Back to Basics

How are you finding balance during these times? Life is shifting for many. For me, this last week also included a move back to my R.V. for a workkamping season. There’s comfort in my 300 sq. ft. quarantine of the campground. And for other reasons, I find my basics are met here.

Life is far from typical for everyone right now. Yet, some families are are fortunate to spend quality time with loved ones here at the campground. It’s an oasis of like-mindedness and good health (thank God for now anyway). We’re all united by at least one common fact~ NO ONE I’ve talked to has experienced anything like this in life. For some, I worry that the stress of the unknown might be worse than the virus. I take the guidelines very serious. In no way do I feel “immune” to the virus. Specifically, I have a compromised system that puts me in a higher risk category. But I refuse to have a “the sky is falling” attitude. Some will see only the negative in everything, some will see positive, some will be indifferent, some will be unrealistic, some will be healthy, some will become ill, and sadly, some have and will die. How are we meeting the basic needs of our fellow humans?

During these days~where more kids are home than in school, parents that typically work out of the home may be home, homeless might still be homeless, employed now unemployed, and no-risk occupations become high-risk with exposure~I have found comfort in the simple joys of life. You see, living in an R.V. for several years solidified my mantra of, “I don’t need much to survive.” Could we all agree that we probably have more than we need? And for some right now, the basics aren’t just being met.

Have you ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Abraham Maslow pegged this theory I learned in my college days. It guided me in teaching. And still resonates as time has proven these layers can overlap.

In my lifetime I’ve witnessed those that just live for work and success. And just the opposite, those that live only in a “spiritual” realm that may not focus on the bottom two tiers of this pyramid. No matter how you look at this pyramid (and how you live it), the bottom two tiers are levels that help us reach the top.

Social media can be a wonderful motivational tool that helps us FEEL that belongingness, love, friends, and humor are key to getting through these times. I don’t disagree with the many advantages of how it is helping so many. But hopefully, one will not spend so much seeking the top two pyramids to soothe the “ache” in the soul that the bottom two levels aren’t met (please do NOT USE THIS UPDATED PYRAMID😏)

I share all of this for this reason: How is your family? How is your neighbor? Friends, how are we helping others (and ourselves) meet the basic needs so that we can keep rising to our best selves?

For me, I’m having to truly limit my time watching the news and focusing on the things in which I have no control. I’ll remain diligent and smart in regards to the reality. And hopefully, we will all continue to have our basic needs met to rise to our best selves yet. May we continue to move ahead together and cement the blocks of faith that will keep our own homes on solid ground.

Have faith💚

“Homing in”

Owning a home is a blessing…..isn’t it? When I reflect on my past homes I vividly recall the tremendous efforts I made towards “perfection”. The home was a direct reflection of me (I was messier at times than the house). I took pride in every room~particularly the kitchen, my favorite spot. My boys needed to love their home. There was comfort there. Despite earthly turmoils and heartaches at times, there were also periods of peace, laughter, and love. ❣

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, and eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

2 Corinthians 5:1

If you’re familiar with my essays, or my life, you understand the shifting sands I’ve experienced. And I know for a fact a home cannot be built on shifting sand. I’m not the first, nor the last, to experience it (shift happens).

To avoid confusion between “honing in” and “homing in” I’ll use them in examples: Definitely, I’ve been honing my skills (honing as “sharpening”) through years of valleys and peaks. And now, once again, I’m homing in on my summer territory once again.

Home~*a place where one lives permanently (noun), *to go or return to one’s place of residence or origin (verb), and my favorite verb meaning~*to return by instinct to its territory after leaving it.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Living tiny in a big world

Owning something brings pride. Particularly if you have invested your own sweat, blood, and tears. Ownership is coupled with great responsibility. And after years of shifting and believing that I had finally found “home”, I was ready to downsize and find what fits “me”.

Perhaps the years of walking halls, traveling in the summers, and dreaming big inspired my “nomadic” tendencies (or a born gypsy?). Becoming overly practical and simple supported my healing. It was 5 years ago I was determined I could live “tiny”. Everything I owned fit in a 50 sq. ft. storage unit (still does).

Living in an R.V. definitely has its positive and negatives. Just as owning a home. Should I rent or buy? I almost sold my R.V. (taking down the “For Sale” sign is a good thing for now). For the last 18 months I’ve dreamed of my tiny home. I walked into the office of a local log cabin builder and asked, “Can you build me a tiny log home….on wheels?” A local bank was willing to give me a personal loan IF I placed 50% down. Unfortunately, there are those who might have an Uncle Frank (take no offense Franks) who decides to build a shed (not at all compliant with ANSI or R.V.I.A. codes), put it on a “shifty” trailer, and call it a park model or tiny home. There are many building codes, zoning, and regulations tripping up tiny home owners. Furthermore, you have to have SOMEWHERE to place it. It’s WAY easier to get an R.V. loan than a park model or tiny home (typical salesman: “I’d love for you to buy that $60,000.00 rig for huge interest although we know it will depreciate $10,000 as soon as you drive it off the lot~much like cars”). I won’t stop dreaming of a tiny dwelling. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy NOT paying mortgage and property taxes and being responsible for anything that could go monstrously wrong with anything bigger than my 34 ft. Rockwood Windjammer. For now, it’s still safe and practical. But I won’t stop dreaming of my tiny home.

“For the record, I have to be in a position to travel to see my amazing grown sons, daughter-in-law’s, and now, the newest loves in my life–GRANDCHILDREN! I guess between J and I we will need at least 4 tiny homes to hold possible grandchildren vacays.”

Grammy K

I’m home in Missouri. Nestled in the rolling hills near lakes and lots of activity, Branson is a great family-friendly place. But truly home is where I “make it”. And homing in at the campground for a season brings me peace. Nothing else to me beats sitting around the campfire with my fellow workkampers. They are family to me. We are a like-minded outdoorsy kind-of tribe who enjoy fires, the outdoors, the ins & outs of R.V. living, and meeting other travelers. We’ve become “ok” to the things that aren’t as “easy” (emptying black and grey tanks, going to the laundrymat, keeping propane filled, etc….). Perhaps it builds our grit while keeping us humble?

One day wheels might take us to a new home, possibly West. But I don’t spend my time worrying. In the meantime, after this season ends, I’ll think about how to hunker down next winter. Our families are here and they need us. And when I need to jet off to one of my own children or grandchildren, I won’t have have anything but a “tiny” place to leave. Workkamping boosts my spirits, energy, and wallet. Last night I visited with some fellow workkampers, both in their 70’s, who had decided to dwell in a condo for the winter. They agreed that their money will be more well-spent on memories. For some of us, we chose this life. And for some, me included, life kind of chose it for us and we found it to be our “home”.

Wherever you are I hope you “home in” on the most important things in your life.

Have faith. 💚