Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Keeping it Real

Let’s be real for a minute.

300ish square feet is SMALL.

EVERYTHING about our lives and lifestyle has changed.

I am not supposed to eat from cans, as I react to even the smallest amount of metal leaching. We are not hooked up to waste water and make a concerted effort to use as few dishes and as little water as possible. Food separatism is alive and well in our family, and this does nothing to help the situation. Cooking from scratch v. cooking from a package. Oh the dilemma.

There are 7 of us and a table for 4. Oh, the anxiety of OCD. I do not like food spilling or stains or sticky fingers! ‘Nuff said.

We have all onions in one room. Some are night readers and like to stay up reading. Others whine and complain saying they cannot fall asleep if someone else has a flashlight on. The curtain tracks arrived finally, but they are not yet up.

Every time someone moves much or rolls over, the entire rig shakes from side to side. Ugh - my mind wakes up instantly, every time. I grew up in Southern California earthquake land. Flashbacks.  Memories.  It’s been a few weeks and I am finally able to sleep through most of it.

In addition to the waking up frequently, we have had several late nights. Not a recipe for success.

My bed is the top mattress. It has had cake spilled on it, dog puke too, and random spots show up here and there. I am not a fan. I realized that I need to give up my OCD about straight flat clean covers and let go of my anxiety about “my bed.” My bed doubles as the couch during the day. I have decided to share -as long as my blankets are not exposed and the top blanket receives all the damage.

I don’t think we have gone so very long between showers. Showering has become a deterrent. There is only a shower curtain for privacy. Turning on the hot water heater to heat the water is not always thought of before someone gets in. Oops. Turning on the water to rinse, off to wash, on to rinse, off to shampoo, on to rinse, off to condition, on to rinse, using as little water as possible is a process to say the least. Long thick hair is makes it an adventure to rinse thoroughly.

The drying off, getting out, and dressing is a challenge too. I bend down to step into my pants and my rear end goes out into the hallway and the curtain loses its shielding effect. Sigh. Some have a hard time figuring out the water and moving the switch to turn it on and off. Then there is the issue of one shower for 7 people. The length of time for all to shower is almost exhausting, yet comical. I have learned that shower day is just that, shower day. Take a shower sometime, anytime, throughout the day, rather than everybody gathered and waiting for their turn getting annoyed with one another.

The toilet:
One toilet. “The pooper” as well call the tiny room with the toilet. We had 2 toilets most recently, but 3 in most of the homes we have lived in. First world problems people! Waiting seems to be the game most often played. Sometimes someone is waiting to go, only to find out the person in the pooper was changing their clothes. Um, not nice.

I am seriously tired of shoes! They are everywhere! By the door, in the stairs, at the top of the stairs, on the floor in the bunk room, piled in the corner of the bunk room, in the closet, under the dining table…… They have no designated area that everyone can agree on, and many times the same pair of shoes is found in several different places in any given day. We even discussed the shoe situation in our family meeting. A solution was discussed, but it has not been implemented yet.

Eric started work on May 2. YAY!

He endured a 7-8 week 5 interview process and totally won them over. I said from the very beginning that if he just got an interview, he’d get the job. That is exactly what happened. This was his first interview for the position he wanted.

He has been working at a desk in the house. However, we won’t have access to that space forever. Eric did have an early morning meeting at 6 am and stayed in the RV for that, then migrated to the house later in the morning.

We tried stringing up a clothes line to section off the driver and passenger seats up front, to hang a curtain on. But that does nothing to help with sound. Eric bought some headphones, but they are not as noise cancelling as he had hoped for.

How is work going to go when we are on the road? No clue, but I am confident we will figure it out. We still have some time.

Another thing I realized…

As I think about our goal - self sustainment, connected to the earth. We are using plastic flatware and paper plates, bowls, and cups. (rolling my eyes) I am annoyed with the amount of trash we create. I tend to try not to consume throw away items. It seems like that is all we are doing. We have taken a few steps backward in this area. I just shake my head.

I have become keenly aware of just how much water we tend to use.  We have a 100 gallon tank.  Elanor could go through that in one 20 minute shower in a house.   We now have 7 showers and washing of hands and cooking and dishes with a finite amount. We use as little as possible because we have to take off the screens, move things around, retract the awnings, unhook from power, and pull in the slide in to drive to the gas station with the dump station to empty everything.  Then refill it.  We are averaging twice per week.

Many people have told me that they would love to do what we are doing. Many see it so positively. I’m not trying to complain, I just want to provide the reality check, that changing your life in a drastic way calls for drastic adjustment and it takes time to acclimate.

I am sincerely grateful that we are in Steven’s (Eric’s Brother) driveway. We have a free dump station at the nearest gas station. We put some of our things in the garage to give us time and space to figure some things out and where to put everything. We have a house to hang out in and couches to sit on. A huge table to eat at when we share meals. We have access to bathrooms and the kitchen as we make the transition. I take dishes in to the house to wash them and we take showers in the house from time to time too.

For me, the “adventure” is a means to an end. Sometimes obedience is obedience. I am doing what I know we need to do. I eagerly look forward to our new home with great anticipation.

President Nelson said: “Obedience brings success. Exact obedience brings miracles.” He was talking to a group of missionaries. However, I take comfort in his words by applying them to my life right now.

I read this scripture recently. I think it is the perfect counsel for us!

Doctrine and Covenants 88:124 - Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.

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