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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written June 17, 2013, published in the July 2013
edition of Echo* newspaper, and updated since then
Damon RV This is a view of our Damon Ultrasport RV on the driver's side.  It has been in the RV garage on the right for the last four years, protected from the weather, and it was only used by the previous owners 3-4 times per year.  Its length is 37 feet and it is 13½ feet high — the size of a school bus.

Damon RV This view of our RV shows the passenger side with the steps up to the entrance door.  In this photo you can see the large awning rolled up at the top of this side.

Damon couch and kitchen This is a view of the couch, the kitchen sink on the left and the driver's seat on the right.  Above the couch is one of the valances that were around most of the windows.  I removed all of these and I also replaced the original RV shades, one of which you can see in the window above the couch, with custom mini-blinds that I installed myself.

Damon kitchen table This photo shows the dinette table on the left and the kitchen sink on the right, with the three-burner gas stove behind it and the combination convection oven and microwave above the stove.  Beyond the stove is the refrigerator but only the handles are visible.  Note the wood flooring, one of the selling points for us.  We removed the fabric from the panel in the bottom left of this photo to expose the wood finish that matches the panels, cabinets and drawers of the kitchen.

Damon Drivers Seat Pictured here is the driver's seat and the original livingroom TV.  I removed and replaced it with a larger flat-screen TV on a full-motion mount.
You may have looked for my column in the last couple of issues of Echo and wondered why it was absent.  There is good reason for the absence — my life is changing dramatically!  When I saw my 2013 solar return chart based on my birthday in March (a chart calculated for the moment when the Sun returns to where it was when I was born) — with no less than SEVEN planets in the first house of daily activities — I anticipated that this would likely be the busiest year of my life and it has turned out to be just that.  This article is a synopsis of the recent and future changes that I am going through this solar return year, from my 2013 birthday to my 2014 birthday.

One of the most significant changes is in our household finances.  We anticipated that my wife of 21 years would retire this year, after her retirement account from her present job was fully vested.  This means that she will receive 100% of the contributions she and her employer have made to the account.  Since she retired (her last day of work was September 20), we are now living on a mostly fixed income so we had to devise a budget that greatly reduced our spending.  The indicators of these financial changes in my chart are transiting Saturn in my 8th house, which represents my wife’s earnings (reduced because she retired - Saturn), square my Venus (restricted income, necessity of budgeting).  Transiting Uranus is also in my 2nd house of finances, which means changes in my resources and expenses.  However, we like the idea and effects of simplifying our lives and spending less, which means a smaller personal “footprint.”

The biggest change this year is in our lifestyle.  About 10 years ago, my wife and I decided that when she retired (I plan on continuing to work — why quit doing what I love?), we would purchase an RV (Recreational Vehicle), sell or give away many of our belongings, put in storage what we can’t take in the RV, and travel around the U.S., not unlike my parents did after my father retired, although they stayed in motels.  We began intensively looking at RVs when we moved back to Florida six years ago.  Some of my readers may recall that we moved so that my wife could spend more time with her elderly mother, who died two years ago.  Over the course of our search for the right RV, we narrowed our criteria to a very specific list that excluded most RVs that dealerships have to offer (we wanted one without slide-outs, which are parts of the side that literally slide out when staying in a campground).  Just when I was losing hope that we would find what we want, we looked at an RV on June 8 that fitted our desires almost entirely.

By the time we actually purchased this motor home on July 6, transiting Jupiter was trine my Mars (foresight, freedom of movement, good timing and confidence) from my 5th house, which represents recreation (RV is the acronym for Recreational Vehicle).  Since the purchase, change in our lives has really accelerated, as we made major and minor improvements and renovations to the RV.  These included adding a washer/dryer combo (both functions in one machine), replacing the outdated TV with a new flat-screen, removing the valances around the windows, replacing the RV shades with custom blinds, adding a ladder to the roof (which it was missing), replacing much of the remaining carpet with laminated wood flooring (most of it was already wood flooring), replacing the shower head, adding a hand-towel ring to the bathroom, and improving the look of the panel that we see as we enter the coach.  In October, we will move what we can’t live without into it, move the rest of our belongings we decide to keep into a storage unit, vacate the house we have lived in for the last six years, and begin our living-in-campgrounds and on-the-road adventure.

Living in an RV is very different than living in a house.  Although we will be staying in campgrounds for periods of time — ranging from a few days to months — we will be moving around often during long trips.  Even when we stay in a campground for an extended period, we will have to move the RV occasionally to empty the wastewater tanks and to refill the LP (Liquid Propane) tank.  As I completed this article, I heard a piece on NPR radio about a researcher who discovered that the purchases that give us the most life satisfaction are those that provide the most satisfying experiences, whether it is something as simple as a celebratory meal out or as spectacular as standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  The RV will gives us the ability to take our home with us while we visit and explore many of the most awesome and beautiful scenic sites in the U.S., including all of the national parks.  The desire for travel is strong in my wife’s chart and is prominent in mine as well, indicated by Moon (home) and Jupiter (long journeys) in my 9th house of long-distance travel and the ruler of my 9th house (Mars) in a mutual reception with Jupiter in my 9th house (good travel experiences).  Despite the daunting nature of the many changes that lie in our immediate future, we feel excited in anticipation of visiting and exploring many wonderous places.

As in the recent past, I will not have the time or presence of mind to write a monthly article for Echo and there may be times in the future when I don’t have an Internet connection or cell phone reception.  For up to date information about my availability while traveling, see my current work schedule.  I began writing the astrological column in Echo in June 1999 and I am very grateful for the opportunity, for it has challenged my emotionally-based writing issues and I have often had to push myself to do it.  I want to thank my editor, Jim Ward, for being patient with my “writer’s block” at times and I want to thank my readers for continuing, through the last 14 years, to express interest in my astrological (and humanistic) points of view.  I hope that I have contributed to your astrology knowledge base.  In the future, I will write articles when important topics emerge and when my editor is amenable to their inclusion.

Of course this lifestyle change will impact on my clientele as well as me.  I will not always be available to answer the phone — when I am enjoying some beautiful nature trail or exploring some fantastic place, I will not feel like stopping the experience to answer the phone and I may be too tired or the hour may be too late by the time we return to the RV to make phone calls.  There are also many issues that I need to resolve to make the transition from conducting my business in a house to an RV, the most significant of which is that when I have no cell phone reception, I will have no Internet access and no way to return your phone call or to e-mail you.  So please bare with me as I make this transition.  My clients and friends, old and new, will have to be patient in waiting for me to return phone calls, for sometimes it may be several days or even as long as a week or more.  For information about my work schedule during the transition, see my current work schedule.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

© copyright 2013 Gary Brand.  All rights reserved.