For a few months now I have been pondering the question, “What then?” Currently Pat and I, as the Roaming Parkers, have a flexible plan where we are actively working on being debt free, homeschooling, community service, traveling, blogging, and getting ready for The Next Big Thing. (You can read about that starting on page 6 in Pulse Magazine.)
But what about AFTER that? After we roam and blog and explore, what comes next?
We would then be in our early- to mid-60’s and ready to slow down – or at least have a home base for our roamings. Maybe RETIRE and play with grandkids; the American Dream, right?
But how would that be possible if we plan to give up everything here and work seasonally as we travel? I have always told my kids they need to have a home with an in-law apartment, to be ready to take care of us in our old age. None of them seemed too fond of that, and it was hard for me to envision as well. Then I found it, In my ponderings over the past few weeks, I kept getting hung up on the logistics of our Final Destination.
Early on (okay, it was really the VERY FIRST thing I did, when we birthed our blog, Kili plans, and established the Roaming Parkers) I had drawn up a plan for a one-bedroom, simple house in the woods – a goat, a cow, chickens, peacocks, hunting time, indoor and outdoor gardening, and a kitchen area that could accommodate butchering, cooking, canning, and storage. Mini houses for the visiting friends and kids, facing inward for a comfy camp-style retreat.
We are NOT handy people, so I thought, “Maybe we could house some helpers – come help us build this, we provide food and lodging, make forever friends and build a home.”
And then I found this – the period (.) to our semi-colon (;) life – I want to build an Earthship
…and everything just clicked into place. My entire life has been shaped by my education, experiences, and volunteer service. My time abroad, my marriage, homeschooling, sustainability efforts, scout training, all of it. I don’t have to re-invent the wheel when there is already a program in place that will teach me how to do it myself.
It was an Ah Ha moment, when the whisperings of the Holy Spirit became actual words.
The next two years or so are already booked up with a general outline of Roaming places, homeschool agenda, and scouting responsibilities (I am so excited to have been chosen as staff for the 2019 Wood Badge Course!). I will go forward in my research and planning for our potential Earthship, as I feel it will take a good bit of time and effort (years of collecting reusable materials, for instance) to get all the ducks lined up for this.
But it was just such a calming feeling of God’s peace that flowed through me when I found this program. It really was an Ah HA! moment for me, one that makes sense. One that seems perfectly aligned with a lifestyle we’ve been living, but where I can be rid of all the elements around me that drive me crazy (gross commercialism, litter, Mississippi’s short-comings with recycling efforts, unhealthy and unsustainable habits, etc.), the things I cannot control or fix in my lifetime with limited resources. I have learned that I cannot change the world, but I can work on the world within my reach.
Before we roam full time, I want to participate in the Earthship program (and graduate too!). When we are Roaming, I would likely spend downtime, holidays, and some weekends gathering materials (45% or more of an Earthship comes from “garbage” – tires, bottles, and cans) and eventually start building. By the time we are finished Roaming, viola! We have a sustainable home, a true legacy to pass on to our children and future grandchildren.
So here is your head’s up – I may one day solicit all your old tires. Instead of carloads of recycling each month, I may acquire heaps of bottles and cans. I may ask for your help one weekend in installing solar panels, building a windmill, or stocking our tilapia pond. How cool would it be to come and visit us and stay in a truly unique environment – because we will want you to come and see it. We would likely promote and advocate this type of lifestyle, to you and anyone else that would listen. Because that’s just who we are.
The Magnolia Parkers/Roaming Parkers; Earthship. What do you think about THAT? edp 6/3/18