The remaining years of the apprenticeship and our time we spent tramping were both an amazing adventure and at times a study in barely contained chaos. If you’ve ever been through it, or are there now, you know how it can be. Sometimes we had an idea about how long we were going to be in a place. And there were a time or two when LM came home and let us know we were moving that weekend. Our record time between “We gotta move” and getting our jacks up was 90 minutes. This is one of those times when trailer life is better than anything else.
We had our third child while we were in Houston and it took us the whole pregnancy to decide his name. Literally. We settled on a name hours before I went into labor. He must have been waiting for a formal name since I had proclaimed that, regardless of what his legal name was, his nickname was Tex. That was not an opportunity I was going to throw away. Turns out it’s perfect because John Wayne is his hero.
We also were able to meet an incredible family there in Houston and have been in touch ever since. In fact, they have been one of the best embodiments of “I am my Brother’s Keeper” I can think of. Maybe I’ll share the story of the fateful trip East and how they were the vessel through which the Lord answered our prayers here in another installment.
The friendships we’ve fostered and the memories we’ve created are the best part of this time. Like that time we unwittingly took our friends from out of town and their inlaws, complete with all our kids, to a resturaunt with barely dressed waitresses. A light show and techno music started half way through our meal. I guess it was that kind of place? The hostess in a bustier should have been our first clue. The crawfish was good though!
Or all the fires we sat around until late into the night with friends laughing. The first time my kids saw fireflies. Watching the fireworks over Disneyland every night from our couch. The Sunday mornings spent fishing at the stocked pond at one of the RV parks. My kids can cast a line better than I can. Seeing a New Mexico sky absolutely filled with hot air balloons–we were in Albuquerque during the biggest air balloon festival imaginable. A bookstore in Portland as big as a block! And the other incredible LineFamily there that helped us so much. She probably doesn’t know how much I needed to get out of the trailer when she invited me to those play groups, but I love her for it. There are so many images flashing through my mind as I write this that I’m struggling to put them all into words. But we were able to experience them as a family. That was the driving force behind this choice to tramp together. Was it always awesome? No. There was a time my oldest flushed something down the toilet and I had to go the back way to unclog the black tank. It was exactly as horrible as it sounds. Were there difficult times? Absolutely! One time we got moved into a winter wonder land with no warning, and therefore no skirting. There was frost on the inside walls. But we did it together. Like Ohana, no one was left behind or forgotten. We ate dinner as a family. We folded the laundry together. The fits of giggles and the tantrums. We experienced life’s everyday roses and thorns together. Not being able to walk around my bed was more than worth it.