All Work… and Now Play

Only a cat

Housework is tiring!

Things have been busy lately.  Some days it seems like this “roller coaster” life is as upside down as Jesse James, shown here, zonked out after eating a bunch of swai fish.  He was a happy kitty that day.

Not every surprise is a pleasant one though.  At the beginning of last week I started a new job that was a real piece of poop.  Within minutes, I knew it was not a keeper; it had been badly misrepresented as having “comprehensive benefits” (but not giving medical insurance to full-time employees).  Before the end of the second week, 2/3 of the training class had bailed out, according to one friend who is still with that company (but also looking!)  Something else will come along… perhaps a seasonal cashiering job.  Who knows?

Lemuel Harris1

Great Grandpa Lemuel Harris – circa early 1900s.

The time off has been a help in working on family matters.  On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, there was a flurry of cleaning and sorting at the house.  Some of Dad’s things were donated to Goodwill because they would bless others.  Many photographs were saved for sentimental reasons.  A few items had to be discarded.

Of the photographs, here is a favorite of Lemuel Harris, my Dad’s grandfather.  Those potatoes sure look good!  The cousins and I agreed that this is a “very Iowa” picture.

I expected the work of going through Dad’s things to be difficult but it was doable.  There were cards that I’d given him and he’d held on to for many years.  Dad had even saved things from my baby years – treasures I did not know still existed and I am able to digitize.  Occasionally, some possessions evoked memories, bringing tears… But at the same time, it was beautiful to look at Dad’s full and wonderful life – a life that ended three months ago today.  He was a good man and a terrific role model.

Life continues on … eventually.  On Thursday, a real estate person came through the house and we discussed putting it on the market.  There are still some minor repairs to make but it’s all coming together.

Brad and Grandma Harris

Grandma Helen Harris and Brad (age 12) with a stringer of trout from Backbone State Park… circa 1977

Here is the best news.  I can continue to reside here until the house is sold and the new owners take possession.  Soon, new carpeting is going to be installed inside; the cats are going to live in the garage… and I will be sleeping in the van.  There’s no place like home – especially when “home” has four tires.

About this time Dad would roll his eyes, shake his head, and say “That van…”  But he enjoyed hearing the stories of places visited.

There is still a great deal of work to do around here but it is a relief to see how the future is unfolding.  Each development means more answers and more peace and hope.  For now, it is time to take a break.  The weather is still pretty dicey but there’s a little window where I might be able to slip away and catch a few fish.  Things haven’t changed much since 1977…  and they probably never will.

Take care and thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend.

Bradford the “Van Trekker”

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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6 Responses to All Work… and Now Play

  1. tinycamper says:

    Loved sharing your photo memories, Brad. So glad you have those good memories to enrich your life.

    And Jesse James looks TOO comfortable!

    Here’s hoping that the future brings you many great surprises and much joy.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the note. Jesse is spoiled… I didn’t have much luck fishing today so it was smoked ribs for supper.

      I think the future looks bright. It is pretty exciting to know the van is going to get a lot of use this year. I’m in it right now and enjoying it. The weather will break next week… It will be possible to spend more time sleeping out very soon. 🙂

  2. Pleinguy says:

    It was several years before I went through my Dad’s things. As you said, some of it was emotional. Hope things work out with the house, and you are able to create a situation that meets your dreams.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thank you! 2014 is going to be an interesting year. It sounds like you are also having a great time with your travels. Enjoy living your dreams as well! 🙂

  3. DazarGaidin says:

    Kitty is so cute! Probably too late but if you want to donate items that bless others consider salvation army. The ceo makes little more than min wage and they do tremendous good directly to needy families. Goodwill has some questionable motives at best, despite thier misleading name. Check this article
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/the-worst-corporation-in-_b_1876905.html

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thank you for the comment. I’ve had other people tell me the same thing. I’m going to make the next donation to the Salvation Army. Thanks for the kind words about Jesse James. His handsome face gets him out of a lot of trouble. He’s a stinker. 🙂