Bumps and Blessings on the Road

Feeling so blessed by the pull of the full moon, the change in tides, the hardship and the surprises. After a difficult week with lots of downs and bunches of ups, we have realized that it all happens for a reason, this beautiful road of life that we are traveling on. And, although we still may not know why or how or where the next turn will be, we trust that it will come at just the right time and place. And, we trust the delay, as hard as it has been to be on the side of the road with three littles, we have found such good in such distress.

To update you on where the Eco Womb Tour Bus has been, we left South Florida on Tuesday after a wonderful time had over the weekend at the Wyland Living Green Fair to head to TX for a final event on our Fall Tour with the Sustainable Living Roadshow, our new nomadic family. Full on veggie and full on spirit to continue our journey and meet up with our conscious community, we were singing and dancing to Human of the Human Revolution rolling up Florida's Turnpike, when Clint realized that we just weren't shifting into gear properly. As a precautionary measure, he decided to pull over to turn her off and back on in hopes that he could get her in the right place. But, when we tried that, at a service station right off the Turnpike, well, she wouldn't turn back on, at all, nothing, nada, not even a click. Hmmmmm. What was going on? Well, he searched and searched for over an hour, with the help of a Road Ranger for some of that time to only discover that it was a loose wire under the engine somewhere. This was right after the manager of the service station informed us that we would have to be towed for being there too long. Yeah right, this is our home, you are not towing our home, thank you very much. Just so glad Daddyman got it all figured out, I am so grateful for his mad problem solving skills ;)

We ended up losing a few hours, but drove into the night and made it safely to a campground. The next morning we topped off our veggie from a local biodiesel company, and we were again on our way. Until, rolling along smoothly on I-10, heading west, after a long, extended day of traveling north, we hit our next bump in the road. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, we heard a "Uh-Oh" from the front, then smelled the awful smell of burning oil. We were then pulling off on the side of the road and all piling out as fast we could. Not sure what it was at first, we were careful to get away from the RV quickly. Then realized that something had gone up not in the engine but the wheel. Turns out it was a wheel bearing and a cracked axle. Pretty big deal, but just glad that we were safe. I have dealt with a wheel bearing going up on me before. I was eight months pregnant with our first and driving a load of belongings to a new house we were to move into in Vermont, when all of a sudden my wheel literally just flew off, the tire, the wheel, everything. I skidded off the road and the wheel flew over the cliff, luckily I did not. This memory sure came back when I heard that was our issue with the RV, and I was so grateful our family was safe and sound and our home in tact, wheel still on, despite the awful smell. It was not fun, though, waiting on the side of the road for over an hour with three littles, nor was it any fun watching our home being hooked up to a tow truck or riding in the cab of the tow truck unable to see her rolling behind us, worrying that something would fall or break because we weren't in there to watch over things. Got to a truck repair service station just as it was getting dark. Only a half hour away from the switch in time zones and having the daylight savings time switch only just happen last week, the sun sure was setting fast. It was only 4:30 and we were racing against the light. Then, when they realized it would require parts that they did not have, we knew we would at least be there overnight, sigh.

That was Wednesday night, it is now Saturday night and we are still here, big sigh. Basically they worked on it, searched for parts, ordered parts, the wrong parts came in, had to reorder parts, had to drive an hour and a half to pick up parts, worked on it some more, realized the part, although it was supposedly the right one, was too big, and now we sit here until Sunday morning when a guy is coming to fix everything and put it back together on overtime weekend pay. Have I sighed yet? Oh yeah, big sigh. It has been a tough week. This was Clint's week off actually, vacation time so we could travel without juggling three jobs, only two. Now, it is the end of the week and we have spent our time at a truck repair shop in Defuniak Springs, FL. Yes, that's right. Guess you could say we are Lightening McQueen stuck in Radiator Springs trying to get to our big race. Although, now we have missed our events in TX, lost money for our business, and are delayed in travel by four days. We have to insist the kids wear shoes because there is oil and small pieces of car parts everywhere. And, everyone is done living in a gravel parking lot full of big trucks. But, so it happens, could be worse, not that bad, really. We have gone on several bike rides, not much here to ride to, but have enjoyed the time riding with the kids, nonetheless. And, we have our house with us, always. So that means, being stuck at a repair shop on the side of a small town road, we still have the comforts of our beds and pillows and food. Oh my, how that has saved us! To know we have good, healthy, organic, non-gmo food in our cabinet in these times of being stuck and broken down is such a blessing. And, to have a water filter that can filter wherever we are, even using well water from a truck repair shop, we feel very grateful. It's the small things that matter, anyway. Food, water, shelter, family, and friends. And, friends we had in this middle of nowhere!

What a surprise to find out Tara from The Organic Sister and Sustainable Baby Steps was just west of us near Pensacola heading east. I immediately reached out to say HI and next thing I know she is driving an hour and a half out of their way just to see us. Talk about a lift in spirits, that visit brightened our whole week! To have friends show up in a time of need to hangout with us spur of the moment and on the road in the middle of nowhere, that just doesn't normally happen. But, this nomadic family we are forming with friends all over the country makes stuff like that possible. So, they came, we went for a walk, with kids on bikes, learned to juggle by the awesome Justin of OddBall Juggling, we talked, made food, hung out under the full moon and just enjoyed being together. Feeling so grateful for growing friendships. Then, the next day, when it turned out we were delayed another day with another wrong part, Tara is calling me to see how things are going and offering to come pick us up to hangout again, this time at their place, at Grayton Beach State Park. Ummm, yes!!! So, we were able to rent a car for the day, and drive to them about an hour away. We hung out this time under the energies of 11-11-11, walked to the beach in 45 degree weather (in flip flops no less), went back to their RV to warm our toes by the space heater, cooked dinner together, and talked and talked and talked. Felt so natural to hang with them and was such a light in our week of downs. Thank you sweet friend :)!

Plus, to top off that day, since we were oh so close to Panama City Beach, we decided to drive along Front Beach Road and walk down memory lane. With our littlest asleep in her car seat, and the boys reading and just taking in the sights, we drove along where Clint and I first met 17.5 years ago. We were both on Spring Break, I was 18, he was 21, and we were both young and full of life. We realized we were both originally from MD, going to college there at the time, so exchanged phone numbers, and stayed in touch, dated for four years, got engaged, then married and pregnant. It was a bit surreal to be back after so many years, just driving through and stopping to remember the places we had been, but fun to tell the kids and relive it for one night. I love my husband and am so glad we are on this journey together.

Even through the bumps in the road, and the sitting on the side of the road, we have really come full circle with our living life to the fullest. We feel as young as we were 17.5 years ago, but with the wisdom that time brings and the energies that only our kids can keep within us. We started our journey together as partners in life in FL, then began our journey on the road full-time here in FL. There is something special about our time here, and then there is something more that keeps us moving onto the next adventure. I feel so lucky to have my husband on the same page with me, sharing the same dreams and goals, understanding the same pull of the road and gypsy spirit calling. We were kids then, and now we have three kids of our own. I began my activism in college to stand up for social and environmental justice, and now we are doing the same for our kids. I have had many bumps in the road of life, pitstops that threw me way off course, but I have always found my way back to the path that keeps me going. With my hubby by my side, we have always continued to trust the road ahead, and know it is not just the destination, for us there is no destination, it is the process as it unfolds that is most important.

With our literal journey from here in FL to where we are headed out west, to our journey up and down the east coast with three littles in tow, to our journey of the soul on this path of conscious transformation, we feel blessed. Even sitting here up on jacks at this truck repair shop off the beaten path, we feel blessed. Because really the journey has only just begun, the momentum of change is just now unfolding, and as we have been propelled forward in the past to follow our hearts, we will do so now. And, by following our hearts, we will find peace. So that even the hardships are possible, even the downfalls are manageable, even the turbulence is not so rocky. My fears have been released and I am so open to truth. Even our most recent part of the trip from Boca Raton, FL to Defuniak Springs, FL has been in a strange way part of this release. You see, it is heartbreaking to go from the richest of rich in Palm Beach County to the smallest of small towns in Defuniak Springs, FL; to go from million dollar second homes to road after road of run-down mobile homes; to go from Whole Foods Markets and upscale restaurants serving healthy food, to fast food after fast food joints next to the Wal-Mart at the center of town. What a real life eye-opener to the discrepancy in today's economic injustices, and to know that the rich can make choices to live a healthy life, whereas the poor cannot. Why is it that Boca Raton city water does not have fluoride in it but Defuniak Springs does? Why is it that there is no Wal-Mart in Boca but the one in Defuniak Springs is where everyone shops. The whole current movement to stand up for the 99%, and not allow the 1% to rule our government, our economic structures, our food supply, it is real and we are out here experiencing it in real-time. So maybe that is why our pitstop here lasted all week, maybe that is why our journey took a turn, to live it and learn it, to take the time to process it and reflect upon it.

This full moon energy and energies of 11/11/11 has really pulled on my reserves this week, a bit draining, but at the same time uplifting, very intense indeed. My mind has been racing, my heart breaking, my spirits lifted, my soul revived. Reenergized to stay on the path, on the journey of connecting and standing up for economic, social and environmental injustices. With my home always with me, family by my side, good food in the fridge, and friends near and far, I am full of light and momentum. The bumps in the road are only bumps, there is so much more to do and see on this adventure. And, the bumps only jolt us out of our seats to make us see and feel what is really going on. I am grateful for the bumps, and I will stand up for those that get bumped time and time again.

Angela Malson