There is something truly wonderful about these little rural towns where we have been living like Montrose and Grand Lake in Colorado and Victor and Driggs in Idaho. All three of these communities are very close to national parks, have quiet green spaces, nice public parks, and warm friendly people.
These rural towns remind me of the way it was growing up in Grass Valley, Merced and Modesto, California in the late 40’s and early 50’s. People seemed to me to be a lot less stressed out all the time. There were very few if any tract homes, the roads were not congested, the people were friendly and we knew most everyone on a first name basis.
Having said this, I was only a small boy at that time and my parents always seemed ready and willing to travel into the woods to camp and fish. So maybe their lives were as stressful as many other young modern families are today. At least the idea of less crowding, more open spaces, and a slower paced rural life appeals much more to me now that I am retired.
A large part of the reason Lisa and I have decided to live on the road is to discover for ourselves ways to not live an ordinary life. A life consisting of less consumerism and more communion with nature where we are more concerned about lowering our carbon footprint than gathering large sums of money and stuff to store in a storage unit somewhere.
I remember the lines from a song written by Tennessee Ernie Ford where he says “I owe my soul to the company store.” We would like to move totally away from that model altogether. However, during our search we found that Lisa prefers living in more close proximity to other people than I do. Don’t get me wrong I am a people person too but I really need my complete privacy sometimes.
It reminds me of dancing, swaying closely together in tune with the music without stepping on your partners toes – you have to strike a balance together. For example, the idea of an intentional community (people with common values sharing space together) sounded great to me until I found out I can’t choose who my neighbors will be. I do not wish to live too close to strangers even if we have shared values and experiences. I guess I want to hang up my own dirty laundry without the entire world watching, if you know what I mean.
I am truly blessed to have such a beautiful partner that enjoys the same things I do and that is so dedicated to providing a positive, wholesome and enriching environment for our two small children. I can’t imagine spending this much time in a very close space with anyone else. It has it challenges for both of us but we are constantly trying to help each other out, working together to solve problems. I am very excited to see what kind of non-ordinary life we are able to build together for our family.
I am living, loving and learning all at the same time.