|<< Zion to Texas|
Leaving Texas was easy. We were simply taking a vacation to see some friends. Gonna come back and drop back into patterns, work, and lacquer. Somehow coming back didn't feel like any of that. Coming back felt like starting over. Just like it felt when we left in 2001 and started our journey. There was something about coming back that left us with a sort of depressive, confused, and alone type of feeling. Yet, with a responsibility to put all this new perspective into action. Not patterns. The feeling of the trip being over with the UnpluggedFamily seemed to be the hardest. Over the intense time together, we literally felt like soul mates. None of us could really understand at the time what we were feeling and why. But we had a birthday party to get to, so we all put on our smiley faces and resumed the plan.
We swung by and picked up Sarah and Nate, Salem's sister and brother in law to head over to surprise Isaac. Yep, more people to fit into our RV after two Families living in it for a week!
Doesn't matter how many people are inside, these two can get the love on anytime.
We stopped right before we got to Isaac's house to write birthday messages all over the RV windows! He has no idea we are all coming to surprise him!
As we were planning on what to write, Austin was secretly planning on writing Git R Done on the window. It didn't make it.
As we approached Isaac's house, we sounded our hand held air horns, RV horns, and had all the Families inside the RV yelling and screaming out the windows. Isaac heard the noise and started to peek out the door. His face was priceless.
We all ran out the RV door to hug him carrying balloons, gifts, and a fully iced down chest of his favorite beer ~ Miller High Life! (it's the champagne of beers ya know)
Two A-Hole bald men hugging. Apologies to the kids about the exposed butthead here.
Isaac said he was genuinely shocked and overjoyed at the sight of all the Families coming to surprise him. This was very hard to plan and keep it secret since we all talk all the time.
Isaac busted out his first champagne in pure happiness.
Then shook it up and sprayed it Nascar style. Yep, those are beer deprived kids gettin' a sprinkle.
OHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHH! ~ from the depths of a deep soul.
After the party at Isaac's house, it came time to leave the UnpluggedFamily for the first time in weeks and head back to our RV. They were going to be in town for a week or so, but this was really hard to do. We quietly left the party and gathered our things from their RV and loaded up in their Jeep tow car to head home. We found ourselves literally holding back tears while doing this and as we got closer to leaving, the UnpluggedFamily came over and joined us for one last hug as the group that we had been for two weeks now. We broke down in tears as we held onto each other saying goodbye to our Living' it Up Tour '06. We had experienced so much in the last two weeks, shared so many private stories, celebrated the union we had become, embraced the crazy travel details for the ABC Nightline film project, spread Hannah's ashes, connected with all the other Families, stayed up late talking, laughing, and crying, walking dogs at 3 am, supporting one another in the pursuit of Family. And now it comes time to say goodbye to it all. WTF?
As we got in the car and started to drive off we looked at each one of the UnpluggedFamily in the eye and quietly whispered I love you to each other. It was hard to see them there on the curb and harder to drive off in their car, requiring we see them the next day?!? As we got onto the highway we listened to the new Barenaked Ladies CD they bought for us and every song on that CD somehow had a direct tie to just how we were feeling about these guys and this time in our life. We laughed. We cried. We contemplated.
On our way home to a place that we don't like anymore, to an RV that has turned out to be a mechanical, maintenance, and financial mess ~ yet somehow we were full of new life and perspective.
Perhaps we should sell our stuff and hit the road?
Guess how the kids were feeling...
The UnpluggedFamily stayed in town for a few more days in order to celebrate Faith's 6th birthday. We made sure to spend whatever time we could with them before they left. At the time we were feeling so heavy to make difficult changes in our life and they were the most comforting spirits for us during this time. Being with Faith is an indescribable feeling of love, acceptance, and peace.
Considering the other heathens were slamming each other on the football field.
Isaac led the kids in the water balloon toss that ended up turning on him... literally. With some private coaching of Greg telling them to throw the balloons at Isaac when he says go...
The kids enjoyed the extra frosting cupcakes Salem bought for them.
Elijah eats very daintily. He's the only one of us that went to finishing school.
Not Isaac, Jr.
Yep, those are our boys. Our Family. One. Crazy. Family.
Faith opened her well deserved birthday gifts. Faith is one of the kindest and gentle human beings in this world. She is so pure in her heart and so fun to be with. There can't be enough nice things said about her. We love that she is one of our best friends in the whole wide world.
Just like her mama.
After the long trip and activities with the Lehr's and Unpluggeds, we were open to so many more possibilities to set ourselves free from the lacquer our RV had become to us. When we bought the thing (in 2000) a year before we hit the road full time, we were still working for Dell and had an abundance of cash, so naturally (stupidly) we spent more than we really needed to (ego sucks). We were in the mind set that we needed a big RV to live in. We needed for it to look a certain way. We needed to have the best we could at the time. Turns out through all of the years on the road what we needed we already had. Ourselves.
Back in February '06, we had settled into an Austin 'trailer park'. So much so that we built walls under our awning. Walls! Walls that can't MOVE!
After years of sacrificing and working way too hard to keep something that was still representing our old life, we realized that it was now time to move on. To free ourselves from more of the lacquer holding us back and part of the reason we have felt like crap for two whole years now. The cost had become too great.
We happily worked together as we tore down the walls inside of us and the walls that locked us inside the RV. We now have the belief that we can move on from this. That we don't need to keep feeling this way. That we had the love and support around us to make a transition. We are excited about moving into something smaller, more manageable, to take us more places, with fewer systems ~ something simpler... more Home*Made.
We have Made*Home again. The cost of a larger, nice RV with abundant systems is way more than the gas, maintenance, repair, and fear for resell value. The cost of a larger RV was our Freedom ~ our freedom to drive away from the interstates and through the back roads; freedom to move without planning; freedom to drive under small bridges, over weak bridges, 'fit' in state parks and smaller campgrounds... We need more freedom. The cost for that freedom ~ less stuff. More barenaked.
Significant dates in our life thus far...
Jul 15, '91 ~ Greg and Jenn met.
Apr 10, '92 ~ Married before God alone in the desert with $6 rings.
Jun 13, '92 ~ Legally Married in a feed store.
Aug 24, '92 ~ Married Dell career.
Sep 5, '92 ~ Austin's born.
Feb 6, '95 ~ Kesley's born.
Mar 6, '96 ~ Sunny's born.
May 18, '01 ~ barenakedfamily is born (divorced Dell, left Seattle in the RV)...
September 27, '06 ~ We have left our RV house of over five years and moved into some backpacks in our Jeep towing our VW... towards the next adventure of our lives... towards home, again...
We're traveling across the country to literally get what little shit we have together ~ We towed the VW with our 'new' Jeep filled with the few things we kept from the RV to... an undisclosed location. We are putting all our mementos together with our May '01 storage and hitting the back roads that the RV couldn't get to... stay tuned ~ this is gonna get good! And don't forget to...
The kids were thrilled at the idea of starting over in something that would be more true to who we are and what we have become. They are amazing souls that keep us going in so many ways. Thanks to the kids for showing us how to live life.
Thanks to God for the obvious abundance of 'choice' ~ The Moors; The Mirassous; The Sumralls; The Nodlands; Weed; The Gilley's; The Oberholtzers; The Lehrs; Nathanael; Sarah; The Beaubouefs; My two sons ~ Walker & Texas Ranger; Dell; Eric Lyons; Dad & G-Mama; Susan Antone, Clifford Antone, Kathleen Knox; Guy Forsyth, Rob Hooper, Josh Gravelin, Colin Brooks; The Academy; Vallejo; Eric Tessmer, Doug, Allan; Chey; Joel Craig; Dan Powers; Robin; Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Jim Creegan, Tyler Stewart, Kevin Hearn; your mom and greasy gramma; JD Fortune, Tim Farriss, Andrew Farris, Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, Garry Beers; The Gornicke's; Matt Sever; Shani Mewalla, John Berman, Sam, Steve... all those that we forgot to mention here...
...all the 'possibilities'. Access. Understanding. Connections. But especially for inviting us in, inspiring, and changing our lives:
The UnpluggedFamily stepped up and was there right by our sides as we are making the transition into this new part of our lives.
It's really interesting to us because as we faced the change and the emotion behind it, one of our Family members told us that they don't understand us. They haven't been able to understand us for some years. Even if they thought they understood us when we were living Their American Dream... They truly didn't...
"you will have to do this alone"
Alone? Yeah, right... you have no idea...
The cost? Free. Free furniture at the Wal-Mart parking lot the morning after getting rid of such a huge part of lives. Waking up at 5 am because we are so freaking relieved, happy, and alive.
So content with the choice that we made to take back our Family again.
With the love and support of the youngest of our friends.
We felt so free and so right for our decision to give up one of the last things we needed to in order to be true to barenakedfamily.
So we moved forward to take the rest of the stuff that we had from the RV and get away for awhile. Not chomping at the bit to move into something right away ~ just gonna spend time with some friends and enjoy being way more barenaked for awhile. Do some backpacking. Some hiking. Home base in the mountains with friends. Work on some projects, maybe get another rig in the New Year.
For now... we're content standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see.
It's a Family my lord, without a motorhome, slowing down to take a look at life. Take it Easy... Take it Easy.
Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy...
We'll be here... loving the crap out of our Family. At all cost.
We'll be here with our kick ass friends. UnpluggedFamily, BlacksheepFamily, and barenakedfamily. Together.
That's how we roll.
October '06 >>