Yesterday was our 6 month mark on our adventure as gypsys. I love thinking of us as modern-day gypsys… Traveling the world, being free – Happy. I had a whole blog done up marking the occasion but it felt flat…detached. Which so incredibly unlike me!! And then by magical intervention we had absolutely NO internet at all and I was unable to post it, though I tried over and over at great frustration. I think the Universe was at work, delaying the blog until I got the guts to tell it how it really is…
Here we go.
Y’all know the rig is, well, less than perfect. And yet we managed for 2 whole months on the gate, in southern Texas in the middle of summer mind you, with limited AC, no running water, several roof leaks, 3 hour trips to town and a busted radiator in Big Red. The fun factor was sparse but we made some good money. Some may argue that Snowball was to blame and I’d agree, to a point. We both got to the point where we knew we’d been beat and it was time to raise the white flag and surrender. We headed north to Glen Rose Texas to take advantage of a shower house and pool – take a little vacation if you will after the grueling time on the gate – see some sites and reconnect. You may be together 24/7 on the gate but you are never alone and in the end a relationship can suffer. Glen Rose met us with a couple of shady salesmen that convinced us to hand over a lot of our hard-earned cash. It took us awhile to come to our senses and realize what was really going on… A rookie mistake. We stayed just long enough to get some pool time, river ratting, site seeing and our last check from the gate and high tailed it out of there and on to Amazon. We arrived in Kansas on fumes, running low on funds and supplies, extremely eager to start working again. After paying for a week at the park and then the delay in beginning work we literally had 17 cents to our name when our first check finally arrived. Now we’re here, I lasted about 8 weeks working before I threw in the towel but Chris is still going strong with another 5 weeks to go.
And here we sit – 6 months into the adventure. After reading the above you may be under the impression that this has been a nightmare, that we hate it and can’t wait to get back to ‘normal’ living in society. But those are just the hard facts. That is what has happened. The truth. But sometimes the truth is misleading and doesn’t tell the whole story.
Our time on the gate was full of wonderful wildlife that neither of us had experienced first hand before. The sky really is as big as they say and the Texas sunsets are just as breath-taking as I’d dreamed of. The men working on the Oil Well were some of the nicest, politest gentlemen I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I fell in love with the HEB grocery store. I made some fabulous friends with other gate guard wives and bloggers. We got a real good dose of what it means to slow down, breathe, and just be. I discovered my love of blogging and photography. But in the end our biggest lesson was that money isn’t everything. Sure we were making good money but we had no quality time alone, no down time, we couldn’t do anything, we couldn’t go anywhere, we felt trapped. The solitude was one thing but the total isolation was something that I personally just couldn’t deal with on a long-term basis. So, regardless of the rig, we will not be venturing to southern Texas again to work on a gate. Though I feel safe in assuming that we will wander down that way again to explore and see more sites and enjoy the hospitality that we experienced in Texas. In the winter though!! Definitely the winter!!
As for Glen Rose, well the Dinosaur prints and the river ratting were some of the most fun ever!! I personally learned a lot and Chris had fun seeing it through my eyes. We were able to hold hands and take long walks, do a lot of exploring together, gaze at the stars and enjoy being together. We felt free for the first time since setting sail and knew that this was more to our liking. The slimy sales people, well, they taught us another life lesson. No matter where you go, no matter what lifestyle you choose, there will always ALWAYS be people out there wishing you harm. We may be able to diminish the likelihood of running across those evil doers but you can never be 100% safe. A certain amount of awareness always needs to be in place, no matter what.
We’ve met some of the sweetest and most helpful people since our arrival at Amazon. We’ve enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories of where they came from and what lead them out to the open road. We’ve had the wonderful opportunity to learn a great deal from them and got some insider information that is priceless too. We have experienced some extreme weather in the rig now, good and bad. After so many months of extreme heat with the AC on full blast we have finally experienced some much awaited quiet time. The flip side is the storms and winds in Kansas…I just can’t help but think we’re crazy to be living in a trailer park in the land of Oz. Not something we plan on repeating again. We’ve also learned that even the best laid plans can and will fall apart regardless of the amount of research and preparedness – sometimes. So an emergency savings is essential especially while on the road. Probably the biggest lesson thus far in the Amazon experience has to be something my Poppa tried to teach me a long time ago – Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I had all the numbers worked out perfectly with us both working at Amazon until the end of the year. We’d finally have enough savings to upgrade rigs and continue on with a working set-up on the next leg of our journey. My plan was perfect. But it didn’t take into account my apparently fragile feet or the extensive Voluntary Time Off we’ve been experiencing. Time will tell if we’ll be able to move forward with a new rig but the lesson will last forever. I finally got it Poppa, thank you!!
What next? Well, we aren’t sure. What we do know is that we’re continuing this adventure. We’re hooked. We’re in love with the lifestyle and can’t imagine going back to a ‘normal’ life. We have the luxury of going to visit family in Chicago over the holidays because of our gypsy lifestyle. Something that has been out of the questions so many years before… I’ll also be starting the paperwork to transfer our residency to South Dakota now that we’ve completed our trial run with this whole RV thing. 😀 It’s time to become official!! We have a lot of decisions to make in the next month or so. So many options… At this point it’s anyone’s guess where the wind will blow us next.
** Today I’m grateful to Glenn’s blog for introducing us to this fabulously simply lifestyle. Without his blog we may not have been introduced to this great adventure we’re on. Thank You Glenn and Happy Trails!!
With Much Love