My life as a stay-at-home mom began with the birth of my first child, I was 19 years old. Some might say I have “never worked a day in my life” and from their prospective, that may be true. I have been afforded the blessing of raising and making a home for my children from the get go, a privilege that many sadly cannot even dream about. through the years I have been somewhat spoiled and have had the encouragement to do whatever I have wanted. Up until 2011, I had not really “done Much”, being a mom of seven (at the time) children I was too busy with making play-dough, homeschooling and planning dinner to daydream about the future or what could-be. Not to say I wasn’t a planner but never a planner of anything profound. Apparently I needed a nudge and when the 911 tragedy hit our country, my husband was 3 hours away working a job in the mountains of Northern CA. We talked as I watched TV unsure of what was going to happen. After we hung up I went about my business at hand, after all National crisis or not I had seven children who needed their waffles. 25 minutes later my husband called back and told me to pack the van with all the food, necessities and children and head to our cabin an hour from where he was working. That was the game changer. If you can imagine it I frantically, yet methodically packed bins and little ones, called my folks and told stories of our “grand adventure” as to not scare young minds. I guess you can say I never really thought about if I would make it to the cabin and when I came upon the highway barricade on I-5 three miles from the airport I knew I had to get creative, at that point all I knew was my husband told me to get there. I drove through a maze of concrete blockades and never made eye contact with the armed police officer that I slowly drove right past despite his flagging me down. Yes I went right on through. Even today my mouth drops thinking about that instance. The rest of the three hour drive was very eerie, there was no one on either side of the highway but us. Flash forward to the rondevu and the changing of vehicles (which was required to navigate the mountainous hills to get into the property). By nightfall, our family of nine, were gathered on the deck of our 900 square foot rustic hunting cabin in the middle of 160 acres of nothing. It was there we lived off the grid, hunting for our food and washing many little pairs of britches in buckets with the ever so handy Wal-Mart toilet plunger. We still refer to our mountain home as “The Cabin” and it was there most the children will tell you, they had the “best time of their lives”.
From left to right: Austin, Kolton and Karl, hunter/gatherers from way back.
“Because love grows best in little houses
With fewer walls to separate
Where you eat and sleep so close together
You can’t help but communicate
Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss
Love grows best, in houses just like this
Yeah, love grows best, in houses just like this”
**Footnote: I’m a little unclear as to why the images are stamped with the wrong date, mystery.