May 17, 2016
It has been a while since I have written you, though I haven’t forgotten. At this time, we have spent our first few nights in the trailer breaking it in on a short outing. It is one thing to strategize about how everything would play out, but another thing to live it. I also knew there would be a few mild surprises that would come as we discovered how this Blue Ridge trailer worked. Overall, it has been good.
In the days leading up to the first little outing, I decided to see how all of our stuff would fit. I declared this was the time to simulate living out of the trailer to see what we would need and had forgotten along the way. (I think I’m doing well to only have Q-tips, suntan lotion, and an alarm clock for the bedroom on the forgotten list.)
Joel had to run a quick day trip up north the other week. I told him I’m staying behind because I’m moving out. Actually, when he got back, I managed to load up some pantry items along with his clothes. I guess he was moved out instead.
In the next few days, I carried laundry basket after laundry basket full of items out to the trailer. Every time I needed an item someone was then sent to the trailer to bring it back in temporarily. Back and forth, back and forth. The last day before Joel headed out with the trailer, I totally cleaned out my kitchen of all my cooking tools and supplies. I left nothing behind other than some plastic utensils. The transfer was complete other than some snow pants and boots.
The day had come. After sitting in our front yard for two months, the kids’ bikes were loaded up and the Blue Ridge was finally on its way to the testing ground. With each wheel beginning to rotate, the trailer began to groan and creak. It was a heavy load. I had school books, cookbooks, and manuals. Cast iron pots, pans, containers of flour. Clothes, tools, and toys. I believed I was successful in finding a place for each item, but then reality hit. Is the trailer overweight? I still don’t truly know.
After Joel pulled forward a little bit, he decided to just double check the tires once more. All was fine. I stayed behind to tie up a few loose ends at the house before I would meet up with him a few days later. I stood in the driveway waving to them until they turned the corner. Creak. Groan. The chugging of the diesel engine faded as they drove off.
I stood quietly watching what it would look like in the near future. This time we have a home to come back to. It was surreal to see them go. Will that be the case in a couple of months? Hopefully not. We have accepted a contingency offer on our house. The buyers have to sell their home to lock it all in. All in God’s time. Feelings of anticipation, excitement, nervousness, and silent sadness pulsed through me all at once. I took a deep breath then back into the house I went to make it “house showing clean” once again.
I figured it was good to not travel in the truck as it towed the fully loaded rig for the first time. I knew there was some road construction to contend with and I was already a little jumpy before they started off.
A couple days later, I joined the family. Everything was set up. Electric, water, and…the bachelor pad. It felt good to add the female touch. I unloaded my remaining items and started off in my cleaning and tidying routine. I finished it off with a couple spritzes of air freshener. My future home was beautiful once more.
I didn’t have to do much else the rest of the day. However the next morning, I had some adjustments to contend with. I woke up before anyone else for my shower. I turned on the water and to my dismay, only a slow drizzle came out. It wasn’t like this last night when I demonstrated to my youngest how it worked, why now? If the hand sprayer went up to its mount, it became worse. Drip, drip. I didn’t want to even get in. I would freeze between the drips and envisioned my hair full of suds, which would take an hour to rinse out at that rate.
The motherly side of my mind reprimanded me, “You’re going to church today. Suck it up and get in there!”
My child side defiantly responded, “Fine, but I won’t wash my hair!”
“Oh, yes, you will.” I guess the motherly side won.
I was able to get through it. With the warm water, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Of course the engineering side of me was dreaming up methods to use a pail lofted somewhere to create a personal water tower, adding more pressure to the water supply.
Then I went downstairs and started preparing breakfast. Tea was a great start as it would warm me up. I felt very intelligent as I dutifully shut off the electric heater before I turned on the microwave to warm the water. I knew I needed to be mindful of the electric demand placed on the system.
While the tea was steeping, I placed a bagel in the convection oven to warm up. Anxious to warm up, I tasted the hot mint tea. Chlorine and plastic. Yuck. Joel had bleached the water system before we left. But I saw him running water through the refrigerator’s water filter for a while. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t enough. Frustrated, I dumped it out and started over. Water, microwave, start.
Crumb. I forgot I had the convection oven going and tripped the circuit at the house we were staying at. I had to wake Joel up and ask what needed to be done. A text message and a few minutes later, we had electric once more in the trailer.
I shook my head as I very slowly and consciously thought to myself with every move I made that morning preparing breakfast for the family. I knew that result would happen, but yet, in practice I forgot and went back to my old habit of multitasking. I know in time this will become easier as I slow down and adjust to this lifestyle.
I couldn’t help but think of how in life we always hear the right thing to do, but in the end do our own thing out of our hurried habit or our own self-centered justification. That’s probably why the Bible says in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Just like how I have to consciously put into practice what I know by constantly thinking about not using too much electricity, I must even more so read, dwell, and consciously think about how God wants me to live my life. In order to do the right thing on the outside, it must begin with pausing long enough to change my thought patterns to consciously do what is humanly unnatural.
Until we meet again,