I have so many regrets when I look back on 2017 and I have so much pride. We are in the hurry up and wait part of our build and we are waiting on the Army, waiting for school, just waiting for spring and it has worn me down. I regret that we aren’t further along but I have pride that we are chipping away at what can be done in the moment. I have regrets that we didn’t budget better in the begining of our marriage and I have pride that we have made the progress that we have in our finances. My life is such a tug of war between should have and can do. My 2018 resolution is not to make a resolution because life is unpredictable. Instead of regret I want to have comfort in chaos because that is growth. Being happy in the moment is what life is all about. Yes, this is the year of Exodus but this is also the year of perpetual moving. There are no guarantees that it will be smooth and there is beauty in that. The human predicament, our nature, is beautiful.
A rambling post to start off the New Year. It’s so imperfectly me ….
Today the Tingle Team adventured to plug all the holes in the floor of Exodus.
One man, one woman and a brood of feral beasties ( who mostly watched Wild Krats , little no gooders) set out with only the tools you see before you. Or above you ^ depends on how seriously you take this tale. The day had started out like any other, the mother procrastinated to make Saturday breakfast as the father watched YouTube relentlessly. The wild things continued their usually routine of destroying all in sight while still, somehow, being absolutely adorable. Once all was feed the mother and father bid the children farewell as they retreated to the back yard. Don’t worry the mother was very aware of the destruction her offspring could produce so they were checked on often and appeased with many a snack.
Once the project began it was fast rolling and easily completed. Ha, I wish. This simple job took us 5 days to finish. As previously stated the mother had to check on her feral beasts quite often as well as nurse the youngest one every 5 secs or so…… This job was very satisfying and we loved the way the floor looked after we treated it with a rust converter.
Too bad she didn’t get to stay this way, after we stripped the floor we added an epoxy primer.
If you like this blast from the recent past stay tuned for more! I hope to catch every on up on our caterpillar paced progress in the next few weeks :).
“The past is never where you think you left it.”
― Katherine Anne Porter
This post will be a segue topic but I promise we will get back our usual programing in up coming days.
I met Ethan on the eve of my 17th birthday. We talked about what we wanted out of life and some of the avenues in order to get there. From that night on I’ve not ceased to be amazed or impressed by my husband. Whether it was the days he lived in bike shorts or the years he spent working and going to school full time or those early months in the military, he has always been amazing. Dedicated is a word I would use to describe him along with loyal, generous, intelligent and loving but more than any illustrative definition Ethan is my soulmate. It’s cliché but I know in the depths of my being that had I settled I never would have reached my full potential. You see, Ethan being my soulmate is self betterment as much as it is love. He pushes me and drives me to be the best mother, wife, daughter and Christian that I can be. I care deeply about his opinion and there are very few things I could recall where he was wrong. I write this, in a public blog, both to honor him and reflect. This month Ethan and I will celebrate 8 years of marriage. Honestly, not many people thought we would get this far. We have though and when I look into his eyes I still see that boy with the crazy curly hair and a love for spandex cycling shorts.
With our centenary approaching we were excited to have a few dates while his family was in town. What do skoolie people do on dates? Go to Ikea. You guys I’m not sure how we did it but we only bought a high chair and some toys. I kid you not. When we weren’t looking at particle board furniture we were eating. For me going out to eat can be both a challenge and a disappointment. Most restaurants do not have a vegan option and we they do it could be little more than a side salad. Thankfully we found an astounding, purely vegan restaurant in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Füd was delicious and we highly recommend it to both herbivores and omnivores. If vegan isn’t something you’re into how about a date to Manhattan, Ks and have yourself a Chipotle bowl. Seriously, our dates mostly consisted of eating and window shopping. Ethan is a good sport. All that time wasn’t spent eating in silence though, there is no topic as interesting to discuss as skoolie ideas. I’m not sure that our visiting family will ever know how helpful it was for Ethan and I to have some uninterrupted bus talks while they watched all 5 of the kidoes.
Now with a much treasured reprieve we are ready to hit the ground running but not with out the proper warm weather gear. My husband is very much entertained by the fact that I’m wearing a vest. I ribbed him and our buddy Wade at every opportunity over their matching vests because I thought they were useless. I have been converted and see the practicality of a core warmer. The coveralls are both sexy and functional. No longer will we be freezing our buns off in our heat suck shell of a bus. The added adorable factor that we are matching has not been lost on me.
Ultimately the best thing about me is you, Ethan Tingle. Thank you for going on this journey with me.
Our universe grants every soul a twin—a reflection of themselves—the kindred spirit – And no matter where they are or how far away they are from each other—even if they are in different dimensions, they will always find one another. This is destiny; this is love. Julie Dillon
Had you told me January of 2016 that by April I would have a bus and that I’d be beginning an adventure I would have believed you. Seriously, not much could surprise me but I will say the slow roll of our build has got me down every so often. I’m one of those ‘do it now and go all out’ kinda people so the prolonged action has deflated my bus bubble at times. 2017, that’s our year to really get our dreams rolling, hopefully literally as the engine is near completion.
Speaking of the engine, I can’t believe the fiasco that we have had with trying to repair it. Lots of learning has been accomplished but at what cost? You can’t live off dreams alone and for a short moment our bus dreams seemed dashed. Though the engine is now under way you never know what could be next. I can’t dwell on the unknown or I’ll tail spin into an often relished pity party. As frustrating as the engine has been this winter waste land of progress is a close second. It’s too cold to insulate and it’s honestly to cold to finish the welding that is prep for the insulation.
With the winter keeping us down on the physical aspect of completing our bus we now turn inward to the mental excitement and sometimes anguish of budgeting our time and money. For a moment imagine you have 5 kids, a mortgage, car note, motorcycle note, electric bill, ext. and then you say to yourself ” Why not leave all this behind (minus the kids) and move into 250 sqft on wheels.”. The reality of that sometimes can knock the wind out of me. I look at our budget and then I realized making it work now will save me years of making it work in the future. That $40+ water bill will one day be a museum outing or some of a plane ticket. The hard work now both on Exodus and about Exodus is investing in our future. She may not be a 401k but she is a means to a very specific end. Sustainability.
I’ll be posting in the next few days a spread sheet that shows our costs so far and will update it as work is done and things are being purchased. Along with the fiscal I’ll also be doing a physical time line, an accountability list if you will. Not that I expect any of you to call us out but I hope is gives us extra incentive to be intentional with out time frame.
This is the fan that needed to be removed. FOR MONTHS my amazing husband has tried without prevailing to remove this fan so that he could get to the oil leak behind it. Funny enough all we need was the best friend in all the world, Wade.
These video show the first day of trying everything we could think of to pry this darn fan from it’s hold not only on Exodus but also on our progress.
My guys deep in conversation trying to decide the next rout. If they couldn’t get the fan off we would have to find a traveling diesel mechanic hopefully willing to do us solid with our draining our bus reserve.
Bus mess, bus mess, bussy bussy bussy mess 🙂 don’t worry this was rectified ❤
Day two and still nothing. These men would not accept defeat.
This, this is complete and utter relief. No longer are we worried about finiding a mithical mechanic of the vagabond variety. We have accomplished what had begun to look futile! Victory!!!!
It wasn’t all bus and game though, these two never miss an opportunity to bromance, hince the matching vests……
The rectification of the mess and it has once again become a place of excitement. Our reservations nullified we are now moving on with restored resolve.
We all have those friends that are virtual, the friends from high school who we never see and then there are friends that melt into your daily life and thoughts. Those are the people you can’t quantify their importance, the ones you enjoy doing life with.
Exodus has had little improvement over the last month or two due to the oil leak and a fan that Ethan just couldn’t get removed. Trying and trying without avail had made the perfect storm of procrastination and disappointment. There is one person who always re- ignite’s the flame in my husband fix-it fire and it’s not me. That person is Wade Mendenhall. When the two of them get together it’s bromance and youtube. I love seeing them work on projects and really enjoying one another’s company. So, Wade has come for the weekend to get Exodus and us a helping hand.
Pictures to come and hopefully I’ll do justice to the man who has always been there when we needed him, including watching 4 kids while I was giving birth to our 5th, and who we genuinely love.
The future is promising with the much anticipated arrival of our dear friend Wade, getting the engine repaired and beginning the window removal for the back half of Exodus. I’ll be better at updating out progress and will most likely be sprinkling in some family/homeschool post along the way :). Thanks for taking the journey with us!