Took the weekend to finally clean out the camper to see what we are working with. We decided finally to GO!!! I am so excited. I must admit, I have been dreading cleaning it out for months but this weekend we finally decided too. Today, I even saw the floor!!! The first time in 5 months. Ohhhhhh, it brings back so many wonderful memories.
Not too bad. Not too bad… It’s been kinda fun bringing the old girl back to life. Lord knows how bad it needed to be cleaned. Washing walls, floors, curtains, bleaching blinds… Followed by the fun part touching up the paint. My personal favorite. In between cleaning sessions today, our neighbor accidentally dropped a tree on our camper roof. Ugh. The lady was in tears, trembling as she begged us not to tell her husband. Poor thing.
Her grandson Shadow (no joke), quickly helped us remove it and all the remaining branches, including the one that busted through the bathroom hatch and roof. Super nice kid too. Very respectful, true Montana born and breed.
At least it was Nathan’s. Last year Nathan stuck his foot straight through his window, thankfully suffering only a minor cut to his ankle. Replaced the pane with plexi glass. So after this, 2 out of 3 panes will be plexi… I’m okay with that.
Two years and nine months seem like a blur. How is possible for time to move so quickly?
I wonder that all the time.
At this point, we have stopped traveling now for the last 5 months and we are in the state of Montana… I know what you must be thinking… “In your last set of entries, you said you were still in Connecticut.”
It has been a long time since my last entry. I truly thought I would have updated as we went along, or at least that was my intention. -laughs- It seems you will not always find an internet connection while on the road, and steady campground wifi is a fickle thing and I suggest using a booster. It’s worth it. Also password protect it so other can’t piggy back off you and steal all your signal. -winks- Well worth the effort.
Well first off, I want to say we have thought about returning to the road everyday since we have stopped. It has become an internal struggle: To Stay or To Go
For as many hardships we experienced on the road, in all we were truly blessed. Only 1 serious illness (suffered by my husband and I), but No serious injuries. No serious car fails. Well i guess that isn’t completely true. Let me think about this… We started October 2011 in the Van. Rented a house in South Carolina 2012. Bounced between Florida and Connecticut 2012-2013 and December 2013 we officially got on the road with the kids AND the camper. January 2014 our engine spun a rod, costing us $10,000. Ugh.
We traveled to 28 states in 14 months.
- Yellow: States Started & Stopped
- Green: States Traveled During Our Trip
- Red: States Still Waiting to be Seen
Life the last few months has been fairly amazing. We are living the country dream. -smiles-
But is this life for us?
I wake up every morning about 6 am to take the puppies out, feed and water them. Feed and water the chickens, let them out of their coop. Loop around the house to the garden.
Awe! The Garden!
Loaded with Onions, Garlic, Corn, Peas, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Watermelons, Pumpkins, Cantaloupes, Strawberries, Broccoli, Spinach, Lettuce, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Cucumber, Lima Beans, Soy Beans, Basil, Rosemary, Parsley, Mint, Peppers…
85 feet by 45 feet.
What a master piece and a cluster f#ck! -laughs-
I also walk the yard for wild flowers. Check on the figs, and the pears…
It’s a very simple life.
The kids are about to complete their 1st year of homeschooling. 8 more days… Man, what an experience! We did most the year with straight homeschooling, the last few months completely an online public school. That was INTENSE!
I found so many holes in my teachings and yet some things; they knew like the back of their hands, a full grade early. Both kids would like to return to regular public school next year. Due to lack of a social life. Part of me is so Happy. -smiles- But the other part of me really enjoyed it. I believe that I have collected enough materials to home school the babies. So I have started pre-school with the younger 2 while finishing up the last 8 days of the older 2 online school.
So… Big news…
True to our ever Gypsy ways we have decided that we did this all wrong and we must come full circle. As of June 19th we are moving back to Connecticut.
Now I know what you must be thinking!
-laughs- Well, it’s complicated. It’s all about money if you must know the truth. Minimal wage here in South Carolina is well, just too minimal. And we have to crack down and really save right for an RV. We traveled for the last 10 months but we didn’t really do it right. So we are going home to hang with our friends while we try this again.
It has been a long time since I have sat down and typed, especially an update.
Life has been so crazy and amazing, that time just got away.
So, I believe the last place that I left off… we were in Florida.
After bouncing around for about 4-5 months we were invited to visit some friends in South Carolina and as a twist of fate we ended up settling here…
Who could have ever predicted that we would end up on 35 acres in South Carolina?
We went from a mid-sized 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 3rd floor apartment paying $950 a month to a huge 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 story house on 35 acres for only $600…
I mean this place is amazing… 5 Pecan Trees, 3 Pear Trees, 2 Fig Trees, Wild Blackberries and a Eucalyptus Tree. This place is truly amazing.
We are in the process of planting a huge garden.
With watermelons, pumpkins, onions, radish, strawberries, lettuce, garlic, cucumber, brussels sprouts, white and yellow corn, zuchinni, broccoli, sweet snow peas, rosemary, basil, parsley, chives, lima beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cabbage… Did I mention… This is our 1st Garden?
Not only that… but, we got two new Puppies!
Sierra and Meatball.
True Pound Puppies. Aren’t they so cute?
And a cat (to chase mice)
Mr. Spaz kitty…
All rescued from the Darlington Animal Shelter. We have been volunteering at the shelter as a part of homeschooling.
We are also raising baby Dominique Chickens!
And considering bunny rabbits as another renewable food source. Apparently they can produce up to some 800 babies a year. That’s pretty amazing.
We said we wanted to get back to basic’s… -laughs-
I guess that is exactly what has happened.
Now we still are planning our trip but we have decided to be smarter about it. 6 months was not enough prep time. At this point I wonder if another year will be enough time. I wish we could get our hands on some solar panels…
Oh well… at this rate it looks as though we’ll have plenty to keep us busy this summer.
I have been doing laundry for so many days now. I can’t even fathom how much laundry I have washed, dried and carried up 40 steps. Down 40 steps, then up 40 steps, back down, back up, up, down, up, down. We donated 19 bags of clothes, linens and other laundry type items. I wanted to take a picture so bad because it was an amazing pile. But, the kids must have gotten a hold of my camera, because the batteries died as I was trying to snap the picture.
Anyways, we finally got the house emptied around 1am. As we started loading up the car with the kids, the sky opened up and poured. It felt like the state was sad that we were leaving. Then we had to make one last stop to storage and a quick trip to Wal-mart, so it was 2:30am before we were on the road. About 5am Bill stopped in Jersey for a 2 hour nap. From that point on it was a smooth ride…
we hit North Carolina and then it started.
First, as we were driving down the road his window made this weird noise and then dropped. We just looked at each other like “WTF!” So we had to make an hour… hour and a half (give or take), pit stop. This wasn’t major… just annoying, frustrating even.
When we hit South Carolina we decided to pull off for a few hours for more sleep.
The baby all rested wanted to play. So I let her play by my feet and fell asleep. Mistake. She cleared the change off the cup holder and put it in the ac vent which was discovered the next morning. Then she woke me up because she was stinky. This was fine. However, in my sleepiness I didn’t realize she was stinky until it was too late. Little pebbles flew all across the floor. So, then I got the bright idea to fling them outside with a piece of paper, then turned around to walk to the bathroom and realized I poopie trapped my path.
–Laughs- Poop pelts everywhere.
Went back to sleep for a while, Bill managed to get 5 hours in that stretch but the slight cold I have been fighting off for the last 2 weeks finally caught up to him. He woke up feeling like a turd. So we decided to make our way to a gas station to fuel up and grab some cold medicine.
Along the way, we hit a road soup puddle. A nasty road soup puddle too and back on the road we were. I’m not really sure how long after that point it took until our tire blew because I had fallen asleep.
So there we were on the side of the road at 4:30am in South Carolina about the 41 mile marker. 5 miles in any direction from anything.
Thank God, Mom hooked us up with a cell phone before we got on our trip. We made a few phone calls, and with no possibility of money becoming available until after 7 am, we decided to sleep. About 7am we get a phone call from Mom, telling us that she managed to locate a tow company. Hooray. She even said that they were like 2 miles from us at that time and then our phone died in mid-sentence. Okay. Located the car charger… “Unauthorized User.” Which all I could think was “You must be kidding.” So we just sat there again like “WTF!”
Around 8am Bill finally decided he could no longer just sit there and tried to walk back to the last exit we passed which was like 3 miles back, then he walked down the ramp to discover NOTHING!!!! So he came back disappointed. Then he tried to wave down someone, anyone for like 30mins. Finally, I grabbed the baby and stood beside him. Within 10mins someone stopped and about 5mins after that the tow truck arrived.
Really a nice guy. His name was Ron.
So Ron towed us back to his shop where we learned we were within 8 miles of Wal-mart. So they took Bill to Wal-mart where we had bought our tires at before we left. We had bought their insurance for road hazards; the only issue is you must take your tire back to Wal-mart to have it replaced.
Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to get to hang out at the shop… which was wicked B-o-r-i-n-g!
So while we waited…
I decided to take the kids outside to play to kill time. While wondering around their shop, I came across this old sign.
Which was totally true at the time.
Finally they were back, and it took like 30 seconds to put the tire back on. $198 and we were back on the road. Did I mention we started this trip with about $300 + $250 received on Tuesday. At this point, we have enough to fuel up 2 more times.
Anyways, Gabbie who was super tired from the stop quickly passed out.
Again pretty much a smooth ride…
until we hit Florida.
As it had taken most of the day just to get there, being already like 7pm and we were still at least an hour or more away; we pulled off to eat with our final $10.
As we are having our meal, an older gentleman came into the restaurant. He smiled as he introduced himself to my family.
Made jokes and had all the kids giggling. He pulled Bill aside and asked for our change. Just whatever was in our pocket. It wasn’t much. Maybe a little over a dollar but we gladly handed it off. Loaded up the car and was back on the road. Only to realize about 10mins later that we had to cross the skyway bridge where there is a $1 toll.
Are you seeing the irony here? –laughs-
So then we found ourselves stuck looking for an ATM in a town we haven’t been in… in about 5 years. Another 30mins wasted, we scored our toll and again was back on the road… for about a whole 5mins.
1 hour from our destination the pulley from our power steering snapped and flew off (more like crumbled) and we over heated instantly… Done.
At that point Bill just started laughing. What a trip. Seriously.
Another tow, another $198 that we didn’t have. But we are here. Where ever here is. –laughs-
“My wish for you…”
Comfort on Difficult days, Smiles when sadness intrudes, Rainbows to follow the clouds, Laughter to kiss your lips, Sunsets to warm your heart, Gentle hugs when spirits sag, Friendships to brighten your being, Courage to know yourself, Patience to except the truth, Peace within, Love to complete your life, Beauty for your eyes to see, Faith so that you may believe.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are and know you are exactly where you are meant to be. I pray you let this knowledge settle into your Bones, and allow your Soul the Freedom to Sing, Dance, Praise and Love,
May you not Forget the Infinite Possibilities that are born of Faith.