Welcome to My Blog. Please, Stay a While!

“Blogging”… *sigh.  It’s something I’ve always thought about doing, something I tried once, and something I’ve finally decided to make the time for.  Several people over the past few years have encouraged me to start a blog, my aunt Janet being the first to plant the seed.  I asked her what I would write about.  She said I could write about anything, but that I should use my gifts and passions for writing in a more public format.  I thought about it, and kept thinking about it each time someone else would encourage me to write.  My thoughts stayed just that; they were only seeds of thoughts for years.

I taught Writing to elementary and high school students, and I told them countless times that they all have the gift of writing, and that they should share that gift with the world.  I encouraged and helped each of them to publish their writings in school books, and there I was, too afraid/lazy/(insert excuse here) to publish any of my own writing.  The unintentional, well-meaning hypocrisy ends now!

The phenomenon of “blogging” has been popular for quite some time, and I find many blogs to be extremely interesting and helpful.  I enjoy learning and discovering, and connecting with the experiences that other people have been willing to write, and share.  Blogs have taught me, inspired me, encouraged me, opened my mind to new possibilities, and have simply helped me make practical choices.  Writers have asked me to see a topic from a perspective that I may not have considered on my own.

One of my favorite quotes about writing is by Toni Morrison.  She said, “if there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  This is clearly not a book, but you get the idea.  I recently took a trip to the Burgundy (Borgogne) Wine Region in France, and through hours of research in preparation for that trip, I discovered that there really isn’t enough information out there.  I can write it; I can be one of the people to write what I learned, to help others plan their trips.

Am I scared to start a blog?  Sure.  Am I nervous that nobody will read it?  Yes; even if they don’t, does that mean I shouldn’t write it?  Am I concerned that perhaps someone will disagree with me, and post critical or negative comments?  In all likelihood, if I keep up with this, someone eventually will.  People disagree every day.  Disrespectful comments aren’t desired, but is disagreement itself necessarily a bad thing?  Might it push me to re-evaluate my own opinions and make sure I’m being true to myself?  Do I feel timid, like my words can’t possibly matter to anyone else?  Perhaps I do.  Maybe they won’t matter to anyone but me, or maybe, just maybe – something I write can help someone else.

I used to never take risks.  I didn’t do anything unless it was pre-meditated at great length, and the pro’s and con’s were written out and weighed against each other.  I’ve changed a lot.  I like to call that person “Past Chelsea.”  Well, Past Chelsea wouldn’t have put out a blog, no matter how many people told her she should (and she didn’t)!  I’ve done a lot riskier of things now than write a blog.

I hope to blog about a variety of topics that are in my “shopping cart of life,” as my Mother-in-law would say.  These are the collection of experiences that I’ve had along the way, that have shaped me into who I am now.  Past Chelsea is in the past, and here I am.  Here it is!  Thanks for reading, and coming along on the journey with me.

Maybe there’s something you have always wanted to do, that you didn’t think you could, or should.  Why not try it?  Another mantra I have adopted recently is this:  You don’t regret the things you do as much as the things you don’t do.  You can do it, whatever it is, if you decide to make it happen.  I wish you luck in your adventures and risks, big or small, whatever they may be.  Be blessed!

Things I’ve Learned While Living in my Camper

My husband and I lived in our camper last summer for 5 months.  We rented out our house, fully furnished, and moved into our early 2000’s, 26 ft pull-behind camper trailer.  We based it at my in-laws’ acreage, but traveled to BC, California, and several other States with it.  We also had sleepovers in our friends’ driveways, and that was absolutely great to get to do as adults.  We were repeatedly surprised at how many people responded negatively to our lifestyle choice, and how forward, and frankly out of place, many of their comments were.  Looking back a year later, I’m so glad we took that chance; we learned so many invaluable lessons, many of which are posted below.  I kept this list of lessons on a note in my phone throughout the summer, so this blog post was composed over the course of 5 months, as each experience was occurring.  It is written in the form of me speaking to myself, as a reminder of what I was learning.  I left it unedited from what I wrote last year.

People can’t believe you would want to live in your camper. You will encounter criticism, sometimes from those you’d least expect.

Most people have no concept of what a camper trailer looks like inside or the amenities it offers. They DO think you’re eating leaves and berries and pooping in the woods (which maybe explains the previous point…)

When you do something in life that goes against the norm, people notice and comment. Some will be supportive and embrace you for who you are; many will be unsupportive. But do you really need to care? (You are learning that you don’t!)

Some people feel the need to spew their opinions about your lifestyle choices as though it’s affecting them directly. (You knew this beforehand).

You find out who your true friends are when they let you do laundry at their houses and offer to help you with anything you need.

You can go many days without washing your hair with the aid of dry shampoo.

Gym memberships are essential for showering and meeting drinking water requirements.

A ten minute commute into town is really not far; in fact, commuting gives you time to think.

You can live quite happily with many less things.

You don’t have to dress nice ALL of the time (even though you’ll never stop loving this).

Cities are freaking loud and bright! (You thought this in June… just wait. The people outside your camper are louder, and the city will seem quiet to you again after just a few months!)

You really like the area of town that you live in. Do not move far from this area!

You can appreciate quiet – real quiet, when you can actually hear nothing. (This is when nobody is around your camper – then it actually is quiet.)

There are a lot more stars in the sky than you think.

The Bachelorette has a ridiculous amount of commercials when you have to watch it online. You need Sarcan drop and go, to buy a new vehicle, and to travel to China. (No you don’t, but advertising works).

You don’t need TV nearly as much as you thought. You can enjoy relaxing in other ways.

Coyotes howl in packs at dusk every single night. (This terrified you at first, but you will miss them when you don’t hear them.)

Small spaces can be cozy.

You can be extremely crafty when it comes to things like water conservation, and organizing a fridge.

You will still find ways to fill your days and busy yourself, even if you’re not living with regular conveniences or in “the city.”

You are really good at planning your appointments and errands in town to line up nicely against one another.

Religion sucks; Jesus is awesome.

God can speak to you through wine at a winery, or even a Kesha song!

Those who you’d expect to support you might not, but other people will come out of the woodwork, people you maybe haven’t talked to in years, and offer such encouragement!

Decks are crucial to the enjoyment of summer. Yes.

Garden food is awesome if someone else does the weeding and harvesting!

You used to think the world was so black and white, when in fact, it’s very very gray. There aren’t as many hard fast rules to life as you thought there were.

PRIVACY – it matters. A LOT! You don’t know what you’ve got until its GONE. Think about where you live very closely.

Bugs! I hate you stupid little bugs! You were surely part of the curse on Adam and Eve.

Quads are loud and I don’t like that. Trucks and fork lifts and chain saws and other things with engines are loud and I also don’t like that.

People don’t realize that we’re not like they are.

You can be extremely flexible and adaptive, which used to be so unlike you! You’re growing!

You can settle in surprising quickly in different places and make them feel like home, and here’s why; you’ve realized that the actual structure doesn’t make the home a home. Wherever Greg and you lay your heads together at night is home.

Camper life is super awesome and you’ll really miss it when it’s over! You might shed a tear.