Ringing in the New Year…on the Sands of Time

Memories of one New Year, spent on the Sands of Time.

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The Difference Between Conchs and Whelks

A Conch by any other name…is probably a Whelk!  Click the pic to discover the difference in the two!

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Birds Flying Backwards

Wow…!  What a wind we’ve had overnight and this morning!  It’s gotta be making all the birds fly backwards out there.  Poor little seagulls!  I feel for them while I’m sitting nice and cozy-warm by my faux fireplace…in our little caravan home. 

I feel rather grateful today; thinking of the things we do have and not focusing on the things we are lacking.  One of which would be money:  broke as a joke…we are!  But, I still feel really grateful, none-the-less.  You see…?  My husband has started a part-time job for a time-share resort, and to us…this means ‘finally’ a steady income.  As much as we are attempting to live a simpler life, society just keeps reeling us back in.  And living below one’s means shouldn’t include having to struggle so badly that your selling your stuff (things you might not want to sell) in-order to keep bills current. 

I have to laugh at that one: keeping the bills current.  Sometimes I just don’t know which way is up!  We’re damned if we do (follow the 8 to 5 robotic flow of society) and we’re damned if we don’t (attempt to live below our means in a small dwelling, whilst the ‘uppety’ folks around us frown down their noses like we’re criminals?).  But it has all taught me a very valuable lesson: you can’t please everyone…so you got to please yourself, as the song also goes.

So I’m rambling, which I tend to do.  But I promise I really do have a point to all this.  My point is, we are thankful for what we have, though we are longing for less even-still: less of the societal hooks in our sides, less bills, less crowds of people and traffic, less work and more life (I miss my husband when he isn’t here, and this place would fall apart without him), less complications all across the board, and less nosiness from the folks that think it’s better to send my daughter to ‘traditional school’ (homeschooling looks better everyday).  I could go on and on…but I won’t bore you that much!

Either way, we will continue to work on our tiny house dwelling – caravan home, and I will continue to look for a small, but secluded, plot of land to homestead; something that we will own and I can have farm animals and make my own cheese, and gather eggs from our own chickens.  And…we can still be free to go camping and travel a bit in Peniki.  She needs an overhaul, so we are rather forced to stay put for now.  Still, she needs to be turned out to greener pastures and times…just like us.  Graze off the land, as we were meant to be allowed to do; this land was God’s gift to man, and man has dominated it to his own injury.  My belief…entirely.

So, even though these birds are still flying backwards in life, we are making some progress with the remodeling of our travel trailer — caravan home (one in the same).  Therefore, I felt in order to keep this blog from becoming such a ‘hodge-podge’ mess of subjects, I should go ahead and start a blog dedicated to the remodeling of our vintage trailer.  I hope you will follow and see what we’re up to, the many mistakes we often make (so you won’t make them too), and the little innovations we are forced to come up with…due to lack of funds.  I will be posting the link or reblogging right here…soon!  I invite you to take a peek into our chaotic life.  You might just be inspired, but you’re sure to have a laugh or two. 

Blessings & .V..

Beach Bum Scribblings

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A Place To Call Home

Cozumel Caravan

Cozumel Caravan

Sometimes we take the smallest things for granted in life, including ‘life’ itself.  But in the end, if a lesson has been learned, we find that the simpleness of living is priceless.  This is what I’ve come to find since we up-rooted from my hometown of Fort Worth, and relocated to Gulf-Coastal Texas.  It has been a long road to plow (as my dear Mother used to put it), but I find now that our ‘garden’ (the garden that is life) is beginning to come-in quite nicely. 

It all began the day we pulled out of Jamaica Beach RV Resort; happy to be leaving the paved-but-posh confines of the best RV park on Galveston Island.  (Our opinions…and we’re sticking to it!)  I have to admit, our past experiences with campgrounds has left us with a bitter taste for such surroundings.  JBRV would have to be an exception…if you ask me.

Either way, and even though we would miss the hot tub, laundromat, pool…playground, and the charming little Seven Seas Grocery just across the road, we remained hopeful that we’d be well-on-our-way to actually gaining a semi-permanent address on Galveston Island.  The Blessings we’ve been met with since that day have been abundant.  We have been at our island home ever since; being lucky to have a very understanding landlord who knows what it means to start from the bottom and work your way up.  He has become somewhat of a friend since we’ve gotten to know him better. He has also taken Nico under his wing by teaching him a trade that my husband had never-before learned.  It brings to mind a saying I hold close to my thoughts: We never stop learning until we are no more. 

So there we were– we had a place…but not entirely.  Our very understanding landlord had taken a chance on us–renting us a lot, even though I know we appeared a rogue bunch.  We had made a deal that if we could rent the place ‘temporarily’, and set up Camp Peniki, we’d be hard-at-it to find a better-suited living quarters…to keep up appearances mostly, since we’d live in our old Campervan full-time if society allowed.  Had it just been us (Nico and I), we would still be out there…giving in to Wanderlust.  But most vandwelling souls with little n’s find out the hard way–like we have–that we really aren’t free after all when it comes to the way we are ‘allowed’ to live or be. 

So…we had a limited time to find a larger place to put on our really great lot…with a priceless view of the sunset…out over the bayou.  I set to work searching and combing the internet, selling everything we didn’t need in storage to raise the money for our new home.  Two weeks later, with half of our belongings sold and our storage half empty, we were on our way to get our new/old place: a vintage caravan in major need of some love.  Perhaps it was the way I had called and called the man to see if our ‘home’ was still there (I had already claimed it in my mind).  Maybe it was the desperation in my voice (I’ve never been very subtle with my emotions).  I guess I’ll never truly know.  All I do know is that he (the seller) took pity on us and ended up knocking $200 bucks off the price when we showed up with cash-in-hand.  It’s a very good thing too, cause without that extra money…we wouldn’t have made it back to Galveston with our new place. 

I know I’m just one of the numerous folks who believes that Blessings often come in disquise.  This was so true for us when it came to getting our caravan-home…home.   More than 24 hours later we finally pulled into our lot with what would become a full-time remodeling job.  As that day before had gone, we’d suffered a major blow out in Liberty, Texas…right in front of a church, where the pastor had just arrived, on Memorial Day weekend.  Due to the holiday and the late hour, no tire shops were open anywhere near the small town.  The nice preacher man Blessed us with the offering of allowing us to park our travel trailer there…safely in the church parking lot for the evening.  We all headed back to my Mother-in-law’s to stay the night, with hopes that we’d find a place to buy some spare trailer tires on a holiday Sunday.  It’s great to know people when you are in a desperate state to do business when everyone else is on vacation or just off work. 

Thank God we have good family to help us pull heavy things our old VW Van can’t; nice folks who know Nico’s family back in his home town; nice sellers on C List who don’t mind taking less and giving more to a family who was in need of a place to call home.  And even though it has been a steady stream of remodeling our badly damaged and neglected caravan, I can honestly say…”It sure is a great feeling to actually ‘own’ our home.  Bought and paid for; it may be small and not so pretty to some, but to us…it’s perfect! 

It’s all in how you look at things.  From where I’m sitting, this place is really coming around.  I’ll gladly be sharing photos of our remod when the time is right.  I hope it inspires some family…somewhere, to step off the crazy train of keeping up with the Jones’s, and live within (or below) their means.  We are so-very glad we made that leap! 

Blessings your way, from our Vagabond family to yours! 

.V.. (Peace),

GVR    

THE BIG MOVE TO G-TOWN– Week 1

Peniki & Uhaul Ready to go

Just a few months ago…we pulled into Galveston with everything we owned in a 17 foot U-Haul truck, and Peniki (our old Hippie van) safely strapped on a car trailer.  We were high on hope and full of dreams; we were.  Arriving at around 3 am, we found an out-of-the-way spot on the seawall, crawled up into our old VW on the car-hauler…and fell in ‘til morning.  We’d be heading over later to unload all of our stuff into our 10×15 storage unit that we’d pre-arranged weeks ahead of our move. 

So there we were, soundly sleeping…exhausted and happy to finally be in Galveston.  For several years we’d been trying to make a move.  For several years we’d been locked in the rent-race and living paycheck to paycheck; never enough money to save or travel.  Finally…we were really newbie transplants to the island—we were finally islanders. 

“Yes…!”  I said to myself as I awoke that morning to the sunrise out over the Gulf of Mexico.  It hadn’t all just been a dream after-all.  Baby was still soundly sleeping beside me.  Nico was next to her, still snoring away.  I knew he was road-weary after pulling such a rig for hundreds of miles.  I let them both sleep while I sat there and watched the sun come up.  It was beautiful!  Just as I’ve always thought the sunrise is astounding, this one seemed even better than I’d ever witnessed.  Perhaps it was because we had actually made the move and were trying to let it sink-in that we were in Galveston to stay and build our lives and a business; raise a child too.  It was a dream…coming to reality.

So, for a while…I just sat there, mesmerized by the moment that was my here-and-now.  I had no clue how it would all play-out: our establishing ourselves as islanders, our business launch, where we’d end up setting roots and living—in my father-in-law’s motorhome, was the initial plan—who we’d meet along the way, would we be met with success or failure.  I had so many questions that would have to go unanswered…for the time-being.  I wondered too if we’d find a way to get our music out there to the local music scene and start establishing ourselves as musicians more thoroughly in G-Town than we ever had in the city.  I was left to wonder so many things.  I would just have to wait and see.

Having enjoyed some quiet time to be alone with my thoughts, it wasn’t long before Nico was awake and back behind the wheel of the U-Haul truck; we had a busy day ahead of us…we knew.  Me and Baby just stayed sleeping inside Peniki while Nico pulled us a little ways down Seawall and around the corner to Taco Cabana; we were starving and needed to carve out a plan for the day.  Coffee…!  That was all I cared about at the time.  I needed some java-juice and I needed it quick!

A little while later, I was enjoying my black coffee…along with some really delicious bean and cheese tacos that tasted much better than I ever remembered them tasting before; even when we’d have them back in the Fort.  We scoped out the goings-on of our first morning as islanders: noticing that for everyone else, it was just another day.  The hustle and bustle—be-it at a slower pace—the tourists arriving or departing the island, the huge dinosaur-of-an-outdated-motorhome sitting a short distance away from us in the Randall’s parking lot.  I wondered about the occupants of that motorhome for some crazy reason: were they new to the island, had they just gotten here or been here for a while?  To this day, I still don’t know why I gave them a second thought. 

Funny…the things I wonder and think about!  I scare myself at times.  And while I couldn’t actually know about what was going on for other folks, I knew for us, it was the start of a different life; one we’d been trying to transition to for quite some time.  We just sat there and enjoyed ourselves and the down-time we knew wouldn’t last once we got to storage.  It was a morning that will forever stand-out in my memory as the day we arrived; when Galveston made islanders of former city folks.  We so-welcomed the change.    

 

Crossing Texas In A VW Campervan

Lunching With My Chitlins at Hollywood and Vine in Glen Rose, Texas.

Lunching With My Chitlins at Hollywood and Vine in Glen Rose, Texas.

I guess when you have no where to be at any given time, you lose all track of the hours, days, weeks…months.  That’s pretty much how we had been until we drove back across the Texas state line.  Even if we did enjoy our drive on the biways of Tejas, we realized with each mile we came closer to home, that our journey would soon be ending and we’d once again be back in the rat-race.

Some years back, I finally realized that me and the rat race…don’t mix.  People are always in a hurry, they cut you off; even flip you off at times, and they really have no good reason to race to the finish line.  We’ll all have our day at the finish line.  I’m in no hurry to get there.  Which is why our old girl Peniki is the perfect mode of transportation for our little family.

I swear, that old VW can get around town just fine, but she has to go at her own speed.  Being a classic Volkswagen Westfalia, I’d like to think our van has earned seniority in mileage.  Either way, she got us back home…safe and sound.

So many miles we had traveled, and by the end of the day…we were pulling into Fort Worth.  I could hardly wait to see my kids, even though I was already missing the travel…and the next destination; knowing we’d no longer be spending our nights in Peniki.  I was sad for that.

It wasn’t long after our return that we settled back into the old routine, but our journey was still fresh on our minds.  We knew we would have to go again, but we didn’t know quite when.

Here we are, almost 2 years later, and the wanderlust is swelling up inside of us both, though we realize we have responsibilities and Baby is now older with a mind of her own.  It was so easy when she was in her playpen.  We could set up camp while she played safely in her space.

Now, she wanders everywhere and is like a little octopus with too many hands in too many things.  But, she comes by that honestly.  Nico and I are both exploring spirits with curious minds as well.  And there is still so much more to explore.

*Live The Life You Love*