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And…Scene.

Posted by on June 4, 2012

So, how was everyone’s Christmas? I didn’t want to bombard you with blog posts just after the holidays. You know, I thought I’d give you a chance to relax and wind down after all that celebrating. So you got a whole six months without me. You’re welcome.

Truthfully, I’ve been drafting this blog post in my head for awhile. It’s a tough one. Three years ago we set off on this crazy little Airstream journey. We gave ourselves three months initially. We thought the first month would be challenging. 160 square feet–could we live in something that small? Could we tow a trailer? Could I empty a sewer tank without throwing up? Could Chris keep his job? Could we stay married? Could we stay sane? After the first two weeks on the road it became clear–this Airstream life was awesome. We didn’t need three months to decide if it was for us. It only took days to realize that we were doing exactly what we needed to be doing. And that’s how life should go. No regrets. No looking back.

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We traveled thousands of miles and saw incredible sights that first year. In year two on the road, we had a baby. An awesome one. While we didn’t travel great distances with a newborn, it didn’t stop us from our Airstream life. She’s a well-traveled little girl, having seen the entire east coast and even some of Canada.

Last summer, we started the discussion of stopping the full-time life. There were challenges. It’s not easy to raise a family and maintain an office in 160 square feet. Chris’s job requires him to be on the phone often (all day) between the hours of 9am and 6pm. So he needs a quiet space. And I don’t always want to be out and about with a child. Spending time at home is nice. So you see the dilemma. A toddler and conference calls don’t really mix well in small spaces. We need doors, people.

And a community. We needed a real community in which we could be involved. Playdates. Friends. Classes. Campground life is great but you meet people and then you say goodbye. We wanted to get involved, enroll Emerson in classes, and feel…settled. Words we never though we’d say again.

But were we ready to stop? Not really. Not yet. The idea scared us. Full-timing and travel was part of our identity. Where did we want to live? Having traveled this great country, there are a lot of beautiful places. We considered Oregon, Montana, Vermont, and many others. But one place stood out…at least for me. Virginia. Our home. We left Virginia never expecting to come back. But every time we drove through the state, I got warm fuzzies. And you never ignore warm fuzzies.

We spent Summer 2011 in Staunton, Virginia. We searched for that dream farm property that we’ve been discussing. We didn’t find it. Or, we did…but it didn’t have internet. (I know…crazy. There are places without high speed Internet still.) We returned south for the winter. We had some great stops along the coast of North Carolina and then in Destin, Florida which left us in greater confusion. They were beautiful areas–should we consider those places instead? We didn’t know what to do.

As winter came to an end this year, we traveled back up to Virginia. Settling down was starting to feel like the right thing to do. After one week, we found a cute little farmhouse for rent. It sits on 100 acres and has beautiful views and a tennis court. There they are again…those warm fuzzies. And just like that, we signed the lease, parked our Airstream and called it home. Our garden that we planted is 160 square feet. It was by accident that it measured this way but I like to look out and think, “hmmm, that’s the size of my former home.”

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There’s plenty that I miss about the Airstream life. I miss new places and sights each week. I miss the quick house cleaning times. I miss the simplicity of it all. But there’s also plenty I love about our new farm adventure. I love our garden. I love my big kitchen. I love cooking/cleaning while Emerson naps–that couldn’t happen in our small space. I love our doors that give us our own space when we need it. I love taking Emerson to a weekly playgroup. I love creating a new home for my family. (I don’t particularly love the mice in my home or the old house issues…but I’m adapting.)

We are renting, so if the mice do drive me insane, we could just get back on the road. But so far, no regrets.

Now what to do with this travel blog? Hmmm…we do still have an Airstream and we aren’t afraid to use it.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad<

9 Responses to And…Scene.

  1. Mom

    Very good entry. Enjoyed it!! Ems certainly looks more grown up in the second set of pics.

  2. Everett

    We found our mice problem was drastically reduced once the weather warmed up. It seems they’d rather live outside when given the choice. We did have to set some traps and get rid of a few in the meantime though. We also have five cats (two in the barn, one of them a kitten and the other useless as a mouser; one semi-feral who lives in the woods but lets us pet her and comes to the barn to eat when she’s hungry; one in the house that is useless as a mouser; one who spends half her time in the house and half her time in the yard who is an awesome mouser but likes to poop and pee outside the litter box when she’s in a bad mood), which helps a bit.

    Emerson looks to be enjoying the porch there. That place looks beautiful!

    If you get the travel bug and don’t want to venture too far you’re welcome to visit us in Floyd. You can park the airstream out by the barn, look out the telescope at night, fish the pond in the day and let Emerson and Waylon play all they want.

    Take care!

    Everett

  3. Everett

    PS: I rent an office in town with high speed internet, though we have “adequate” speed at the house. After two years of working from home it is actually nice to come into town to work away from non-work distractions. I get a cup of coffee down at the Black Water Loft every morning, see familiar and friendly faces throughout the day and appreciate “home” a little more after having been away for the day. So Chris could have a place to work if you wanted to visit for more than a weekend, but he’d have to carpool with me in the mornings.

    And of course we’re ALWAYS looking for people we trust who want to “farm sit” while we go get our travel on. With a farm of your own now, it looks like we may have to cast our search out over the cities. ;-)

  4. marlene

    Congrats on the new chapter in your life. I would love to hear more about farm life :)

  5. Manisha

    From one dream to another…Awesome!! I love that you all are in a farmhouse with a huge garden. What a great choice and another wonderful adventure. I do hope you keep blogging because I love reading about your life. Sending kisses for that grown up girl!

  6. tiffany of camp1899

    you had me at “and…. scene” i love raising hope (if that’s your reference.. but maybe not.. either way!)
    i’ve heard so many good things about staunton virginia, i hope you will be blogging about your little town, your 100 acres (like winnie the pooh) and your garden. we definitely want to visit your new town.. have you read the book See You in a Hundred Years? it is absolutely amazing and the author and his family now live in staunton, the book takes place not far from there.
    great post! xo, tiffany

  7. Gee Backhouse

    Life’s a journey and it’s all about deciding what’s best for you! I’m at the stage of dreaming about an Airstream so it was a surprise to read your story – and great that you’re choosing your direction. I create unique compasses for people who are making all sorts of decisions and celebrating a variety of life stages – here’s wishing you the best and look forward to reading more.

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    Your article And…Scene. | Aluminum Bliss write very well, thank you share!

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