To say 2018 was a trying year would be putting it mildly. We have had other stressful years, more than I care to count, but his one hit us hard.
I don’t want to go on and on while writing this blog, but I also need to be honest about how things really are here off the grid.
It’s not for everyone. It’s not that bad as far as modern conveniences go, we have electricity (we have to watch what we use on cloudy days). We have water, (we use about 60 gallons per week) and Dave has to haul it. We have a roof over our heads, a warm bed (the window still leaks, but we deal).
I minimize most of the inconvenient parts, but when the weather is extreme it gets hard. The summers are brutal, the winter is not quite so bad, but we have two old dogs living in close quarters that drag in mud and shed constantly. At least we stay warm. The house is always a mess, so if I don’t invite you in, that is the reason. Too small and too doghouse like.
There are days when I question our sanity, especially since we are now facing our third winter here in this small camper. We do get out and walk the dogs twice a day and I go to town several times a week, which helps a lot.
It’s just that…I have always loved Christmas. I love to decorate, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving to be over, so I can drag out all of my decorations and the tree. I love cooking, baking and giving gifts. I love to think of things that will surprise people and hopefully they will remember who gave the gift and why I gave it to them. So…
This is very hard in here with all the dog hair, stuff and lack of space to be able to get in the spirit of Christmas. I know that isn’t the reason for Christmas, to decorate, or have lights on your house, but I also know how I feel when I see those ornaments that I’ve had almost all of my life on my Christmas tree. I feel nostalgic and the memories of past Christmas’ come rushing back. Times when I was a little girl or when my kids were small, it’s those things that cross my mind and make my heart sad.
I know I could decorate a tree outside, maybe that will be the solution this year, but I feel like there is something more missing. It’s not the stuff, it’s not the inability to bake, or cook a holiday meal, no there is something far bigger missing.
The chance to connect. I love to host and bring folks together, to share my home, food and fellowship with friends and family during the holidays. For now, I’m stuck up here on the mountain alone, waiting for everyone else to make decisions about where and when to have dinners and if we will be included.
My kids are great about having us be a part of their kids’ Christmas if they can, but I long to have the grandkids spend the night, bake cookies, walk in the snow and tell them the real meaning of Christmas. So, right now it’s not in the cards.
Yes, 2018 was difficult, we even thought our dream of the earthship may be crushed by those who don’t understand that all we really wanted to do out here was to live in peace and harmony with the land instead of taking from it.
We lost so many friends and loved ones, they moved onto the next life without us, and we are left here to pick up our lives. We are still reeling from all of that.
We have adjusted our sails on our ship once again. We need to remember that God’s timing is not always our timing. That lesson seems to be hard for us to learn in this time of instant gratification. Then there are those well-meaning folks that suggest we just scrap our plans and put in a doublewide and call it good. That’s sort of missing the whole point of this journey. So far, we haven’t given up completely.
A big help is all of you. Whenever I see someone or they message me and tell me they are keeping up with us and watching how we are, it gives me more courage. Is it hard? Yes, and no. Can we stick it out? I certainly hope so. Will the plans change? Absolutely, especially when God leads us a different way.
For now, we are here, trying to be patient with the slow process of this life. I am reminded of the settlers of the old west. They had to scrape and work for every bit they got. They build soddies, then eventually homes of wood.
Life for us isn’t bad, it’s just different.
Peace and Love to you all at this holiday season.
But the angel of the Lord said to them “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; his name is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”