|<< December '06|
January finds us being in Mt. Shasta for off and on about four months or so healing and resting from an intense two years of pure barenaked passion and projects. In most everything we do, we have either created or designed because we choose to live a life different than America's standards of what a Family should be. How easy would it be to drop back in to careers, public schools, mortgage, car payments, and all the perceived 'securities' of what we are told we need. Sacrifices. Cost.
Our choices come with sacrifice and cost. We know that we are different and conventional stuff no longer works for us. But at what cost? It all started to feel familiar. Familiar from the initial leap we made into this life back in May of 2001 when we left everything behind to find ourselves and become barenakedfamily. Then so be it... we said goodbye to the financial burden that the RV had become and said hello to opportunity! Moving into backpacks and heading into the mountains with Faith (and Brye, Salem, Justis, and Elijah...) we found ourselves looking into the great big world as if we were standing far off level of the society we live, yet closer to God than we have ever felt.
January was to be our closure for Mt Shasta and our time with the Unpluggeds. After months of rest, we were ready to get our shit back together, our storage out of Seattle, and head towards Austin, TX to start over once again. Our intention of getting rid of the RV was to find something we could pay off and not be bound to thus allowing us to focus our income more on our passion and projects.
Before we left the kids and Nathanael spent the entire day digging up ice chunks from the ground to build an igloo.
They spent the day engineering it and building.
When they finished it they built a fire inside and cooked fish they caught from the river a few days back right over the flames! It was still cold enough outside that the ice didn't really melt too much from the flames.
The igloo was about five feet tall and about four feet wide inside. The guys were really proud of themselves and stayed in it really late into the night. When we went outside before going to bed the fire was still burning in it.
We took one more trip out to Castle Lake before we left with the Families. The lake was now completely frozen over and there were a few people ice fishing out on it. It was a trip to walk out on the lake and our knees never really got used to it. But it was fun! There were places where you could hit the slush and see the water underneath.
Our plan was to also get back to Seattle where all of our stuff has been stored since 2001 when we left to fulltime RV. We wanted to empty all the storage and move the stuff back to Texas where we are going to set up a base for when we are not traveling. Seattle is by far one of our favorite places in the whole world and we miss living here so much. It's been about three years since we have been here!
We didn't have time to stop.
We sold our Issaquah (Seattle) house to some people who have become good friends and whenever we are in town they always let us hang out in our old house.
They turned it into their law office. This used to be where we had our computer stuff set up. They usually just keep working as we are creeping around and hanging out everywhere. This has been the best house we have ever owned and we miss it everyday.
This used to be our living room.
The kids couldn't resist heading to the basement. It used to freak them out and they would never set foot in here by themselves when they were younger.
Ahhhh...Seattle! We love this city so much! We felt so at home here and love seeing everything we can when we are here.
We headed to Pike's Market where we loaded up on some local fruits and vegetables. We usually spend all day wandering and eating around here.
The kids love watching the fish market guys throwing the fish around.
We took the first picture before we left Seattle to hit the road at the EMP in downtown. The next six years later. No regrets... Except maybe the EMP had some because they apparently changed the tiles out. That couldn't be cheap.
We also got to visit Jeanne, Greg's other mom, who also lives in Issaquah. She introduced us to her boyfriend Jack who we got along well with. It's always nice to see her because she thinks the same way we do on life. She has always been such a huge supporter of our Family and a great mom and grandma.
In Issaquah it usually only snows a few inches for the whole winter and doesn't ever really stick. The night that we got there a huge snowstorm dumped feet of snow and made everything so beautiful. And treacherous. What usually takes 15 minutes from Bellevue to Issaquah took us four hours. So many people actually just abandoned their cars... but where do they go? Several abandoned cars, no people. Very Sci-Fi.
We towed the Volkswagen behind the Jeep so we could use it as a trailer when we hauled our stuff from storage back to Mt. Shasta to UPS it back to Texas. We unhooked it and left it in a parking lot while we went sightseeing all day and when we returned it was covered in a foot of snow. We almost couldn't get it out of the parking lot because of the amount of snow on the ground.
After spending a few days in Seattle it was time to get our storage out and head back to Mt. Shasta. We hadn't been in our storage for four years! It was awesome to finally see all of our stuff again, but also made us wonder why we kept most of this crap. We thought we only kept mementos and stuff we couldn't bear to throw out... We ended up giving most of our stuff to a charity and only brought the special stuff with us. Yep, the filing cabinet with all those 'important papers' was history. Good luck stealing our identity... invisible on paper is a bonus we didn't expect to earn.
We hit the road back to Mt. Shasta from Seattle on Interstate 5 and ended up getting stuck on a remote part for five hours late at night due to ice. We were literally parked on the interstate with hundreds of others in cold temperatures waiting for the roads to open again. Luckily we had some food and water that we bought from Trader Joes earlier that day. As we sat in the Jeep for hours, we ate, listened to the radio, and turned on the car occasionally to warm up. We hung out on the side of the road with some other drivers as we all waited for the road to open. When we had to go to the bathroom we had to jump the guardrail and pee on the side of the highway! Since we barely had cell phone coverage, the Unpluggeds kept text messaging us back and forth telling us what they were seeing on the news about the weather. Apparently it was some of the worst ice this area had seen in awhile and it was all the way down through Oregon where we needed to go. When they finally opened the road we only made it a few miles before having to pull over and get a hotel room due to more ice on the interstate. When we finally made it back to Mt. Shasta the next day we were welcomed by everyone with some yummy food and drinks and a welcome home sign...
After spending a few more days in Mt. Shasta we all decided that we would head to Palm Springs to spend a few days together in the desert before going our separate ways. We drank, ate, and skinny dipped till all hours of the night. After all of our time together it was hard to imagine being without the Unpluggeds.
Eventually, we had to pack up and head back to Austin on one of the hardest days of our lives. We looked at each other for a long time and waved goodbye. As we drove off, the Unpluggeds were standing on the curb and we were hiding our tears in the mirrors. It was a sight we will never forget.
Thank you McBees for all that you have done for us and with us. The things that we got to do that nobody will ever read about. The times that we sat across from each other spilling our deepest darkest secrets. The times that Kailua ate every single cake we ever baked. The yummy late night dinners. The cases of Cabo and A.S. we went through. The Tokyo bunkhouse. The fishing. The hugs. The kisses. The freedom. The sleep. Daisy. The groceries. The Christmas tree. The Magic Bullet. The sledding. The drives. Justis. The time.
Thank you Faith. Thank you for being so understanding and so selfless. You have no idea what you mean to us. When we say that we were living on Faith, we mean it. You are so special to us and we are forever grateful for you. Thank you for your space. We love you Faith.
As we drove back to Austin we felt so excited yet so sad at the same time.
We got stuck on the interstate again because of ice on the roads! We had to pull off and sleep in the Jeep in the middle of nowhere because the road was so bad. Looks comfy, but totally sucked. We pulled over and slept for a couple hours before having to drive in the snow a few more miles to find a hotel. And this was all in southern Arizona!
Yeah. Don't be fooled. It was very uncomfortable.
We finally arrived in Austin and stayed at our friends Ezra, Amrita, and Ava's guesthouse till we found a place to rent in Austin, Texas. We were tired, cold, and missing the McBee's more than ever before. We had stayed in the most luxurious and comfortable abodes since letting and living out of backpacks. The universe showed us the true beauty of living with less, for Family.