For six weeks after The Crash, we squatted with family in their new home. Unless you have experienced an event that completely wipes out your home, vehicle, office and most of your personal belongings, you probably cannot comprehend all that we dealt with those first six weeks. Most of the damaged items were just stuff to me -- things to which I had no real emotional ties. In fact, I only lamented the loss of Sage's BOB stroller and the trailer. Fortunately we were able to salvage the trailer, at least. Sentimental piece.
But the rest of the stuff didn't bother me. Losing the truck and El Valor were not that stressful, really, except that we found ourselves without a vehicle and home and no time to replace them. Most of the time we maintained a positive attitude and counted our blessings that nobody was hurt nor was our livelihood destroyed. Still, there were days when we were uncertain about our future. Not just as a mobile family and business, but a family in general. There were times we considered ending our odyssey and renting a place temporarily while we reconfigured our life. We shopped online for truck and camper combos, then motorhomes, then vans. Nothing within our budget seemed to improve upon our previous rig. Eventually we decided to take our old beach truck out of storage and rebuild the tattered trailer. These would hold us over until summer. Well, summer is here, and still we have no time to upgrade our rig. Upgrade is now officially tabled until fall, or winter. Or perhaps indefinitely! At the moment it doesn't seem as important.
When the trailer was finally ready to roll we moved it to Cedar Hill State Park. After six weeks there, we feel part of the park family. New friends. Duck Pond hiking tour. Full moon tour of the Penn family farm. Hiking to the remnant prairie to shoot perennials and grasses dancing in the setting sun. Innumerable sightings of Eastern Bluebird, Painted Bunting and an array of butterfly species. Treacherous storms. Rain, rain; mud everywhere and inside everything. Sunsets that remind us we are alive! Nature reminding us why we do what we do. Yes, our six-week camping trip healed our hearts after our catastrophic moment.
Looking back over the past three months, I feel proud. Despite losing nearly everything, despite scary moments worrying about my dad's health, my computer crashing, more truck problems, changes to business, and downsizing our home, again; we managed to survive. Maybe not at first, but with each setback we found opportunities to streamline or otherwise improve our lifestyle or livelihood. To be sure, these three months took an emotional toll on all of us. Sage ramped up the tantrums (because she is three AND picking up on our soaring stress levels.) David and I couldn't be in the same room without erupting into an argument. I called my mom on more than one occasion just to cry and have somebody reassure me that everything would be just fine. Oh, and these are just the highlights. Ha ha ha. While in the throes of this life-changing event, I could not speak or write about my feelings. Too heavy. Now, though, I am able to put the pain in its proper place...in the past. I've moved on...we all have.
So, moving on...we left Cedar Hill to stay with family again. This time, to express our gratitude, to give more than thanks. This time, we are working hard to landscape their backyard that was a gigantic blank slate. Bermuda turf has been eliminated and replaced with sweeping, curvaceous beds brimming with perennials, such as Beebalm, Four Nerve Daisy, Blackfoot Daisy, Purple Skullcap, Snake Herb, and Mealy Cup Sage; Gamagrass, Indiangrass and Buffalograss turf; and trees, such as Cedar Elm, Possumhaw, Mexican Plum, and Roughleaf Dogwood. And more. No matter the heat, and the fact that I haven't installed a landscape in many years: this project is fun and truly rewarding. When it is finished, we will leave once again. Time to continue our journey...