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are we there yet? the life of a pioneer family

Seattle, United States


this was the moment we had been waiting for. after spending the summer working on the bus, moving out of our house, getting rid of our belongings, saying farewells to friends and loved ones...the time to ride off into the sunset had come. well, by the time all the loose ends were tied, the sun had long set. nonetheless! our brave moment had come. keith turned the keys in the ignition... and....the headlights failed to come on. i fought to not let all the air go out of my balloon. whats a few headlights not working? after all we had an electrician in the house. keith pulled out all of the stops in his jimmy rigging experties and a couple of hours and several wires later we were on the road!

we spent our first nite at a rest stop in ontario, oregon logging a whopping 40 miles on our first leg of the journey. it just felt good to be gaining momentum. the next morning we rose with the sun and (gasp!) the realization that we couldn't make coffee without electricity to grind our beans. i know, i know...what can i say? i like me some good coffee. so we opted for a coffee shop at a grocery store in the next city. at check out the cashier asked for my zip code. i hesitated as it dawned on me that i didn't have one. i told her so. she gave me a blank look. "we are on the road." i explained. she looked at my young children, my husband and back at me. her blank look turned into a sad/concerned look. de-ja-vu. i have had this expereince so many times. i was not going to be able to explain that we hadn't lost a job or a home, but we had actually chosen this life. i resolved to pick a zipcode, (any zipcode) and have it ready for the next time.

the next several days would become our education in the school of veggie oil traveling. up to this point, all of our trips on the bus had been fueled by diesel. things move slower when you travel by bus, and potentially much much slower when you add all of the unpredictability that comes with finding and filtering your own oil (not to mention the steep learning curve that comes with it.) i tried to give my friends in seattle, our first planned destination, a heads up on our estimated time of arrival. i had to call back several times with new e.t.a.s. i should note that i am not a flakey- hippy type. lets say, more of a reasonably responsible hippy-type. i like to give my word and keep it. this was tough and took time to give myself grace and embrace the fact that we were doing something we had never done before. it would take time for the adreneline of city life and schedules begin to fall off. breathe in and breathe out.

we had the pleasure of stopping in woodland, washington to stock up on oil filters, as well as filter some more oil. for me there is such exhiliration in exploring a town i have never been in before. once we secured a good parking spot, i took the kids for a walk to allow some space for keith to work on the bus. it was a beautiful fallish september morning. this charming town's streets were lined with craftsman style houses surrounded with japanese maples,fragrant lavender and rosemary bushes. vines and moss grew everywhere inbetween. ahhh...northwest green bliss. we discovered a neighborhood library in a victorian house that just happened to have childrens story time that day. i love that my children give me a legitamite reason to go to story time. life was beautiful.

at the close of story time, keith had finished his man jobs. we pulled out to drive our easy fifty miles to seattle. keith mentioned that because it was sprinkeling outside, he opted to not heat the oil he filtered and hopefully it would be ok. well...it wasnt ok. the bus started shaking and sputtering and thankfully we were able to pull off into a large church parking lot. we considered our options: we could either wait out the rain, empty the oil tank, heat and refilter the dirty oil and hope we could chalk it up as a lesson learned...or we could cheat and switch to diesel and just get to seattle. we took a minute to pray and hear from heaven. thankfully keith got the same revelation as i did. diesel it was.

i am thankful we had that idyllic peaceful morning to counter what would be a challenging second half of the day. we needed to find diesel and it was getting dark, pouring rain and we were now in rush hour traffic. easy. pull off the next exit and fuel up, right? we'd hoped so. however when you have a thirty seven foot bus with bikeracks in the front

and a van attached in the back there is no pulling into the narrow lanes of any ol' gas station. we do not have the option of just turning around. no truck stops at the next exit, but we did find a gas station with diesel. a wrong way drive down a busy one lane road in traffic was followed by a daredevil stop into a narrow driveway, detatching the van turning it around, turning the bus around, reattatching the van, parking the bus, unsuccessfully searching the town for a large gas can to avoid buying the scandously high priced one galon gas can at the gas station, parking a few blocks from the gas station, buying a scandalously high priced one galon gas can at the gas station, several trips back and fourth shutteling diesel one galon at a time to our bus in the cold dark rain. well, keith did anyway. i made dinner on the bus and tried to answer hava's many excited questions like," are we in seattle?" and "didnt you say we would be in seattle this morning?" we would make it to seattle. we would!

as we walked into the familiar refuge of my dear friend' s home that nite, it never felt so good to receive their warm embraces. the famous americanos that dan makes never tasted so good. the exceptionally hot bath i melted in that night felt quite a bit more luxurious than usual. we made it to seattle!

permalink written by  firebynite on November 9, 2010 from Seattle, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Seattle and StoryTime

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Precisely the detail I was longing for; you are such a gifted storyteller!

Was definitely hoping you had already added the next entry tho!!! Haha! (I know I know I ask a lot!!). Just can't wait to hear what it was like being in person with the Seattle crew!

permalink written by  Tam on November 9, 2010


thanks tam...and thanks abe for the wake up call early this morning as if to say "go write mama"!

permalink written by  tiffany chetta on November 10, 2010

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i am a happily married stay at home mama of two. i enjoy contemplating matters of faith and community,traveling, drinking good coffee, all things vintage,creativity, worship and prayer. if youre interested in hay bale houses, gardening,natural childbirth, homeschooling, natural and...

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