To Encourage and Inspire You On Life’s Ever Changing Journey
If you are a subscriber to TFL’s Bi-weekly newsletter, then you know most of this story. Last November, my husband and I loaded all the belongings we could into a 5’x8′ U-Haul trailer and moved over 2500 miles. We moved from the family farm in west central Louisiana to the wilderness in the panhandle of Idaho. Talk about climate change!
The question on your mind is probably the same as it’s been for everyone else. Why?
Well, I’ll share that with you, but first let’s talk about the idea of it. In today’s culture here in the U.S., we hear a lot about people losing their jobs, sickness taking everything a family owns, divorce devastating a household, so many things happen the life of a person. Often times, there is no one thing that brings drastic change to a life. It seems to be a combination of things.
Life is precarious. It’s fragile and a thing to be valued. We only get one shot at living it richly, honestly, and purposefully.
**September 1, 2016 UPDATE – We are renting a house while we look for our homestead. We like this location and have decided to rebuild our homesteading lifestyle here. We’ll keep you posted.**
So what led us to this total life change. It was a combination of things. My husband was offered a job with a box store in the management training program. He was already an assistant manager with another box store and he wanted off their merry-go-round. He took the job and turned in his notice at his then current job. They refused notice and had him leave immediately. Fine, we thought, we’ll take a couple weeks off and then start the new job. In the meanwhile, the other store decided to halt hiring. We found ourselves with no job.
In the area we were in, there aren’t many job opportunities. The oil field is the biggest employer there and they were already in major layoffs. We had been caring for and building up the family farm for the past 10 years in preparation for taking over it. Suddenly, it was no longer going to be a family farm. There is no blame. Everyone makes the best decisions they can at the time they have it to do. We found ourselves with no idea what to do. Our lives were turned upside down. Everything had changed in just a matter of days.
We had several people praying with us for guidance and direction. We had decided to get a tent and live in it for a while at a state park in Mississippi. We began making plans. We had many offers from friends who so generously opened their homes, their lives, and their homesteads to us. We had no idea so many loving, thoughtful people still existed in this world.
We heard from some dear friends of ours who invited us to come stay in their guest cabin. We were thrilled. A cabin in the mountains has always been a dream vacation spot for us. We sold everything we could sell. Everything we thought would suit an off grid lifestyle was kept. If something didn’t sell, we gave it away. If we couldn’t give it away we left it behind.
So we loaded up the few things we could get in the U-Haul, our two dogs, and started our journey here. You have to know, I had never been further west than Houston, TX. I’m not a traveling girl. I got to see places and people I never thought I’d see.
I realized life is too short. Follow your dreams. If it’s travel, travel. If it’s writing, write. If it’s having a certain kind of homestead, build it with all your might. Is traveling my dream? No. I’m still a homebody at heart, but as I taught my kids, home is where the ones you love are, not a building made with hands.
We arrived into the loving, comforting arms of friends. God’s plans and designs are higher than we can think. He had sent us to them at a time in their lives when they needed help. My friend was very sick. She and her family faced the real possibility of her death. She shares her story with you, so I encourage you to listen to her message and share it with others. She’s healing now, miraculously, mercifully, she’s getting better every day!
We found ourselves thrust from an on grid world to an off grid world. The cabin we are in has no running water, no plumbing, no electricity. We love it. It has it’s challenges and rewards. We call Tammy and Glen’s house “The Big House”. They run off grid with solar power.
We haul our water in 5 gallon buckets to the cabin. We use an outhouse and at night I use a chamber pot. Yes, they still do make them. We shower at The Big House and take Granny Brown baths in between. We are in the process of looking for what God has in store for us next.
We are loving the mountain wilderness of the Idaho panhandle that’s for sure. The weather here is nothing like I’ve ever experienced. In the matter of one hour, I kid you not, I’ve seen it snow, rain, sleet, and the sun shine! It’s a wonderland. I don’t know how else to describe it. Time seems to move quickly here. I’ve no idea why.
If you are someone you know is facing life altering circumstances, encourage them, love them, pray for them, listen to them. If it’s in your hands, offer help to them. People have survived things in this world we may never experience. I hope you never know the pain, betrayal, and grief we had to pass through, but if you do, there is life afterwards. There is hope and love.
You’ve asked me so many times to share the story with you. Now I have. Our journey continues. Do we know what direction our journey is headed? We have an idea, but until we receive clear direction, we’ll hold it close to our hearts.
Your kind emails, comments, and words on our social media sites have encouraged us and made us feel your love and support. Thank you to all The Farmer’s Lamp Community. We are excited to share this journey with you.
Won’t you come with us on this journey? Won’t you share your journey with us?
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack