About a month and a half before closing on the sale of our house, we booked our first campsite for Luna. The planned date for departure was July 3rd. We knew we would have some things to finish on the road and were good with that… but the closing date on the house was July 5th, so the schedule was determined.
As July 3rd approached, we worked hard to get the coach ready. All of our friends and family kicked in to make this happen. The weather didn’t cooperate, it was either super hot or raining. Add to that, we were also still emptying our house, and trying to organize the remaining things to take with us. These last days were hard. Fatigue and emotion were deep and stirring. Added to all the logistics of the house sale and remodeling Luna, we lost two dogs to old age in the previous 5 weeks. Dear family members that had been with us for more than 15 years. It would be an understatement to say we were done. Done with hot weather, interrupting rains, and done with sharing tears.
July 3rd rolled around and the coach was just not ready to leave. To this day I cannot recall what was not ready, but the fact was.. it wasn’t. The last few weeks were like that, a blur. I had been working on the coach until midnight or later for several days, at 1:30 am on the 4th of July, I rolled into bed to let Christina know… today is the day we leave.
We fell asleep knowing the hardest days were behind us. On the morning of the 4th of July, we woke up to cool, cloudy weather. I hitched the van to the coach and started finishing details needed to pull out. A friend in the Avion community was coming over to take my first drive with me. I met him on a Facebook page for Avions last year, and he had been a huge help, visiting the house and cluing me in. When he arrived we jumped right into the van to go for a drive.
I had no experience pulling a coach this size, and the brand new brakes had not even been set in. I looked at him and joked about my first drive in a downpour. All he said was “trial by fire”. After a rainy test drive and a visit to the scales, we shook hands and bid farewell. Our sister and brother in law showed up like the National Guard and helped us finish up details we hadn’t even thought of until we were supposed to be leaving. We threw more gear into the van, the station wagon, and into our new home on wheels. Christina headed out to make a couple stops on the way to the lake, and I drove out of the driveway into the rain, headed for long roads and broad horizons.
I have to admit it felt pretty powerful, and emotional at the same time, but I was so busy clearing corners and gripping the wheel, I had no time for any distractions. I headed out of the city to highway K10 west, toward Lawrence, Kansas, about one hour away. Settling into the right lane, at 60 miles per hour, with a solid rain coming down, it hit me~ Independence Day. While the whole country was busy icing down coolers, setting up tents and gassing up boats, we were experiencing our own amazing journey of independence. Independence from mowing the lawn, living in one place year after year and independence from decades of “normal” life. We will always stand at the edge of America’s most celebrated summer holiday, knowing we too declared our own independence. It inspires us to know this, and to hold it in our hearts. So cheers! Cheers to living in a country where freedom and independence are so readily available. Cheers to hard work and changes in life, and cheers to living out dreams of wide open spaces, windy days and restful nights, and cheers to relishing well earned, independence.