Well, this week, it’s been a year since we sold Someone Else’s American Dream and moved to the sticks. Been quite a year. Among the hardest of my life, in fact, in spite of what the idyllic pictures may lead you to believe. Right up there with the year I went into the Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands where someone ate my dog, and the year I became a mother to the world’s most amazing baby. With colic.
So I thought I’d take a moment to recap the year, kinda as a way to remind myself how much we’ve accomplished. Because I sure didn’t plan to be still in this RV at this point.
Things we’ve managed to do in a year:
– Sell our million dollar plus home and unload thirty years of debt.
– Buy nine plus acres of gorgeous chapparal land without taking out a mortgage.
– Acquire a fifth-wheel RV, plop it on the land, and called it home.
– Figure out how to get mail delivered to a non-existent address.
– Buy a shipping container and get it over a dinky bridge so we could store our overload of stuff.
– Put up a geodesic dome together as a family.
– Design-build a kickass outdoor shower.
– Create the most awesome shower/outhouse, using rainwater as our source.
– Build a composting toilet, humanure compost bin, and close the loop on our septic waste.
– Build garden boxes and start growing our own food.
– Set up a worm bin, cold compost and manage our own garbage.
– Sell the minivan and buy a natural gas vehicle and pickup truck with cash.
– Build a clothesline system.
Things we’ve learned the hard way:
– Don’t put up a home in the direct sun, or you’ll spend way more time and money figuring out insulation, venting and shading.
– RV toilets are disgusting.
– Wind is windy and mud is muddy.
– You have to water a garden for things to grow.
– You have to put a fence around a garden for critters not to eat it before you do.
– Building anything takes way more time than you thought.
– That you really, really took for granted having a dishwasher and wash machine.
– That humane mouse traps are humane because they don’t actually catch anything.
– That no matter how much you love wildlife, you’d better deal with the mice before they squat in your RV and refuse to leave.
– Ditto ants.
– That frogs miraculously appear after a good rain, that tadpoles miraculously appear after that, and that tadpoles miraculously turn into frogs.
– That Ohlone used to call our land home, and left behind bedrock mortar evidence.
– That leverage is probably the answer to your building challenge.
– That a rope swing over the pond is, in fact, more of a priority than a toilet.
– That we’re pretty darned creative and resilient. Even more so than we ever imagined.
– That going through something this hard brings out the worst in you.
– That going through something this hard brings out the best in you.
Wonder what the next year will bring. I sure hope it includes moving into the dome, counter space, chickens, a dog, less mouse poop, food from our garden, dates with Mauricio where I actually put on makeup and something other than work boots, more time reading with the kids on the hammock.
And writing about it. That makes me happy.