|2001 - Ft. Wayne, IN area - covered bridge|
On a random Thursday morning we woke to business as usual: work, family, friends, school, play, sleep, all the normal things that regularly keep our days full and fulfilled, then suddenly, we were thrown into a state of anxiety, and by 'state of anxiety', I mean a complete and total, radical upheaval of our lives in the way know it… the funding on our present contract was cut and we had to relocate by the end of the month.
|2002 - Sam playing Davy Crockett.|
|2001 First On-the-Road Contract in IN.|
Now, for some families, this would be catastrophic. There would be tears and fear, there would be great trepidation and even partial paralysis at the thought of uprooting an entire family's life and moving it within two weeks, and, to be honest, we felt all those things, but not for too long. We are road warriors from long ago. For years our family traveled America from 'sea to shining sea' and loved it! We ate breakfast at sunrise on the edge of the Grand Canyon as the sun brought the canyon walls to life with colors that could only be made by God. We travelled along Alligator Alley watching the modern day dinosaurs in their natural habitat and gazed heavenward as the Space Shuttle launched. We toured the Jelly Belly factory in Northern California and tried to plow our way through the high altitude passes of the Lake Tahoe in February…unsuccessfully, I might add. We saw the Meteor Crater in Arizona and tried to be awe struck by the big round hole in the ground. We ate Cheese Curds and Sausage in Wisconsin, wore the Green of Green Bay, then we moved on to survive the wind of the Windy City where we lived in a 100 year old barn to make it even more memorable.
2001 - Can't live in Wisconsin without seeing a Dairy Farm.
Finally, ending up in the northeast where we took a tour in NYC and lived in a 100 year old New Jersey Schoolhouse with chalk boards that pulled down from the ceiling to create room dividers and which still sported a bell in the belfry along with the preverbal 'bats'. And then, it was time to rest. As the children began to get older and needed to set some roots, we made our home here in New Jersey. Not being ones to ever do anything quite 'normal', we decided to create a hobby farm with small herd of 7 to 9 goats, a flock of chickens, heritage breed ducks for breeding and laying ducks for luscious duck eggs. And, for a while, there we stayed.
New Jersey has been good to us and it was a safe haven during my illness but it seems God thinks it is time we return to the road and stretch our faith muscles once again. Who knows exactly why? God doesn't always tell. New Jersey will still be our home base while we are on the road. We will still return to take care of business and be with friends and family but for a while, once again, we will take the roads of America and experience life like few families will ever know.
Josh and I were talking through all that has happened as well as our decision to move forward with travel again and it occurred to us, this will be the last time all five of us will be traveling together. It will not be long and our eldest two, who will both be in college this year, will be on their own. This is our last chance to have this time as a family, enjoying each other and experiencing the world at large before Ben and Victoria move on to lives of their own. In a way, this will be the most special year of our lives.
We have always been close, in fact, we could easily live in one big room together and it wouldn't phase any of us. Our family likes being together. I have said, we are only 'five' for a short time. It won't be long and our numbers will increase as prospective spouses appear and then, sadly, we will see the number dwindle as the children take on lives of their own. This time with our children on the road, once again, is going to a very special time for me.
|2002 - Grain Mill in Pall Mall, TN|
Josh and I have talked traveling again during the years we've been sitting still but I was still too ill to even consider such a move. It has only been recently that I am well enough to be able to physically survive the hardships of being on the road. There will be significantly more challenges with all my treatments, need for juicing and the neuropathy but I have to believe God wouldn't have set this before us if He wasn't going to take care of those issues. I will need to be very very strict and take close care of my diet but with some diligence and some planning, I believe we can make this work.
2003 - We always looked for fun places to lease while on contract.
This is the Barn in Chicago, IL.
|2003 - Sam's Make-Shift room in a Hotel while traveling.|
|2003 - The Kids and Zeke in the Barn.|
|2004 - On the Carrier.|
2007 - Sam at his Favorite Hotel - The Du Pont.
They were almost completely empty so we got
the Presidential Suite. Sam believes ALL Hotels
should be just like the Du Pont.
So, if life should throw you a curve-ball and you aren't sure what to do, might I suggest, don't panic. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and say, 'God, where do you want to take me from here?' After all, He already has it all planned out, then, let God lead you on an adventure. You just might be surprise what you have way down deep inside that will surface and take you through the next step in your life that will increase your faith and build your testimony.
2005 - Never being ones to look for just 4 walls and a ceiling,
our family always looked for short-term lease houses with a
little flare, something as unusual as we are... we found
an old 1898 School House to lease while on our first contract in NJ.
May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,