It’s official. We have a new member of the Rothcola clan. (Rothman + Sicola = Rothcola)
No, I’m not pregnant.
We bought a CAMPER VAN! Unofficially, we’re calling her “Vanna White,” (credit for that goes to our friend Lindsay) but we’re hoping that a more permanent name will come to us once we take her out on our first big adventure. This awesome road warrior will serve as our already-set-up campsite on wheels from now until the end of time! We won’t have to set up or break down camp for our climbing trips — or even get OUT of the van if we’re doing winter camping. I’m so excited.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook might have seen my quick note about a month ago that I was on my way to San Diego to check out a van we were thinking about buying. This isn’t just any old van. It’s a camper van with a stove, a refrigerator, a sink, swiveling chairs, a table, a solar panel, a fan, and most importantly, a platform bed. OHMYGODGUYSI’MSOEXCITEDABOUTTHISVAN!
Isn’t she a beauty?
This picture was taken in Joshua Tree about a month ago. Our friends and previous owners generously offered to let us take her for a test run weekend to JTree before we committed to the purchase this month. We flew down to San Diego, learned about all the bells and whistles, threw some climbing gear in the back, stopped off at a grocery store to stock the fridge, and we were off!
WARM Nights in Joshua Tree
The first time I went to Joshua Tree, I woke up in the middle of the night pretty much in tears because I was so cold. I crawled out of my tent, turned on the car and blasted the heat with my wool-socked feet shoved into the heater vents. I tried to sleep for a little while without draining the gas out of the car before morning, but eventually had to return to the terrible tent. I couldn’t take it. The next morning, I declared no more winter camping. I caved and went a few more times, but I really really don’t like it.
Enter Vanna White! We were so warm for our two nights in the desert while all the campers around us had to brave the howling winds and near-freezing temperatures. We cooked in there, we relaxed in there, and then we slept under blankets in there, reveling in our comfort and warmth — and the simplicity of it. It was so pleasant to relax and read quietly after dinner instead of huddling by a fire wearing every warm piece of clothing I own secretly wishing I hadn’t been tricked into going on another winter camping trip. The weekend sealed the deal for us, not that we needed any more convincing that this van should be ours. I’m in love. And now it IS ours! It’s parked in front of the house at this very minute, looking all giant and awesome.
I’m looking forward to the adventures we’ll have in the year (and years) to come, and I have a feeling that our new toy will teach us some valuable lessons about living simply that might do us a bit of good. While we won’t be living in it full-time (yet), a long-term hiatus is most definitely in the not-too-distant future, and I’m pretty sure that 36 pairs of shoes won’t fit in there …
Next week I’ll do my year-end recap for Cultivated Wellbeing — the 2014 list of reasons to be grateful for what’s happened over the course of a great year. I’ve learned so much in doing this work, and it’s been a tremendous pleasure to share it all with you. This post has mostly been about future adventures with this gigantic new toy we’ve just purchased.
So what about the present moment?
Sometimes I find it pretty challenging to sit still in the present moment and soak in the NOW. What’s happening tonight? What’s happening this weekend? What will the weather be like while we’re traveling? And the list goes on and on. Sure it’s important to plan ahead, but it’s just as important to be present with what’s happening right in front of you. Lots of us will be celebrating two big holidays in the next two weeks, and we’ll be surrounded by family and friends. Some of those folks we only get to see once or twice a year. I encourage you to start practicing being present today so that when Christmas comes, you can truly be with your friends and family.
- Practice leaving your phone in your pocket while in the presence of others and remaining there in the room with them the whole time you’re together.
- Start undoing the “multitasking programming” that’s infiltrated all of our minds. Not only are multitaskers less productive and more stressed than folks doing one thing at a time, they’re also not fully present with any one task they’re doing.
- Let the past be the past. Everyone has at least one family member they’re not super excited to see, because of something that’s happened in the (distant or recent) past. Let it go and enjoy the holidays. Whether it’s worth making amends is up to you, but bring a peaceful intention to the room either way, and you’ll be much more likely to enjoy your loved ones.
- Appreciate the older generations while they’re still here. The time is now to sit and talk with the older members of your family. Not only will you learn from them, you’ll be making them very happy when you sit with them for a few minutes at the holiday party.
As I mentioned last week, I’m recovering from a wrist injury. To honor that effort in healing, and also to recognize that the holidays are a time for relaxation and rejuvenation, I’m going to skip my Friday posts this week and next week. Stay healthy, happy, and present in the meantime, and see you next Tuesday!