Doing the dirty jobs
Dumping our waste is a regular thing and the kids have been taking turns at helping. What a powerful moment it is when, as a team, you decide when to release the lever knowing all kinds of nastiness will move through the tube. The power you have as you hold it in place… power to keep things clean and neat or have a horrible mess on your hands. Thankfully it has been easier than we thought and we haven’t had any mistakes with this process yet. Well, other than Jeff’s head getting pounded a few times when the side drop door gets let go off accidentally by a kid whose job is to hold it up for daddy while he works.
When the drive gets long, the kids have learned to take the option of laying down in the back bed and resting the drive away. For most of us, it is not the first option we take… whether on vacation or at home. It is so tempting to stay up and to not miss a thing. Deciding to rest is a choice. It seems we do miss out when we rest, but what do we gain? As a mother I love seeing a fresh awoken face come to the front of the RV to announce they are up again. They are recharged for the rest of our day and seem pleased to have sped the drive along for themselves.
Conversation without all the stimulus
It is always a challenge to take “electronified” children and put them in the wilderness. We get the “what are we supposed to do?”or “this is boring” kind of comments. I actually get thrilled to hear these phrases, because as a mom I am confident that my answers of, “I don’t know, figure it out” or “it is good to be bored,” will lead to creativity. Without the buzz of electronics, you are forced to sit in silence with another or start a conversation… which means experiencing your own humanity and the humanity of another. I love slowing down. I watch my children as they feel the drag of life without the extra stimulus of lights, sounds, and movements of a screen.
Seeing grand things
To stand next to, or should I say- under a Redwood tree is magnificent. I would call it a “spiritual” experience. Naturally I believe people love power. We love to know we are in control. We love to be over and even to conquer things. Much of life is accepting that there are things bigger, grander than ourselves. I found it comforting to know these trees and their Creator are bigger, stronger, and over me. A sort of surrender. I believe we were created to both conquer and surrender… an interesting tension of stewardship. We see and experience this out in the wilderness when our son has the temptation to take his pocket knife to the amazing redwood tree. In his childishness, he wants to make his mark on these trees. He has to be coached and corrected. It is good to let creation be. They are not a threat to you. You don’t have to have power over good strong things in creation. Let them be. Appreciate them.
Seeing old things
Amazing to see creations that are 1,000s of years old. The grandiose wood fallen to the ground and seeing the time that passed by the age of the insides. We felt like Ewoks or hobbits in the Redwood Forests.
Doing it together
Who knows who are kids will turn out to be. Who will enjoy hiking in the wild? Who will not be interested? Who will go at it with good company and who will go at it alone? Regardless, it has been fun to see them at it together on this trip. Hopefully they are enjoying each other’s company in ways that we can’t measure.
Being with the wild
We have been sleeping amazingly well on the RV. The one night of nightmares came after a day of hiking in the places where we knew bears, mountain lions, and elk could roam. The vulnerability of knowing we could be in the same territory of the wild animals took it’s toll on the little minds of our children. They were definitely brave as we hiked, but it came out in their sleep that night. They moaned and groaned their fears that night. We comforted. The daylight of new days has brought stories and excitement that we didn’t let fear stop us.
Enjoying the Smith River in Northern California
We had so much fun in this beautiful chilling water. So clear and a perfect place for a bear to come take a drink. I was secretly wishing a wild bear would make an appearance, on the other side of the river of course. The slippery rocks made for so much fun. Most of us left cold, wet and refreshed… inside and out!
Skeens cousins from Oregon took us to a field of strawberries. In was rainy and muddy, a perfect Oregon experience!
Kids were muddy messes, so Tanya helped Noah to the car:)
We are leaving Salem, OR tomorrow. Up to the state of Washington we go….!!!!