Looking For Balance, Love in the Rally



Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Apologies for waiting so long to post…..there’s no good excuse, except the continuing emotional rollercoaster of downsizing.

Not wanting to reenter the world of depression, we start working on the basement soon after returning from the Townsend rally.



There’s another room to the right where most of my energy is being spent.  It’s almost empty of my possessions….can’t say the same for the hubby!  Thus the roller coaster.  On this particular morning, don’t know if we will be able to sell the house.  Is it worth going through all the conflict?  When trying to push (him), our relationship suffers.  Life is too short!

I’m trying to remember how to live, happily, in a house, in a town, in the same place.  Trying to reconnect with people I enjoy and it’s challenging after being away so long!  Taking more effort than available.  Looking for balance between the travel world full of bloggers and fiberglass rallies  and the home world with family and old friends.  Must also find a way to balance the downsizing work with exercise and socializing.  This hermit stuff is not working for me!

Subject change…….

Townsend 2014

It’s a rainy Tuesday when we arrive at the Townsend/ Great Smokies KOA.  We enter a pull though and don’t unhitch.  Our 4 night stay on the river starts tomorrow. 

Pleasantly surprised that many good friends are already here.  Find a whole row of old friends with new trailers, some moving to Escapes, some to more traditional S. O. B.’s, (some other brand).  One of our favorite couples arrived 4 nights ago! We walk, frequently stopping to chat and catch up with our buddies.

And the rally begins……non-stop visiting and eating for 4 days!  

We are getting braver with the Dutch oven, preparing a breakfast casserole for the morning pot luck.  Black Forest dump cake is a success the following night.  (Notice, below, the bottom spoon scrapings.)



Our site on the river


The Little River

Difficult to describe a rally….it’s all about the energy of the people….their love for each other and their trailers.  Going to parade just a few of our friends…..








This is our third rally in six months and I find myself enjoying the events more and more.  Each one better than the last.  This time I feel so much love in my heart….are the people here more loving?  Or have I changed and can accept the love that was already there?  Whatever!  Loving the feeling of being loved!

There are 64, maybe more, trailers here.  Many friends are not in the pictures as it is Saturday before I remember the blog and the need for documentation.

A few trailers:


Kentucky Burro






Most of the campers, as usual, are Casitas….from the old to the new.

The high spot of the rally is always the Saturday night pot luck.  Hungry folk wait patiently for their turn.




One of the reasons the pot luck is so appealing…..this is made in a Dutch oven!


The music begins after dinner.




And it is over!  Time for goodbyes and plans to meet again!

We decide to spend another night in the Smokies as a few friends are heading to Elkmont campground.

Another night of tale swapping fun.


Finding wildflowers along the river at Elkmont.


Celandine poppy



Showy orchid



Large white trillium

The weather forecast is ominous with several days of storms, possibly tornados, coming.  We are anxious to get home but a trip to Cherokee, NC is necessary. The Tacoma pulls the Chatta-Egg up and over Newfound Gap, elevation 5,046, without a problem.

Happy Holiday RV Park has had a few changes with a new pizza and breakfast addition.  We check out the covered pavilion and central fire pit.  Discuss some details with the manager and everything is good.  The 2014 Cherokee rally is just 5 months away!







Flame azalea in Cherokee


  1. Sorry you're finding the "stuff" decisions so stressful but can sure understand. Looks like it was a great rally. We're finally getting ready to hit the road. We'll leave the middle of next week and come back a couple weeks after the Oregon Gathering. It's going to be good to be quietly wandering with few hard schedules to constrain us.

    1. Envious of your upcoming trip but we would be one the road, also, if we lived in the southwest. Hope to return to the northwest someday...loved Oregon!

      You deserve some quiet time...

      Say "hi" to BJ, give Turk a hug and have lots of fun!

  2. Such great food and look at all those joyful smiles! Who doesn't want to be out there in the village! Downsizing stinks...not an easy task. My SIL just started...taking the 5vr full-time to Southern TX and getting rid of 50 years of stuff in less than two months! NUTS...glad I had longer to get it done. But no matter where I end up....glad to have all that extra baggage gone....you'll get there and get so happy for it. Hang in there!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Carla. Always good to hear from someone who knows! Extra baggage is how I view it....others might see their stuff as a part of them.

      Excited for you on this next step of your journey!

  3. I could feel the stress in the basement photos -- and the joy in the rally photos.

    I am so hoping you can strike the balance you are seeking. Try not to overthink it. :)

  4. Less thinking and more doing! I have made a lot of progress....when I stop to realize what's gone.

    Hope you are having a great time looking out over that pretty lake!

  5. We just returned from a T@B/T@DA rally in NC - our first with so many trailers. They ARE fun.

    Coming home after being away so long is hard. Thought I would be very happy, but the amount of work is formidable, more than usual because of damage from the harsh winter. Don't know why I thought I might not have to pay some kind of penalty for escaping most of that! sigh.....

    1. Can empathize with your situation! As I worked through the mail, the taxes and applying for medicare, I often thought of those carefree mornings of sipping coffee watching the sun rise over Superstition Mtn.

      Rallies are fun...it's like getting together with family you like! Love the BRP! We had a very short stint of volunteering at Mt Pisgah.

  6. Looks like a good time was had by all...Great Food and Friends...Life is Good!! I think you're doing a terrific job working your way through the "emotional stuff"....as you said, life's to short...BTW I enjoyed the Photo's...Great Macro shots .....thanks for sharing...Horst sends

    1. Thanks, Horst! Things are looking better now.... some stuff departure....enough to prevent panic attacks.

  7. Great post. Love all the pics, especially the flowers. sounds as if you have made progress with the house. Remember, Rome wasnt built in a day. It will all work its way out in time. Nothing wrong with having both, home friends and road friends. Looking forward to seeing your smiling face in five months.

  8. Ha! Hope my face is smiling! Already have 40 plus rigs registered!

    Yes, must remember to let everything flow...keep our eye on the prize and take it easy. Absolutely loved the pictures in your last two posts!

  9. Looks like a great rally and a fantastic area to be in.
    We have been busy with the planning of our son's wedding so I have been a bit "absent" from blog land. Nice to be able to finally catch up.
    Step by step...you'll get it done. We've been there (when we went full-time) and now that we have a house again we are almost right back where we started from. It doesn't take long!

  10. i saw some of the wedding picts on FB...looks like it was a great location.

    Yes, the rally was great! Really enjoyed all of it! Especially the location.

    If I could give anyone advice...it would be to manage your "stuff" before it gets out of hand!!!!

  11. This post really resonated with me. I faced several surprises coming home after my first long trip (2 months) - I had a whole list of items to put on Craig's list (still haven't done a thing about them), and have struggled with an unexpected sense of lethargy. My mood is lifting as the weather finally is turning. And summer camping season is approaching!

  12. We are fortunate to have been on 4 long trips (at least two months) since Jan of 2012 and there has been a severe let down...bordering on depression.. each time we returned home. It was no different this time. But we've been home, without running off again, for over 4 weeks and are finally adjusting to life in Chattanooga. And making progress with the downsizing! Glad your mood is on the upswing...enjoy your summer!

  13. I can confirm downsizing is hard and at times makes you wonder mentally....but I find if I keep going and things keep being sold, given away or whatever, things feel better overall. I am beginning to think the very last stage of downsizing may be the hardest of all of it.

  14. Envious! Wish we were at the last stage but celebrating everything that has found another home!

    Enjoying your blog!