Sometimes my heart feels as big as the sky above me and sometimes it feels as tiny as the house I now call home. Sometimes my patience is as wide as the lake that borders my present neighborhood and other times all the patience I can muster up in a day would fit into that adorable little sink in my adorable little kitchen. Sometimes it is well with my soul and other times my soul is a little under the weather.
Hey, just tryin' to keep it real.
As we enter into our third week as full-time campers, I can’t deny that I’ve had my doubts as to how long I can actually live in 300 square feet with another human being. I’ll be honest…the thought that I've had a good time on vacation but now I'm ready to go home has crossed my mind at least a hundred times. Even though it has only been two weeks, here's another confession…it feels like it’s been two months. There have been some really good moments, like Friday evening as we sat around the campfire sipping hot cocoa, waving to all the campers who passed by. I didn’t realize until we began this journey what a big family campers are. But campers are a brotherhood so to speak. They share the great outdoors like family and watch out for each other like family. When new campers come in, you know you already have something huge in common and that is the love of camping. I've also enjoyed the carefree feeling of living with and caring for less stuff. That thought is fleeting, however, when I remember I have a huge storage unit housing our other possessions right down the road. There is no comparing the feeling I get as I smell the burgers on the neighbor's grill or the sheer joy on a child's face as he zooms down the hill for the 10th time on his bike. Or the look of contented pleasure as a family returns from the lake and, even though they may not have caught any fish, they have caught new memories to hold. The pros definitely outweigh the cons most days. And for two people who have never camped before, I think it quite the miracle that we are able to say that camping is something for which we’re cultivating a love and will continue to be something we will enjoy in our future. Just maybe not full-time.
There have been some really tough moments this week. Like when the seven-foot ceilings begin to close in and I realize that cabin fever has come upon me and the only thing I can do to heal the fever is to get outside in nature or in my car and go to the grocery store where the ceilings soar some 20 feet above me. Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I adore high ceilings in a house. Almost every house we’ve purchased and lived in has at least nine-foot ceilings, if not vaulted ones. You might also know that I have a fantasy of living in an old church or warehouse where the ceilings are so high they feel as though they do not exist. But just as any fantasy has its own set of disappointments, I’m sure mine will as well if I ever see that one become a reality…like great big ol’ power bills from trying to heat and cool all that empty space between the floor and ceiling.
I have dreams, but I am also a realist.
I would in no way try to make anyone think this new adventure has been a piece of cake for me, because it hasn't. But am I quite ready to throw in the proverbial towel? That would be a negative. I like to think of myself now in my latter years as one who doesn't give up as easily as I did in the days of my youth. When I was younger I was one (much as I hate to admit it) who gave up pretty easily on things. I didn't realize then that the struggles in life (as the successes) mold us into the best human beings we can be, that growth is hardly ever easy and sometimes riddled with hardships which are entirely necessary to see the fruits of personal growth ensue...I've said that a hundred times, if not a million. This experience, this slice of my life journey, will be one I look back on one day with fond memories, if for nothing else but that very growth I acquired along the way. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we wish we could just step away from, be catapulted out of, or maybe have Scotty magically beam us up to a safer space on the mother ship where comfort abounds. But it's in sticking it out that the growth comes. The best kinds of growth come from the hardest challenges, hands down.
So there are a couple of things absent in RV living that I look forward to once again and took for granted in my past houses. Like having space to hide all the wires required for internet accessibility and TV-watching. And being able to thunder through the house on a solid foundation without feeling like you're in a rowboat with King Kong. The weekly trip to the laundromat and not having your washer and dryer in the next room because there is no next room. And being able to make a bed with no wrinkles but with the tautness required by the sergeant of a boot-camp private (I would've made a great sergeant when it comes to bed-making!). But then there are those experiences only acquired by living in the woods for a season. Like home fires burning and something delicious cooking on the grill. And coziness and togetherness and quiet moments. And lessons in community and how to be a better neighbor. And carefree outdoor-filled days for which there is absolutely zero guilt. And for those I am truly grateful. We are where we need to be at this moment in time, experiencing this lesson that life is offering.
Will week three bring the balance and rhythm I crave? That's my hope...stay tuned.
Posted by CC
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