The Country Mystique

Beautiful Fruit Orchard

For years now, I’ve been wanting to move to the country where neighbors are just out of sight, there is no traffic, and there is open space for the soul!

At this point in my travels I’ve had a revelation.  I love the idea of growing my own food, but there are things I would rather spend my time doing.  There are things I want to paint, and things I want to write.  There are online communities I want to create and foster and imbue with life and energy. there are projects uncountable I want to undertake with my kids, and travels to avail myself of with my husband.

At this moment I want a home that will be most fulfilling for childrearing and for my children themselves.  I want cozy and beautiful but not time intensive. I want busy but not hectic.  I want every one of us to be pursuing our passions.  I want us not tied up with house and yard maintenance, farming or cooking or cleaning.  All of those things are good, but when they come at the expense of what you are meant to be doing, the joy of them will rot and life becomes a drudgery.

I want to live close enough to town that we don’t have to drive to get there.  And I want it to be a town I LOVE.

I want dance classes and flute lessons for Ada.  I want lots of friends–the wonderful, forever, deep-down kind of friends, not mere acquaintances and nice neighbors.  And I want my kids to be able to walk to their friends’ houses, and the library, and beautiful parks or creeks, or woods.

I want local farms to buy from or trade with, and for my kids to spend time on.

I want stunning scenery as a backdrop to my life.

I want the kind of culture that is full of theatre troops and homeschool entrepreneurships. Surprising people with varied experiences and conclusions, and new ideas and great, glowing projects that rip across your day or your life with the tremendous energy of their ingenuity.  I want diversity and trades, and people to apprentice with.

I’m not describing country life…

I want alternative design and alternative energy. I want sustainability and self-sufficiency. I want the time, money and energy not spent on a mortgage and utilities to be available for crafting and art, for trading with or buying from local artisans, for soul food, and theatre and classes, bright ideas and daring endeavors!

Don’t let anyone say wanting is not a valuable pasttime.  It proves the world contains beautiful possibilities and it fuels the human intellect.  It is both the reason for and the result of our imaginations. Don’t forget to ask yourself what you want.

Dedicated to Amanda, who is invited to join me anytime.  Remember when we had this written on our dormroom wall?

“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

Permission to Relax

Belle at the beach

I’m starting to think that when all the work of preparing for serenity becomes stressful, I’m doing something wrong.  Shouldn’t serenity be one of those things that you don’t have to prepare for?  Can’t I find serenity and then expect the logistics to fall into place BECAUSE I’m serene?

After a tearful morning, I’ve realized that for me, yes, the answer is to be serene, not to work harder towards serenity.  The love of friends and family has calmed me down, and I’ve made some decisions that will lighten the stress.  If this blog is about chasing dreams, I would officially like to propose that actions (and thought processes) which make you feel peaceful will bring you nearer your dreams than those that are “productive” but stressful.  I encourage anyone reading (whether you’re to the point of tears or not) to look at what is making life difficult and resolve to let it be easier.  Not lazier, but more peaceful.

Be willing to let go of some plans.  Maybe letting go is a better plan.

When my actions are better aligned to my intentions, I am actually more productive, because I am excited and energized and the things I work on actually lead to the results I care about.  I just wanted to share.

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

Annabelle brings this book to me and makes her request noise, “Dee? Dee?”

“In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon…”

And her face lights up and she swings her short legs with excitement.

We have several good books which she loves, but we could read nothing but this one and she would be happy.  This is handy, since the RV doesn’t have a bookshelf, and we won’t have a library card.

Beyond convenience, these little moments remind me that everything we need will be coming with us: Goodnight Moon, our family, and time together.

Toddler reading

Welcome!

girls in RV

I’m just creating this blog as a record of our dream-chasing journey around this beautiful country.  The blog is just a baby, and I have a lot to add.  The next few months will have a lot to say about transition.  We have a lot of work to do to shake off the shackles of convention, and it doesn’t always go as quickly as we’d like, but I think that this part of the journey is as deserving of documentation as the yearned for part to come: traveling fulltime.

Once we get going, I plan to add a map of our travels, and lots of pictures of where we go.

Now, while we’re transitioning, and later, while we travel, I plan to wax just a little philosophic as the mundane parts of the day spark little flames of inspiration and revelation in my heart that might speak to yours as well.  This isn’t a blog about travel.  It’s a blog about aligning your life and all of your actions, with your dreams.

Less Is More

Less stuff is less time spent cleaning things and putting them away.  Less space spent storing them.  Less money spent on the space to store them.  Less tripping over or reaching around them for other things, and less trying to remember where all our stuff is.

Less stuff is more freedom.

The Plan

My perfect husband, our two amazing daughters, my belly and I are going to move into a 22′ MotorHome named Benny.  We are trading in all our savings for Benny because, well, we’d rather be traveling than staying at home with savings.  David is going to quit his day job and be a musician.  I am going to take my wrap business with us on the road.  And the soon-to-be-five-of-us will spend our days together on a journey of adventure, discovery, and living our passions.  I can think of nothing more educational for me or my kids.

Problems to solve (and here “problem” is not a dirty word, but part of the fun, challenging nature of the beast):

  • Rent our house out for enough money to cover our mortgage payments.
  • Find a home for our cat, who was our first baby and is more than just our cat.
  • Earn money to pay for six months of RV insurance, cell phone and internet service, and an emergency fund.

One of my favorite things to do is simplify.  This doesn’t mean lack of ambition, by the way.  It means that everything you do is part of your dream and aiming at your goal, and the other things . . . have been simplified away.

Ways that the new lifestyle will simplify our lives:

  • no more lugging gabillions of things from my house to my car and back everyday, while carrying a one year old, and no more tremendously messy, disorganized car because I can only carry so many of them back to the house again when we get home.  Instead, everything we need will come with us . . . . neatly put away in it’s drawer at home.
  • no more dragging worn out kids on another errand.  They can stay home with one of us in the parking lot of the errand that the other one of us runs in to do.
  • no more having to walk away from my six year old while she’s talking to me and she has to chase after me to finish.  In our tiny home, all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, diapers, and babycare will happen in one place and I can keep up with things while staying in her line of sight.
  • no wondering if my one year old is climbing a bookshelf in the other room while I’m nursing the baby in the living room.  The living room IS the other room, and whatever she falls off of, I’ll only have to extend my arm to catch her!
  • no more scheduling meals and lives around my husband’s 9-5.  We’ll sleep, cook, eat, and play when convenient.
  • no more waiting for daddy to come home and missing him all day.
  • no trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn and a one year old all by myself.
  • no more wondering how to go turn off the burner in the kitchen with a sleeping child on my lap.  Two parents will make everything easier.
  • no more endless hours of cleaning just to get it up to the point of “messy.”  With so few things, and such small space, cleaning will take 5 minutes.
  • no more of our life taken up paying the mortgage.  Instead we’ll spend our money on festivals, concerts, events, and attractions that we can’t resist.
  • no worrying about my husband being able to work the next day if we have a rough night.  We can take turns sleeping in, or nap during the day as needed.

Things that I can’t tell you yet how they will work, but I look forward to finding out:

  • Nighttime parenting of a newborn and a one year old who still wakes several times a night in a single room domicile.
  • Nighttime parenting when our RV is parked near neighboring RVs that expect “quiet hours” to be respected.
  • Driving for hours a day with 3 children aged new, one, and six.
  • Running two businesses and storing inventory in a 22 foot home that only has two dresser drawers for the five of us to share.
  • Fitting our clothing, a few toys, musical equipment, CD inventory, wrap inventory, a laptop, 3 books, kitchenware, towels, diapers for two, coats and jackets, barbecue, box of important files, first aid kit, games, arts & crafts, printer, car seats, tools, camera and video camera, bedding, and my wraps in the rig.
  • Finding a post office in every town to ship out products to customers.
  • Rainy days or sick days spent at home.
  • Finding hours each day for David to work on his music.