days 12-24

Murphys Law, Frankfort, MI

I was rereading my last post which was awhile ago and no, we did not get booted off the Home Depot lot during the night. In the morning we stopped in South Haven at a little farm market where we had bad coffees, bought produce, and gave a tour of the bus to a couple that was waiting next to it when we got back. We arrived to Dillon’s late in the afternoon the 17th, a fitting day since it was the 8th anniversary of Dad being gone.

We have been cooking good food, mowing, having garage sale, spoiling cute little Max Anthony, eating supper at Ross&Nats, and camping, among other things. We all went camping last weekend up north aways. We found a little campground on a lake so we fished and swam and kayaked. We took the bus and Dillon’s, Mom, and Madison were in tents or hammocks. One day it rained most of daylight hours so the bus got well used since we seven were inside, cooking and hanging out. It was such a relaxing weekend. Mom, Madison, and Dilly’s left for home Sunday evening, while Morgan and I drove the bus up over the Mackinac Bridge and into the U.P. to attend our first ever skoolie “festival”.

Black Lake, Michigan

The fest was held at a specially reserved campground so we arrived there Sunday evening and got set up. When we arrive somewhere we have a 20 minute period where Morgan plugs in the bus, gets the bikes down, sets up the grey tank, and other little stuff. When we are driving, I use our kitchen sink to put all the things in that move around from our counters so when we arrive somewhere, I put our books back on the shelf, set out my plants, lay out our outdoor rug, and so on. After we’d set up, we took a bike ride out on a path surrounded by forests. Later we met our neighbors, a sweet family of four in a beautiful 40 foot bus next to ours, and then made spaghetti for supper and relaxed outside until the plague of mosquitoes drove us in. Monday we spent a good part of the day meeting new people from all over the country and getting to know them and occasionally touring their buses. We met some awesome people families and were impressed with the genius ideas we saw in other people’s bus builds. In the afternoon we rode bike to a lake somewhere out in the boonies that was quiet and sandy and warm.

view of skoolie u.p. 2021

We left the fest (sadly since it was going on all week) on Tuesday morning after a community breakfast and drove to St. Ignace where we stopped for coffees (we rated them 8.7/10, which is pretty high for us haha) and ended up meeting a really cool young couple who live on a boat off Florida somewhere most of the time. I hope all of you talk to strangers and meet new people because it’s so interesting.

We got home and promptly turned around and drove to Lansing with Dillon where we met the rest for supper and shopped Horrocks which is basically my only goal in life ever. Whilst eating, we found out via Randy that there were three spots available to go fishing in Frankfort so Morgan, Madison, and I snapped the spots up and as soon as we were home from Lansing, packed up an ice chest and drove up to Frankfort. We slept an hour in the vehicle and were on the dock at 5 am where we met Randy (MI) and Taylor and Greg (MS). We went with our favorite boat and captain and friend, Brian Murphy. He and Dad got to be close friends and we would consider him and his wife Christine, our family. They are wonderful people. We caught our limit of lake trout by 10 and stopped to say hello to Christine at their store, Frankfort Tackle Box, before we left town. We had a really great time with the guys! Also I got to see Joanie (wife of Taylor) who was my friend before basically everyone except Jerica, so that is also making me happy currently.

Last night we went to Ty&Alyssa for pizza, and today Morgan and I went to Grand Rapids to get taco meat and fixings for the MapleView Benefit that is this Saturday evening here in Michigan. We are doing street tacos and I hear there will be catfish, desserts, wings, etc. also so we think it will be a fun evening seeing people from here and away.

Kansas to Michigan

corny caption

July 9- We were up at 5 am so we could be on the road in decent time. We wanted to stop in North Platte where Ryan & Lonette go to farm markets so we got there when they were opening up. They have such a beautiful display with all their bright veggies so of course we bought stuff for the road. Morgan drove most of the way out to Copeland, and I slept.

I tried to decide what to write about our Kansas stop but it mostly consisted of Mennonites and meals so it might bore you. We had a wonderful time being with our people. Lots of family and friends stopped in to see us and the bus, and we had meals at Max’s, Daymon’s, Jordan’s, Bruce’s, and Cody with assorted friends at each place. It was such a ruckus of fun. On our way out of Western Ks, we stopped at Boot Hill in Dodge City to watch the gunfight, drink sasparilla, and to view the ancient artifacts left by my Native American ancestors.

Boot Hill

From there we drove to Central and did NOT spend enough days. We spent some time with Anth&Treva, Olin&Kat, Mark&Melody and family, John&Shar, and Rhett&Mel, plus some other quick connections. We got a condensed Inman Museum tour from John which was SO interesting and we could have spent alot more time there.

We left John & Shars yesterday morning at 6 and met Mom and Madison and drove out towards Sedalia, MO, where Morgan’s cousin Rachelle and Terril live. We all had lunch at the Ox Horn Market and our best Ann came from Versailles to meet us too which made us so happy. We got drinks at Ozark Coffee Co. where Rachelle works before we left. We drove in rain all day yesterday and one minor thing we didn’t plan for or have the chance to try out in California were our windshield wipers. We have discovered as of yesterday that they do not work. We had to pull over at one point but mostly we’re high enough that it’s not too bad and we can see okay. We stopped early last night somewhere in Missouri because of storms and Mom and Madison got a hotel room. We went out to Cracker Barrel for supper and had a relaxing evening doing nothing which has been rare.

July 16- This morning at 7 we hit the road. Our bus feels damp and nasty. I mean it looks fine. I’m just not used to the humidity. We drove in more rain until noon so the windows had to be closed and it got stuffy and foggy in the bus. Have I mentioned it’s humid? Anyways spirits are high since we’re close to “home.” Mom and Madison are going to get to Dillon’s this evening but Morgan and I and the bus will get there tomorrow. Tonight we are parked in a Home Depot lot and hope we won’t get booted out. What’s life without sleeping on the edge tho right?

bus+Mozambique+Idaho

Ok so there’s just been so many things happening and some are exciting and some are frustrating but basically that means I don’t get around to writing on here like I want to.

Last Wednesday morning, Mom, Morgan, and I left for Mackay to go visit Madison. We got to drive through snow part of the way which was the only exciting thing that happened the whole way there. We went to Uncle Mike’s for supper Wednesday evening when we got there and then to the tiny house Madison and her co-teacher live in. It’s very cute and small and perfect except for the little demon kitten that terrorizes the inside of the cabin. The weather was beautiful with lows around 5* and the mountains were full of snow and so pretty. We saw all kinds of places to park our bus on future trips and that’s exciting to think about. Thanksgiving Day lunch was spent at a young couples, Krystan and Lesleigh Stoll’s house. Whoever was around Mackay came for lunch there and we had a really neat time being with friends and making new ones. In the afternoon we hiked up to “the swing” as the locals call it. Its a short hike up through the trees and snow to a clearing where there’s a huge tree with a swing you grab onto. Then you run and jump holding onto the swing bar and fly around the tree. Unfortunately while we were at the swing, Madison’s dog Shasta wouldn’t come when we called and she’d chased away after an animal somewhere on the mountain so we spent a stressed half hour searching and calling while it got dark. We had a special prayer then and ten minutes later she came running up the trail, full of ice and scared and cold. It was an answered prayer for sure, and the late tomato soup supper definitely hit the spot. On Black Friday we stopped at Pickle’s Place in Arco for delicious breakfast and then drove to Idaho Falls and did some Christmas shopping. Pickle’s Place is this local spot where everyone goes and they have amazing food and you usually see pretty crusty locals there. It’s fun. Overall it was a delightful time and we were sad to leave Madison and the mountains. Madison is actually coming out this weekend for a wedding so it’s just five days apart but stillllll.

On that note, we were HOPING to get in our bus this week, and it’s still a possibility but I guess we’ll see. We still have a list of things to do and Morgan’s been working really late nights there with Levi and Abe. I told them we’re going to have to feed them suppers for a year since they’ve been so dedicated to helping Morgan! Our bar stools were delivered this week, Morgan got our composting toilet ready, the bathroom wallpaper is up, the flooring is in, the tile is in the bathroom, and we have the cutest woodstove of all time going every night. Of course with all that gets done there are things that don’t work out either. Like our oven/stove has a propane issue, and our door guy didn’t work out so we are left trying to figure out Plan B, and we can’t find all the plumbing parts. And I knicked the counter with the file when I was working the other night so that made me cranky. Anyways, we are so excited about getting into the bus that we are trying not to let ourselves just move in unfinished and then we don’t get baseboard on for the next 6 months. We all know how this goes, right?

This week is also possibly the worst for trying to move. Madison and my Uncle Jeff’s arrive this Friday so obviously we don’t want to be busy the entire weekend they’re here. And we of course have friends coming for the wedding from Michigan and everywhere else so we want to be in it and be able to have our people over for fire’s and stuff. So yes. Busy busy.

Other good things are: 1. Dillon and Renae had their little baby boy, Max Anthony. The best name and he has dark hair and that’s about what we know! We also know that Madison and I are proud to be aunties and Mom is overjoyed to be a Nonna. Dad would also be very proud of Dillons and little Max, and that’s hard on me that he’s not here. 2. Morgan and I bought tickets to go see them leaving December 29. If you’ve made it this far, please pray that our tests are negative and we can get into Mozambique! Our plan is to fly into the capital, Maputo, where Dillon’s are currently, and drive back up to their house in Tete while helping with the baby and stuff. We already feel we’ve had prayers answered. Dillon had taken our papers into the Embassy and been told they didn’t know when he’d get them back since it’s all backed up and people still haven’t got papers from a couple months ago. Anyways he called back two days later and said we’d got our letter of visa approval in 1.5 days and he was shocked! We are so thankful we have that on our side! So I’m working on getting a yellow fever shot also, which is limited supply so I have to drive a couple hours to get it. 3. I got to substitute teach yesterday and it was f u n to be back at school again. 4. My Christmas shopping is on point this year. Like I have come up with ideas that are exactly what that person could use. We are doing stocking stuffers this year for gifts so it will be a fun, simple Christmas here at Mom’s. 5. I finished my few Christmas cards and sent them away.

I hope all of you have a safe weekā™”

the queen is back!

Hey fans. I took a summer sabbatical as you all can see, and after some good summer days, I am back! I hope all of you have had nice summers. I covered a lot of ground this summer and I wish I could write about all of it but here’s a few of the highlights. Mom and I took Madison to Mackay, Idaho, to help set up her classroom; I went for a few days with Morgan on a job to Kingman and spent a little time with the lovely people there; Mom, Madison, and I taught a little Teacher Prep class for a couple days; we camped at the beach with the Koehn’s&Jantz’s and celebrated our anniversary that day by watching dolphins jump in the waves and finding sand dollars; we bought sourdough bread and flowers and soaps on weekends at Farmers Markets.

farmers market finds.

One highlight was going with Madison and Levi camping one weekend. We drove to Bishop and camped under the stars with cattle roaming around and the meteor shower overhead. The springs were full of unique people and we watched the sunrise from them one morning. We also found a place in the river and spent awhile one afternoon swimming. It was a glorious experience. On the way home we came upon a new fire that had started in the mountains so we stopped across the road and got to watch the planes drop retardant and the helicopters dip from the lake to fill their buckets with water. It was quite interesting.

Having this blog is difficult in some ways. I started this blog to keep my family updated while we traveled, but it’s turned into more of a lifestyle blog as time has gone on, with occasional travels scattered here and there. The things I write here are just my thoughts and opinions, but for you they could offend or inspire. I have often thought if you weren’t interested or didn’t agree, you wouldn’t come back but I hope that you can get something inspirational from each one and continue checking in on here! The downside to writing my thoughts and opinions to lots of people who know me or who I am is that some of the things I have written about or will write about can seem pointed, even though I try to stay away from “political” posts. I have lost a lot of confidence in my writing which is part of the reason I haven’t posted recently, and I miss it so much, but finding the middle of the road on what to say or not say is difficult. If I write about depression like I did in a previous post, 50% of you wanted more posts on it and agreed it’s somewhat of a taboo subject in our circles, while the other 50% criticized me for having to take anti-depressants because it’s probably a spiritual issue. Now I’m left with the decision if I should ever post about it again or not for fear of stepping on toes, yet how do I stay silent on something I have dealt with since my dad passed away? This is just an example. I want this to be a positive site, but there are some of these things I don’t know where to always go with. Please pray that this blog can inspire and enthuse.

A bus update. We are getting so close to move in time! I bought drawer liners the other day to keep things from sliding around in the drawers because that’s something you have to think about when your house is going to be on the move occasionally. Anyways when I bought them I actually stopped in HomeGoods line and thought, “Wow. We are actually doing this.” Since I guess all the work Morgan’s been doing hasn’t sunk in yet? Our cabinets are in, the whole inside is painted with just some touch-up painting to do. The bed is built and in, everything is trimmed out, and the shower is sealed. We need to finish the shower this week and get the stove and skylight in. Plus a lot of other stuff that is just getting items in and connected basically. We have everything bought except our refrigerator, and it’s out of stock. Do we settle for the wrong size or use a mini for the time being? All big questions, you know. I am honestly so so proud of Morgan because he has watched videos and figured lots of things out that we had no clue about before we started this. So needless to say, we are very excited to see what this month brings! We have plans to move in this month, but things have come up so we will see.

a view from the front of the bus.

Since it’s past, I guess I can write about it. My birthday was the 27th and Morgan had a surprise party for me on the 25th! It was outside at Kevin’s and Morgan did such a good job. He grilled tri-tip and lots of my special people were there. I got very spoiled and loved and it was quite fun. Also I’m old now.

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. Stay tuned for more posts! Another Christmas Gift Guide post featuring different friends’ businesses will also be coming next month. xoxo, cheyenne