Bob Bestler

Downsizing to the extreme: What moving from a 3-bedroom house to a 30-foot RV looks like

We’re closing on the sale of our McClellanville home Tuesday and moving into a 30-foot Class C motorhome that has been parked in our driveway for the past month.

The plan is to spend the next few years traveling to parts of the country we’ve mostly visited through travelogues.

Myrtle Beach will still be our home base — a daughter and two grandchildren live here — and The Sun News will continue to run my scribblings.

It all sounds like a great adventure, and it is. But making this move is bittersweet.

My bride summed it up a month ago with a sudden realization, uttered with a tear in her eye: “We’re leaving this beautiful home, these beautiful trees, this beautiful street, this beautiful town, these beautiful people, our beautiful little church . . .”

So a few regrets, yes, but it’s time to open another chapter in our lives before time runs out.

However, it’s not the first time we’ve made such a dramatic move. In 1989. we left well-paying jobs in Milwaukee and moved to North Myrtle Beach to open a book store. That was a risk, not this.

Another realization came when we confronted the task of moving from a three-bedroom home to a 30-foot RV and a 10-by-10 storage unit. Think of it as downsizing to the extreme.

It has meant parting with decades of memories, many of them tossed into in a dumpster at the local recycling center, others transported to Goodwill and Habitat For Humanity ReStore or given to the Charleston County Library — 10 boxes of books in all.

There has been, for both Elaine and I, one criterion as we parsed through papers and pictures and books and mementos and clothes: Will we ever need these again? And why have we carried some of these things around for so long?

Why do we have so many glasses, so many dishes, so much useless junk in our miscellaneous drawer? Why, God, why?

Consider this, for one small example: I had a hole-in-one golf ball in my desk that I had saved since 2013. Why? I had no good answer. So, in the interest of downsizing, I took it out to Oyster Bay two weeks ago and, of course, hit it into a pond. Bye-bye, memory.

The other day, we carried a carton of mostly Chico’s clothes to Consigning Women in Mount Pleasant. On the way, Elaine explained that our new RV life — traipsing through state and national parks — no longer had a place for Chico’s.

I’ve tossed articles and columns from Fargo, Charlotte, Milwaukee and, of course, Myrtle Beach, including thousands of columns from The Sun News. I didn’t need them, really, after the day of publication, but there they were. No longer, no room.

Most of our furniture we gave to friends or left for the new owners (at their request). It’s helped us make this move without Two Guys and a Truck or even a U-Haul.

I don’t know what the future holds once we decide to grow up and settle down, but I know we won’t buy another three-bedroom house. Our children will thank us.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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