De-stuffing: Episode One

Everyone LOVES spring. Trees budding and flowers blooming. Warm weather. Lawn maintenance. Gale-force winds accompanied by pollen - biblical plague amounts of pollen. After 39 years of being assaulted by pollen, my body still can’t come up with a sensible response. It doesn't matter because I still have to weedeat and mow, which I will do in a mask and let my neighbors wonder if I have SARS or some other communicable disease. I might even fake a few wheezing coughs to make them extra paranoid.

A man in acceptable mowing attire staring down the enemy.

 I go to my shed and grab my weedeater. It's gas powered. It’s been sitting for around six months. I’m trying to be positive. “She’ll start. It might take a few pulls but she’ll start”. After roughly four thousand pulls, my new plan was to helicopter that piece of shit into the neighbor’s yard. When he comes over and asks if that is my weedeater in his yard, I’ll tell him no *wheezy cough*. Let him sell it or throw it away. Whatever.

Somehow I was able to calmly set the weedeater down. I went and grabbed a wrench and gently removed the spark plug. The spark plug was filthy. Obviously the problem. You know what? While I’m at it I’ll take the whole thing apart, clean the carburetor, the air filter and the spark arrestor screen (thanks YouTube) all for good measure. I drove to the nearest store that would have the spark plug I need. They didn’t have it. I drove to the next store. They didn’t have it. Finally, I call the place where I purchased the weedeater, another ten minutes away, and they had one.

Fast-forward two hours and there I am, feeling like a small engine mechanic god, reassembling my good-as-new weedeater.

Picture of a man that just fixed his weedeater.

She fires up on the third pull. I’m the man. It's time to pull that nice zero-turning mower out, except it’s hard to pull out because it won't start. The battery is dead. Riding mowers are hard to helicopter so I guess I have to fix it. Back to the nearest store to buy a battery.

I get the new battery on and the mower starts. So here I am, roughly four hours into trying to do something that I absolutely hate doing and I’m finally ready to do that thing. I’ll start with weedeating and get that over with because it’s my least favorite. The first pull, the VERY. FIRST. PULL… the cord snaps. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s helicopter time, baby.

 But then, a Christmas miracle. Something prevents me from driving to the nearest Husqvarna dealer and wrapping it around someone's face. I walk the weedeater back to the shed and place it carefully on the ground. I wipe the sweat from my head. I realize that the hair on the sides of my head is starting to touch my ears. I like to keep my hair pretty short so this “starting to touch my ears” thing isn’t going to work. I need to regroup. I will salvage the day by taking a shower, then I will go get a hair cut, fix the weedeater (again) and be ready to mow tomorrow. 

I pull up to where I get my hair cut every week and a half. There are several cars in the parking lot but it shouldn’t be too much of a wait. I’m used to waiting for twenty minutes or so and I need a haircut. I’ll just deal with it. I step inside and see that not only is someone in each of the two barber chairs, but every chair in the waiting area was full. I was about to get in a two hour line to knowingly ride the most disappointing ride ever created. The two barbers looked at me when I walked in and had this look on their faces like they wanted to be thankful that I was there, but at the same time they would pay me to leave. I said, “I’ll come back”.

Fun Fact: Arnold actually said, "I'll come back". #MandelaEffect

I didn’t go back. I haven’t been back. I left that day and went straight to Lowe’s, bought an electric weedeater and then drove home and shaved my head. No more pulling on a weedeater. No more wasting time and money on haircuts. Two problems solved. It felt good. Low maintenance. Less to deal with. Also, a good bumper sticker: “I shaved my head and bought an electric weedeater”.

My new haircut and weedeater.

I’m sharing these two stories because they were the catalyst for bigger change. That was three months ago. I’m still shaving my head and using that electric weedeater, but that’s not the change I am talking about. I don’t care about weedeaters or hair. It started an avalanche of simplification. I don't want a weedeater. I don't want a lawn or my car or our house. I don’t want ninety-five percent of the stuff we own. Our whole family is ready to de-stuff.

We’re getting rid of it all to live full-time in an RV. My wife and I, our two sons (ten and six), our three dogs and our parrot – we’re all cramming into an RV.

We’ve actually talked about it for several years and never committed to it. I won't lie, it's a little unnerving to think we are going from over 5,000 sq/ft to...whatever a class A RV is, but we are all on board. It takes balls to do this and that's something our family has - balls. Except my wife. She doesn't have balls. And neither do our dogs because two of them are girls and Murphy, our bernedoodle, was neutered. Ozzie our parrot doesn't have balls either. Okay, "balls" was the wrong word. GUTS. It takes guts.

Anyway, we are homeschooling our kids now and the timing seems perfect. This adventure starts as soon as our home sells! We will document the whole thing. We will be renovating whatever RV (home) we choose, probably doing some shiplap, painting cabinets, butcher block counters - whatever we do we will share here. In addition to awesome places we go and the people we meet, I will share daily life and little things that make our lives easier or things that we simply enjoy. One of the first things on my agenda is selecting a preventative for dad-bod. I have a free weight gym in my home now, which obviously doesn't fit into an RV, so I will be doing lots of research on portable gyms and sharing thoughts/results for whatever I choose. I'm also trying a ketogenic diet - more on all of this in later posts.

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - we'll have it all. It's going to be an adventure and we are excited to share it with you! We appreciate any and all follows, likes and comments, so please don't hesitate to connect with us! We look forward to hearing from you!

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