Aug 222009

Terry and I want to thank all of you who left comments or sent us congratulatory e-mails in response to yesterday’s blog about our motorhome purchase.

To be honest, Miss Terry had some real misgivings, not about the Winnebago itself, but about what the reaction might be from some of our readers. As longtime blog readers may remember, we were chastised by a couple of folks when I bought a motorcycle a while back, or when I announced that we were shopping for a motorhome. One rather vocal former reader felt that we were “getting rich off our subscribers,” and didn’t feel it was right for him to help pay for my new toys.

I told Terry that I have never apologized for what success I may have achieved in my life. We work very hard, and there has to be some reward now and then. Besides, it’s like my Dad used to say, “Never explain and never apologize. Your friends don’t need it, and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.” We feel very blessed to have so many wonderful friends such as all of you out there, who can share in our happiness and be happy for us. 

Two very special friends are Ron and Brenda Speidel. Not only did they help us inspect the motorhome before we bought it, yesterday they really blew us out of the water.

Terry and I had to drive 70 miles up to Michigan to pick up the new issue of the Gypsy Journal from the printer, and then drive 85 miles back to Mishawaka, Indiana to pick up the envelopes from our mail service. From there we needed to go 30 miles to Nappanee, Indiana for an appointment with Carlyle Lehman, a very talented Amish cabinetmaker who owns a company called Focal Wood and specializes in RV upgrades. We wanted to talk to Carlyle about building a custom desk/work station in our new (to us) motorhome. With that finished, we then had to drive 30 miles back to Elkhart Campground! And all we wanted to do was spend the day getting our new home ready to move into!

Before we left, Ron and Brenda told us that they had thought about getting us a nice lamp as a housewarming gift, but being fulltime RVers themselves, they know that the last thing we need is more “stuff.” So instead, they announced that while we were gone, they were going to clean our new motorhome top to bottom, so that as soon as we got the new issue of the paper stuffed and mailed out, all we had to do was start moving in! Wow! What a wonderful, thoughtful offer! We told them that wasn’t necessary, they have done so much for us already, but Ron and Brenda insisted.

We thought we had a nice looking motorhome when we brought it back to the campground Thursday afternoon, but now it’s even better! Ron cleaned every bay, including the walls and the insides of the doors, vacuumed them all, used 303 on all of the seals and grommets, and lubed and tested every hinge, strut and anything else that needed even the slightest attention. Our sewer bay gleams!

And inside, Brenda was just as busy, removing a few small spots from the carpet, and scrubbing every surface from the bedroom closet to the dashboard. There’s not a hospital operating room any cleaner than the inside of that rig! I daresay that no new RV from any manufacturer ever left the dealer’s lot looking as nice. Ron and Brenda worked hard for hours and the results really show. We thanked them profusely, but they just brushed it off, saying that’s what friends do for each other. (Though they did admit later that somewhere around mid-afternoon, they said to each other “We should have just bought them a lamp!”)

In answer to a couple of questions we have been asked several times; we have two buyers who are interested in the bus, and we hope to find it a good home soon, but nothing has happened yet. It is advertised on our website at Gypsy Journal Bus For Sale, if you know anybody looking for a nice, affordable bus conversion. Several people wanted to know if we are moving our solar panels to the new RV. We’re not sure yet. A lot depends on the deal we make with whomever buys the bus.

And last, but not least, a lot of folks asked how they will be able to recognize us when we’re not in the bus. That’s the idea! Now I can slip into a campground or rally incognito and let Bad Nick off his leash, and nobody will know it until it’s too late!

Thought For The Day – Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  22 Responses to “Housewarming Gift”

  1. Terry needn’t have worried. After the onslaught that “one rather vocal former reader” took the last time he mouthed off, I have noticed a welcome lack of responses from him. Yea! Team!

    We add our good wishes to the rest and look forward to seeing the new rig in Yuma.
    Can we be Ron and Brenda’s friends, too?

    Judy & Walt

  2. A nice corollary to your father’s advice is something I was told once: Step on their toes until they apologize and get out of your way.

    Congrats on your new home!

  3. Nick and Miss Terry, Congratulations to you both. I hope this “new” bus is an insperation to you all. I envy what you are doing and God speed on your endeavers. Sound like some may be jealous. Good luck and best wishes. Ray and Anne

  4. Nick said, “Our sewer bay gleams!”. Great! Now you won’t want to……you know!

  5. If you want to ease your guilt, feel free to send me money…

  6. Ron and Brenda are very special people, we could tell from your rally last fall. We attended at least two of their seminars and knew right away that they would be the kind of people you’d want to be best friends with.

    You guys keep on going, anyone who begrudges your making a living from the Gypsy Journal is living with their head in the sand. Somebody makes a living off from everything that they buy – why should they expect any different from Nick and Terry.

    Congrats again on your new to you clean home!!!

  7. Miss Terry & Nick,
    Congratulations on your new home! I can just picture your moving day… (week?) pull the new rig right up close to the bus, only reversed so they’re door to door, you’ll get your workout up and down those steps. Grinning like mad the whole time.

  8. Nick,

    Carlyle built our desk/dining table and a set of oak valences for the living area four years ago. We are very satisfied. He is very professional and meets his schedules. We highly recommend him. Good luck designing a desk that meets your needs. It seems that right after you come up with the perfect design and have it built you find things that you have done differently. Our desk holds my tower computer, printer and two sewing machines as well as the rig’s manuals.

  9. Congratulations Nick and Terry! Your rig looks beautiful. What a great and thoughtful housewarming gift from Ron and Brenda. Enjoy!


  10. Nick & Terry,
    The PERSON! who thinks you got rich off your subscriptions should know that the hours you spend researching, writing, proofreading, postage, etc makes the paper a loss leader like the grocery store specials and is really worth a lot more for the information not to mention the entertainment factor .And further more why would anyone begrudge you a simple living. You and Terry deserve your new to you rig and have earned every bit of pleasure you get from it, its not like you went out & bought a new rig, but even if you could its none of his business. More power to you and God Bless you both.

  11. Nick,

    That is a really nice looking motorhome. Congratulations!! Now that it is really clean, how about posting some inside photos? Looking forward to seeing it in person.


  12. Nick & Terry,
    1st, CONGRATS–we are happy for you both!!!
    Some friends gave us some advice when moving from rig to rig. Do reverse the rigs so their doors meet—but put a few 2×6’s from the steps to the other steps. You can’t move the basements–but do one floor @ a time. But no steps!!!!

  13. I just happen to know a very good RV desk/cabinet builder:-) He’s just slow – but very thorough.

    I like that quote from your Dad. I think I will print it out and hang it where I can see it every day:-)

    Safe travels.

  14. Miss Terry & Nick,
    What an awesome looking rig you’ve got there. We couldn’t be more happier for you. Now here’s to a quick sale of your old bus. Are you going to have a going away party for it since it’s served you so well over the years?
    Hugs to you both,
    Rick & Terry

  15. We are tickled pink for both of you! Many safe and happy times for you in your new home!!! See you in Celina!

  16. Having seen Brenda and Ron’s spotless rig, I’m sure they did a great job. Congratulations on finding the unit you REALLY wanted. We (re)joined the WITS this year and attended the GNR. We took advantage of the “7-item” no previous appointment service calls four times during our three weeks in Forest City before, during, and after the national rally! (Our 2007 Horizon happened to still be under warranty.) Impressed with the Winnebago service we received. Be sure to check the batteries. When we bought our “new” (dealer had gone bankrupt) rig back in December the batteries were dead. We had the local dealer replace them and we were told they were no maintenance sealed batteries (not AGM, just sealed). Duh, they only looked that way to us and our tech. The Winnebago electrician trying to solve our power drain/battery charging issues discovered they had a permanent looking plastic instruction sheet over the flat fill valves. We had two totally dry batteries. They were replaced at no cost.

    As for being incognito in your new coach, how about a couple of simple signs advertising the GJ and you can maybe write the coach off for taxes?


  17. Joyce and are blessed to have friends like Ron and Brenda. Our world is much richer because of them.
    Barry & Joyce Crocker
    Valley of the Rouge State Park, OR

  18. Nick, if you think you can slip into anywhere incognito, think again.. That will never happen unless you hole up and never come outside… Even if you did that, Terry would be a dead giveaway. Everyone knows her beautiful hair and winning smile.


  19. Nick and Terry…wishing you the very best for your new home! It looks fabu!

    Hey, do the Speidel’s offer cleaning services on a regular basis? After sittting in Muskegon for two months, our rig could sure use a spiffin’ up! We’d pay yanno!

    Seriously, what wonderful friends Ron and Brenda must be. Hoping to have a chance to meet them at the rally next month.

    Paul and Dennise

  20. I saw where you made mention of showing the new rig at Yuma. Will you not be bringing it to Celina?

  21. Sorry, Nick, I thought you had talked about the new rig in Yuma, but actually it was Judy B. making the comment that SHE would see the new rig in Yuma. My original question still stands, however. Will you be bringing the new rig to Celina?

  22. Steve,
    We’ll be movign into it over the next week or so, and will have it when we go to Celina, Ohio for our rally there, and living in it from then on. So yes, it will be in Yuma.

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