We hope you enjoy The Journey into nature. Fair Winds and Happy Travels!
.V.. (Peace) & Love,
We hope you enjoy The Journey into nature. Fair Winds and Happy Travels!
.V.. (Peace) & Love,
The hardest thing about sitting still for long, is being at-odds with two sides of myself. To plant…or not to plant a garden. With Spring in the air, it’s impossible to resist sprinkling a few seeds about…just to watch them grow…for as long as I am here in this one place.
No, I realize, I cannot take a garden with me when we do actually pull our Mermaid Mansion on down the road. But I can at least enjoy the fruits of my labor while enjoying this island life for a little while longer. –Or until our old vintage relic-of-a-tiny-home-on-wheels is ready to roll. She still has a ways to go, and her tires are pretty lifeless; so new rubber is tops on our list of To-Do’s…when it comes to setting our nomadic spirits free once again.
For now…here I sit, writing a few words and thoughts; struggling still with two extremely different sides of me. In the meant-time, when I’m not writing, chances are I’ll be out back…digging and planting the ‘bit of earth’ I’ve been Blessed to call mine…for now. Never mind that it is only borrowed.
Do any of us ever really own the land on-which we sit…live…or garden? I know we cannot take it with us when we go. But we can sure enjoy the smell of soil on our hands, sifting through our fingers, and the scent of sweet blossoms before they bear fruit. I can only live in the moment and enjoy what life has brought my way. And when we do ‘set sail’, and Mermaid Mansion is bumping down the highway…to destinations unknown, I’ll gaze out the window…with the scenery zipping by, and I’ll embrace that moment with every ounce of my being. –Ever-so grateful for the change it will bring.
*Embrace every moment* **Live for today!**
Our power was shut off today–just like that! With the flip of a switch (or whatever they do to shut off power) everything went quiet. Baby was watching Veggietales on VHS (Yes…! We still watch those. : )P ) and all-of-a-sudden, a quiet click…and silence. She looked at me, and I just thought for a moment we had overloaded the breaker. Then I realized, we were only running one little T.V. and the fridge. That wouldn’t cause a shut down.
Then…I remembered that pink paper that had arrived in the mail about a week or so ago; the one that said we needed to pay our bill by such-and-such date, or ZAP! –We’d be cut off. Ooops! Guess I forgot to note that little ‘pink slip’. So…I located the oh-so-colorful notice, and…sure-enough, the last day to pay was…(YIKES) yesterday! ‘Guess that might have had something to do with our lack of power. : /
In an instant, I was on the phone with a ‘robot customer service rep’; giving away most of the money we had left. I was told our power would be back on between “…two hours time and midnight tonight.” Oh well…! Those are the breaks when you forget to pay the power piper.
Which brings me back to the instant after our power went off. Most folks would feel quite defeated, upset, perhaps even come unglued. Me…? I felt a calmness, a peaceful feeling of quiet and comfort at the absence of that hum of being on the grid of power. The feeling I had was akin to having a huge boulder (the burden of bills) being lifted off of my shoulders. I sighed a relief in that very moment.
Explaining the sudden interruption of cartoons to my little-one took some persuading, but soon…we were outside, playing in the yard…rummaging around in Peniki. I was wishing we were still living and traveling in our old hippie van. I love that van…more than I’ve ever loved any material object! I’m not sure why, other than she has saved us from homelessness several times. She has hosted many afternoons of laughter, even a few tears, and reading in the quiet comforts of her fold down bed; the dim light powered by Mother Nature, and solar power (off the grid!).
I thought today, after the power shut down, about just how vulnerable we all are! How we rely so completely on the grid of power, the water department, the gas company…and any others we succumb to on a monthly basis. It makes me miss our vagabond days in Peniki, that much more. I know it’s the wave of the future, going solar and such. For a while now, I’ve felt there would be a paradigm shift towards a freer alternative to working to pay bills…just to work to pay bills…just to work, to pay bills. It’s an endless cycle. We all get snared.
Even still, I can’t stop thinking about how I responded to the cutting off of our power today. It was a reality check, if-you-will. –An insight into true freedom…and independence from working just to pay for stuff we really weren’t meant to have in the first place. We’ve all gone soft! And been forced to rely on something, for the sake of the vicious cycle.
Like the Native Americans, or natives of any land, we weren’t meant to live on the grid, get our pre-packaged food from the stores, pay others to build our homes…caravans…whatever abode we choose. We, as able-bodied humans, were given all the necessary skills to nurture, so we…ourselves, could rely on we…ourselves.
Though we are now backed into a corner, most of us. Not only do we need gasoline to fuel our vehicles, but we also buy so many things that are manmade of artificial ingredients (plastic, instead of paper, driving instead of riding a bike (which is also made of plastics and such), or better-yet, going back to the horse and caravan (buggie) days. I realize how much I alone, have contributed to the endless cycle of spinning our wheels to go nowhere but to work…to pay bills we were never really meant to have.
So, in a nutshell: I’m thinking even more now than ever before, about getting off the grid. Instead of paying a monthly electric bill, have solar and wind power…along with sufficient batteries for power. –Relying on natural burning fuel (propane canisters) for heat, cooking, and hot water. –Using candles, oil lamps, and battery lighting to light our place after dark.
I know…! Not quite off the grid, because we’d still be relying on plastics, artificial fuels and such. Still, I know which way I’d like to go with being independent of utilities companies and bills. I’m quite sure, in our day and age, it wouldn’t be allowed. As the Good Book says, Man will dominate man to his own injury (to paraphrase).
As for me, I’ll take the ‘rough road’ any day. I somehow feel, the path less taken is much more worth the effort and opposition I am likely to face along the way. And I’ll take the peace and quiet of off-grid living, and the time (which no amount of money can buy back) I will have with my family…instead of working endless hours–a lifetime– to pay for the ‘so called’ easy life. Nah..! Not for me. And I know I’m not alone on this. The world is coming around. I see it coming–soon…soon.
It seems to me that there’s been a spike in popularity when it comes to folks wanting to mimic the Gipsy way of life. Well, let me just say; it looks pretty and all (the clothing styles, the caravans painted bright exotic colors) from the outside looking in, but in reality, it’s a very hard-fought way of life. I cannot claim to be a Gipsy by origin , though we’ve been referred to as-such many times (hence the name Gypsy Vin Rose).
I can however, resonate with the way of life: moving often, though not as often as one might like, for lack of money (no residual income or retirement to keep us going); doing anything…everything to make a living (which often includes salvaging items from curbsides to sell…or selling aluminum/metal, thus saving it from the landfills); playing music for measly tips and meager offerings of passersby…but performing or playing for the love of music; living in a trailer (though many frown-down their noses at such living arrangements); shying away from many situations where crowds or socializing is involved (most Gypsies like to keep to themselves); overcoming the pressures to conform to societal molds; persecution for not being, or living, like everyone else; homeschooling of children, to keep them from the influences of others; being seen as outcasts by many mainstreamers, though they all want to act like Gypsies.
I could go on and on, when it comes to how actually living like…or being a Gipsy is different from just saying you are a Gypsy. Most folks are just full of a lot of hot air, though very few want to make the sacrifices or give up their luxury autos or 2 story brick monstrosities, nor do they want to scrounge for a living or live small in a trailer. They do, however, have no problem with saying they are Gipsy and dressing the part for their own image-appeal.
One thing that comes to my mind when I do see so many trying to play the part is: if you’re going to talk about it…try being about it. It’s not an easy way of life when you don’t have thousands to spend on travel, and you feel the need to keep on the move to avoid persecution. That is the Gipsy way of life.
I just wanted to share. Agree or disagree. It is….what it is.
Blessings & .V..
So…we went inland for the Easter holiday, to see family in La Porte. Funny how we’ve blended into the weave of fellow IBC’s (Islanders by Choice) here on our Gulf Coastal Island home. Even still, we long for the water, the rocking back and forth of our sailboat, the clinking of the masts in the wind. We visited with a local marina the day after Easter, after we got back to the island from a second trip to La Porte in two days because Nico left his phone at his Mom’s the day before. I have to admit, that day was a good one: lunching with Nico’s dad (the baby’s only living Grandpa), the lolly-gag-of-a-drive back to the island, the visit to the marina…and the smell of the water…down along the slips.
My wanderlust is really getting to me these days, and I miss our sailboat more and more. If not this year, since we just can’t bring ourselves to sell our old girl, I think next year we’ll certainly be bringing our boat to her new island home. For now, Nico and I are still working on new tunes for Gypsy Vin Rose, and getting ready to start touring…again. Gigs…? Well, that’s another story. If only we could get around the little problem of ‘no sitter’ and no room for another passenger (Grandma) in the Peniki van, we’d be good to go.
For now, I continue to write songs, and work on getting my voice back after a long battle with the crud. Honing my mandolin skills, while continuing to remodel our old Gypsy Caravan and Island home Mermaid Mansion is the way I’ve been spending my days lately. That…and going to the beach almost every day, if we’re not biking to Nixi’s favorite play park, has become our Island way-of-life. I can’t complain, though I sure do miss the smell of our boat, and the cold spray of water splashing up onto the deck as we cut through the waves…sailing into the sunset.
I guess you could say I’m kind of ‘sea sick’, though in an entirely different way. I miss the water, instead of being sick from it. : ) So for now, I’ll just remember-when, and continue to work on decorating Mermaid Mansion. This week…I’m sewing new couch cushions. And I must admit, I am so very proud of the way our old caravan is ‘coming about’! Next up…sewing a custom quilt for Nixi. I have the kewlest Hippie Van fabric I bought from Ebay, which I’ll pair with a flower child sort-of print. I can hardly wait to see how it turns out! I’ll post pics for anyone who wants to see how it all comes together.
For now, I think I’ll get back to my stitch-witchery, and making my vintage trailer a comfortable island home. Cheers to all who read my scribblings, and Blessings to those of you who comment. : ) And…Fair Winds to all you salty Sailors and deep-sea Pirates out there. May you find true happiness…just over the horizon.
Yesterday, we finally broke-away from the remodeling chaos, and took Baby down to the Strand District…here on Galveston Island. It was her very first ‘Claus Encounter’, and it went really well. But…I think Daddy might’ve embarrassed her just a little. ; )
It’s a rarity these days, for us to get out-and-about–I hate to admit–and just see the sites that our new hometown has to offer. The cost of such an afternoon? Nada! Which is about all we have to spend after Christmas shopping. Still, I have to say, our little tour of Downtown Galveston, and the Santa Claus photo shoot with Baby and Gypsy Vin Rose, was a huge success!
Next year, Santa…we’ll see ya again! Same time…same place! And we promise, we’ll be good in 2014.
Blessings to All this Christmas…New Years…and Always!
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..
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!