We left our beloved Asheville. In a Dolphin. Six of the seven of us.
Why? Because it was the best thing we could do. It was silly, but it was absolutely necessary.
With all the health shenanigans and strange family issues we’ve been cartwheeling through, we’ve all suffered to one extent or another. It’s been a trying, exhausting spell. But – Life™ has a tendency to come in spells. Good spells, bad spells. But nothing really lasts forever. That’s good and bad. The bad stuff doesn’t last. Thankfully.
Through all of it, though – we have these kids. 5 amazing people. 5 wonderful, funny, crazy, creative, beautiful kids who have rolled with the punches and kept on smiling. Thankfully, we have a family that has a wonderful time all the time. That’s always helped us through. But, when things go sideways, they suffer along with us. And, with all the goings-on and day-to-day stresses in our lives, we’ve missed a lot of opportunities to connect and enjoy our kids and each other (Beth and I.) We also miss a lot of opportunities to just have fun.
With everything that had been going down, we needed to escape. Not work, not responsibility – but we needed to escape our routine of worry and stress and chores and errands and reconnect. We knew if we planned and waited for the right opportunity to make that escape, it might not come for a long time – if at all. Work and bills and household duties and the stress of the day will always be here – but our kids are getting older every day. We’ll eventually lose them all to the dreaded teen years when they REALLY think we’re uncool. Time is precious. Family is preciouser. It was time to do something silly and make some memories and grow closer to our kids before they grow further away. Since they rolled with us through all the trials, we thought it was time to roll with those precious little souls – literally.
So, we left Asheville in a 1987 Toyota Dolphin. We didn’t know where we were going, but had a faint idea of seeing Niagara Falls. We packed some food, some clothes and an axe. We’d never done anything like this before. Heck, we’ve only camped a few times in our 23 years of marriage.
We’d seen some YouTube videos, and figured that was all the training you could possibly need on how to live in an RV.
We didn’t have a plan. We didn’t have a map. We just hopped in and ran.
We stayed in WalMart parking lots. We ate cereal (a LOT,) and we swam in bodies of water I don’t recall the name of. We saw Niagara, DC, Gettysburg and Chincoteague Island. We stunk. We were hungry. We got on each other’s nerves. The RV leaked. We did laundry in several states. We laughed and sang and hollered and got to stand in awe of a lot of amazing things. With each other.
It was simply wonderful. I don’t regret one damned second of it. I feel better now. A deep down soul better. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I don’t have a map for that, either.
Now, granted – I had planned on working more than I did. But, that didn’t happen thanks to spotty electricity and spottier cell coverage (I’m looking at YOU, US Cellular.) Probably not a good thing, but in a way – a really good thing. I’m recharged. I’m excited. We’re all excited.
We’re going to renovate the RV now. We’re going to turn it into the ultimate adventure machine, and we’re going to cart our kids as far as that bucket of bolts can take us – and we’re going to see some amazing things and have some amazing times. Because time is always running. And you never know when it’s going to stop.
There – that’s why we left. We’re back. We will leave again. In the meantime – we’re going to kick ass on some projects, we’re going to dream. We’re still going to laugh and fool around with the kids. We’ll cherish our memories, and we’ll grow increasingly excited to make more.
So, where am I going with this? Life is short. Kids grow so fast. Health ebbs and flows. Families do crazy shit. You never know what’s going to happen. But, dammit – you can MAKE something good happen. Now. One way or another – take the time you have and make something great. Make it great with the people you love.
Tomorrow, God willing, it’ll be back to your normal bloggy goodness about web design, SEO and logos and such. But, today – this was what I felt I should write. I’m exhausted and looking forward to sleeping in a real bed. Now, go forth and create something.