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Beginning With The End in Mind

Yesterday we left Spokane, WA, and a fabulous place called Hidden Acres Orchard, which we found on HipCamp. Hidden Acres is a working farm, and people can camp or RV anywhere on the farm. 

Staying there was a highlight of the trip so far.  It was the first time we connected with other families travelling full time and the kids had a great time with the other kiddos.  We feasted on cherries and plums we picked.  I had hoped we could pick fresh peaches, but they weren’t ripe yet. Ah well.

 I woke up early to greet the day, and the rooster, ducks, pig, sheep, and song birds greeted me. I wandered through the orchards, and was delighted to find a ripe peach that had fallen from the tree. I savored each bite.  After breakfast, we hit the road for our final stop on this leg of the journey.

Hot and sweaty, carrying the leftover stress chemicals from a harrowing drive up mountain passes and down into river canyons, we arrived at Lake Chelan, Washington. We are staying at another farm.  Chelan is the source of much of the fruit we eat, cherries, apples, and more.  It was 106 degrees when we arrived so we hopped in the Honda Fit and spent the rest of the day and evening in the refreshing, cool waters of Lake Chelan. I’m not sure what we would have done without a place to jump in the water. 

While we were chilling in the water, Juliana and I asked each other these questions, “How are we going to feel when this is all over? What are we imagining for ourselves and our family when this adventure concludes? What is the purpose of this trip? What is the end we are envisioning?” Though we’re only on Day 12, 10 months will go quickly,  and we’ll be pulling up to our home, a whole set of stories and experiences as a part of our collective history. So what is the purpose of what we’re doing? 

I don’t think there is any grandiose purpose. The purpose seems much more simple and mundance.

The purpose is to try something new, to rent our house out for 10 months, to practice living in a much smaller space, with much less stuff, to adapt and adjust to whatever is right in front of. The purpose is to learn to be together as a family in new ways, to parent in new ways, to be in a constant learning environment, as our environment is constantly changing.  The purpose is to unhook from the life we knew, to see what other life wants to be lived. These first 12 days have been intense, as far as the learning curve, the miles driven, and figuring out how to be a small space together. 

But all of that will soon change, just as everything is always changing. Tomorrow, Juliana leaves for Holden Village, and on Monday, the boys and I will join her. We’ll be there for three  weeks as volunteers.  Juliana will be working in the kitchen and I will be doing outdoor work.  We won’t have cell phone coverage, or much computer access. What we will have is time without wifi, time without phones, and because of this, time to shed many of the habits and patterns that have accompanied us even in the new life in the RV. 

Deciding to volunteer at Holden Village was one of the early “yes’s.” “Let’s do this!” we said. I don’t know how our three weeks at Holden will end, but I trust it’s just what we need, and something good for all of us will emerge. 

Refreshed after jumping in the lake

Our kid has always loved jumping off things. Spokane river

Hidden acres orchard

New friends at the orchard 

A book/ice cream/puppet store! 

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