It’s a matter of weeks now until we go. Excitement is mixed with nerves. Ruthless clearing is mixed with emotion as my hoarding tendencies are tamed.
I’ve reduced my clothes to just a couple of draws and packed away photos, books and toys. The sheep are sold and we are getting on with selling our cars.
A big map of America now spans our largest plain wall and we have blobs of blue tac dotted across it marking our “must see” locations, which is increasing constantly the more we learn about the history and geology of America.
Christmas presents are all travel related with a focus on home education, photography and suitable clothing.
We’re getting essential dental work done, eye tests up to date and sorting out the death watch beetle infestation in the house….
It’s liberating to be getting it all sorted but it’s emotional too, and a little nerve racking… What if we don’t like it, what if something goes wrong or someone gets sick or injured, or we struggle to keep to our tight daily budget or the kids turn feral and we ruin their educational potential, or something at home goes wrong, a sick relative or a house fire, what if our marriage struggles without any space, what if we get really fat from junk food and no exercise or there’s an apocalypse while we are there…. What if, what if, what if?
Well, I guess any of those things we just wake up the next day and deal with…
A couple of years ago, nearly three in fact, my big strong husband hurt his back. It was the start of November and a couple of days later a thick frost took hold of everything. At the time we had a number of pigs with piglets and I was feeding my own little piglet, Patrick. He had “growth issues” and so I was breastfeeding on an epic scale, eating well and not drinking booze.
The frost was a welcome change from the mud but it froze the pipes solid. Rob’s injured back meant that I had to carry out 60 litres of warm water from the kitchen every morning and afternoon to the pigs in the field. I lost weight… rapidly! I also got strong! We had a 25l water container and in the first few days I could barely fill it half way but within a week and a half I was happily lugging it full across the kitchen to the sack truck and then over the electric fences to the water troughs.
I turned 30 that January and I wore the same dress I had worn on my 18th… I was chuffed to bits!
Then Rob’s back got better, Patrick grew a bit and started solids, we got wwoofers to help on the farm, the frost melted mid Jan and my delightfully toned body slipped back to the flabby “I’ve had kids” state it had previously been. Getting pregnant again then sealed the deal “I’ve had 3 kids, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it”… Until now!
Rob bet a friend that I wouldn’t go to 10 fitness classes with her… and lost! And now he’s in on the act. He’s worried that with such a physical job at the moment keeping him in shape and healthy that when he stops to go travelling he’ll balloon. We are going to have long hours sat driving and lets be honest, the States aren’t known for their salads and healthy options!
So we are getting fit together, a mini team dean adventure! We’ve join the gym in Fowey and are actually really enjoying it. My personal goal is to fit back into the dress in the picture… I’m actually going to print a small copy of that out, laminate it and keep it in front of me on the rowing machine and tread mill – for motivation. Closer to the time we will work out exercise routines that we can maintain whilst we travel. Until then… watch this space, I’m hoping to be back in that dress by Christmas!