Today, I got to spend some one on one time with “little bit”, Lennon Jane. As I was getting her dressed, I thought I’d try a little braid in the front of her hair where it’s longest.
I braided a little strand and stood there with tears in my eyes. Her first little braid seemed to signify a passage out of babyhood and into girlhood. Yes, braids are cute, but they are also sturdy, making place for passion and focus in this wild and beautiful life.
Braids are perfect for her.
I had the privilege to go to my family reunion this weekend (my mom’s dad’s side of the fam). I have not seen many of these relatives since I was a teenager. I’m almost 50, so in some ways I was re-meeting some cousins. I have one great Aunt still living. She is precious and seeing her smile is as endearing as it gets in this life. Her impact (along with the others) impacted my life greatly, mostly for their love and care for my mom.
Being with relatives in person gave context for snippets of things I remember. Memories seem more solidified somehow. In some way it feels like missing pieces of a puzzle were found. We gathered mostly from all over the state of GA– Savannah, Athens (Commerce), Atlanta. One from TX, My mom from FL and me, the “gypsy wanderer from everywhere”.
I noticed some similar family traits—skin, eyes, expressions. Those are the obvious visible things. It made me wonder about the invisible ones. Do we each share some propensity for a certain perspective? Are we equally as vulnerable in a certain way? Do we battle the same hurdles and obstacles in our mind?
My cousin Tina is working on info for the family tree. As we chatted about birth dates, marriage dates, birth cities etc, I imagined my Grandad, Aunts and Uncles as part of the mighty roots of a this huge Red Cedar Tree. Looking into the eyes of their offspring made me feel something good. It’s a grand thing that the goodness of them remain among us. When my 2nd cousin Willis hugged me, I immediately felt like my Uncle Wit was right beside me. When I chatted with my cousin Julie, my great Aunt Ruth seemed to be within reach. Over and over again, like a beautiful deja vu, I felt connected to someone from my past. Goodness remains in our memory. The not-so good we let go with the wind. We’re a blessed bunch to have each other.
I came away from an afternoon with these dear ones encouraged and connected. Afterward, we walked among the cemetery where our departed ones are buried. We brushed the red dirt from the top of the stone to read their names with reverence. We miss them.
I left with red dirt on my boots and also on my heart.
Have you ever thought about living on wheels? I’m surprised at the amount of people who tell me they want to do what we’re doing—live in an RV. I would say over 50% of the people I talk to say “I’ve always wanted to do that”. The other 50% are shaking their heads saying “I could NEVER do that”. LOL
My husband and I just celebrated two years of living in an RV. I thought I’d give a little update on the pros and cons. (I might add that we are not retired).
I’ll give the CONS first:
- Finding a place to park your RV is NOT simple. If you park somewhere for months at a time you must be tuned into a few KEY elements—sewer, electricity, water source, internet options. There are RV parks out there, but they are pricey.
- It’s not always “cheaper” to live in an RV. Not having a full time permanent residence does not always mean it’s more economical. Whether you are parked or traveling, costs add up.
- Upkeep is still a consideration. Parts break. Hot water heaters have issues. Engines need attention. RV roofs can leak. You get the idea. You are still maintaining a “residence” of sorts, just a smaller, different kind.
- Weather. It’s a big deal. Let’s just say you are MORE vulnerable to whatever weather you are in while living in an RV. If its cold outside, well, you will be dealing with cold. If it’s hot, you better hope that AC is a rockstar!
- Laundromats. No explanation necessary.
- Not a lot of space for overnight guests. Our kids have stayed with us from time to time. It’s doable, but not ideal longterm.
Now onto the fun stuff- PROS:
- Retirement is not mandatory for RV living. If your job is flexible on “where” you work, then RV living gives travel/adventure options alongside your vocation. It’s a way to see and experience new places.
- The ability to spend time with people you care about. Being in an RV gives you more options.
- Simplicity. Less is more. Truly. I thought I would miss “things”. I don’t. (I do miss my big bathtub, just sayin’), but there is a lot of satisfaction in a more simplistic daily routine.
- Quick clean-ups. If things get crazy and messy, it only takes a few minutes to get the RV back on track and sparkling.
- “Adventure” can be more than a slogan on facebook and instagram. It can be my way of life.
RV living isn’t for everyone. Or it may be an option for a season of life. It has been a good experience for us. The flexibilities have been worth the inconveniences.
Do you have an “adventure ideal”? My ideal is to own land in several of my favorite places and spend the year in the RV in these various spots. I plan for each RV spot to have a “porch” (with a swing). I do believe the best of two worlds can collide.
Happy RVing #beautynearme
I’m intrigued with light. Light changes EVERYTHING. And “people lights” are the most glorious, right? When we see/experience/witness the shining we are drawn, magnetized, intrigued. Light-living seems synonymous with loving. I guess it’s the reason we fear darkness so much. Fear and darkness are stealers and the counterparts to love and light.
Fear of darkness has always been a trojan horse. Fear makes sense sometimes but also panics our heart. Steals. Paralyzes. We might even think the solution is to run? Hide? Escape? Become a cave-dweller? All of the normal means we use to rationalize “feeling” safe seems to scream. Understandable. And yet “Panic-mode” movement (even hibernation in response to fear) is deceiving. It’s in open, vulnerable stillness that light can take in more oxygen and burn brightly. It seems a paradox to me because darkness moves and it can surround, yet it cannot overtake or destroy light. It is limited.
People tend to move in one direction or the other. They Run or Hide. I’ve done both. This week I found myself trying to hide emotionally. I don’t want to admit that darkness is coming, has come or will come. And yet here I am, mourning. Mourning loss, feeling deep sadness and now collectively mourning with our country that people in Vegas were killed.
As the darkness approaches and overtakes us, light miraculously grows in those who carry it so bravely. Look for the light. Look for the “people lights”.
#beautynearme is the #beautyinyou
1. What’s the one trait you remember possessing as a kid that you’d like to embody now?
2. What’s the one trait you possessed as a kid that you desire to overcome or release?
I believe we all have both scenarios buried deeply.
Go find a picture of yourself as a child. Look into the eyes of that kid and smile. Say nice things. Speak positive, beautiful, empowering words and let the “kid” still inside soak it in.
RV rain is similar to “front porch” rain. It’s the rain that invites you. It asks you to sit and listen for awhile. (More windows per sq feet of space in the RV commands me to take in this subtle but powerful”show”.) I watch and hear the drops hitting the roof. It’s loud; thunderously loud. Even though the rain is “light”, it’s impact is large in our little RV home. There is no avoiding it’s presence. And so I lean into it. I readily accept this rain as necessary and productive as I traverse the journey from summer to fall. Somehow it meets my melancholy heart and does a little soothing as it falls and puddles onto the earth. It feels like night in the middle of the day and I can’t help but think of Texas.
Somewhere a farmer has been praying for rain. Somewhere a father prays for protection from the rain.
As I turn the candles on, I am praying for those experiencing the rain and wind accompanying hurricane Harvey. With every drop I experience here in my world, I pray for comfort, protection and restoration.
No matter where we are, we are all so similarly at the mercy of another.