started, the stages fall into place and you'll feel rewarded as each stage is completed. Another thing I have learned is to ignore "you are as old as you feel". Bunch of hooey. I am 72, not 62 or 52. No way could I think or feel like a 52 yr old - can't even remember what it was like! I have more physical (and some mental) limitations and I take those into account when I am attempt to do something. It comes with time. Main thing is I keep doing and challenging myself - physically and mentally. I'll pass that along. Have a good break - and that is a key to getting thru this challenge you have. Just focus on the end.

  4. Emily, thank you so much! Even though I started feeling better after completing the blog, I really mean it when I say your support does a lot of good. Knowing that others have gotten through this means that I can also manage it. David is pushing 77 and this is hard for him.
    Lots of breaks.....maybe that's the answer!

  5. First of all happy birthday. Hubby is a year older than you and once he got over the shock of being Medicare age he is loving it. As to the disposing of your basement items, is it the enormity of the task or getting rid of your belongings? If it is the enormity of the task, then I agree with your other commenters, one item at a time, or one section at a time, instead of looking at the entire project. If it is getting rid of your "stuff", be kind to yourself, much of your stuff will evoke memories, which is a good thing I think. If you have wanderlust like most other RVers, these feelings will pass and hopefully a sense of liberation will follow.

    1. Thank you, LuAnn. It seems like I should not be in shock as it's been coming for a year...but shock is an excellent way to describe the feeling.
      Don't think I'm too attached to the stuff....it's interesting to look at things and reflect on the energy around them but real ready to let them go. It's more the dilemma of do we give it away or try to sell it? Currently thinking of the $500 treadmill that worked a few years before the electronics went out.
      Will probably give most of it away as I value my sanity above all else!
      I have done this before....many years before the marriage... and know that feeling of freedom.

  6. Happy birthday lady! My Mr. Jer is signed up and ready to go.

    I have to say I haven't missed a thing since pitching all the goods. Three totes of my favs with the girls, guess knowing if I want them, they are there. If you plan to have a sale let me know, we have some tricks! You will be so glad to let loose of that load....its so freeing!!! Have fun in them mtns!

    1. Thanks for reminding us that we will not miss it! I know this but the hubby does not as he has never let go and he likes to keep things. (I am reading all the posts to him...hoping he will see the freedom on the other side.)

  7. ...And a very Happy Birthday....may this year be your best ever!!!!...Don't be too hard on yourself....it always seems to fall into place at the end...somehow...trust me it will happen...3 containers...1. gets pitched; 2. vacillate box; 3. too emotional right now box......at the end you have a match box of stuff left of "too emotional".. :). If that doesn't work...a glass of Brandy will solve it all :). Have a safe trip to the "Smoky Mountains"...Horst sends

    1. Thanks, Horst! All of your words and the kindness of others is really helping. I have really felt better after hearing so much good advice.
      I just want it over without doing the work. If it was just me, I'd just hire someone to take it all away.

      Yes, Smoky Mountain bound..hooray!

  8. Hope you have a wonderful week in Townsend. Love the pics of the waterfalls, as well as the hiking. Agree with Horst. But we're guys talking, what do we know? Right?? Ever thought of turning it all over to an estate liguidator? Put all the things you want to keep in one room, and let them price and sell everything remaining for a percentage. Things that don't sell, donate to a charity for a tax deduction. There seems to be one or two each month in our area.

    1. And, BTW, Happy Birthday....remember 65 today equates to 45 just a few years ago. Or, so they say....jc

    2. Yes, I have a card from an estate sales company. Talked with them last fall and they said everything that's staying must be out of the house before they come in. Plan to talk with them again and see if they can just do the basement. The basement is the problem: David's woodworking shop, old furniture, old nails, old paint, old pictures, old camping gear, some of David's boy scout stuff from the 1940's! And two old people trying to sort through it all!

      I like that, 65=45. Thanks!

  9. Lynne - I enjoyed the hike a few weeks back. Loved meeting you and love the pictures you took. Happy Birthday. Birthdays didn't bothered me too much over the years until I turned 60. My husband and I enjoyed your enthusiasm and energy for life. Hang on to it.

    We have been checking out the Casitas and thought you might show be willing to shows yours off to us when you get back from the mountains. There don't appear to be too many of them around.

    Enjoy your travels.

    1. Just noticed my name didn't publish - this is Marti and Roy from Chattanooga.

  10. Hi Marti! I figured out who you were before I saw your names....only been on that one group hike this spring.

    Would love to show the Casita at any time. I'll send an email when we get back. The rally in Townsend has an "egg parade" on Saturday morning. Future trailer owners frequently attend to see the different types of fiberglass campers. We will be at the KOA if you are interested.

    Thanks for your nice comments....hope we hike again in the future!

    1. We plan on heading up there on Saturday to check out the parade. Thanks for the information

    2. Egg parade hours are from 10:30 to 1:30...looking forward to seeing you two.

  11. I'm late..I know!! We have been so swallowed up with the upcoming marriage of our son that I haven't even blogged or commented.
    Happy, happy birthday!!! Yes, it is a big one but then in our family ALL birthdays are big ones because it celebrates YOU, your life!! This one just comes with perks!! :-)
    As to the downsizing...well, we went through that about 5 years ago when we went full-time. It IS liberating and freeing. Then life happened and we had to return to our former existence. We repurchased "stuff" and settled in. The reason we returned has worked out, he is ok and now getting married. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do as a parent from time to time. So now we are seriously thinking of downsizing again (to an apartment this time) so we can travel more freely. Houses do tie you down along with their responsibilities. So I would think about all the freedom this will allow you to travel. To up and go whenever you feel like it. To see those amazing places and experience those awesome sights and sounds of this country and its people. Less worry, less trouble!! You can do it!! I like the estate sale idea. So simple and you don't have to deal with it. Get your stuff out and let them have at it.
    Have fun in Townsend!! Enjoy those mountains and those amazing people/friends!!! Relax!!

  12. Thanks, Gerri. I do appreciate the support. I will just keep remembering that others have gotten through it!

    Townsend has been a blast and the rally does not even start until today! A few people got here one week ago. Been too busy talking to take the first picture. The camera comes out today!