Leaving Springfield, MO
Quapaw, OK at Downstream Casino Resort
Woke up to beautiful sunshine this morning in Quapaw, OK! We were pleasantly surprised by the RV accommodations at Downstream Casino Resort - nice spacious area to park with electricity and a dump station, all of it free! The weather this morning was perfect for spending some time outside, which is just what we did. Brannon ran a bit in the parking lot while I walked around with the kids and Phoenix walked Ollie (which he's never done before and loved). We came back and juiced some carrots, celery, and ginger, ate breakfast, and brewed some herbal tea in lieu of coffee. We took turns with the kids while the other did their part to get us road-ready, and now we're back on the road, headed on to Texas. It's a beautiful day to be driving!
We keep faking everybody out with our goodbyes that end up not being goodbyes. Each time we try to leave, we are delayed by something. This time, we actually DID leave (on Sunday morning). Which meant more tearful goodbyes. Little did we know that we'd see them a few short hours later. We thought we were in the clear with the repairs that had been made, although it's been hard to diagnose because the symptoms keeps coming and going. But when it had a little trouble starting in the Lowe's parking lot on the way out of town, we knew we weren't out of the woods yet.
Instead of getting on the road right away, we decided to take a test trip to Branson (Brannon's very wise idea), which is about 45 minutes away. There were some good-sized hills in between here and there that would test the fuel pump and hopefully give us an idea of what was going on. Although it handled the hills without hesitation, it refused to start up again after we ate lunch in Branson. Luckily, we weren't in a dangerous situation when it quit on us. After about 45 minutes of trying, the RV started again (after Brannon literally banged on the fuel tank several times with a breaker bar...not joking) and we were able to get back to Springfield. A couple more days of Brannon diagnosing and testing followed, which included me crawling into a small storage compartment underneath the RV with a headlamp and a power tool (see attached pictures...you're welcome).
We found an RV mechanic in Nixa who we think will be able to fix the issues, and we dropped it off there Wednesday morning. We hoped it would be finished by the weekend, but he told us today that it would probably be Tuesday before it is finished.
It's a weird feeling being in flux like this. Our plan has been interrupted and it has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster on many levels. We are trusting in The Plan, though, that is way bigger than our own, with an omniscient Author. And I, for one, can find peace in that.
While Brannon and my dad are diagnosing and troubleshooting why our RV won't start, here's a screenshot of our projected trip for your eyes...
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Even though it's hard to see the reason(s) at the time. The start of our trip has been continually delayed for various reasons. Our UPS package (with our final piece needed for towing our vehicle) was delayed three times. Our propane heater went out just days before our projected departure date, requiring an additional day of diagnosing and repairs (working now by the way!). And now earlier, minutes before we pull out of the driveway (everything loaded, coats on, another very tearful goodbye), the RV refused to start. What started out as slightly irritating delays that were disrupting our itinerary now seem very supernaturally purposeful. Whatever the reason(s), we are keeping our chin up and pressing forward. Brannon is currently educating himself about diagnosing fuel pump issues via YouTube while Phoenix naps and Gramma (Gayle), Ember and myself are listening to old Beatles records and having a coloring party in the living room. Stay tuned for further updates!
T-minus approximately 36 hours. As the time of departure approaches, mixed emotions are setting in. Excitement about adventuring, newness, and seeing old friends and family across the country; a touch of anxiety as we approach said newness and the general unknown; and a sadness about leaving our wonderful families and friends behind for 7 months. A much anticipated journey, but the attachment to family and the warmth of comfortability have left us digging our heels in a bit. However, growth thrives outside of comfort! So we will press on. But know, our dear families and friends, you will be very much missed!
WE HAVE A NEW TRAVEL PLAN!!!
(I know, kind of obnoxious with the three exclamation points...)
The time has finally come for us to get back on the road, and we are so looking forward to it! We plan on renting our house out starting next month, staying local for a couple more months while Brannon works on renovating a fixer-upper with his mom, then heading out sometime in October. We will slowly make our way to the Pacific Northwest to visit with my brother Evan and sister-in-law Lindsey in Bellingham, WA, then we'll head up to Canada to Squamish, BC to visit with my sister Anna and brother-in-law Matt, and their new daughter Mabel! We'll spend the holidays in that area, probably popping back and forth between the two homes (about 2 hours from each other). Then we hope to pop over to Maui for a few weeks to visit with our "family" there, then head back to the coast to make our way down to Portland, OR to live for a few months (something we've always wanted to do!). All of these plans and timelines are somewhat fluid here, but that's the basic idea. We are so looking forward to it, and I hope you'll follow our journey here!
We purchased a 1997 Winnebago Warrior. These are the before photos. Take a good look! It won't be like this for long! Be sure to follow our remodeling journey at www.nomadicpowers.com/rv-remodel (or hit the "RV Remodel" tab at the top of the page).
Well, I'm pleased to say it's time to re-launch our site! We've been quite busy after our last trek to the West (including adding another member to the Powers family - welcome Phoenix James!) and we are ready to get back to a mobile life on the road! We just purchased a new unit, and are getting ready to start the remodel. Stay tuned for pictures and updates!
For years, Brannon and I have lived several different places and still haven't felt like we've found our "home". We're based back in Springfield now (although we're still currently out on the road), and to some extent that will always be home because of our families living there. But as you grow together as a couple and have different experiences together, you can't help but be changed by those experiences in your life's journey. And it just doesn't feel like Springfield fits as well as it maybe did while we were growing up. We're happy of course, and it is after all just a place, a place which doesn't determine the happiness of our existence together. And if we end up living out the rest of our lives there, we will be very happy. (That doesn't sound like a disclaimer, does it? ;) ) But there is still a part of us that have always wondered what or where "home" is for us. We know the three of us together is for sure "home", and who knows? The place may have little to nothing to do with it. But we aren't going to just assume this. We are going to find out.
Before we went out on the road, we really had no idea what life on the road would feel like. We had fears that maybe we had just romanticized this "living in a small RV" idea, and that we would commit to going, get out on the road, and be miserable. We talked about this beforehand, and gave ourselves permission to come home early at any point that we wanted. Even at that point, it would've been a memorable experience and we would've been able to place that checkmark next to "Living in an RV" on our mental bucket list.
I can now say with all the sureness in the world that after being out for a month and a half, I LOVE living life with my family on the road in our small RV. Besides the obvious reasons of traveling cheaply and getting to see new things and explore new places, I LOVE taking my home with us everywhere we go. For example: If Brannon wants to get up early to go to a coffee shop to work for the day, I don't have to get myself or Ember ready, or pack a diaper bag, or think about what to fix for lunch for all of us if we're going to be out for awhile... We just go. And I get myself and Ember dressed once we get there. And I can pop in and out of the camper to change a diaper. Or fix some food. Or lay Ember down for a nap. Or fold laundry. Or "clean house" a little bit. Or take Ember for a walk and explore that part of a new town. Even though we have one vehicle and that vehicle is also our house, I really wouldn't want it any other way. It's completely perfect for being spontaneous and not having to plan ahead.
"Living the Dream". People used to say things like that, and I never understood it. I either thought they were easily amused by life, or bluffing. At the same time, I was happy they felt that way, and wondered if someday I would feel like that. And then sometimes I was irritated - irritated that it might actually be possible to feel that way and I had no idea how to get there. I had tried the things that those others were doing that was making their life so "dreamy", and did not get the same results. "WHY??" I wondered this all the time. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me, or that I was never going to get to feel that way. I wasn't miserable or unhappy, just felt like I hadn't found "me". Because "me" was not in what everyone else was doing.
I did lots of soul-searching. Tried lots of things. Felt completely lost. My husband felt the same way. (I thank God every day that I have found you, babe.)
And then through God's guidance and complete provision (I still seriously couldn't have worked things out like He has and continues to do), we have found "us" and are finally able to "live the dream" - or actually, live our dream. Sometimes I just smile in awe - I think He has us exactly where we need to be right now. Even though that place may change, I know He's got it figured out. And THAT is truly living the dream.
So let me begin this post by saying I've never liked cooking. Never really been good at it, never really tried at it very hard. Never had the interest. My palate has never been very refined. So to me, if it filled me up it did its purpose, regardless of quality or even taste.
As I've gotten older, my viewpoint has changed a bit. I really do believe you are what you put into your body. If you put in crap, that's what you're going to feel like. Over the last few years, my husband and I have made little changes that are more health-conscious, but I still don't really cook much. And we still buy a fair share of processed foods, mixed in with the "organic" and "all-natural" choices. (Not to mention that a lot of the "organic" and "all-natural" items on the shelf are still very processed.)
My nutrition convictions have increased over the last few months, and especially since we've been on this trip. I've had less distractions and more time to focus on my family, set some goals, evaluate things around me, etc... Just more intentional living all around (one of my favorite things about RV-living). And cooking healthy meals for my family has been one of the things that has hit me in the face. I must learn how to cook. And not only cook, but cook nutrition-filled meals that will over time make us healthier individuals.
My main motivation is my husband. We think he has food allergies of sorts, but have yet to get an official allergy test. Doctors can't seem to pinpoint his symptoms.
So here goes this cooking thing. Succeed or fail, I must try. Here's to good health - for ourselves and our loved ones. Cheers.
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