Month One – Wheel Estate Reflections

9 days in…

The black tank is full! Don’t ask me how I know.

I check the manual for instructions on how to empty it.

Page 56 – Waste Water System

Steps 1-4: Hook up hose.

Easy peasy. Feeling good.

Step 5: Open the black tank termination valve and drain.

Open valve. Sounds easy.


Now…      Where…     Is…      The…      Valve?

I spot the grey tank valve – at least I think it’s the grey tank valve.

But where’s the black one? Am I looking at the right tank?

The tank is big and black, and it’s under the bathroom area.

This must be it.

I pull the only valve I can find, deciding that maybe it’s a dual valve and will empty both tanks.  Whooshing sounds proceed and my hopes start to rise.  Inside, I peek in the toilet.

Nope.  That’s definitely the grey tank valve and I still have a problem. 

I check the manual again for a diagram. No such luck.  30 seconds is lost contemplating making a snazzy diagram once I find this valve and submitting it to the Escape people for their next manual.  Then, I realize this is probably one of those terribly obvious things that doesn’t warrant a diagram.

Determination sets in.  I look every where; crawling on the gravel and laying on my back, scooting my way under and around the tank. Dust, dirt, and sharp rocks dig into my shirt and I wipe the stinging, salty drips of sweat from my eyes.  I see a spider and decide that’s enough bonding with the underbelly.

Why can’t I find it?!

Luckily the RV mechanic swings by to install some things and see’s me wiggling my way out, surgical gloves dawned, and red faced from sun and embarrassment.

“I can’t find the black tank valve. I’ve looked everywhere!” I bend down close to the tank and gesture my hand around the area for emphasis.

He reaches out, just a few inches from my nose and pulls something. Out pops a black lever, tucked up close to the underside of the fiberglass and blending in with the color of the tank.


There’s a swoosh, as the waste rushes past. The mechanic has a smile on his face, that I’m certain is holding back a laugh, and I want to tell him not to worry about me.

I can do this. I really can!

Instead, I just say, “There it is! Thanks!”

As I tromp back around the egg, I flip the dripping bangs out of my eyes and try to walk with an air of confidence.

I hear a rock drop off my shirt.


First RV Park – NO Shade.  Ugh.


3 weeks in…

Several RV neighbors have gathered for a sunset visit, cold beers drip beads of condensation on the checkered picnic table covering. When I approach, they ask why I decided to pick such a small trailer to travel full time.

Four sets of eyes, not counting their dogs, are staring at me intently.

“Well, you know that show Tiny House Nation? I used to watch it and say, ‘I could do that!’. I like minimalist living. And it’s very cosy inside.”

They don’t seem convinced. I’m sandwiched among massive 40’+ luxury RV’s and we figure my 17’ Sarandipity could fit in one of their bedrooms.

Because I love my egg so much, I feel the need to justify my decision further.

“It has a bathroom, kitchen, comfortable bed and sitting area. Really everything I need. I’m no wider than a regular SUV and I can park in two facing parking spots in any parking lot.”

Heads start to nod, and then one of the husbands speaks up.

“You know, when I was younger I used to think about getting one like that. It really is all you need.”

They might just be humoring me, but that’s okay. I’m happier than I thought I could be in my new home.


One month in…

Today’s my monthiversary and it’s starting to feel more like a home and less like I’m camping! Each morning I Keurig up a cup of coffee (yes, I’ve made Keurig a verb), then dot it generously splash it – with some hazelnut creamer, and head outside with Yiska to watch the sunrise. Each day I also jot down something on my shopping list for how to make life more livable. Little things like drawer organizers, containers that fit each cubby, and nesting kitchen pots and pans. Amazon routinely delivers boxes to my parents’ home.

“Where are you putting it all?!” Dad yells in the loving way he often yells at me, with a smile and hands thrown in the air.

But everything has a purpose and is in it’s place, hidden out of sight so nothing looks cluttered. And this process hasn’t been a one way street. I’ve made several trips to the storage unit to drop off things I realize I don’t need.  Yesterday, I decided a fan and some pillows aren’t going to make the cut and into the storage unit they’re going.

These two months of living in the trailer before heading down the road are proving to be invaluable. I feel much more prepared and I’ve discovered the answer to my question: Will I enjoy living in my new space? Yes.

I’ll have a whole new learning curve when I start going from park to park, driving roads I’m not familiar with, and navigating where to stay. But, at least I’m happy at this point with my choices and progress.


2nd RV Park – SHADE!   And just in time for 110 degree days.


One month and one day in…

Last night I shaved my legs. This morning I put make-up and earrings on. These are primping rituals that I haven’t done much lately. What’s the special occasion? Well, today I start the last month of my chemo. 20 more sessions and I’m finished. Truly finished! No more 6-hour days of infusion treatments. No more pills. No more weekly blood draws, or sleeping with a needle in my port… Best of all, no more APL leukemia ruling my life.  July 1st I will come in and be dripped with arsenic one final time. July 2nd, I’ll pull out onto I-10, with a stocked fridge and a full tank of gas.

(Note: I’ll have to return once every three months for status checks, but that’s different and I’m not counting it right now.)

After I finished my coffee, Yiska and I did a selfie photo session to celebrate our morning, before jumping in the SUV and heading to doggy daycare and then the cancer center!

last month chemo set
Yiska’s such a good sport.

27 thoughts on “Month One – Wheel Estate Reflections

  1. Margaret Ann

    Well, one compensation for living in the hospital in June is the A/C. I enjoyed and appreciated your story, and all the more especially since I now know you in person! The minimalist life will be interesting to me as you continue to assess how it’s working for you in your travels. I am wondering how you do wifi/internet in your egg. Or do you depend on KOA parks to furnish internet, and your phone to furnish cellular service? Or do you carry your laptop into a coffee shop to send your blogs? Well, I’m sure you have that all figured out, because you did those tricks when you were backpacking and you must know all the answers. I am wishing you Rabbit Good Luck and all the Healing Energy from the Universe as you deal with June. Love, Margaret Ann


    1. I love how you look at the bright side of things – yes, one compensation for starting back up on the daily chemo is I get to enjoy the cold A/C! Hahaha. It’s actually freezing in the chemo pod right now. Not sure why they keep it so cold.
      The wifi provided by the parks has been good thus far. Better at the new one I’m in. I’m able to watch the occasional show through my laptop, and upload my blog posts, check email, etc. When I end up in areas where wifi isn’t provided, I’ll use my cell phone for internet. Then probably go to coffee shops, or libraries, to upload blog entries. I’m still learning that aspect of it.
      Thanks for the lovely words and I’m sending you and Doug a hug.


  2. Cinandjules

    Your trials and tribulations made me laugh….because I’ve been there trying to dump the black water on our maiden voyage. Now you know and that’s behind you! Sounds like you’re having a blast. Pay no attention to what “others” think about living full time in your trailer…you have modified it to meet your needs and no one will ever walk in your shoes! The only one you answer to is….Yiska! I am so happy for you! Here’s looking forward to July 2nd..


    1. Yay, someone else that can relate to learning about black tanks. I never thought about what happened after I flushed my toilet at home. Now… well, you know. It has to be dealt with. But, what a trade-off to be living this free lifestyle.
      I won’t worry what others think. I’m having too much fun beginning this new adventure. And like you said, it’s modified to suit my needs perfectly.


      1. Cinandjules

        Speaking of toilet….make sure you use a TP brand that breaks down…ie Scott 1000 which is way cheaper than the rv TP. If you’re not sure..put a couple of sheets in a jar with water and shake it up…if it breaks down…use it!

        You don’t want that black tank to get clogged! Empty black tank first then gray! But you know that now don’t you! Have fun. Love Yiska’s story!


  3. Good job! sam

    *Writing is the axe that cracks the frozen sea within us. **Franz Kafka *

    On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 1:05 PM, Sarandipity Travels wrote:

    > Sarandipity Travels posted: “9 days in… The black tank is full! Don’t ask > me how I know. I check the manual for instructions on how to empty it. Page > 56 – Waste Water System Steps 1-4: Hook up hose. Easy peasy. Feeling good. > Step 5: Open the black tank termination valve and drain.” >


  4. Dorothy Keller

    Love your attitude and joy in life. Wishing you all beautiful things on your journey – I will be looking for you on the road!


  5. Sarah Dufault

    Yay you! I love reading about your life’s adventure. I’m 9 months out since last arsenic drip. Still in remission.


    1. Congratulations on your continued remission! Yay!! I’m a little nervous that it might return, but I try not to think about it, and for the most part I’m able to put that worry out of my mind. I love hearing about others that are further out than myself, and doing so well.


  6. Harvey Stanbrough

    I love that you’re doing what you WANT to do. It’s the only way that makes sense. I’m pulling for you every day in every way.


  7. Amani

    You are such a champion!! I surely hope that Albuquerque is on your route to a fro. I want to squeeze you and tell you this face to face!


  8. Tina Mason

    Love reading your blog Sara, you have amazing courage and are doing many of the things we wish we could do. Looking forward to the next one.

    Big hugs from me xxxx


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