November is a transition month. It’s the time of year when the warm weather vacates and there’s a pause before the really cold weather starts. It’s also a transition month for my lifestyle. My RV travel season ended in October. My lifestyle of living in the rural New England countryside is about to change. November is when I devote most of my time getting things ready so I can head south for the winter and transition into my snow bird lifestyle.
It’s a busy time. Taking off to live my snow bird lifestyle involves more that just packing the summer clothes, getting some food, fueling the RV, and heading south on the road. I’ll be away from my home for over four months, so there’s work to get me and the home ready for my absence. Since I also travel in the spring and summer, there’s also a lot of maintenance that gets piled into November.
Here’s a summary of what happens in November.
Getting the House Ready
Owning a house involves a lot of maintenance. In November, things like boiler service, cleaning chimneys, cleaning out the dryer vent, and servicing the yard machines all gets done. All the smoke and CO alarms get cleaned and get new batteries. The AC units come out and storm windows come down. The yard gets raked, wood gets stacked, porch and patio furniture gets put away, and windows get cleaned. The snow blower gets fired up and the snow plow guy gets a call to confirm he’s still planning to plow me out. Phew! But wait, there’s more.
Getting the Vehicles Serviced
The two cars, a motorcycle, and RV all get serviced in November. As an old motor head, I do a lot of this work (oil changes and filters) myself. My RV travel season is over, so the RV gets unloaded, cleaned out, washed, and winterized. I also have any scheduled maintenance done so things are ready to roll in December. This year, it needed an oil change, air filters, and a new fuel filter.
Getting Supplements and Meds
Being a couple of geezers, there’s prescriptions and supplements that my wife and I need to keep us going. For my colitis, I take ten supplements that aren’t off the shelf type things. I usually take a two month supply with me and then reorder them once I’m settled in Florida. My wife is in the same boat plus she has a couple prescriptions. There’s a large overhead cabinet in the RV that’s devoted to nothing but our pills and powders.
Getting Us Ready
Between us, my wife and I have 8-10 doctor appointments during November. It’s also part of the geezer status. For me, there’s a dentist, two gastroenterologists, eye doctor, and annual physical exam with my primary. My wife has about the same, except instead of a gastroenterologist she has an oncologist to see. We both keep our fingers crossed that nothing comes up that will impede us from heading south. Our doctors are very good and we can communicate with them via email or a phone call if something comes up while we’re in Florida.
Thanksgiving is the last family thing we do at home. It’s a nice time spending a day with my family. Everyone contributes helping to make a great meal and share it with each other. My son’s and I do the Christmas stuff at this time since we’re away in December. I kinda like doing it all at once and avoiding the extended Christmas rush. The holiday stuff is the last thing I do before we pack the bags and load the RV.
There’s also some misc stuff that gets done like renewing the medical insurance, paying my property taxes, resupplying the RV, getting our travel plans distributed, sending our Christmas cards, and updating copies of key documents. Thanks to Evernote, all these to-do lists are online and saved so I can remember what to do each year.
Getting all this done in a month is a lot of work. I know I could lower part of the burden by living in a condo, getting rid of stuff, or hiring out the work. But, I do it because I still can. And, if I make it through November without incident, there’s a big reward at the end.
My snow bird lifestyle has a lot less work and much more play time. In December, I become a stay put RVer. There’s no house to maintain, no yard to keep up, no appointments, no vehicles that need fixing. Instead, it’s biking, beaching, walking, kite flying, dancing, reading, photographing, and socializing. And most of it is done on or near the beach and I’m wearing shorts!
It’s a great way to spend the winter. I can’t wait for November to end.