Shifting Sands

You know those movie scenes where the camera is focused on a dazed and often wide-eyed character while the world zooms past in an unrecognizable blur? Or just imagine standing on the beach in springtime while chilly waves furl and curl and drag the sand right out from under your feet. That is a completely accurate description of my life this last month. I'm almost dizzy, close to fragile, barely comprehending the blur on either side of my head, toes gripping like mad to maintain balance.

Sing with me, "On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand." Yes.

Second week of March: the kids and I travel to Indiana to be with my mom as she goes through surgery for cancer. Though the week was emotionally and physically exhausting, God worked out great things in her life. The tumor was contained, removed, declared stage one, no further treatment needed. Our family feels like we can exhale for the first time since her diagnosis at Christmastime.

Third week of March: We're back home in VA, and we get the phone call that our landlord has decided to sell our house. Our lease had just expired, so he is within his rights, and we have 60 days to vacate. It's stressful enough to have to move every two to three years, but when an extra move is thrown in just because the landlord is done with the house, well, that's just a burden, man.

The kids and I have just one more year here, then Rob deploys--again--and we were going to wait that deployment out at the farm. So move now? Then move again in a year? Do you even know how many boxes of books I have?

But wait, there's more. Any Navy family knows that the year before a deployment is not spent sitting around waiting for D-day. Weeks in and out for what are called work-ups start filling up the calendar spaces. I'm talking two to four weeks gone at a time.

We lay our options out.

*Move into another crappy rental for a year. Come up with deposit, switch over all the utilities, pack, unpack. Repeat in one year. Expensive and yuck.

*The kids and I move back to the farm and Rob geo-baches in VA. (For you civilians, that means, he finds an apartment or extended-stay hotel situation and lives as a geographical bachelor.) So this would be like turning his 6-8 month deployment into a 18-20 month family separation. And then we would still need to find a place to stay together for the couple of months after he gets home and before we are slated to move to the next duty station. Worse.

Then, because we are a little outside-of-the-box types, a third option started bubbling up in our spinning heads.

What if....

Those are dangerous words. But I think all adventures worth having start out with those two words. What if.

So, what if we store all of our household goods. All the extra stuff. Because we have to pack it up anyway. And what if we get an RV and just, you know, camp in VA. For a long while. And the weeks that Rob is gone, the kids and I do our own thing. Store the RV and go back to the farm. Or visit family and friends. And wouldn't it be cool to be able to take fun weekend outings when he's not traveling? Outer banks? Kill Devil Hills? Williamsburg?

What if we turned this burden into an adventure worth remembering?

We pray. We look for peace and closed and open doors. We ask God about it. He doesn't say no.

First week of April: Good friends move into the area and give us all their moving boxes and packing paper. I don't know if they will ever really know the blessing this is to us. Not having to scrounge around for boxes or to put up more money for moving expenses that are on our shoulders is the biggest gift. God's timing is impeccable. Why do I ever get anxious?

Two days later, Rob's work calendar blows up. If I do not want to move our stuff myself--which I emphatically do not--we have to move out in six days.

So we box up 2000 square feet of homeschooling and five children and cooking and working and life, and by the grace of God, six days later we are rolling down the highway with a very tightly packed Uhaul and seven exhausted people gearing up for a 12-hour car ride.

Second week of April: Exactly six days later, we roll back into town with a large travel trailer stuck to our bumper.

***

That was just five days ago, y'all.

We've gone to great lengths to keep our family together as much as possible this next year. Rob has lots and lots of traveling to do, so we won't be in the camper the whole time. When you are living on wheels, though, it's a lot easier to get out and experience the world around you.

And like my dear friend, who is also a Navy wife, said to me, "I think only a military wife can appreciate the sentiment, 'We can stand anything for a __________ (season, day, year, three years, six months, nine months, 18 months...)'"

So if you'd like to join our adventure...and I mean this in a more figurative sense, because I'm not sure how many  more people I would like to fit in our travel trailer. You understand, right?...stay tuned.

And if you think about us, we'd appreciate any and all the prayers we can get.  (Have I told you we've never really been RVing? This is all new, making the adventure that much more of a thing.) My hope is that years down this curvy road, we can all sit around and laugh and reminisce about that crazy and fun year we lived in an RV.

Please be good to us, very long travel trailer. We need to name this thing. The Fun Wagon? Try-Not-To-Kill-Each-Other Mobile? Any suggestions?



I'll give you a tour soon. But for now, just like in any living situation we find ourselves, I spend a lot of time feeding the people. This is where it happens. My slow cooker is going to be my best bud.



Laundry logistics are always a thing, but even more so when we have to use a separate facility. We generate about a load of laundry a day, sometimes more. 



Our first destination is a short walk to the beach! It's still pretty chilly here, but we are going to make best of it. Beach walks and unit studies, here we come!



Rosy loves to organize her shell collection. We even found an occupied hermit crab! Sadly, he died that same day. I think he was already shuffling off that mortal coil when we found him. 



Here's to the start of many great memories and God sightings!








Comments

I would LOVE to go RVing the rest of my life! Don't think your home-body Dad would though.
Enjoy your new adventure.
Love you,
Mom
karen baker said…
Jodi, what an adventure and the memories you are making for those kids someday when they are adults are going to be the best ever.They will understand that family is always first!You have grown into a beautiful wonderful woman and I know your mom and dad are so proud of you.Your parents gave you the very best foundation and you thrived!I love you and I am so proud of you myself.Everyone who knows and loves you I am sure feels the same. Love,Karen

jodyfoznot said…
Thanks for the encouragement, Mom and Aunt Karen! Love you, too!
Emily said…
We will pray for you all. This sounds like an God-directed opportunity that you will treasure.
Anita said…
I think this is definitely an adventure and I love the whole What if...I will be keeping you all in my prayers and I know that God will keep you where He wants you to be!
Best wishes to you and your family as you begin your new adventure! You're making lemonade...

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