LIfe in a Condo vs Life in a 5th Wheel: The Showdown

Nearly six months ago, if you had asked me if I would miss living in our 5th Wheel, I probably would have said something along the lines of “Maybe, but probably not”.  Well, here we are, almost six months later; six months NOT living in a 365 square foot home on wheels, but instead six months of living in a 1000 square foot, spacious living, large outdoor lanai, massive kitchen, separate bathroom (equipped with a bath tub), landlocked condo and my answer to that question now is, yes, I do in fact miss that device on wheels we call home.

Don’t misunderstand me here, I LOVE living in Hawaii and living with all this space! Did I mention the kitchen?! Full sized range and refrigerator not to mention all the counter space! J.O and I can actually cook together and not be butt to butt!  I can go grocery shopping less than 3 times a week, because we have the space to keep produce fresh! I love having a huge private outdoor living space and a washer and dryer on site.  Long dog loves how he can roam the space, going in and out as he please.  It’s great having a steady address to receive mail and packages.  Actual glass and ceramic are a part of our lives again, no more plastic! Best of all, we don’t have to hook up a hose to get our water and I don’t have to empty our sewage once a week!

But all that set aside, I miss our little 5th wheel oasis.  I miss how crafty I would get trying to do things in a limited amount of space or how I was pushed to get out of the house more due to a lack of space (yes even living in Hawaii, one can just want to hang in the house some days).  I miss not having to worry if I put a nail hole in the wall from hanging a frame because it was our wall, not a rented one.  The smell, the knowing everything in there is ours, all of our pictures and blankies that carry a certain texture and smell, silly things, but I find myself missing them.

The one thing I miss most about it though, is its mobility.  The best thing about traveling full time for J.Os job is that if his show-up site for work is moved, we can easily move with it (when we have our 5th wheel).  When we came over to the island of O’ahu, we decided to live on the North Shore.  We knew that it would be more country living (which is what we prefer)  compared to living closer to Honolulu or the East side and that with all country living, the commute would be a little more.  What we didn’t plan for was the traffic.  If you haven’t heard already, traffic on O’ahu is HORRIBLE and we’ve experienced L.A traffic. I should also mention that the hours from his job here are 6/10s (six days, ten hour shifts), a schedule we were really excited for! Anyone who also is a traveling line-family will know that if its under seven day a week and under twelve hour shifts, it’s a great thing.  We could have regular dinners together!

For the first few months, J.Os show-up was not too far from us.  We had a few minor set backs with construction, but that was all.  His average commute time was still heavy in the mornings, making him leave by 5:45am, but evenings were not as bad depending on where he was able to leave from (they would transfer to and from various yards throughout the day). Now, due to a change in the show-up location, dealing with traffic has changed our day completely.  It’s because of this I’ve missed the mobility of our 5th wheel.  If we were living in that, we could just move to a site closer to the show-up.  But, alas, there isn’t much sense in moving into another condo, closer  to the site when we are not sure on how much longer we will be on this island.  So, the idea of thinking that 6/10s was great is no longer because they are now 6/13.5 in my book because that is roughly the amount of time he is gone at work.  Yuck on both ends!  J.O has to leave no later than 5:20am to arrive by 6:45am and he is stuck with the choice of fighting traffic either at 5:15pm and arriving home around 6:30 or waiting it out a bit with some of the guys until 6:30 and arriving home around 7:15pm.  I find myself feeling selfish, because I would prefer him to be home and fight that traffic, but at the same time, would I want to sit in that every day?  Probably not.

Until they inevitably move the show-up again, I guess we’ll just have to tough it out, cherish our time together on Sundays and pray that the next location will be closer to us on the North Shore.

It’s interesting to discover what I may have taken for granted, in every situation, big or small.  I’m constantly surprised by what I end up missing (housing relocation at will) and what I realize I can easily live without (emptying our own sewage) and how to cope with giving up one for the other.


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