Howdy from Houston, Texas for now ...

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Well-known member
Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2019
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Houston, Texas
First off, when I saw you had a Forum, Bob, I was thrilled, I love forums, run a couple myself. They are such excellent communication as well as an educational tools.

How to begin it's such a long story, and as one gets older, the story gets longer, it's like a catch 22. I'm going to need advice, but getting the right advice, one needs to have given some idea of the situation, an exposition, of how I got here in the first place. Holy smokes that would take a novel, no, a trilogy for lack of a better term at the moment. I'll try to condense as I'm sure y'all have a spot here somewhere where one can share the tales of one's life with other like-minded folks.

First, one might notice "Cajunwolf" as my user name, and I'm in Texas. There is a long story behind that, the short version. I was born in Texas but moved to Louisiana with my family at 16, and lived there for over 30-years, marrying two cajun women during that time, I can cook some good Cajun food from scratch sha! Anyhow, I was part of a group at the time, Defenders of Wildlife, don't know if they are even still active, but we were trying to get the wolves back into Yellowstone. I was young, very excited about the wolves, so they started calling me Cajunwolf, and I've used it since. I haven't told that story since ... well, I don't remember.

I spent the majority of my life abusing my mind, body, and soul, working as an industrial mechanic in the oilfields of the world. It's a brutal job, there are no holidays, it's not raining, or snowing, and it never gets hot or cold, now get your butt back to work. I worked on massive engines and compressors, GE frame seven turbines all over the world. I never left anything in the middle east that I'd go back to get, what a hell hole! You're on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, it sucks. Women, wives get tired of you never being home and goodbye marriage. I had two sons by my first wife, a Cajun Gal from Abbeville, Louisiana; she was a good woman; my boys are doing well. My second wife, hum, how should I say this, She was an exotic dancer, but a good woman, she didn't want to do it, but like many women, circumstances gave her no choice. Being married to me, she didn't have to do that anymore, and I helped her get an education, so she would never have to again. She was half Cajun and half Vietnamese, what a combo, and I do love Vietnamese food. My ex-mother-in-law, "mama-san," could put some vittles on the table let me tell you!

I got hooked up with a crazy woman in Pearl River, Louisiana, 20-years ago now. We meet over the internet in a chat room back in the days of Windows 98; it was 1999. We never married, and now we have a 16-year old daughter, disabled from birth from Listeria Mengitias, as well as being autistic too. I was 49-years old at the time, all of my children grown, and she ends up pregnant, but wasn't supposed to be able to. Can you imagine my surprise? Her ex-husband had told her to get her tubes tied, so she said. He was in jail for sexually molesting her by this time, a 12-year old daughter since she was four. He was harassing her, trying to scare her and her daughter into dropping the charges. This creep was a sick, manipulative animal. She was ready to give up, and I came charging in on my white horse swinging Excaliber, I'm just that way. She had a son and the daughter from her first husband, a worthless dead beat. He knew this was going on, and he did nothing about it. Can any of you imagine that? He got in my face one time, I never saw him again, good riddance. I could not walk away, in good conscience, and leave her and those two kids under the influence of that monster.

This lady, it turns out, was batshit crazy, I'm not mean or disrespectful, it's the truth. She suffers from Bi-Polar disorder, badly, and just gets worse and worse. They can't fix her. She talks and fights with people who aren't there. Dealing with this has taken a horrible toll on me and Sarah, my daughter. I'm in such a depressed state I'm having trouble getting through the days, but everything depends on me. Sarah's mother, Lee, does nothing, she's helpless. Sarah is in adult diapers, she doesn't talk, per se, but I got her out of the wheelchair, and she can walk along hold on to me. She's pretty smart, too, but can't communicate with anyone except me. Are you starting to get the picture of just how complicated my situation is? 

Sarah and I are going Nomad; we were on a friend's sailboat for a while I love to sail, had a sailboat at one time, lived on it for over a year, but no longer practical. Sarah's mother will be going to a state hospital unless I can get her son to take him in, it's doubtful, though, and she'd be better off in the hospital. Thought I'd never believed that, but until you've lived with insanity for near 20-years, you don't get to judge. It's not her fault, but living with her insanity has destroyed Sarah and my life. You can only watch someone do crazy irrational unbelievable things for so long before one starts doubting their insanity.

I'm looking at box trucks, an E350 with the V10 would do, but I'm open.  Something between 20 and 24-foot. I have a 2000 Grand Cherokee Jeep, 4x4. That I can tow, I'm a very skilled craftsman; I can build something nice roomy for us to live. I love step vans, but everyone I've looked at has been ridden hard and put up wet, worn out. I've already got my solar gear together. I make side money rigging solar on others RV's I'm good at it. I have resources. I'm retired and get $1500/month minus $130 for my Medicare premium. Sarah receives an SSI check of $1000 a month with Medicaid, and I make an extra $1000 a month at home online, maintaining some inventory software, I wrote for one of my customers. I have a cheap apartment, a dump, but a cheap dump. It's two-bedroom, downstairs for $565/ per month, unheard of, but I've been here for a long time, and the manager is a friend. We live on less than $1500 per month, and I'm packing it away in savings looking for a rig and all that I'll need.  Did I mention I'm a man of many talents and darn useful around a campsite?

Bob, I've been watching your videos, gaining knowledge, and looking forward to making new friends. I loved living in a marina. I had so many friends, and they're all nomads too. It's the same thing, except your on the water. It was nice to be able to sail to the Keys and on down to the Carribean when I wanted to. I had to sell that sweet little sailboat, though; I had a boy to help raise. This will be a new adventure, and we can't wait. Suggestions, ideas, thoughts, and friendship welcomed. And yes, I tend to be a bit verbose, but I like to write and tell stories.
Hi Cajunwolf!

Welcome to CRVL. On the face of it, that story is ... pretty mind-blowing. You tell it with a level of acceptance and compassion that I found beautiful.

I’m planted in the north east for a while yet, but I hope to run into you on the road some time.

Had you had any thoughts about attending the 2020 RTR?
Welcome Cajunwolf to the CRVL forums! To help you learn the ins and outs of these forums, this "Tips, Tricks and Rules" post lists some helpful information to get you started.

Most of our rules boil down to two simple over-riding principles: 1) What you post should provide good information (like your introductory post), and 2) Any response to someone else's post should make them feel glad they are part of this forum community.

We look forward to hearing more from you.

Thanks, Meira ...

That welcome was uplifting. It's already starting out as one of those days, and positive karma is needed, right? 
Sarah and I would love to attend the 2020 RTR and many other events. I'm working towards that goal daily. Getting hard decisions out of the way, finances in order, and searching for that "just right" rig to get to work on. Hope to see you and others on the road.
Thanks, highdesertranger,

Yes, I spent some time in that section [Tips & Tricks] this morning. I didn't notice it at first because I was looking for a forum section until I saw it as a thread here. I did post a couple of helpful links, but they are for an excellent YouTube channel and forum that is an exceptional resource for the latest solar, batteries, and off-grid RV and van living. The young man who runs it all, Will, started out very young and in a desperate life-changing situation like many here, and living in his van. He does excellent, clear, and well laid out videos for novice to expert, and has the additional advantage of a forum. I saw it as a useful resource for all and not to redirect anyone for this forum which, correct me if I'm wrong, is why the ten post rule exists. I Just thought I'd explain that. VanDweller and DIYSolar both complement one another. I run a considerable forum myself in the computer game modding genre, so I try to stick to the rules because I understand why we have them. You have to have run one of these beasts to know that, right? I have near 10k members globally, and it's the "globally" thing that's the pain.

I am exploring the forums right now, making some posts where I might help, and looking for help myself. I'm looking at a box truck, but with my daughter, a well-maintained RV might be the better Idea. It's a tough one. If it were just me, a 1-ton extended van pulling my trusty 2k Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 would be perfect. I have to put her first; I'm a father. I'm sure I'll have many questions.
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm new here too. I'm sorry about your daughter. I have an autistic/developmentally disabled brother. It's tough. I'm glad you're putting her first. I'll be following your journey. You're extremely lucky you can do stuff yourself. I can't do anything (reading manuals doesn't help) and have to pay for everything which slows down what I can do. If anything makes me want to give up it's that part of things but well, we each have our own gifts. Take care of yourself and your daughter.
LERCA said:
"we each have our own gifts ..."
This is very true, I freely give my talents and gifts to those genuinely in need, It's a moral duty to me, and I trade talent for talent all the time. You can do things I can't but need, and I can do things you can't but need. I'm turning 66-years old come this December; I have a sixteen-year-old disabled daughter who desperately needs the support, care, and help only a woman can give. Do you feel my pain here? I need for her to be around women folk. I need to find friends to help in order to get help, that's the way I roll. Too many people are greedy, and they don't have to be, there's plenty for everyone if we all share a little.
welcome to the forum Cajunwolf! i wish you and your daughter good luck on the
nomad thing. i'm from Houston and left shortly after Katrina and Rita came through.
my father's family moved to East Texas from Richland Parish, La. by some strange
reasoning, we moved to MN and here i sit for 15 years now...but i do get down to
see family every couple of years. hope to do it more often once i retire. "Skol" as they
say up here.
if you ever get up to Ely, MN there is a very cool wolf center...
Welcome Cajunwolf! If I can be of help let me know.
Welcome I believe there is a group gathering at the RTRs that is directed at being a nomad while dealing with disabilities that might interest you. Escapees club in Livingston Texas has a care center for members that deals with disabilities and caretakers that you might want to take a look at, there are some really nice people there and it is inexpensive. We worked and volunteered there years ago. The caravans are another good source if you are looking for company. Best of luck finding what will work for you and your girl.
Thank you so much! I'll definitely look into this because being a caretaker takes a toll on one's mental state at times. The problem is you have no one to talk to who understands, and someone has had to have walked in your shoes to understand. Does that make sense?
Yet another reason to get a full hookup trailer as some Escapees parks require it as well as some areas in the BLM. We were in a twenty year old motorhome when we were there and treated well as we volunteered and worked there getting to know people and them us. They used to have a welcome ice cream social on Sunday afternoons that was great. Livingston Texas is where their Rainbow's End Park (headquarters) is located, go check them out or call.
Cajunwolf said:
...I freely give my talents and gifts to those genuinely in need, It's a moral duty to me, and I trade talent for talent all the time. You can do things I can't but need, and I can do things you can't but need.        ...I need to find friends to help in order to get help, that's the way I roll. Too many people are greedy, and they don't have to be, there's plenty for everyone if we all share a little.
Welcome Cajunwolf,  You have a wonderfully positive outlook considering all the adversity and life experiences...   That's how I roll too...  You're my kinda people!   :thumbsup:
Hello Cajunwolf from another Cajun LOL. I am a former Jefferson Parish girl myself. I find myself up here in the "Empire State".  I say empire state with a tremendous amount of sarcasm lol.. Just getting started here myself. Terrified but thats ok. I\'ve lived in a Fema trailer with four other people so I think I can deal lol. Anyway, welcome Cajunwolf
Hello and welcome to the forum. I appreciate you writing so much and sharing your story. Maybe you write enough to write a book length memoir. A friend and I are doing a memoir project. I hope I'll meet you and your daughter out there somewhere.