When you get caught up in going too many directions at once in life. What we did to simplify and find our True North once again.
*Click Link Below*
*Click Link Below*
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..
Starting Your Career After 40 —
I’ve been thinking a lot about our music today. I guess, in all reality, I think a lot about it each and every day; even in my dreams. Even though, by societies mold, I might be considered a bit past my prime to get my musical career off the ground, music is still inside…the songs keep coming.
In my dreams…when I’m awake, in the early morning hours, the rare quiet times throughout the day…even when I’m driving, a song is always on my horizon of thoughts. So…in my heart, I know, He is giving me his Blessing to keep at it. –As long as you still believe, the music is always there.
But I’m the kind of person–what most folks don’t realize–who doesn’t like to be restricted by labels or molds. If-ever anyone says I can’t do something, or they come across as unbelievers of my dreams (i.e. our musical ambitions), then I make it a point to prove them wrong. It may take a little time to situate myself, but I’ll eventually have my day in the sun.
Still, I feel I’ve learned a lesson by these types of occurrences, and certain people who I’ve come in contact with over the years, whether good or bad. I’ve discovered that some folks feel uncomfortable with anyone who doesn’t blend in with the mold of normalcy. –Something I’ve never been any good at!
For me, anything worth dreaming is certainly worth the rugged climb or a few hurdles of nay-sayers, trying to build themselves up…by bringing someone else down (I know we’ve all had these kinds of encounters). Besides, anyone who’s anybody knows–if you allow your dreams to be corralled into the mold other’s deem fitting for you, you’ll never get anywhere but right where they wish for you to stay. I for one, choose to break the mold of the norm, and prove these small thinkers wrong. A life worth living is certainly worth jumping over a few hurdles to get there!
*Never let anyone keep you down*
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.
One things for sure–us Nomadic Spirits rarely enjoy sitting still for long. There’s always someplace else calling us there…anywhere…any time of day, night…year. Sitting still is really getting this little ‘woman with wanderlust‘ to feeling low. But I keep telling myself, it’s for the good of remodeling our caravan home–Mermaid Mansion. She’s coming about quite nicely, I must admit to myself. Being stationary has had its ups; that’s for sure!
Though, on the other hand, it’s had its ‘downs’ as well. Such is life! And I know I’m babbling like a flooded brook, but sometimes this is my only outlet to shake the thoughts out of my crowded head: releasing it all out into the world for complete strangers–perhaps some friends–to read.
I write…! That’s what I do, And lately, I’ve been seriously working on photography. This month, I was ecstatic to have one of my nature shots featured in Galveston Monthly Magazine. I’ve since submitted more photos for consideration; I enjoyed it so much! It’s kinda got me hooked now, on sharing my photos and taking new and interesting photos of whatever I feel might be eye-catching.
So, I guess sitting still isn’t so bad after all! There are so many things I love about living on an island, but the seaweed is getting quite old; mounded up as high as the seawall, and smoldering to a terrible stink for locals and visitors (Poor visitors who actually spent money to get here!) to smell when we get anywhere near the beach. : / Though, on the bright side, I know it is just Mother Nature’s and Mother Ocean’s way of teaming up to cure all that man has made sick about the earth and ocean. I’m hoping we all don’t get burped right off the globe some day! It could happen!
And my garden, thanks to the very earth-friendly seaweed, has never been better! I swear–I’ve yet to see taller, healthier tomato plants…ever! Especially not in my own garden. But this year, after having lavished plenty of seaweed and compost on my bare garden patch last winter, my little caravan kitchen garden is super productive.
So, like any Gypsy-at-heart, Nomadic wanderer, I am beginning to preserve my Blessings from Mother Earth…and Mother Ocean (seaweed). After all, I must be ready with an abundance of provisions, for the day we hit the road. To where we go, could be anyone’s guess! The journey is always the best part.
But that leaves us with one more dilemma–whether to go by land…or by sea. I think I hear the ‘clanking of the mast’, the whipping of the sails, and a whisper from the wind…calling my name from somewhere afar!
*Where does a woman with Wanderlust go…? Everywhere her heart leads.*
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.
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.
No matter where I go, there’s always a song in my head. Sometimes it’s one of the songs my husband and I have already written and composed for our Indie duo Gypsy Vin Rose, but more-often-than-not, it’s an entirely new tune that comes to me at any time of day, no matter what I’m doing. Many times, I dream these new songs – just small tidbits for me to go on – and if I’m lucky enough to salvage a clip when I wake up, I will quickly make a recording (no matter how bad it sounds in the early morning hours), scribbling down any lyrics I can recall. With time and effort, a lot of tweaking too, I will have a new song if I dedicate what is needed to my craft…for such an accomplishment to ever be heard by others.
Facing all the restrictions of a next-to-nothing recording budget, a toddler screaming her own verse in the background while we try to practice, the lack of equipment and zero time to dedicate to our craft (because we are still keeping afloat with a regular job). I often feel helpless as I see our dreams falling by the wayside. Still, the songs in my head won’t let me give up – the dreams I dream won’t let me quit on Gypsy Vin Rose. The fire is still there inside of me…on a low, but steady, flame.
Last night I dreamt of Bob Marley, he didn’t speak, but I could hear him anyway. I knew his thoughts…I knew his feelings. He wanted me to keep with it, he wanted to help. I just wanted to be where ever he was, but he somehow just kept disappearing. I searched, but he was gone…and I felt alone…desperate to find him once more. I’m not sure what to make of that dream, but I enjoyed being where I was; lost somewhere in the dream realm.
I believe that dreams are symbolic; never meaning what most people might think they represent. I know last night’s dream doesn’t mean I’m thirsting for the man himself, but…rather the music and the freedom of expression for which he sang, for which he stood. He was a good man, I believe. I wish I could’ve known him.
Still, there are dreams like this one…that keep me going, when it comes to the songs I write and compose. I remember past performances, when I was flying solo as an artist, before I met Nico…my husband and the other half to Gypsy Vin Rose. I always felt more alive…more like ‘me’, on the stage; even if I was mostly singing the songs of other artists. But I was never prepared at the right time; and most artists know…timing is everything, talent is a must, but luck plays a very big role as well. The time I had a radio interview, but no CD’s ready to offer, always comes to mind when I think of being prepared for anything…everything in music.
I also think back to the time I met a big-time Sony Record Producer backstage at one of my musician friend’s concerts. The producer – his name was Rob – asked me for a demo, but like always…I wasn’t prepared. But he was a very nice man…and he thought I had the look, the image, so he offered me his business card, scribbled some contact information on the back – confessing that he never does business when he’s drinking – and we parted ways. I guess most folks might think I’d never hear from him again, but I did. The sad thing was that we just kept playing phone tag, until…I guess he just gave up on me. It just wasn’t meant to be at that time, is all I keep telling myself.
Deep within my very being, I know I should never give up, no matter if I am on-up-there in years now, no matter if all the odds seem to be stacked against me…and GVR. I look to the bright side, forever the optimist, and cling to the fact that I have been able to pick up the mandolin at my age, and actually learn to play it; composing my own songs after barely a few months of playing. That, to me, is reassuring! Knowing, already, that when it comes to recording our songs…we have that down too, since Nico discovered when he recorded his instrumental composition of The Journey in our van, that Hippie Van Studios has great acoustical sound…and no toddler screaming in the background.
The dream keeps the music alive with us…within me, the songs just keep playing in my head, and my heart still races at the thought of being up on stage…performing once again. But, I have to admit that the best part of that waking-dream is…I know the next time I am up on stage using the talent that He has given, I’ll finally be singing and playing…my very own tune.
I finally finished the van curtains a few weeks back; ‘just now getting around to writing about it though. So are the days of a Nomad trying to prep for more travels.
If I had my way, we’d live in a different state every MONTH. I really can’t describe this wandering feeling that tends to overcome me when the warm winds begin to blow. Actually (correction), it comes w/o notice, but it is so intense that I can’t possibly ignore it; like a gravitational pull in another direction.
Either way…I’ll be happy to wake up each morning to the new van curtains I designed/sewed just recently. It felt good to create something of such use to us and our privacy/happiness/comfort when we are on the road or camping-out in our Westy.
‘Just a little longer. I can hardly contain my excitement. We’ll soon be seeing the sun rise/set from where ever we land.
Happy Travels to all! ‘Livin the dream!!! Because, life’s too short not to.