February 6, 2018 Almost two years…

I started blogging on Feb 22, 2016. Its been almost two years and while lots of things have changed, the life style remains the same with all its ups and downs.
August of this year makes three years of campground living, most of them in our tents. I say tent”s” because we sure have had our experiences in many different brands with some success and some epic fails.

Since my last post, we have upgraded to our dream tent…Canvas! A Kodiak Canvas. The basic foot print is 9×12 but we also have a fantastic enclosed addition and a side awning that when fully set up makes our living space 18 x 18. While we had no plans to have something so big, our benefactor that purchased it for us wanted to make sure we had the options. The enclosed area can’t be used in the campground we are currently in but we have plans to move a little further south to a less expensive campground with a few less issues to be dealt with daily. A place that will allow us to fully use this wonderful gift we have been given.

The timing could not be better yet worse all at the same time. Our truck of 18 years has reached the end of it life and is no longer fixable. Our income does not allow us to replace our vehicle so we feel kind of stuck. So I came up with a plan to rent a vehicle to relocate and the cost savings might allow us to save a little more towards a different vehicle down the road somewhere. In the mean time, I started a go-fund-me page and hope someone out there has an understanding how difficult it can be to live in this situation.

Few people have any kind of understanding of what it means to live so far below the poverty line that you literally struggle to buy dish soap, let alone anything of any value. Don’t get me wrong, we knew when we started this life journey that there would be times when we would struggle and most of the time, its fine, we make it somehow. We don’t have much but we do have each other and that is what matters most of all. We feel God has provided some really nice things for us (first a mini fridge and now a new better tent) and we live by the faith that our needs will be met. Sometimes its hard to wait.

There is a tremendous difference between wants and needs and we are very aware of the difference. So we have asked ourselves if a vehicle is a need. As far as I can tell, it most certainly is a need. We live in a desert environment that requires you to move to cooler states when the summer time temperatures hit the 120’s. In order to move, you have to have something that can carry your tent and the small amount of personal effects we still own. So far, we have been able to pack everything we own into the back of a Chevy S-10. Most people could not put everything from one room of thier homes into the back of a truck this size. Guess that means we have fully downsized to needs only items.

But I digress into the madness of daily living struggles. Truth is, we would still love to field test tents for the manufacturers that keep putting shoddy tents on the market. In my next post (hopefully in a day or two) I will upload some photos of the last great wind storm damage to us and our neighbors tents. Two tents were totally destroyed and two more took some serious damage (our old tent included). Tent failures are something long term tenters consider seriously. Sure, we know we have to replace the common tent every six months because we use them daily and not just for infrequent weekend camping trips. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with but $200 or less every six months tends to be far cheaper than property taxes so we don’t grumble too much. That is no excuse for shoddy workmanship though so I intend to highlight the stories of those involved.

Final thoughts…Never let fear stop you from living, always invite challenge into your life so you will learn your limits, and always embrace what life throws at you as it will give you stories to tell when you get older.

Happy Camping to my fellow tenters. To everyone else…What are you waiting for?

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