I love waking up snuggled next to my husband in our queen-sized bed, nestled in our cozy RV bus conversion. My love and I are in this together. Every thing that I value is close to me, no mortgage, no utility bills hanging over my head, sunshine oozing through our curtains, birds chirping their early morning songs...
As I write, I can hear the lovely sounds and soft Hallmark-ish music playing in my mind, until the needle of reality on the vinyl record of life is crudely pushed aside!
Hahaha! I had someone tell me that I romanticized bus living. I don't think I have, but here is a little dose of our daily morning's reality:
Harshly awakened in the wee hours of the morning, by the incessant screeching of the solar batteries running our electrical system -- once again, there wasn't enough sunshine from the day before to power the system for a full night. My husband groans in annoyance, and rolls over … I guess it is my turn to pull myself out from beneath the warm covers, and gingerly hop across the chilly floor. Arg! Ran out of propane for the heater, so it's only 12C (closer to ceiling level) in our home! This is not an everyday occurrence, but oops, propane levels are supposed to be checked regularly, but sometimes are forgotten.
After we pray together, we are up and ready to begin our day. Fern saunters outside to the treeline for his daily first breath of fresh morning air and marking of his territory...
I make the bed, do my morning toilet, freshening up with frigid water because no power means no heated water.
Once dressed and ready to roll, I get breakfast started, while outside, Fern has changed propane tanks to get the heat back on and the kitchen stove running. If necessary, he starts the generator for electricity, pulling the cord a few times and adjusting the choke - no push-button start here.
Breakfast done, Fern has to go fill water bottles, every other day or so, while I clean up and take the dog for a brisk walk - fresh air and exercise are wonderful!
Upon arriving back home, both Fern and I join in the labour of transferring the fourteen 15-18 liter bottles filled with water, from the SUV to our sturdy wagon, PULLING each load through the muddy terrain to our bus conversion at the back of the five acre lot. Five bottles at a time, we do three loads, and it is quite the workout!
I pump the water from the bottles into our 65 gallon water tank, while Fern leaves for his work - running his own business, Captain ELECTRON.
Phew! And all that hard work I just told you about? That is really not the most difficult part of our life. Nope!
The real reality is in all the love lessons.
It's in the crawling out of bed into the cold while letting the other person sleep through the annoying beeping of the dying batteries; it's in the remembering to say thank you for getting our water; it's in continuing to help one another pull the wagonload of water, even though you're totally frustrated after the wagon gets stuck in a rut and tips over, spilling your liquid gold onto the ground; it's in taking over part way through the pumping of water into the tank so the other person can warm their hands inside; it's in the learning not to take setbacks out on each other; and it's in just plain learning to work together, all the while living almost in each other's breathing room.
It's in the everyday difficulties and hardships and frustrations and broken dreams -- no matter where or how you live.
"Love is patient and kind...it is not selfish, and cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done...Love never gives up... It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end." 1 Corinthians 13
I'm not preaching it, friends. Just like you, I'm struggling to live it. Recently, a friend asked me if it has been worth it all -- I can honestly say there have been times when I want to throw my hands up and say, "I give up!"
But once my hands are up, I feel a gentle nudging in my spirit that says, "Yes, lift those hands up to Me. Just ask, and I will take the burdens from them. I long to fill your arms, instead, with love."
It is here that I need to fall on my knees - although the mud inhibits me. My giving up should only be including giving up my selfishness, anger, bitterness, my bad attitude, and my negativity.
If I could do it all over again? I would only wish to bring back with me remembrances of lessons learned, so I could do things better.
Life can be hard wherever and however we chose to live it - but we have to remember, we are in this together!