We have been officially on the road for 17 months now.
Living out of our van, hotels, friends’ homes, family’s homes… miles on the road. Life so busy that there are times I don’t even know what day it is or what month we are in.
A crazy travel life that has turned our lives upside down.
And in the midst of the turning upside down, I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten a few things.
1. cooking. All my normal recipes are packed away. I haven’t seen them in months. I haven’t cooked them in months. I couldn’t tell you how to make some of my family’s favorites like pizza soup or crockpot lasagna. In fact, I don’t even really remember what I used to feed my family before our travel days. I don’t have my own kitchen and haven’t for quite awhile.
2. grocery shopping to stock a kitchen. Since I make a meal every now and then, sharing the shopping duties with my mom or a friend or whoever we happen to be staying with… I don’t remember how to shop for everything our family needs in a weeks time. I am more used to packing our food bag with snacks for the road than I am stocking a kitchen for cooking meals.
3. putting away the luggage. Does luggage really get put away and have a place to be stored while not in use? Ours has been in FULL use for 17 months! Putting it away does not even happen in our family.
4. yard/house jobs. I see everyone talking about gardening and planting and mulching and mowing and all those things we used to think about… that seems like such a long time ago! When we are traveling from hotel to hotel, I don’t clean or cook… sometimes for a few weeks! We certainly don’t do yard work unless we are helping a friend. I felt so normal recently while helping my sister clean her garage… but, alas… it was not my garage. I don’t have one.
5. having our own space. We have been living as a family for months. Same hotel room, same space, same van. Always together. Once and awhile we will stay somewhere with our own room but that is pretty rare. Little House on the Prairie living all in a one room cabin? Yes. That is more like how we have been living while traveling.
6. normal activities. Piano lessons? Play dates? Library runs? Practices at church? What are those?
7. decorating. Ok. I’m not much of a decorator anyway, but the thought of even having space to decorate? or to let my girls get something for their room or buy a new something for the house? It has been a long time…
8. organizing our own family schedule. This travel life requires GREAT AMOUNTS of scheduling but every scheduled event includes other people. I’m not complaining about that because we are incredibly thankful for every person in our lives! But to just plan according to our family and not a church schedule or another family’s meal time or bed time or some other scheduled plan? I don’t remember what that is like! Our schedule involves multiple other schedules. One change effects many things. We make BIG decisions sometimes based on the plans of others… and then those decisions get changed based on the plans of others. Our schedule is tight and many times we have little control over it. All a lesson and a part of the journey…
9. privacy. I’m blogging all of this so obviously I’m not too concerned about privacy… but contrary to popular belief, in our normal lives, I don’t feel the need to share everything. But this process has made public a lot of our busy days. All good and okay… really… but there are moments I wonder what it was like pre-facebook, pre-blogging, pre-itinerating… where our finances and travels and lives weren’t open books to the world.
10. typical mom phrases. Saying things like “go to your room and play” or “go to your room for quiet time” or “clean your room” or “pick up the toys in the playroom” or “put your clothes in your closet” or “take these folded jeans to your dresser”… yeah. I don’t say those things anymore.
This isn’t a complain list.
Not at all.
Who wouldn’t like a life with very little cleaning?
These were just some observations, some thoughts I’ve had recently about this busy travel life I’m living.
Some different, slightly uncommon mom moments… some very “normal” things that I’ve forgotten after 17 months of busy travel.
Can you imagine going 17 months as a mom on the road?