Tag Archives: the stuff

Shifting our Perception of Happiness

Most of you know that in December we began our life on the road.  We sold nearly all of our belongings, put our house up for sale, and moved into our newly purchased 5th wheel RV with our two kids and two dogs.  Life as we knew it would be changed and hopefully for the better.

 

Our old home

Our old home

Our new home

Our new home

The conversations that Tim and I had over the last 5 years had evolved greatly.  Talks went from “material must-haves” to “how can we live a greener, simpler, more full-filled life.”  Things got deep in the Hine household!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

We did our part to lessen our carbon foot print with dreams of becoming more self-sustaining.  Growing, canning, and freezing from our garden, recycling everything we could, upgrades to the house to make it more efficient, buying second hand.  Working toward the “Laura Ingalls times,” but with 21st century perks of TV, Internet and cell phones, of course.

Our beautiful garden my husband worked so hard on at our former stick and brick house!

Our beautiful garden my husband worked so hard on at our former stick and brick house!

Even with these things and the conversations we had about simple living, we were surrounded by stuff, and time seemed to be a limited commodity.  We both worked a combine of at least 70 hours a week outside the home, two kids, two dogs, a “too big for us” house that was filled with stuff, which all required  time.  Clearly not everything was getting sufficient attention.  I believe they call this the “American Dream.”

Photo credit:  Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Many people live this lifestyle and love it, we did for over 30 years.  However, recent events in our lives (you can read about those in past blog posts), removed the blinders, so to speak.  We were oblivious to how the rest of the world lives and how our first world problems were and are so, so very small.

Photo credit:  Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

So we embarked on a journey to follow a dream, see the country, embrace cultures, give back, live simply, and have quality family time while doing it!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

First stop, Texas!  We new this journey would make it difficult to achieve a self-sustaining lifestyle.  However, Texas has made this far more challenging than we thought.  Let’s face it, we end up in a grocery store about every three days.  Our dependence on conventional food sources was not what we had in mind.  We have found no farmer’s markets during this Texas winter and health food stores are scarce, let alone the two grocery store options we have within 30 miles.  Mind you, we’ve only lived in rural Texas, so this may not apply everywhere.

Our main food source options…our current location does not have an HEB and I sure do miss it!  Photo credit:  Pinterest

Our main food source options…our current location does not have an HEB and I sure do miss it! Photo credit: Pinterest

We were fortunate to have resources available to us in Indiana that allowed us to recycle or donate everything we possibly could.  This is not the case for the places we’ve stayed in Texas.  Not only has it been hard to find places to recycle, it’s even more frustrating how many people don’t give a second thought to recycling, including the Texas State parks we’ve visited.  Sorry for the rant, but I hate throwing away things that can be recycled.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

However, what we have lost in green living, we have more than made up for in simple, clutter-free living and I’m not just referring to less stuff.  I’m talking about the freedom that comes with literally disconnecting from technology.

This tech-free living was not exactly by choice, rural Texas had a hand in that one.  The two different parks we’ve lived in, had little to no cell phone service, no wi-fi, no 4G hot spot capabilities and at best, 5 digital television channels.

While I was teetering on a tragedy to live without these things, my husband who was born without the “tech loving” gene thought it merely an occasional inconvenience.  I went from having an iPhone where I had access to anything at my fingertips to a phone that could barely text or make phone calls.  Fortunately, my work was located in a prime 4G location!  Tim went from a flip phone he rarely used to a flip phone he was rarely able to use.  We went from 15 digital TV channels in Indiana down to 5 channels, which were sadly not PBS.

We love PBS and going through withdraw…photo credit: Pinterest

We love PBS and going through withdraw…photo credit: Pinterest

Because of our lack of technology, we no longer had the TV on just because, I was no longer checking my phone for Facebook updates far too often, and the computer was rarely turned on.  We were definitely not getting our money’s worth from our Verizon data plan!

It really is amazing how many books you can read, and thought-provoking conversations you can have with your husband, without all of the outside world distractions.  We were living in a beautiful 3,000 acre State Park that aside from us and the park hosts, was nearly empty.  We caught the most beautiful sunset at Cooper Lake during one of our evening walks.  We have seen countless Texas wildlife and were able to “enjoy” the quiet beauty of the park following a heavy Texas snowfall.

The beauty of snow in Texas.  Photo credit: my hubby

The beauty of snow in Texas. Photo credit: my hubby

Footprints in the snow!  Photo credit: my hubby

Footprints in the snow! Photo credit: my hubby

Even though we had to drive to the highest point in the park to make a phone call, try four times to send a text, and not being able to catch my favorite show, the Blacklist, on NBC, we not only survived; we realized we can thrive in this environment once we changed our perception.  Hopefully this new found mindset will carry over to other aspects of our journey.

P.S. My husband, Tim, was my chief editor on this post.  Still talking him into a guest post on the blog about his adventures as Mr. Mom…stay tuned!

The end of the great purge!

As I sit here in our empty house, following a successful moving sale, I find myself exhausted, excited, anxious, a little nervous and scared, but mostly ready for this next chapter in our lives.

Amelia photo bomb

Amelia photo bomb

Empty kitchen

Empty kitchen

Empty office

Empty office

Amelia's empty room

Amelia’s empty room

Griffin's empty room

Griffin’s empty room

We have had some great times here in this place we’ve called home together for the last almost six years.  This house has seen our smiles, tears, blessings and trials, but nothing like the emotional roller coaster ride of the last year.  I will delve deeper into this in later posts.

Our first home

Our first home

We just finished with our moving sale and we were more than pleased with the amount of stuff family, friends, neighbors and strangers left with.  I was asked many times over the last couple of days how I feel about seeing all of our things leaving.  And to tell you the truth, it feels so freeing.  It’s almost as though the house full of stuff was a huge weight on my shoulders and now I can stand a little taller.  Not that trying to load up all of our belongings into an RV of just over 400 square feet is not stressful.  And then there’s the whole trying to get a nine month old and a two and a half year old to co-habitat in one room…that’s a good time!

We have officially set a “launch date”……December 2nd is when we will be wandering south…toward Texas!

Leaving the stuff behind…

Over the last five years, Tim and I have been working toward a more simple, self-sufficient lifestyle.  We’ve managed to fill our medicine cabinet with essential oils and natural products, made our own cleaning products, expanded our garden every year, canning and freezing anything we could and worked to be more conscious of the effects affects (I may learn this one day) we have on our environment.
Even with these changes we still had, and were surrounded by stuff.  Stuff that required dusting, organizing, rearranging and putting away every week, if not everyday.
I was only working part-time and still felt that all my extra time was spent doing dishes, laundry, sweeping and picking up clutter instead of hanging out with my kids. Oh the mom-guilt!  

Travel Quote

Photo courtesy of Pinterest


With all of this, Tim and I have decided to leave the rat-race, keep up with the Jones’s, have to have it now, need more stuff lifestyle.  It may be in a drastic, completely out of the norm way, but why not, we only have a very short time here on this beautiful, God-given earth.

 

Go Explore

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

 So…the house is for sale, the 5th wheel and truck are purchased and the purging, organizing and packing have begun!  

 

Listed on 9/22/14

Listed on 9/22/14

Our new home

Our new home….name has yet to be determined, suggestions are welcome!

2006 Chevy Silverado 3500HD aka. "Our new chariot"

2006 Chevy Silverado 3500HD aka. “Our new chariot”

We are so excited for this next adventure…let the fun begin!  

Looking forward to taking you inside our home as I continue to make it feel “homey” :)