I've been avoiding my website for a long, long time. I've been busy this year, that's for sure, but I'm still finding it hard to write and share much beyond a short Facebook post and photo. It's a little disconcerting for someone with an inner need to story tell; it just seems that the actual story-teller inside took an extended vacation to an unknown destination. She hasn't even sent a postcard. I've been relying a lot on my cameras to capture my stories instead. However, to get over any block, you have to actually get over it. So here I am, back on my site and writing randomly for the sake of just doing something about this.
Life has taken a big turn since the last blog post I shared in March out on the "farm" in Lake Country. Angel and I said goodbye to our beloved Porter after a short battle with cancer. She was the most amazing dog - if you can even call a pug a "dog" (pug people will understand this) - and the heartbreak is still with us. Since we've been together, Angel and I have had four babies in our life: Spring the house rabbit, Pumpkin the parakeet, Peach the lovebird, and Porter, our oldest and last of the group. We will take as much time as we need to regroup and someday have another baby or two to love. None can ever be easily replaced.
In April, we decided to move back to Boundary Country, where we began this Canadian portion of our life back in 2010. Angel started a job doing engineering work on sawmills and I've gone back to school to study editing. As far as our accommodations were concerned, we knew we wanted to downsize more, so started to look towards "tiny" aspects of living. We looked at buying a very small bungalow on a piece of property, but we owned an older house in this area the last time and a fixer-upper didn't seem appealing. We looked at tiny house building plans, but the placement, cost, and time wasn't sitting right with us either. Eventually, we settled on a new RV with 315 square feet of living space. Our tiny "house" is settled on a small corner of my parent's property. We have hook-ups, a kick-ass girl-built deck, and lots of wildlife watching through our windows. It's small-town peaceful here and we feel very fortunate every day.
The downsizing was quite easy. When you are ready to let go of things, like I was, you sometimes have to control yourself so as not to let go of too much. You don't necessarily want to spend money re-buying a mountain bike one day, for example, so some things you hang on to for a while longer. I will admit that having a closet for some storage in my parent's house has made living in 315 sq ft a lot easier. But I still purged enough to feel like I have my material existence under some control. What I now own is meaningful to me. Really meaningful. And with some alterations on the RV (we quasi gutted it and people thought we were crazy), we created a home with our personal signature on it. With the small footprint, the alterations are finite. We spend a lot of time on our deck, just enjoying life. I don't remember a lot of deck sitting with the last house we owned. There was always a list of something to do. Going small has given us some big freedoms with the rest of our life.
Friends have asked where we "are going" in our RV. Well, we're here. For now. While Angel and I seem to have some gypsy in our souls, we still like stability and commitments. I, especially, need a home base. Angel likes routine. This is our location at this time in life. The RV is our home, not our camper. Neither one of us yearns to camp. Travel, yes. Travelling to us, however, usually consists of hotels or other fun accommodations. Besides, pulling a 32 foot home behind you does not really seem like a vacation or restful time, in my opinion. And we have traveled this year: for business to Idaho; to see family in Washington State; and for a family reunion and fun in Alberta (twice) and Saskatchewan. We'll be on the road much more before the year ends, always having our stable, tiny home to come back to.
In the process of going small this year, I learned to focus on what's important to me and when to put things aside. With all the moving around and uncertainty after our house in Grand Forks sold last August, I got a little overwhelmed with life and my lack of direction. So, I decided to drop my expectations and long-term planning. It wasn't working anyway. I developed faith in the Universe that my life would be okay not having to know everything about it. And boy, it sure worked. It's actually more productive and fulfilling living in the now of life instead of waiting for the later. I still have a plan, the outcome is just unwritten as of yet. While I've been focusing on school and setting up a home and being on the road quite a bit, some things - like blogging and even photo editing - have been ignored. Heck, even the amount of paddle-boarding I've done this year hasn't been up to par. But my focus will shift back to those things when the time is right, especially if they remain important to me.
I'm still sharing photos and adventures though, just in other formats. That's the beauty of social media. Click on some of the links and you'll find me. The story-teller can't stay away forever (or can she?) and while she is gone I'm just as happy with editing other work, because that to me is an important role in story-telling too. Other fun projects are in the works, including a little vintage trailer named "Herbie" (we seem to be creating a life on wheels). Despite certain things around us shrinking, life definitely is expanding. During some crazy little adventure a few weeks ago, Angel came up with what seems to be our latest motto: "This is how memories are made." And, in fact, we're making quite a few.