About a year ago, we embarked on this journey of traveling by trailer in search of a good home.
I (still) sharply remember getting very homesick. I missed my family and friends.
The brave act of selling everything we owned, including cars and house; was very new to me and I had doubts by day 3; but at the same time, I embraced the obstacles and dealt with it as best I could. We were following our hearts and letting go of our fears. We were looking for a better and happier life.
I remember meeting a woman and her dog as I walked along the shores of a lake at Bridgeport, CA. I felt so lonely and this earth-bound angel befriended me. We walked along the lake talking as if We were friends for years. She gave me all the love and reassurance I needed. After that, she was gone. Came and went, her mission accomplished.
Throughout the year during my travels, I lost communication with a friend or two. Long distance friendships aren’t for everybody and sadly I had to accept it and let go of them. It was hard to do. I kept hanging on to what we used to have.
On the bright side, I have a handful of close friends who stuck with me; checking up on me, texting and/or making me laugh from thousands of miles away. These are friends I send postcards and Holiday cards to. I am grateful they are in my life.
Losing some friends also meant gaining new ones. Not too long ago, Owen made a friend at spring camp. I connected with his friend’s mom and we became friends. She lifted me up spiritually when I was at my lowest. Needless to say, she came at a very good time in my life. Once again, at a time of sadness, an earth-bound angel appeared.
One thing I learned: When I was up in life, my friends got to know who I am. When I was down in life, I got to know who my friends are.
Owen & I are in California for a few days. We’ll be getting in touch with his old friends and rekindling friendships. As for me, I have one goal: to personally appreciate that friend who made a difference in my year of stressful and lonely moments. Friends who I consider my on-call personal earth-bound Angels.
Young Detectives Owen and David are all smiles. Not only will they get to play all week but also solve mysteries. They will dust for fingerprints, analyze hair fiber samples and mystery substances. They’ll examine evidence, extract DNA from a strawberry and keep a private eye journal to solve a crime.
In the mean time, Richard & I will have our own mystery to solve. Where to go after summer. Where to live and where to work.
Many wonderful things have happened since we closed down this site for our winter hibernation. In brief, I loved seeing the Autumn colors all over Olympia and its neighboring cities. Winter was even better. Yes, it rained and it didn’t bother us much. We hiked in the rain, got our boots muddy and came home to a heated home. We kept ourselves busy in our cave with homeschooling, catching up on (old and ) new TV shows and got to know our adopted city.
Spring came along and our kind landlady told us how beautiful spring in Olympia is, so we decided to extend our hibernation.
We flew to The Netherlands and got to see much-missed family members. Our trip was memorable. We emphasized on culture, history, family and food. Owen got to see where half of him came from.
But now Summer has arrived and it’s time to crawl out of our caves. It’s time to stretch our aching muscles and see what’s in store for us.
Previously on Family In Tow….
On this episode….
In the middle of July 2015, we’re going trailer-camping for the rest of the summer at our favorite campground at American Heritage Campground.
We have plans to visit family and friends in California in August. Depending on how the job hunt is going, it may just be me and Owen going to CA.
Richard wants to continue living the good life reading under the canopy of trees and marveling at the blanket of stars. Owen wants to hop on his bicycle whenever the mood strikes and explore the trails in the campground. I will survive living in such close proximity with my boys (again). I like my space but I also love the smell of nature during summer camping. This is when I need all my friends and family to keep me from going insane…
Please write to me using our traveling mailbox. If you don’t have it by now, please send me a message via text, email or facebook and I’ll be happy to share it with you.
We’ve been staying more local, mainly focusing on Owen’s academic and social life. There are many stereotypes on homeschooled kids; socialization is one of them. His social life is different from someone who attends a public or a private school, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Don’t feel sorry for him nor treat him any different. He makes friends his own way and let’s leave it at that. If you worry about his socialization, please don’t.
Owen has a healthy social life; he is exposed to children of all ages, different cultural backgrounds, kids in all walks of life. When Owen meets a like-minded individual, they become friends for life. He has meaningful and loving friendships with penpals and friends.
So, as you can see, there’s no reason to worry. We got this.
To celebrate our 2-month anniversary being on the road, we are staying at an apartment vacation home for three nights. It’s located in Tacoma, 45 minutes away from downtown Seattle. We wanted to immerse ourselves in the city without having to drive all the way to our campsite in Olympia, which would be a 4-hour drive round trip. So we basically went on a vacation while on vacation…
This apartment we are staying at is a lovely 1 bedroom, 1 bath close to shops and parks. The owners have 3 little boys and the sound of them playing makes me feel right at home. I took advantage of the endless kitchen counter space and made my special meals. I made pasta, I baked pumpkin bread, I made apple-sauce and made meat lumpia for our friends.
THE NEXT DAY…
I was chatting with my sister Pauline an hour ago and she asked me “What was your favorite part of today?” I was writing back to her in paragraphs, rambling. I asked her if the 3 items I mentioned should be shared on my blog. I was concerned it may be too personal. She advised me to share, so here I go….
July 17, 2014
Tomorrow is Richard’s birthday and we are staying at the Towneplace Suite Marriott in Medford, OR for two nights. We specifically wanted a suite for the full kitchen. I needed the space to cook several meals that will last a week (hopefully two) as we make our way up northern Oregon next week.
My gift for Richard: home-cooked meals.
While in Medford, we plan to take advantage of the stores, an Asian grocery store to be exact. We’ll visit Barnes & Noble, visit local parks and check out their library. We’re also making a run to Walmart for any RV-needs.
So going back to naming my favorite part(s) of today…..
1. Having a feast at McGrath’s Fish House. As if we were celebrating my birthday, I ordered whatever my taste buds desired. I had such a great dining experience. It’s been a while since I moaned with a fork in my mouth. I ordered a combination of prawn kebabs, crab cakes and salmon.
2. After our meal, we walked over to Harry & David. Back in California, we know them as “the small store inside the mall that sold popcorn and pears”. But here, it was a size of a Trader Joe’s . There was a section for wine, appetizers for entertaining, the sweet desserts and snacks and finally, the produce. It was one of my favorite part because when we were done picking up items here and there, Owen and I asked Richard to wait for us in the truck. We picked out a few things for his birthday and even had it custom gift-wrapped. Seeing Owen giggle in anticipation was priceless. He couldn’t wait for daddy to see it tomorrow.
3. When we got back to the hotel, the boys decided to go swimming and that’s when I put on my apron and put a bandana on my head. I was in counter-space heaven! I made Owen’s Mac-and-Cheese with broccoli and my chicken with mushroom sauce (made from scratch!). I loved being in my element. No TV to distract me, just me, my knife, my stove and the AC on full blast…
On that note: If I can ask anyone reading this to take a moment and be grateful for what you have- the amount of space you have in your kitchen, your bathroom, your privacy. Not that I ever took it for granted, but our (new) way of living now made me realize how easy it is to forget the luxury of space and privacy.
I went from a 3-bedroom house with a loft, 2.5 bath, two story house- to a travel trailer where my elbow hits the shower stall, where my kitchen has limited space and if I seek quiet time, it’d have to be outside somewhere where there’s mosquitoes and the heat.
I am grateful for: My best friend Melissa B. who reminds me that this is all temporary; to cherish the moments with Owen. My art friend Jenny P. who reminds me that other people have less. My spiritual friend Lee Ann who coaches me along and tells me it’s ok to feel this way, that I will learn to adjust. She’s going through worse yet manages to bring out the positives. I am grateful for my friends who I remain in contact with on a daily/weekly basis for their constant support and encouraging comments on Facebook. A simple comment really makes a big difference in my day, so thank you (you know who you are). And I’d like to thank the Academy for my sister Pauline, who’s been with me since day 1. (Cue music…)
The truth of it all, this is my favorite part of today. Counting my blessings. For having Owen and Richard in my life, whether it be in a new-built house or a used-travel trailer. It’s a great life.