A Sunrise of Sorts

Lake Superior was kind enough to remind me this morning. We’ve been vacationing for nearly two weeks now, every morning my children have allowed later and later sleeping. It has been so wonderful. Even though I’ve still been up in the night with the teensy I have felt much more rested. Probably more so than I’ve been in years.

But I needed the sunrise.

Even though I get a very small piece of the suns rising through my view at home, I still see it more mornings than not and I suppose I missed the familiarity of it, the comfort in it.

When I told my family I’d be up before the sun today they all agreed there was no way they’d be joining me and I was rather pleased to know I’d get this hour or so to myself. When I was re-tucking the tiny into her camper bed at four AM I peeked out the skylight and smiled quietly to myself to see a sky full of stars and the prospect of the sun rising over Superior.

Well, as I am so frequently reminded…you can’t do anything once and assume it will be perfect.

Though I am sure the sun did rise, as it has done so every morning from the beginning, it did not shine over the lake and burn off the fog as I had so hoped. No, at some predawn point the clouds rolled in heavy and lay on the lake as a blanket of grey cotton. The waves crashed in, angry to be awake so early I can only presume.

Still, time outdoors is rarely wasted. I found a sheltered rock, back from the lake a bit, sat with my coffee and the quiet. Not even the dog had been willing to venture out with me. I watched the waves for a long while, tried to comprehend how they had been shaping the rock on this shore since before I can imagine. The waterbirds came and went; a pair of Loons, a family of Grebes, I wondered over their ability to overcome the cold sloshing of the lake.

While I was reminded that I can not expect a beautiful sunrise on the random morning I decide to wake up for it, I also remember that the good is in the seeing. Though the day dawns grey, the beauty was still out here, if not in the way I thought it would be. The quiet hour I sat by Lake Superior was worth the wind and the clouds and the cold of August morning this far North. Was even worth an alarm clock ringing while on vacation.


A couple of days ago now, I fell in the Mississippi River. Thankfully there is no photographic evidence of this event. It was a hard fall on rocks that bruised my shins and knees and ankles. It hurt. I wanted to sit down and cry, mostly from the physical pain, but also just to release all of the emotion that I’ve been regulating inside my body for so many days. I didn’t cry though, instead I walked up and down the river with my three littles, letting the cool Summer water ease the ache I could feel forming in my body.

I’m writing this not because I want you to feel bad for me, but because I’ve been writing a lot about how quickly my littles are growing and how much I’m trying to not skip over any of the days with them. Which maybe makes you think my life is easy and always fun. Hear me when I say that I would’ve skipped this fall had I known it was coming, but I would’ve missed a lot of good had I done that. Like tiny arms hugging me as I stumbled up and out of the water, childrens voices asking if I was okay and what help did I need.

I fell because a small girl was holding both of my hands and when she slipped I righted her at the expense of my own balance. I am glad that she didn’t fall, it would’ve been harder for her to have a good day if she were banged up and frightened, but it was difficult for me not to blame her, to not be upset that I was sopping wet and hurt. This is a part of my mothering as well, not just recognizing that they won’t be small forever and joining them in their everyday, but sacrificing myself over and over again to improve their experience, their lives. In big ways and small.

My fall was a small sacrifice for sure, but it was a big reminder to me that there will be harder days to come. Not everyday will find the beauty in the legos and leaves scattered on the living room floor. (Check out my Facebook page if you missed that photo.)

When we got back home the dog drug her leash across the front of my ankle, giving me a rope burn. It didn’t really hurt, but I cried. Big gasping tears, so much that I had to go inside and calm down. This morning my teensy said; “Momma, that was the first time I saw you cry big…”, this is untrue, I have let tears slip down my cheeks in front of my kids more times than I can count, but I am glad that she saw this time, and that she was aware of the hurt behind the tears. So that she would know it’s always okay to cry, and that it’s often good to keep enjoying the day, even though you are hurting.

In the days since I fell I have been sore. My shin is bruised deep and throbs when I take even gentle steps. It has slowed me down even more than my already leisurely pace. The teensy said something like; “you prob’ly shouldn’t do any work for a few days momma…”. Yes tinygirl. Yes, you’re right, of course. Though the work still needs doing. The littles still need caring for, raising up… Yesterday I snuggled into our camper bed with a sleeping tiny, we rested hard and long, listening to the wind outside in the oaks. It was enough, just what was needed and nothing more.

What I Want For (All of) Them

Last week I came here and wrote a smidge about our current Summer adventure. How it had slowed us even more than before and how it has me wondering if I’m doing this whole thing right. I want to use the opportunity to be home with my littles to it’s fullest advantage, but not take advantage of the opportunity either.

My sweet husband takes incredibly good care of us, sacrifices and gives pretty selflessly. While the children and I run at the track and splash at the beach and read for hours each day, he is at work. On his days off he squeezes in as much as he can and often doesn’t understand how we can do everything so slowly. I know it makes him a little bonkers when we don’t appreciate how limited his time is. This is something that I need to work on. Not our lack of speed, but being able to move at his pace when he needs us to.

While I do want my sweet man to be home with us more, to be able to go on more adventures, and to learn to slow down I don’t really know how to make that happen. Also, I don’t know that he really wants to spend that much uninterrupted time with us. So I continue to walk slow, to make “less” and “small” good, to sit with him in his own time and space. I do this because I want him to know how grateful I am that he has gifted me (and the children) with this really, really good life.

Not a lot of people would stay at an imperfect fit of a job “just” because it provides well. Not a lot of people would take all of the traveling options sent their way simply because their love wants to wander with her deepest heart. Not a lot of people…but my person. He is a good man.

This whole piece about him needing to work and working at a job that is maybe not his first choice -even though he is extremely good at what he does- makes me think about the littles and our older kids too. What will his sacrifice provide long term? Are our biggest kids following their heart’s desires? Are they willing to live with less to do what makes them shine? Or will they one day be like him? Feeling somewhat stuck?

Those slow littles…will they some day be able to pull a career out of the blue, clear sky that fits their personal speed? Will they struggle at a job that is a poor fit? Will having had this childhood, full of time to know themselves, lead their life choices to be uncompromising, certain, confident? Or will it make “real life” harsh?

They are still small, and no one can say for sure what is to come. This I know with certainty, but I prefer to hope. Hope that time spent in books builds their desire to always learn and be imaginative. Hope that time spent in wandering woods builds a sense of, and desire for, adventure. Hope that being allowed to follow their interests will inspire them to try all of the things and see what sticks.

My first ever post here was about what I want for them and those words ring truer today than ever before. By giving them the time to grow and learn as they naturally would I believe that they will be better able to discern the choices they’ll need to make as they grow. I trust that by slowing down they will be more in tune with their inner rhythms. This all seems overly optimistic, I know.

I’ll also add here that my teeny is not so much keen on my “slow”. She pushes hard and fast from the moment she wakes until the last minute of the day. She has so much that she wants to do, so much to see, so many places to go. Perhaps this is just a factor of her age, fours and fives aren’t really known for their chill. I wonder though if she will follow this faster current and if she’ll be the one to drag the rest of us after her. She certainly has the determination to do so. I also wonder if we will let her do it or if the other children will fight her on this faster pace…they certainly have the determination to do it.

Ultimately, I know that I dont get to say what the kids will do or be. I know they are not really mine in that sense. They are already on their own path. For now it runs parallel to mine, or rather, it continually intersects mine. Sometimes they walk beside, other times they cross over, often they lead, occasionally they follow. I see the gift it is that I get to walk with them at all.

This was quite a ramble friends, I thank you if you made it this far. I suppose what I’m saying is that I want for all of my people to be true to themselves, and that I want to help them on that journey so much as I can. What is it you hope for your children, your spouse, your best-of-friends? How are you actively working toward that goal today? After spending a few days in the writing of this post I can see some places where I am not being as supportive as I should be. There is more that I can do. I’ll put more thought into that as these closer-to-Summer days unfold slow and long. Perhaps after some thought I’ll come back here with an update.

For today? Someone should go check on my flower beds…I imagine the peonies are gorgeous just now.

Recycling and Assigning Value

I’ve been decluttering the last few days. I don’t feel like my house is overly full, but somehow we regularly end up with a box for the thrift store and books to drop in little libraries and a pile of things that need to be disposed of properly. It really adds to the list of errands that we need to run and while I get quite the sense of satisfaction from it, my kids do not always enjoy the extra stops. Especially when it’s six degrees outside.

I have three stacks in my house right now as I am making a hard push to get rid of all unnecessary items. The first stack is the “donate” pile. The things in this box have not been dug out of the backs of cupboards or closets in at least a year. I may look at some of them longingly, wishing I could convince myself they were needed, but I just can’t. They have to go. This stack is really easy for me to put stuff into, I don’t have a ton of sentimental attachment to things. I also don’t have a ton of cupboard space since I asked my husband to drag the island out of our kitchen two summers ago. Space is at a premium for me and so if it’s just collecting dust, it’s gone.

The second pile contains all of the things that I would call “recyclable”. My own big blue bin is full right now after snapping pictures of the dusty wine bottles I’d saved from special occasions and the thirteen-thousand pieces of child-art. This is normal recycling. What I’m talking about here is the out of date printer/empty toner cartridge/broken charging cord that needs to be dropped off at BestBuy. Did you know this was a thing? It is sooo simple, you should really try it out if you haven’t yet. You barely have to walk in the door with the smaller bits, and there are basically zero questions asked even with the larger items.

Also, the expired bottles of children’s Advil/sore throat spray/prescription-you-didn’t-finish in your medicine cabinet. Most cities have a place to drop these meds off so that they don’t end up polluting the groundwater or in the wrong hands. I’ve included the link for my county, but it’s quite simple to alter the search for your own corner of the world. I was worried that I’d have to {gasp} pay for parking just to drop off my expired bottles yesterday, but I was able to run into the downtown location quickly and without issue. Definitely safer than just tossing this stuff in the trash.

If you’re anything like me, despite your constant use of cloth bags for all of the things – groceries, library runs, even the liquor store- you still have a bazillion plastic grocery/other bags that make their way into your house. These usually should not be thrown in with your regular recycling, but can be easily returned to a grocery or box store for recycling. Also, many other places will take them too. The library will take clean bags for folks who ended up with more books than they thought they would and now need an extra hand. Many thrift stores will take used grocery bags. In my neighborhood there is even a group (probably more than one) that uses the bags to make “plarn” (that’s plastic-yarn) and then knits the plarn into mats that are distributed to the homeless community so that they have a layer of protection between their bodies and the cold concrete. If you want to donate your bags to this project let me know and I can connect you to someone who currently knits the mats.

There are other things in this pile; items I want to post on the Facebook sale sites, toiletries and dry goods that can be donated to the local shelter, jackets and shoes my kids have outgrown that I’ll pass on to friends with smaller children. Being able to do all of this makes me feel good. Sure it sucks up half a day once every couple of months, but I’m also able to benefit so many people by taking this time. It is a good opportunity to remind my kids that the trash is not the best option much of the time. It helps them to see that most items have a usefulness beyond what we might think. Yes, it requires a bit more work, but I think it’s worth it.

I honestly didn’t come here this morning to talk about recycling. Or even about downsizing in preparation for upcoming travel. I can’t exactly say how you got to read five paragraphs of this. All of this purging, all of this disposing, causes me to pause and really look back over the last ten years of accumulating. That is what I had hoped to mentally sort through here. When I went through my divorce, I left with one pickup truck bed full of things from my previous life. Though my lawyer told me I could go to my house and gather all of my belongings, my ex said otherwise and, since I was in a place of shame and fear, I returned only once to sneak back some of my favorite gardening things.

This leaving began my process of starting over. I truly had very few possessions at this point in my life and, looking back we should have hit the road right then and there. Instead, I felt the need to acquire all of the lost treasures I’d had “before”. This was made difficult due to job loss and babies, and deep emotional struggles. We worked through it though. By the grace of God we have come back from the lows of constant financial worry, pressing anxiety, and fear of what is to come. How do I now justify to myself the giving away of all that we have worked to gain? I suppose I do it by recycling. I imagine that is how all of those paragraphs came into being this morning. By giving the things back to those who need them.

In walking away from all that I had worked for nearly ten years ago, I felt a sense of loss for the material possessions. Those things represented all I had longed for, all of the brave and bold steps I had taken over the years to do little things for myself. The sacrifices I made to work where I wanted to work, to put effort toward what I wanted to do with my life. When at home I had been repeatedly told the things I felt were important, were not. I felt like the things I was walking away from were pieces of myself. Almost literally footprints from the times I had stood up for my own wants in a marriage that did not care what I wanted.

And now? Now I am choosing it. It is less heart-wrenching to dispose of the things because this time, most of them are just things that we have used. Not things that are a statement of who I am. I am trying to walk this line carefully, not insisting anyone in my family give up things that are special to them. Not forcing the donate pile to be too large in spite of cries from my children. While I don’t see the need for twelve stuffed animals, should I force them to be given up? I won’t yet. I can understand their fear of losing treasures that are truly important to them at this stage in their young lives, and I will make a conscious choice to not steal those treasures away.

If you’ll remember I started out by telling you I was making three piles. The third box that I’m filling up is full of the things I will take with me. While my sweet husband has repeatedly told me that he will only take three things along when we leave this place, my list is slightly longer. The things I am setting aside as important are small, most cost me nothing, and almost all of them speak to the person I am or have been over the last ten years. The pieces of history I put in the box all speak to me, some remind me of who I have worked so hard to become. Others show me where we are going.

What would you put in your box? Which possessions in your house would you definitely bring along if you had to/got to leave? I don’t mean the external hard-drive with all of your family photos on it. Though that could go in there for sure. As you look around your home, what holds value for you? What would you be grieved to leave behind? You may think that all of it is just “stuff”, I know that I did before. It’s funny how things can be so meaningful in showing who you are and who you’ve been. While I’d be one of the first to tell you that you’ll be fine without all of the stuff, I’ll also be one of the first to understand when you can’t part with a hand trowel or a bird bath or a jewelry box.

As I prepare for more things to be put into piles this weekend, I am feeling peaceful. I trust that I’ll have just what I need, exactly when I need it. There is no need to hold on so tightly to all of the knick-knacks or memorabilia. I can get through it, I know now that I can be defined by some thing and still let that thing go. The definition is still inside of me even without the external representation.

Six Things I Learned in the Camper

My family has spent the last 20 Days living in our camper. My husband was given the opportunity to work out of town and we followed him with our new travel trailer to a lovely campground outside of Alexandria. As we prepare today to get back to our normal routine I’ve already been thinking about what’s next for us.

We don’t really know for sure, my husband and I both realized that we haven’t missed anything about our house. This is causing us to question what we want to do, where we want to live and why we didn’t know this sooner. I’ve been asking my kids what their favorite part of camping has been and contemplating what I’ve learned. In an effort to organize my thoughts, today I am sharing my top ten lessons from a short-stint on the road.

1 Flowers grow in ditches too. I will admit that I missed my garden quite a bit. Being away when the peonies and iris were blooming loud made me a teensy bit sad, but lots of wildflowers grow in this state. Snapdragons, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Lady Slipper, Daisy…As I spent time wandering in state parks and campgrounds alike I realized how amazing the ditches could be. It was a reminder that my lovely, cultivated garden at home was not the only beautiful place and that I should get out and experience somewhere else.


2 Fresh air first. When we are at home, I wake up, let the dog out, make coffee, attempt to sit in some quiet until some tiny comes upstairs. While we were away I woke, started the coffee and took the dog out. We would walk out to a grassy field and she would roll around in the dew. There is something to that. Breathing in the early morning air, watching the sun climb into the sky, listening to birds. It is a different kind of peace than what I get from sitting here, typing out my thoughts. This morning as I write, my doors are thrown open wide, Cardinals are chirping to one another, the Summer breeze is gentle and I breathe in the newness of the day.


3 Swimming makes most days good. When I asked my littles what their favorite thing about camping was, they all answered “Swimming!!”. Thankfully we have a pool in our yard at home as well, but I must admit I was surprised by this. I mean, we did some pretty good stuff out there. Being in the pool made them all smile though. It seems almost too simple. Being able to bike to the pool only made it better. We gave our littles extra freedom while we were away and I know that helped them enjoy the time. While they weren’t allowed to swim alone, they were allowed to be at the park and in the fields without us. We even let the tiny bike around alone during the week when the campground wasn’t full. There is so much to be gained from even a little independence.


4 Math is better, done at a picnic table. Okay, so we didn’t do a ton of formal school while we were away, but I did get the kids to sit down a few times with their math books. I found the sunshine and fresh air did distract them a bit, but really who can be irritated while sitting under a clear, blue sky? It was good to remember too, how much they learn while we aren’t doing school. Both of them learned how to empty tanks, helped hitch the trailer to the truck, and assisted with meals. They were left in charge of the tiny and were required to look after the dog. Life skills are important too, and a valuable piece of homeschooling to be sure. One of my main goals for my littlest girl this Summer, was for her to master her bike without training wheels. I knew she would be so much happier once she could do it by herself. Within three days of us leaving home she exceeded my expectations of her ability and left me wondering what I should “teach” the girl next.


5 Shared space. While we did have some spacial requirements for our camper; a bunk for each little, an outdoor kitchen… It is still a small space. You can pretty much count on someone else always being in the room with you. I’ll admit that I was more than a little concerned about how this would go. As it turns out kids can sleep through me making coffee when I’m only seven steps away from their beds. They can climb into their bunks and ignore each other as if they were in separate rooms. We can, and did, go outside where there is plenty of room for each of us. The shared space helped us all respect each other. I’ll admit there were issues and instances to manage, but I don’t believe anyone really needed more square footage to spread out in. I really do like having my people so close, and so I am very thankful that they didn’t all hate it.


6 Bedtime is still hard. Here I will admit defeat. My tiny girl does not sleep well, she never has and I can not seem to help her. It is just her and we deal with it as best we can. I was silently optimistic that the combination of hours of outside time and being in the same room with her siblings would help her to sleep better while we were away. I was wrong. Every night was a fight to get her to bed, keep her asleep, and keep her in her bed. This is really only one of two complaints I had about our experience and I was quickly frustrated by our bedtime routine. I know that while she may never sleep through the night, at some point she will be able to deal with it without needing me. I trust that a day will come when she lays down in her bed and just falls asleep, no songs or stories, or back rubs required. I am certain that we will eventually get to a point where she sleeps restfully, instead of the tossing and turning restlessness that is her every night…someone tell me this will one day occur!


There are more lessons, more thoughts swirling around my brain. While I don’t believe we will be living full time in our camper just yet, I am hopeful that our eyes have been opened to something new. A different way we could live happily. Last night my tiny cried herself to sleep on our deck, she still woke a few times through the night but it was nice to not fight her to sleep. This morning I sat outside for a bit with my coffee and my people after we woke up. The clear, cool air reminding me of what I want to do with my every day. I think I might just go pick some flowers from my yard to remind me in the hectic moments that there is peace that is out there if I’ll keep looking for it.

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Little Adventures

Some days you’re living the dream. Other days are less so. I’d be hard pressed to put a label on today. Five days in to our Alexandria, MN trip and we are starting to figure some things out. For example we actually did school the last two days, and it went pretty well. Sleeping is wonky, but then, it’s that at home too.

After school, the littles and I loaded up and went into Alexandria. We were planning on finding a swimming beach-I was sure we had passed one yesterday-and having a picnic. We never found the beach, but did have a great time while we were out.

We found a quiet county park for our picnic…

….and stumbled across these gorgeous Greater-Yellow Lady-Slippers near Brophy Lake.

We came home and I thought we’d be able to swim in the pool at least, but the dog wouldn’t stop barking and the rules of the pool were inflexible. My tiny was tired and cranky, stretching her meltdowns to surpass her personal best.

My littles really are amazing, they rolled with the inconveniences as best they could and still managed a pretty full and fun afternoon. My teeny though, she’s spent. This week has been a lot too much for her I think. I know she’ll fall into a routine, I just wish it would happen soon. As I was typing this, she crawled into my lap, pulled her favorite blanket across us and promptly fell asleep.

It’s a pretty cozy spot, so I’m not complaining. Sure, I wish it would have happened three hours earlier, but I’m really working on rolling with whatever comes.

I did have a lot of complaints from today, I listed them all off and sent them over to my sweet, hard-working husband. I know that when I do that he feels stuck, unable to help because he’s not here. Sometimes I just need to spill it all out, I wish I had another way to deal with it. I wish there was some way for me to move past the frustration without venting it to him. A lot of the time I just need someone else to hear me, to know that I’m here, that I’m struggling. Usually that’s enough.

Tomorrow is a new day. We are thinking of heading all the way back to a friends house for a day of playing outside. That will definitely help my momma sanity. We’ll also be able to drop our doggy off at home to relax in her crate. I could use a little time to not have her leash in hand, time to let my littles run wild with friends, time to talk with my own friends. It’s always good to do something familiar when you’re feeling stretched thin. I’m looking forward to some normal activity.

Sitting in my camper with my Bible, my journal, my cuppa; these things comfort me and give me a little bit of peace in our new environment. Hopefully I’ll be able to hold on to these things tomorrow and the day after that, because part of this path I’m on is supposed to be a greater sense of quiet. Right now I’m in that place, snuggled in close with this teeny girl. I’ll not rush myself along to the next thing, rather I’ll sit with her under a blankie, listening to her breathe softly. Seeing the quiet that was carved out just for me.


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What Next?

The last few days have been kinda intense around here. See, we’re loading up to haul our lives out of here for a few weeks. We bought a camper recently and have the opportunity to try out the “living in it” thing over the next month. That’s only one small piece of the crazy that has been our day to day though.

On Saturday our oldest daughter graduated from high school. This kid is awesome, she has a skill set that I never will possess. I truly am hopeful that she’ll use it for good, because if she does? This kid’ll make people think, she’ll make them question what they know to be true and she’ll probably do it wearing super fancy shoes (wink wink). This was a life event that we have waited for and wondered about and tried not to worry over for years. It’s great that she did it, but we all find ourselves asking; “so…now what?”.

On top of running away in our camper, and setting a girl off on her adult path, our oldest son is moving back in for a few months. We had suspicions that he would be home this Summer, but it was a surprise when he actually called and said he’d be bringing boxes by over the weekend. I left him with a nearly empty fridge and an Aldi gift card …maybe if I’d had more than a day to prep I could’ve done better…maybe. Hopefully he’ll be alright, I mean, he’s been living “on his own” for a couple of years now, he should be good, right?

I read a post today which talked about how abnormal life paths are celebrated-once they have succeeded, but sanity is questioned when a person actually sets out on something counter-cultural. When I read it I felt as if someone on the outside understood a tiny piece of what I feel inside. I was thinking about it in the truck today though, and I wondered about my graduated girl. Am I showing her that it’s okay to not do what everyone else does? Does she know we’ve got her back if she does some wild, crazy, insane thing and fails spectacularly? How do you tell a kid that? How do you live your own life as an example of that?

When you choose to do something different, some people will judge you harshly, but quietly. A few will live vicariously through you. Some will look at you with a blank stare and say; “I’m sorry. You want to what?!?”. So far I’m okay with that, I wonder if I helped build a girl who would be able to deal with those kinds of looks, those kinds of questioning glares. As I think about that this morning, I realize that it probably isn’t just my responsibility to do that for her. Optimistically I laid a foundation. Hopefully she has other people in her life who would be willing to show her a little of their own wild dreams so that she knows that there are those who are (nearly) as wacky as me. So she sees that it is a good thing. I know that my own life experiences created me, and that she will have vastly different experiences, but I pray what she goes through shapes her into someone who is not afraid to do what she loves or what is in her deepest heart. There is little control for me to grab at in this stage of her life, it’s all on her.

While I am a little afraid of what she will have to go through to become the woman she wants to be, I am proud already, of the woman she is. I’m sure that by knowing my own crazy, she will see some tiny piece of her own path and be better able to follow it. How much more so will living my one wild life affect my littles? Will they start following their hearts freely all the more? Will they choose something more steady for themselves as they grow? As always, it is impossible to know what will come. I’m really excited to see where each of them will go, what they will do, how they will succeed.

So we’ve started out. We’ve latched on to a small piece of crazy and we are trying to live there. I have realistic expectations, I don’t anticipate all of the day to day getting much easier. There will be different challenges and new opportunities for us to grow. Some things will be harder, there may be one or two that are easier, but I know uprooting people is never easy. I’ll take the successes that come. I’ll be grateful for the little things. I’ll watch for the moments where we learn something hard.

As the sun rises on this day I am simply thankful to be out here. Following the dreams and plans my heart has hoped for. Hoping now that the people I love can understand-at least a little bit-why we are where we’re at. What’s next? Who knows?! I think I’ll start with a cup of coffee and let my heart wander a bit.


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After Winter…Or, The Day We Bought a Camper


After all of my months of whining and complaining I feel it only fair to y’all who’ve stuck with me that I write something positive. Optimistically we have finally, FINALLY, met the end of this long winter! I know it seems silly to some of you, but this season broke me in new ways which I have recounted endlessly over the past few months, if you missed those posts, here and here are two for you to commiserate with.

Yesterday my littles and I were outside for the entire day, Friday we spent a few hours at  a park with our homeschool co-op. Today, once the sun rises high and the chill blows out with the wind, we’ll be back out there, digging into the dirt to find the depth of the frost. Moving compost, wondering over the warmth of the sun, which mere days ago seemed to give off a feeble heat at best. It’s about time. I am so grateful for the return of spring-like temperatures, and as I anxiously await the first rainstorm of the year, I realize that I have found my smile again.

Over this winter as I wondered how I would make it through, how I could hold-out until the weather turned, I proposed this off-the-wall idea to my husband. It was something that had been bouncing around in my head for quite some time but really seemed unrealistic. I had thought about roadschooling our littles, but with older children, a house, a yard, a need for full time income and insurance, more…getting the eff out of this frigid state seemed far-fetched. Nah, it seemed completely insane. One day I did it though, I actually said out loud; “What if we bought a camper?”.


My sweet husband has made many jokes about living in a camper. He has questioned my desire and where it comes from. He may indeed, think I’ve lost my damn mind, though he’s never said that exact thing. Instead, he picked up the search. He started researching, took us all to look at travel trailers, learned about how much weight his truck could haul. He has made my crazy dream a possibility by backing a thirty-five-foot trailer into our suburban driveway. We have our first outing planned in two weeks and I can not wait! While we are only hauling across town to figure out what we don’t know I feel like it is the first step down the right path.

So new adventures will begin. I realize all too well that camping costs money, while there are free places to stay mostly we are going to have to get creative if there are extensive trips in our future, and I hope that there are. I don’t want to have a camper solely for Summertime getaways. No, what I want is to have a camper so that I can get away to the Summer when Winter is in full force here. One of the more difficult tasks on our list proved to be finding a place that would stay plowed out so that we could hook up and drive South in January. How to do that though is more difficult than just finding an accessible storage facility, perhaps I’ll have to figure out how to write a blog that earns me a few bucks each month, though my understanding of how that works is pretty limited. Plus, I’m guessing a few more people would actually have to read what I have to say, and my opinions are definitely not for everyone.

I’ve claimed the gypsy spirit many times in my writing and I suppose it’s never been more true than in this new direction laid before me. We now have the means to go. To just go, like, anywhere. Over the next several months we hope not only to perfect our abilities to set up and enjoy camp. I will learn how to pull and back up our trailer so that I can go adventuring by myself if there is a desire to do so. We will not only master working together to level the trailer, but we will find a balance that works for us and our littles, we will work out all of the kinks. More than that though I hope to hear my inner voice clearly, to listen not just to my own spirit, but to the whispers that God has put in my soul. To hear, to pray, to follow His leading more closely. I think I am in a good mental place to do that now and I have no doubt that the physical places we are led to will allow the vision God has for us to be seen with fresh eyes.


This seems a lot like running away. I hear it as I reread what I’ve written. If you’ve hung around my blog long enough though (for an example, read here), you’ll know that something I do well is wandering, my peace is found not only with dirt under my nails, but also with the road humming beneath my wheels. I choose to not see it as running from home, but rather, running to it. I don’t look at it as avoiding my life, but more fully living it. I know what everyone tells you; get married, work hard, buy a house, make some babies…those things are good and they are what we are supposed to be striving toward. I don’t think we’re all cut out for that though. Some of us, maybe, aren’t meant to stay in one place for all of our days.

I’d be a liar if I told you I didn’t long for a garden every day that I didn’t have one. A piece of earth to create on is something I could not live happily without, there was always this sadness when I thought about the plants I walked away from all of those years ago. Even now, while I have lilies and roses and cosmos again, I can still see the pumpkin patch and smell the earth in the flower beds that I dug. I can still remember planting seeds on Spring evenings. I can still feel the sweat from hauling water and pulling weeds on hot Summer mornings. These memories won’t leave me, they sometimes ask me where I went and why I didn’t take them along…is that crazy? Some of you may not get it, I’m thankful to love a man who does, or at least a man who trusts me enough to let me be a teensy bit crazy.

What do I do with that? Can I walk away from a yard full of five summers of hard work? Can I give this garden to someone else, knowing full well that I won’t have one for who knows how long? Can I even be happy without a place to call my own? I don’t have those answers today. Because today the weather is warm, my feet are dirty and my heart is full, it’s difficult to walk away from it in the Summer. Winter winds will blow again though. When they do, they will force me indoors to snuggle with my family, feeling the weight of their immense chill deep in my bones. As much as I want to forget that Winter exists, I must use it as my motivation this Summer. My reminder that all cities have gardens, that I can dig in the earth and leave it more beautiful no matter where we go. There is a freedom in thinking about making more of creation a little better, instead of simply my own small square of it.

Of course there are other concerns, things to consider if we are really and truly going to drive away. Those major decisions can wait though. For today, for this season, I only want to get out and explore, to decide if we can live together in such a small space peacefully. To see if we could possibly enjoy each other enough to go about life in this wild and somewhat unheard of way. I feel the call to it, to this one wild and crazy life. I will listen carefully and move slowly, knowing in the very deepest part of me that there is no destination in this life,  believing that there is only the journey.



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