shrouded beauty | Kettle Falls, WA

I’m sitting on my mom’s back porch, swaying with the breeze on her porch swing. The wind chimes are competing with the rustling leaves for my attention while I occasionally check in on the chess game unfolding before me between my mom and oldest son.

Photo: Watch out grandma, he’s pulled out a chess book!

SHROUDED IN SMOKE

We’ve been parked in her driveway for over a week and our hearts have been filled with a myriad of memories in that brief blink of time. When we first arrived in Northeast Washington, forest fires provided a blanket, shrouding the mountains in smoke.

Photo: Notice the mountains heavily obscured in the distance.

I grew up here. I’ve driven these roads and skied these waters. My mind is able to pull back the curtain of smoke and know that despite the layers hiding it, beauty is here. Continue reading “shrouded beauty | Kettle Falls, WA”

Top 3 lessons from our first RV excursion

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.

Faster packing

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”