Carson couple selling belongings, hitting the road
It was three months ago when Bill Ritenour told his wife of 40 years his big idea.
They would sell all their worldly belongings and move into a motor home. They would split their time between the East and West coasts, and go wherever their desires took them.
Was Faye, 77, up for the adventure? You betcha.
“He was sitting in the living room one day when he said, ‘We’re just sitting here waiting to die,'” recalled Faye on Wednesday from her spacious Conte Drive home overlooking the city. “I said, ‘No way we’re sitting here! We’re going to do something,’ and that’s where it started.
“It’s a strange thing. We never thought about doing this at all, then all at once we thought … what’s holding us here in Nevada? Really, we stayed all this time here for each other.”
Bill’s pipe dream didn’t stay a pipe dream long. Before she knew it, he had found a buyer for his hunting trophies that for years stared back at the couple from the walls reaching up to the cathedral ceiling.
And then Faye started liquidating their other possessions through yard sales and classified ads.
“At those garage sales I couldn’t stay out there very long. I had to come inside because all that stuff was going. They were things that meant things to me. Things I collected along the way,” she said. “But I just said, we’ve got to figure out what we can haul in the motor home and go from there. We just can’t take anymore than what that motor home can haul.”
Her car with 13,000 miles on it sold fast on Craigslist. Bill, 81, sold his truck that way, too. Furniture went. As did brick-a-brack. Bill put the home on the market for $395,000.
There is no turning back now, and that is fine by the couple.
“This house is just too big for us,” said Bill, as Faye nodded in agreement. “And see all those weeds out there, I have to spray them all, on an acre and a third.”
Now, less than a month away from D-Day, (the couple hopes to celebrate Bill’s 82nd birthday on May 29 in Pennsylvania with his family) Faye is in overdrive packing and planning and counting down the days. She is looking forward to this most adventurous chapter of their life.
“I’m excited. With everything we get rid of, it makes us that much closer to leaving,” she said.
Full-time RV living is an increasingly popular alternative to a brick-and-mortar home. Dozens of websites and books are dedicated to the lifestyle, much to Faye’s amazement. She was thrilled to learn such things existed, as opposed to the trial-and-error method to figuring out road living.
So the Ritenours will trade in a 4,100-square-foot home in the hills, for a 38-by-9-foot house on wheels.
Their panoramic views of the Sierra will be replaced this summer by the lush trees and lightning bugs of the Pennsylvania countryside. In their travels, a real brook may replace the fountain that sits at their front door now.
Faye’s eyes light up at the thought of waking up next to the ocean. And Bill will still go on his hunting trips, while Faye stays with her daughters in California.
“What really appealed to us is to get all the burdens off our shoulders,” she said with a chuckle. “And it’s better than sitting here dying.”
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