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After leaving Austin, again, we decided to head back to Mt Shasta (our previously 'undisclosed location') with the UnpluggedFamily who have a house and acreage to retreat to and get our shit together. We left Austin in our Jeep towing our VW Thing with everything we owned (except the storage we left in '01 in Seattle ~ the little bit of 'shit' we have and the attempt to get it together starting in Shasta).
We caravanned with the Unpluggeds RV to meet up with the Lehr Family, or BlackSheepFamily ~ Isaac, Johnna, Naomi, Nate, Isaac Jr. ~ to meet somewhere on the road and ended up meeting on a corner in Winslow, Arizona Wal Mart parking lot. Our Families had a rough plan to visit the Grand Canyon together.
Three Families on a mission. Friends. Kids. Parents. Family. As God designed us all.
The Lehr Family was towing a trailer with their van with the intention to stay in Mt Shasta with the Unpluggeds for a bit before going to their hometown of Santa Rosa, CA for a wedding then back to their house in Austin to figure out what's next. Kinda like all of us... lost, focused, and determined.
October 1, '06 actually started for three killer Families at the Grand Canyon... a lady that couldn't face us in a blue shirt, some guy in a white cap, and 'Bob' who's neck grew parallel to his shoulders not only creating great pain but also an odd inability to be photogenic ~ even at the Grand Canyon. We threw him over after this pic (out of pity... probably saved his life).
More about our Grand Canyon experience in pages to come.
After Grand Canyon, we stopped by Black Barts in Flagstaff for some drinks and singing waiters while our kids hung out in the Unplugged RV and the Lehr's had a meltdown in their RV (it's what a trailer park does and they're not as experienced... little did they know parents alone with margaritas reverses meltdowns... we tried to convince them.).
So here is our crack, powerless scooter, meth, karaoke, drunk story in Flagstaff. It's our site, we'll tell you what we want you to hear...
Imagine a bunch of nice Families hanging out grilling some dinner with the kids running all over the Flagstaff trailer park. The dogs are tied up outside and as we cook all the adults are having a drink talking about being on the road...ahhh...good times. Well, a neighbor decides to come over and introduce herself... and her drama. She comes over to tell us she has no food or propane, so the good person Johnna (Lehr, of the blacksheepfamily) is she sends over a bundle of food and tops it off with a couple of beers as a token of friendship and understanding. So, the lady gets plowed and continues to visit us every five minutes with a vocabulary that would put the drunkest sailor to shame. In front of the kids. We try to ease her away from the kids telling them to go run and play while we try to drop some hints to her that this isn't proper trailer park etiquette. Or is it? Perhaps finishing school has ruined us for good. Anyway, the drama just gets worse through the evening complete with drunken brawls with her boyfriend out the trailer door leading her to run off on an unpowered scooter. That's right folks, she scoots along with her feet through the trailer park stopping right in front of our campsite to finish yelling obscenities at her boyfriend... such as the one hit scream across the park 'You hit me in the face you ______!' (we'll leave it blank considering there are children here, but the punchline has to do with a male rooster and what a vacuum cleaner does) The kids looked amused and it was all we could do to keep a straight face and put an end to it for the night. This went on for hours.
She Barney Rubbled her scooter over after all that was exchanged with her boyfriend to get away. At that point we were over all of it and just wanted her to go away so that we could finish entertaining Brye's long distant relatives that had decided to join us for dinner to catch up after many years apart. That's right...we had company through all of this. Trying not to be the freaks we are in front of Brye's people, apparently this just wasn't our night. Exchanging many silent looks between us, the parents just keep trying to divert the company's attention away from the crack alley freak show unfolding around us. 'Would you like some more chicken? Want some more wine?'
Just when we thought the neighbors might have passed out and the fun was over, we settled in for a nightcap with the relatives not believing they are still here. Ahhh... but the story continues... Some gangster looking guy miraculously appears at the dark front of Brye's RV surprising Greg and motions for him to come over and talk to him. Greg grabs Brye and Isaac's attention before risking his life talking with this strange apparition sandwiched between a car and RV. The guy mumbles tons of stuff that no one understands ultimately confessing he's been kicked out of the crack RV with psycho 'You hit me in the face you ______!' girl and wifebeater to ask if he can spend the night with us! Spend the night with us?!? Yep, first of all there are nine of us and four dogs in Brye and Salem's RV and second of all... hell no. HELL NO!!! Of course said with the affection of please don't kill us and burn our equipment to the ground to hide the evidence you psycho drugged out drunk gangster.
At this point the fine wine has worn off, the National Lampoons Vacation movie that we put on the projection screen to distract the kids with is now over, and the ladies are wondering why the hell these relatives of Brye's are still here. What do they like about us anyway? We're definitely not that appealing or at our finest this evening. When are they going to leave? Not in a bad way, it's just that there was so much more to this story and we were worn out. The drunken trailer lady decides to come back over... again. At this point we are done being nice. She approaches the campsite starting in with her vulgar words when Isaac heads her off before she even steps one foot closer. He nicely, but sternly tells her to go away and never come back. This is not appropriate behavior and we are tired of it. She finally takes the hint and leaves for the night. Eventually the relatives make their way home and we all just sit under the stars in beautiful Flagstaff wondering what the hell just happened and did anyone else see all this? Trust me, it's made for some very deep memories. On top of that, weeks later we heard that Brye's relatives had a ball and were so glad to see us. Really?!?
After the exciting night in Flagstaff we decided that it would be best to get out of the trailer park for awhile before we have to leave. With a few great friends who know that how to take back Family... Not with Flagstaff meth!
But how happy can a Family be staying true to the barenaked philosophy? Very!
Can a Family be happy seeing the bigger picture?
Can a Family still dream?
Can a Family pull into a rest area a heckuva lot easier?
Can a Family find new meaning in old memories?
Can a Family still stay connected by shedding what we were taught we always thought we needed?
Can a Family get closer to the connections of the universe while living in this world?
Can a barenaked kid reach the top of the world, even if the world is nothing more than a tree?
Can a Family still smile after making a sacrifice to stay true to what is most important to them?
Can barenaked friends still believe in you? In your heart? In your intention?
YES!!! They can. Anyone can. We can. And that's what matters ~ belief, heart, and intentions.
We can all take a dip in a seemingly icy cold, unfamiliar, and new territory. But look around. There is beauty in it all. And a few good laughs... (this is the kids falling off a log they were 'floating' on into like maybe 40 degree water).
Yep, we gave the RV away. We let it go. We could've kept it with a cost. We didn't want to anymore. We wanted to be Family, at any cost. We wanted to continue on the path that we set in motion of working, learning and playing together. To inspire others that want the same thing. To take back our time. To not be tied down with something that had become a barrier. Something that started becoming a financial whirlpool. Something that has nothing to do with barenakedfamily. barenakedfamily lives in our heart. In our soul. In the universe. Where home is really made.
Home*Made ~ Made*Home
How barenaked can we get?
As barenaked as we wanna be.
Grand Canyon '06 >>