5/11/11

The wonder of travel trailer vacations

Rob and I were talking about our family vacation last night. A while back, we learned that I don't know how to take a vacation anymore. I usually go visit family or work on the house. Rob on the other hand knows how to travel. I find it inconvenient and would rather just stay home.

But, our discussion took us to travel trailer vacations and that brought me to fond memories of vacations spent pulling a trailer from site to site in caravan with friends and it was lucky that today was Way Back Wednesday.

When I was a kid, we owned a travel trailer. I remember when we bought our first trailer. We drove from north Louisiana to southern Arkansas to see the trailer at the seller's home. We were so excited. As I remember it, this trailer was tiny. I was a kid and it still seems tiny. The toilet was in the shower pan and the sink hung on the wall. A large person could not have stood between them to shower. There were tables and sofas that turned down to beds. For a kid, it was all fascinating, having a home that could be towed behind your vehicle.

We couldn't take the trailer home that day. We needed to have the hitch assembly installed. I think my Dad had to find an assembly nearer home and have it installed on our brown Chevrolet Impala. I remember being worried that the welder would explode the gas tank and we'd never get that trailer.

We got the trailer and we took it on vacations and we parked it at the lake and spent weekends there. From that little trailer, we graduated up to a larger trailer and I think there was one even larger after that. At some point, my Dad started pulling the trailers behind a black Chevrolet pickup with a camper shell on the back. He had a CB radio and my Mom made a large mat that could go in the bed of the truck and my sister and I could play back there while we drove from campsite to campsite.

We vacationed with a lot of families from the church. Families with kids and without. People who loved to fish and people that loved to "rough it" and people that loved to see the sites but wanted the familiarity of their own "stuff" around them.

We used to take trips that started at home and made an ice cream cone shape, north east, then a curve that went gradually curved northwest, west and then southwest and then turned south east for a direct route back home. In that curve, we'd see a passion play, Dogpatch USA, rivers and lakes and any other sites that interested us.

Sydney being 13, there probably won't be many more years that we could take a family vacation where we were as close to one another as a trailer would require. And, the economy being what it is, the family vacation may not be an affordable option much longer.

I don't know if I hope that we do it or not. That kind of vacation is a bit intimidating for me as it is way outside my normal routine, but the fun we had when I was a kid makes me kind of hope that we do. It would be a lot of work, but maybe there would be fun in that extra work. If it was up to me, we'd stay home and paint the house, so whatever we do, I hope they don't listen to me.

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So, what's up with quilting right now? I need to learn to outline quilt. Tiny, little outline quilting. And, I am not very good at it. In fact, I don't think I'm very good at any quilting where the marks don't wash out, like ditchwork and outlining. I've pulled out my practice piece, where I practiced the leaves and flowers and now I'm outlining them. And, outlining that outline and the next and the next until it becomes a blurry echo.



But, I'm getting better. My line is more a reflection of the line I'm echoing, my stitch length is getting more consistent as is my machine speed, and I'm starting to relax. I'll practice at least 15 mintues each day until i get this down. What you see is about 3 days of practice. It's slow now, but I'm hoping that when I've built up the muscle memory, I'll get faster. That's how it usually works. In the time it took me to do this little bit of practice, I also did all the ditchwork on "West of Paris, Texas". Next project is to cut out a Linus quilt. So much to do, so little time.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Learn something new.

Coser is spanish for the action verb, to sew.

So, go Coser!

Lane

6 comments:

Leah Day said...

I think that looks pretty darn good Lane! If your free motion foot allows, try keeping the index finger of your right hand parallel with the shape you're echoing and allow the foot to rub against your finger.

Essentially your hand and fingers will keep the foot from veering off all crazy as you push the quilt through the machine. I hope that makes sense!

And I totally get your feelings on a vacation. My idea of a vacation is 3 days being at home with the house quiet and empty so I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Traveling...uh! Too much work!

Leah

Anonymous said...

Your post brought back memories of family vacations when I was a kid. We'd rent a tiny little cottage close to Lake Erie for the week. Thanks for sharing and bringing back fond memories from a long time ago.
cindy

Shay said...

Hi lane,

Your FM "practice" is still better than something I could knock out on my best day.I seriously have brain block when it comes to FM. Im resigned to it now and plan to continue being incredibly talented in other areas.

We used to go camping in a tent when I was kid . I cant count the times we got rained out. My idea of a vacation these days is sipping cocktails by a pool somewhere tropical in 5 star luxury. It doesnt happen very often!

Elaine said...

We are planning to go camping in our trailer this weekend, and rain is in the forecast. I don't care what kind of weather it is, I love it out at the lake. We have our featherweights with us, and projects to work on if it is raining; books to read, radio to listen to, etc, board games to play, or just talk to each other.

When we were first married we started out with a tent. Now up to a 32' trailer and I love it!! Go camping and enjoy the memories you will be making.

LynCC said...

Grrrr. :PPpppPPp (This isn't really responding to your post, but it was the easiest way I could think of to get a note to you.)

Do you ever have trouble with needles suddenly breaking a lot while you're machine quilting something? I don't know what's going on. This is like the 6th needle that's snapped today on this quilt. Was perfectly fine on the other projects. I don't think I'm rushing the fabric - been making sure that's not what's happening.

Maybe it's the 100% cotton batting? It's high quality, but maybe there's still some tiny dense pieces that the needles don't like?

Maybe it's the thread? I'm using the right needle for it. :PPppPPPp (OK, so it's probably immature for a grown woman to be typing razzes, but that's how I feel right now!!) Sick of needles breaking during the quilting!

Cynthia L. said...

I want to own a pop up camper soooo bad! We have taken a few vacations that required camping in a tent. I love it. Our friends laugh at us because I have a welcome mat in front of the "door" of the tent! I also have all of the amenities of home packed up with us! I love being outside and listening to the sounds of nature!

We will leave in a little over a week for a family vacation to Lancaster, PA and Hershey Park! We have good vacations and good memories. This may be our last familiy vacation, our little girl will be 20 in a few days and her world is changing so much! Take advantage of being in small spaces with Rob and Sydney, you will be closer for it. The house will always be there. I have learned this the hard way!