As I sit here enjoying my morning coffee thinking of what it is that we need to complete in the next 11 days it seems a little…overwhelming. Our current place seems to have everything out of place. Amanda is amazing and organized in ways that astound me. I am more of roll with it and less of a list person. Amanda has probably done 90% of the packing while I have been at work. There are boxes piled high in a spare room. The kids dressers are waiting to be rehomed as they won’t require them after the move as they all will have captins beds with storage drawers to hold their clothes. The beds that 2 and 3 used to sleep in are headed to a new home tonight.
This is a time for me to reflect on what is it that I really need? What do I use? Do I need anything that I haven’t used in ages and if I feel I do why? I mean it is easy to justify everything as a need but now is a time to reshape the life we have been living.
I think back to being on a wagontrain traveling across WY and MT with little more than what I could fit in saddle bags and my crawl (bedroll). I had a pair of britches and elk hide leggings with a few loin cloths, I had three shirts, a slicker and jacket with my hat and wild rags to top it off. My bedroll which was a repurposed wall out of a wall tent (there is a story of why it was repurposed just remind me some time) held my will blankets and my journal. In my pockets I had a pocket knife. I had a jaw harp to help pass the time and my journey mug that a dear friend of mine made me along the way that I still use to this day. That mug was used for water, coffee, and wiskey. It tells many stories of you have time to listen. It has journeyed many miles and has many memories attached to it.
Those were simpler times. I didn’t have children to think about nor did I have a wife not that they have complicated life as they have brought purpose, it is that my priorities have changed. The wagon I slept under was owned by the man I worked for. But that wagon reminded me of how easy we have it. Can you imagine actually having to sort out your belongings as to what you can fit onto and into your wagon. Now just because it fits doesn’t mean it isn’t to heavy for your horses to haul it day in and day out. Not only do you need to put your belongings on board but the tools and equipment you will need to open the homestead you will file on and hope to prove up on. The first wagons didn’t have the luxury of stores. So you had to pack belongings, tools, feed and food. You had to weigh out your options and hope you had made the right choice.
Can you imagine all the pressure? Headed out into the unknown with all you own fitting into a wagon that was about 3.5 feet wide and 10 feet long…could you do it? Why leave the security of the settlements they were accustomed to?
We live in a life of luxury currently with food and water readily available. If you need a tool you can run and purchase one. You can have your meals delivered to you. Your house can be heated without working hard for the fuel to heat it. So why move? Why leave the security of the settlements we have become accustomed to?
We are not leaving the security as they would have, we are dropping some of the luxuries that we currently have but there is a real good reason for it. It is called a dream. I believe that this dream we have is also the dream that the early settlers had…a dream of being in charge of their fate, not being slave to the colony, it was in many ways the only ways they could own land. But deep down I think the dream was to have a better future. That is why we are moving to a quarter section of land without conventional power or heat. We are moving in hopes of a better future for our children and for a quality of life that it will provide for us. Will it be easy? No. Will there be sacrifice on everyone’s part? At times yes. Will it be worth it? In the end yes!
And so I will finish my coffee and head out into the garage to start to sort out what it is that I need and why…what I can do without and to simply reflect on how very blessed I am with stuff but that sometimes stuff gets in the way of relationships. On the wagontrain where I had very little I came out of there with relationships that to this day 16 years later I still have. I still keep in contact with many of those people many of them spoke into my life and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Those are the things I will pack with me. Those memories, character traits and skills that I have built upon because others took the time to speak into my life. And I will be bringing along my journey mug.