My last blog post talked about my chronic health issues, and the fact that we were gearing up to make some major life changes to help me deal with them. We needed to simplify, reduce our monthly expenses, and I needed more down time from sewing and business to focus on my health. We decided that a move to a low crime, low cost of living, incredibly low housing costs, small, rural area was just what I needed right now. We decided to move from Oregon to Michigan.
8 PM tonight marked exactly 4 weeks since we drove away from Oregon to start our new life. It was terrifying, and I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to drive away. I wasn't attached to the house at all, but we had built a community of unschooling friends who became like family. We also left behind our eldest daughter, so she could attend the college of her choice. Driving away was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
The trip was long, and hard. My husband drove his small SUV, towing a small trailer with motorcycle and bicycles. I drove my Expedition, towing Griselda, my vintage camper, mattress strapped onto the roof. Everything that we owned, we carried with us. We left much behind, out of pure necessity (a Uhaul was out of the budget and didn't make financial sense, considering the little value that was in our belongings/furnishings). We were planning on sleeping and cooking in Griselda, and had planned to stay in Walmart parking lots to keep the costs of the trip as minimal as possible. (Thank you Walmart, for your generous overnight parking policy!)
We hoped for a monotonous, boring trip. We didn't get it. Instead, we got road rage in Salt Lake City, a blow out in the tire of the camper, after which we found out that Les Schwab actually put car tires on the camper instead of camper tires (They made it right with a refund after the fact, but it was terrifying after the blow out and finding that out!). We had a bent axel on my trailer. We hit some major storms from Wyoming through Indiana. The rain was torrential, and the wind had gusts of 60 MPH plus (which is NOT fun when you are towing, and even less fun when your camper is 49 years old, and has louvered windows that do not stay shut in such wind, causing them to lift up and it to rain inside, causing major water damage inside). We lost our mattress to water damage. My camper is no longer towable. We lost countless boxes that we thought were protected inside the camper, but due to the amount of water damage, weren't. The losses added up to around $4,000. We weren't prepared to take that hit. Griselda will be parked in our backyard, underneath the tree, and she will become a beautiful play house for myself and my littles. I'm sure we will enjoy backyard camping with her. :)
We celebrated our last few miles in Oregon with a beautiful roadside picnic.
Eventually, we made it though, and all was forgotten. It was a tremendous, expensive learning experience. We all grew a little from it, and I made it out of the 5 day, 2500 mile trip still married (haha!). This is our beautiful new house. It's been everything I hoped it would be (which is good, since we hadn't actually seen it when we purchased it! Apparently we like to live dangerously!).
After the trip taking such a huge toll on us, we reopened MotherMoonPads early, just a few days after we arrived. After our children had beds, my sewing area became the priority. It's funny how life goes on like that. I'm thankful that part of the transition was relatively seamless, and pain free.
I have high hopes for our life in Michigan. The summer has been beautiful. I'm sure I will whine a lot in the winter, but the trade offs have been numerous, and positive. This truly is the beginning of the rest of our lives, in what we hope is our forever home and tiny homestead!
PS, There has been a lot of requests to bring back the private Facebook chat group. I've recruited some help with it this time, and you can find it here if you'd like: MotherMoonPads Chat