Installing a Camper Canvas on a VW Bus — With the Top On

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Reaching That Fork in the Road

Home on the Beach -- Galveston Island

Home on the Beach — Galveston Island

Today, I’m thoroughly enjoying the first Saturday Nico has had off in about a year or so.  Yes…we’ve somehow fallen back into a life of being ‘wage slaves’!  –Not what we had planned when we moved to the island.  Somewhere, we took a wrong turn, and…here we are.  Stuck in the mud…again!

So we’re once again standing at a fork in the road that will lead us to ‘the rest of our lives’.  –I rewind to 2010; back when we sold everything (save a few personal items that went to storage), bought our 71 VW Camper Van ‘Peniki’, and stepped out of the rat race.

Those were the times we cherish, to this day!  We wonder how did we get burdened down again, with bills, too much stuff.  Even though we no longer keep a storage, and live in less than 200 sq.ft of space.  I know we live small by most folks’ need for ‘necessities’.  I still feel we are ‘trapped’ in an endless…useless cycle of monotony.

On one hand, we have to earn a living.  The earnings from which go to endless expenses that get us nowhere.  The time I spend throughout the day is for Baby, teaching her…guiding her, cooking breakfast…lunch…dinner, cleaning, and a ton of piddle-y things that seemingly go unnoticed…for the most part.  Time with Baby and Hubby, is the best part of my day.  Though it isn’t always time well-enough spent.

My meaning of this, you ask?  Well, often times we’ll be side by side with someone, in the same room, the same dwelling, but we are not engaged with them.  We are all doing our own thing.  –Like right now…this very moment:  I sit writing, Baby is watching cartoons, and Nico is putting his time-in piddling around outside.  We are not together, but we are still so close.

Which brings me back to our vagabond days in Peniki.  We were so close in many ways–watching the world passing by at 55 mph, as we sat gazing (holding hands…Nico and I)…talking about everything we wanted to do and the things we had already done, the miles we’d covered.  I’d look back at our babyyounger then, and she’d be sleeping or looking around at everything that needed to be discovered.  –And, all was right with where we were, where we were headed.

Back then, if anyone had asked if I’d like to be anywhere else, I’d have truthfully, and quickly, answered “No.  This is where I’ve always wanted to be!  –On the road to discovery, bumping down the highway from place to place, seeing new faces, and experiencing new adventures.  My family by my side.”

These days, if someone were to ask the same question, I would undoubtedly have my answer as-to which fork in the road we should take.  Getting there, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.  The secret of life is that one thing, something different for everyone (from City Slickers).  It’s so simple, yet…it is so very difficult (to paraphrase a passage in Caroline Myss’ Anatomy of the Spirit).  The fork we should choose in our road, I know, will be a very bumpy one.  The journey begins today.

Many Blessings & .V..

GVR

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.

 

Beach Bum Scribblings

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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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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*