Troy brought it to my attention on our last day through Missouri, just prior to getting home, that we were gone for 95 days. For some reason, 95 days seems a lot longer than 3 months. After being gone that long, day 96 felt like a big deal.
Re-acquainting ourselves with our home reminded me of how it felt to come home to my parents' house during college breaks. It felt comfortable, familiar, and held lots of memories, but at the same time it felt like someone else's home and like someone else's life. My home for the last 95 days was small, aluminum, and looked somewhat like the inside of a tin can. The house we came back to felt enormous, even though it is average or maybe even small to some. The kitchen sink looked like a bathtub. I could get lost in our frig for 2 days. The ceilings, bathrooms, everything was so spacious. The four of us spread out immediately. Kids to the playroom, Troy and I to the loft. Personal space was something rare on our 95 day journey. Personal space was everywhere to be found when we returned. I can't say that one is good or one is bad, they are just different. It's nice to spend time alone, but it's also nice to spend time smashed together with the people you love.
One of the things I was most looking forward to when I returned was a shower in my master bedroom. It's a walk-in with a tall shower head and I can let it run continuously without fear of running out of water or filling up the gray tank. So, I went in the bathroom that evening and turned on the water. I was greeted by the smell of rotten eggs. It was bad. I guess that is a side effect of letting water sit in the hot water heater for long periods of time. So we had to empty the hot water heater since I didn't want to shower in stinky water. I was disappointed by the delay, but I still got my shower in later.
Something often not mentioned about RV living is the fact that most RV'ers don't put their toilet paper in the tanks. It tends to clog them up or at the very least, fill them up too fast. Our black (poop) tank is 18 gallons, so if we were camping at a place without sewer hookups, we had to be aware of how full our tanks were getting. Therefore, we always threw toilet paper into the trash rather than the toilet. Getting home, this proved to be a difficult habit to break. How freeing to realize that you can just put the tp right into the toilet. Is that TMI?
The day we got home, I also had a burning desire to immediately clean out my closet. I had 2 bags of clothes tied up and ready to give away before we even had the Airstream unloaded. It was so clear to me what I didn't want/need anymore.
So it began...a cleaning, throwing out, and organizing frenzy. Much of the stuff we have collected over the years seems silly to hang onto. We cherish the memories that the items trigger, so a quick picture of the item to preserve the memory, then time to get rid of it. It's kind of exciting to begin down-sizing our possessions. This process isn't for everyone, but we feel freer and less burdened as we see open space where there was once clutter. Seriously, how many shoes do I need? Most of them aren't comfortable anyway. Nic naks on the shelves? Just requires more dusting. Four glass baking dishes? Why? Crystal dishes and candle sticks, gone. Canoe that we never use? Craigslist. Goodwill. The dump. You get the idea.
On Day 96, Troy and I left the kids with my parents so we could re-stock our house with groceries. This was the first time we had been together without kids in 3 months. It made this trip to Costco seem like we were getting away with something or skipping school. It was fun to slowly shop every aisle, but the fun ended when we went out to the truck and found a completely flat tire. Two things we are grateful for...one, that the Costco tire shop was still open, and two, that we didn't have the flat tire the day before while towing the Airstream through the rolling hills of Missouri. .
So far, it's been good to be home. The grass is getting greener everyday. We went hiking in the woods to see what changes the winter brought to the property. The chicken hatched 7 new chicks. And the peahen hatched a clutch of 6 peachicks (minus one that the dog got to). The frogs are croaking which means a lake full of tadpoles is just around the corner. We celebrated little girls' birthdays with family and are enjoying re-uniting with friends. It is a sweet time, but we already miss our time in the Airstream and find ourselves exploring options for our next trip.
My name is Stevyn. I am a wife, mother, and exercise physiologist with one foot in the world of travel and one foot in the world of fitness. Learn more about me here.
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