“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder
Any Little House on the Prairie fans out there? I’m waving my hand! We haven’t read all the books yet. In fact, the only book we have read so far is Farmer Boy. Does it count that we own all of the Little House books? Does it count that we have been working our way through the TV series DVDs? Yes? Thank you, I agree.
If you are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder, then the town Walnut Grove will perk your ears. Guess who recently visited Walnut Grove, Minnesota? I’m waving my hand again!
We walked on the banks of Plum Creek and stood where the Ingalls’ dugout home once stood.
We’ve recently embarked on our last big road trip before we officially launch our family’s traveling adventure this September. Locking up our RV and piling into our van, we headed east from Idaho to Minnesota to celebrate my in-laws 50th anniversary.
The back of our van was shamefully full as we brought some items to store with my in-laws that we did not wish to leave unattended in storage. The rear seat between Hunter and Ashlyn was ridiculously heavy-laden with library books as we seem to be sucking all the remaining marrow out of the bones of our library cards before we tearfully say good-bye to easy, free accessible literature. The middle row was filled with a cooler of snacks between our younger two boys and Trent and I smiled deeply from the front as we hit the road once again with our family in tow. Continue reading “Minnesota bound”
Our first RV family excursion took place last week as we traveled several hours Northwest toward my childhood home of Kettle Falls, Washington. Our trip was prompted by my 20 year high school reunion as well as the opportunity to visit family. Although we have been living in our little home on wheels for a little over a month, we had not yet taken her out on the road as a family. Now that we have our maiden voyage tucked safely in our pockets, I thought I’d share our initial impression of this new lifestyle that we have chosen and the top three things that stood out from our trip.
Our family is no stranger to road trips. In the last several years we have driven back and forth from Idaho to Southern California, Minnesota and Tennessee. Each trip has varied in time and focus, but the process of packing has always been tedious. How many outfits should we pack? What kind of snacks should I bring? Do we need swimwear? Should we bring our own pillows? What kind of shoes will we need? Regardless of how many trips we take, the questions do not always have consistent answers due to changing variables. This time however, the question shifted from what do we need to take to how do I best prep our house for movement down the road? Since this was our first trip, I had not yet established “traveling places” for items that need to be stored during travel. We did our best to protect items that were prone to movement or shifting. The Berkey water filter was moved to the shower. The appliances in the pantry were padded with a pillow to prevent extra shifting. Glass bowls under the sink were padded with kitchen towels. While none of these preparatory processes were tedious, they were more time-consuming because it was our first time. By the time we were prepping for our return trip, I could already sense the improvement in our process. I also gained the awareness that I could prepare most of the kitchen and living room the night before our departure making for a more efficient morning. Continue reading “Top 3 lessons from our first RV excursion”
This weekend our KOA campground hosts its annual bluegrass festival. This event will bring the place to peak population and unofficially kicks off the camping season. The previously peaceful park will begin to ebb and flow with the flux of campers coming in on Friday and slipping out on Sunday.
This is an interesting culture to live in and observe. It’s like residing in a college town where the population wax and wanes with the school year, only on a micro-weekly level. During the week, the kids can roam and play among the open campsites hitting their stick-swords against the tree trunks and riding their bikes with abandon among the open lanes. When the weekend rolls around and the camp swells to capacity, the environment shifts and our country life becomes a micro-city. The best part is that both are uniquely fun and we enjoy the changing landscape that surrounds us.
Allow me to welcome you to our new home. The cultural irony does not escape me, but the fact remains that we could not be more excited or content with our new tiny home on wheels. In a country where the majority believe that bigger is bound to be better, swimming upstream with a lighter load feels exactly right to us.
If our possessions were milk, I could say that we have now skimmed off the most precious and useful cream to take with us. The rest of our belongings which were deemed worth keeping but not essential have been packed and stored away for an undetermined amount of time. As I’ve quoted before from the children’s book The Trumpet of the Swan, “Flying is a lot harder than it was before I acquired all these possessions. The best way to travel, really, is to travel light.” Freedom can be found in many forms, but for us, minimizing our possessions and limiting the space we need to manage and maintain, is truly freeing.