On the banks of Plum Creek

“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.

Moving on.

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.

Photo: the banks of Plum Creek
Photo: The yellow rope marks the perimeter and location of the location of their dugout home

 

Continue reading “On the banks of Plum Creek”

Minnesota bound

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The Ledeboer gang loving their audio books

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”

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”

our front door

We don’t know these people using our patio furniture

10 blog posts ago we moved from our little 5 acre piece of stability into an unknown adventure on the Clearwater River. We downsized our stuff and took on the role of mom and pop KOA living in the manager’s suite of a newly converted KOA campground.

For a year our front window has daily displayed a continuous caravan of campers coming and going from one adventure to another.  We have been treated to many unexpected opportunities and a handful of humorous oddities like coming home and finding that your front porch has become a hangout for people you’ve never met or the preferred parking spot for Dads Dogs.

Dad’s Dogs

We’ve met some fun people too like the little old lady that visited each morning for a week to check her email via a dinosaur dialup internet connection and cheerfully encouraged me to keep up the good work homeschooling my children before she left.

Continue reading “our front door”

at home

“The sky overhead, the earth below, the mountains around. I stand in the middle place—at home.” Dr. Tine Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo

Mesa Verde Overlook

A few days ago I was standing in the visitor center in the Mesa Verde National Park and read the above quote.  It whispered into my ear and dripped like thick honey into my heart.  At that point our family had been on the road for 12 days traveling in our van. Our road trip was taking us from Idaho to Nashville, Tennessee and back in a lazy fashion. This was the longest stretch we have taken as a family on the road. As I write, we are finishing up the final hours of our return voyage.  In the last fifteen days we have traveled 4, 714 miles covering 14 states, 5 National Parks/Monuments, 12 hotel rooms and countless potty breaks. It was rushed, there was a lot of rain, at times we couldn’t remember which state we were in, we but we loved it entirely. Continue reading “at home”