Living Big in a VW Campervan Bus

— Living Big…and Traveling Small —

Key West Road Trip in a VW Westfalia:  In our second stretch of the journey to Florida, we stopped at beautiful Kisatchie National Forest in central Lousiana.  We hope our adventures inspire you and your family to live on the simple side of life.

Love & .V.. (Peace) to You and Yours!

GVR

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Boycotting the Power Grid

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 meAnd I know I’m not alone on this.  The world is coming around.  I see it coming–soon…soon.

 

Learning to Let Go

To cut to the chase, this has been quite a week…indeed!  Nico had four days off from work, and we had big plans for our mini-vaca…then I had to go and get sick!  Ugh!!!  *cave woman is back*  Even still, I kept up so-as-not to ruin the fun; riding bikes to pirate play park…only to get caught in the rain (that REALLY didn’t help); the next day riding down to the bayou (in 35 to 40 mile an hour winds), then wondering why I felt worse?  I guess you could say, I was in denial that I had fell victim to the crud!  No matter how you define it, it’s never good.

So, here I am…nearing the weekend, still balling up tissues like they’re going out of style.  My nose is raw, my throat is scratchy and hoarse, and my head aches.  Not to mention the ‘drama’ we’ve had this week: the dumb A neighbor shooting over the fence…very near our house, and the spectacle that followed; my oldest child getting mad at me…(again!), and trashing me on ‘fakebook’ all over again.  Only this time, I fought back and let her little butt have it!  She deleted me from her list, so I doubt she saw my final attempt to correct the grown-up child I should corrected years ago.  I can only hope and pray that she will overcome whatever it is that is troubling her so much.  I might think it’s me if it weren’t for her flipping out on her brother just a few days before.  I fear the worst, but still keep my faith.  I guess I still can’t let go.

Speaking of letting go…  In light of the ‘events’ of this past few days, I have come to that place (You know the one where I realize I am not where I want to be–not doing what I feel I am meant to do), once again, and am now in full-blown Wanderlust mode!  I knew I couldn’t fight it for long.  :  (  It’s just who I am.  I am a nomadic spirit, never meant to sit still for long.  I do everything I can to pacify my time in one place, but it never fails; the ‘clever North wind always find me’. 

Today I’ve been thinking of Homochitto National Forest…in Mississippi.  The Grandfather Pines are whispering to me from afar, my Spirit feels more alive at the thought of loading Peniki and taking to the road; never to look back….never to return…to keep seeking-out new adventures of life.  Just picturing when we were there, makes me feel…home sick.  It’s something I cannot explain.  I just know, this place…where we are now, is not our final stop; unless, of course, He has other plans.  

In the meantime, we’ve decided to start ‘letting go’…again.  It’s time to start lighting our load once more, and readying for the road.  And while it might take ’til next year for us to get underway.  I know at this point in my life, I am more than ready to let go!  

Blessings & .V.

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Hippie Van Travels: Camping on St. George Island

Remembering a wonderful stop along our Hippie Van Road Trip — St. George Island in the Florida panhandle!

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Have Hippie Van…Will Travel

Beach Camping on Gulf of Mexico

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G Town — Week 1 In Photos

East Beach Sunrise

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Family Road Trip — Mississippi through Louisiana to Texas