Doesn’t everyone want a beautiful life? This is one of the main themes weaving through the posts of this blog. I believe in being surrounded by inspiration. WAIT! Please don’t roll your eyes at this hippie and leave. If you read on, you might get a chuckle at the very least.
If you haven’t heard, we’re living in a camper. Yup. Why? Well, we’re in the process of building this rockin’ Scandinavian-modern farmhouse. We also (used to) live in a rental in the same tiny town in which our farm lies. Last year our cows, our garden AND our building project were in one place and we lived in this other place. Long story short, I wasted a LOT of gas and time running back and forth for toilets & beds.
Fast forward. This year we decided that we would move out of our rental (the local church parsonage) as soon as the weather got nice.
So we did.
Or rather, we are. We’ve moved into the camper so that we can the parsonage ship-shape and hand back the keys.
Here’s where it gets…interesting. (Plus before & after photos!)
I’ll admit, I had a little snob moment when my parents showed up with a camper they bought just for us to use. And they were being so kind!
But, I (with help from the 6 year old) gave myself a little pep talk and decided I was going to rock this. (There are probably some wise, foresighted people chuckling already.) So I bought a can of paint and started beautifying. This thing is 16 feet of gorgeous! (Yes, only 16 feet.) Except the floor. But let’s just ignore the floor. And the bathroom. But we won’t talk about the bathroom for now either. Except…
We started moving in and noticed that the sewage tank is cracked – better test that one out before we start using the toitey! No big deal right? We’re still parked next to a house with a bathroom. (At the time of this writing, we’re still trying to see if the tank leaks. I’ll try to keep you updated in that!)
Well, I’m not below a short walk to the outhouse. This is still fun!
So we get all snuggled in for a first night in the camper. We’re all excited…and chilly. Let’s turn on the heat. We know for sure that works – the parents checked it. We’re happily playing games when one child starts complaining of a headache, now two. Nic and I get nauseous and we realize the heater is probably leaking Carbon Monoxide.
Well, no big deal. Parents to the rescue again! They brought the camper loaded with electric space heaters. No CO leak is going to get my spirits down!
Hmm, now we’ve cooked our first meal in the camper. It would be super nice to fill the water tank so I can use the sink and be less dependent on the parsonage. You know, so it get’s cleaner. That is the point.
We grab needed parts from ‘town’ and in the process get a brand new car battery stolen off the back of our truck, $140 down the drain. Grrr. I counsel myself on forgiveness and move on. My super capable manly man fills the tank, we test the faucet aaaaaand…
…the water comes out a pipe fitting straight onto the camper floor. Go ahead, laugh. I am. At this point I start to wonder (with a perky, cheerful smile of course) does anything work in this thing?
FYI the refrigerator and stove work great. Food must have been of highest priority to the previous owners.
So, right this minute I’m typing from the most adorably decorated entire family bedroom on wheels ever. (You’re so ready for after photos aren’t you?!) And do you know what? I’m still happy as a clam.
Because I want to be here. And because this is an inspiring place.
The sun shines in all of the windows and makes the place so cheery. There are beautiful things all around me. By that, I do not mean expensive things or lots of things. I mean thoughtfully chosen, skillfully (or childishly) made, useful things. The ONLY thing I bought for this semipermanent-mini vacation-home was the can of paint from our local Re-Store. $15.
Sometimes we smile at each other and wonder why we’re building a big ole house. We know we’ll fill it with people. But living with only what is necessary and lovely at the same time does wonders for a person’s soul.
We must cultivate this in our home. Look around your home. Do those things help you or hinder you? How much time do you spend taking care of your stuff when you could be enjoying something better, truer and deeper.
This is the endeavor. Maybe you’re 10 steps ahead of me, but this is why I blog. This is what I’m striving for: to see that there can be beauty in the everyday. Not artificial, cookie cutter, instafake beauty; the kind of beauty that has heart and soul. The kind that you have to search for and work at. It’s peaceful and gratifying.
For me, it’s a handmade dishcloth. A great book and tea in a special cup. Bread dough rising in a wooden bowl.
What is beautiful to you? How can you cultivate more? Because I guarantee there is no such thing as enough beauty. Not here. Not now.