Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Our Christmas Visitors

In the absence of progress on the trailer during this holiday season, I want to mention the three visits we have had in the past month, first from my wife's sister over Thanksgiving, along with one of our friends who moved here from Mesa, and then from one of my blog readers and a documentary producer.

We were hoping that our next visitor could have arrived over Thanksgiving, but as it turned out, it was probably better that it was delayed. I'll explain in a few moments.

Our Thanksgiving meal was a feast, considering our normal meals for the two of us are light.

We had roast turkey, green been casserole, scalloped potatoes, corn bread pudding, and many other things we don't normally have, plus enough salads and deserts to stuff a horse. Our friend from Mesa, Dave, and I had a good visit, also. Having another guy here is always a good thing, so I don't have to feel like the "odd man out" when my wife and her sister get together. They can be overwhelming at times. (:>)

On the tenth of December, our special visitor arrived...the "semi-famous" Ed Helvey (, and, on his way from the east coast to the west, to be in time to have his Christmas with family in Fresno. In fact, he should be arriving there today, Christmas Eve...or maybe late yesterday (?), as he left here on the 18th.

We had yet another feast of a 10# pork roast, and more of the same kind of side dishes that we had over Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, I forgot to get photos of that meal. That was our welcome to Ed after his spending nearly ten hours on the road to get here that day.

We had one other visitor on the 15th, which was arranged by Ed. The now famous (to van dwellers everywhere) Michael Tubbs, producer of the YouTube documentary "Without Bound - Perspectives on Mobile Living" (see his site at arrived Monday afternoon to video both Ed and us for an upcoming documentary about our own experiences.

Ed Helvey has been traveling full time in his converted van for six years already, so has a pretty good handle on what he needs and how to manage his travels. In our case, we are going to be new to traveling this way, even though we have traveled away from home extensively, for months at a time, in our former 40-foot Bounder motorhome.

In lieu of actual vandwelling experience, we gave Michael a tour of our trailer progress and an idea of our layout and future intentions of it. He did the outside filming of our part and Ed's on Tuesday morning, and then in the afternoon and into evening we each had a couple hours of sit-down time with him in our makeshift "studio" which was actually our dining room.

It will be interesting to see how this all gets edited down into a reasonably-sized documentary, but after seeing what Michael did with the first one, we feel confident it will be handled with professional care into something we can be proud of. After all, since we aren't out there yet, it warrants a follow-up interview next fall or winter, after we get out to the Southwest and have a few months of actual experience behind us. We are sure there will be new revelations during that time as to just how our own combination of a conversion van pulling a cargo trailer camper is going to work out. We look at it as temporary, because we would never find what we would want around here, anyway. Once we get to where we "can" find more choices, our traveling mode could change.

The new documentary (yet to be titled) should be available sometime in March, according to Michael, so we will be watching anxiously for it.

One thing that I have to do a better job of is photo-documenting our progress. With everything else going on, I completely forgot about taking any pictures while Michael was here, and it was only at the end of the visit, the night before Ed left, that we actually got some pictures of ourselves.

I was fighting a cold and cough in my chest and loaded with medicine to get through the week, so if I look a little out of it, you'll understand why. I hope Michael and Ed don't catch it, because this has been nasty.

It's also the reason I haven't ventured out into the cold, damp weather to work on the trailer. The new heater is ready to hook up to provide some heat in there so I can get other things done, but it may have to wait a few days yet.

So until then, Sharon and I want all our readers to have a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year, and we'll be back with more progress in January. 

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