Over on http://nativerave.blogspot.com/, I gave a recap of week one from a business perspective. Here I will discuss it from a personal perspective...mine only. Over on http://4x4elvalor.blogspot.com/ will be a hybrid...a little overlapping but new content as well.
With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let's go...getting out of Corpus Christi seemed impossible. Painting Sage's room and the office took much more time and money than necessary. Finishing the trailer took longer, partly because we had to modify it to suit our specific needs as we went along. Moving from our house into the camper, trailer and storage, selling items the donating others, proved to be a lesson in logistics. A lesson I will not soon forget...which led to a recent status update on facebook that went something like "Dear Friends and Family: Please do not ever give me or anyone in my household another gift. Thank you." Our departure date was pushed back a week, which caused a serious time crunch in our work schedule...and in our checking account. Ouch.
Even the day we left there were severe thunderstorms all around us. We were determined to leave, though, and paddled our way across town. Once we made it to the north side of town, we saw nothing but blue skies with a few pretty fluffy clouds. We took our time as we drove toward Austin. None of our gear hadreally been tested yet, so we pulled over a few times to check locks and hitches, tie-downs and latches. Solid. That night, we stayed with friends in the Austin area. Sage had an overnight playdate and we were able to unwind with our generous friends. (Thanks, Cat and Mike. And thanks to Gretchen for the food. It was incredible!)
The next day we drove to Plano and hooked up in my Dad's driveway. The neighbors probably LOVED seeing our camper and adventure trailer strewn across his three-car driveway. But nobody complained, at least not to us, and we stayed three nights so we could be there early to help him with his garage sale. The sale went well, but you could not help but feel a bit of sadness watching shards of my Dad's memories being carried away by strangers...at a fraction of what they are worth. I was never prouder of my Dad as I was that weekend. Despite the upheaval in his life, he maintained his dignity, even joking with garage sale-regulars as they haggled over a dollar or two. Petty, really. As I watched him, I realized that everything will be just fine for him. The past few years have been tremendously difficult for him: he has endured a divorce, a layoff, the death of his older brother for whom he was the caretaker in his final months, a foreclosure and now being forced to liquidate his possessions, some things he created himself, to raise capital so he can start over again. I'm not betraying his privacy by writing about here. He has been very open about his situation on facebook and with everyone who attended his garage sales. I only mention these details to illustrate how many of life's most stressful events he has suffered in just a few short years. Yet, he still wakes up every morning and makes an effort to find some joy. He maintains a sense of humor...and inspires everyone who knows his story. Maybe today's the day, Dad. Maybe today everything will turn out right. It's your turn to be happy. I love you and am honored to be your daughter.
During the sale on Saturday I received a call from a good friend that one of our high school classmates and his wife were killed in a motorcycle accident early that morning. They leave behind two young daughters and tight-knit family. Rest in peace, Ernie & Elisa Santos.
Sunday morning we "checked out" of Dad's driveway and drove to the campground where we are staying now. On the way, I checked my phone. I had a message from one of David's relatives in West Texas. I returned the call and received another sad message. One of the little ones was killed in a freak accident; she was 4. I had only met her a few times but I sobbed a long time thinking about her short life. Actually, I'm crying again as I write this. Today is her funeral. We are not going because the experience would be too disturbing for Sage. And for us, too. But today we remember that little angel...bless you, Froggy.
This is not quite the adventure I had planned. However, the tragedies have been offset by some very happy moments. Sage rode in the BOB Stroller while I pushed her and jogged. Sheesh, she weighs a lot more than the last time I ran with her. We played on the playground here in the park, then swam in the lake. Daddy took her for a ride yesterday in the bicycle trailer. Folsom has been a model doggie. Our new home-and-office-on-wheels is working out great; we already have ideas for making things more efficient. Naptime and bedtime play out more easily than ever--yessss! I've spent quality time with family and friends this first week and am looking forward to more. Business is thriving! And that's always a great thing...
Overall, I'm grateful for the opportunity to try out this mobile lifestyle. Let's see what we'll do in week 2...