As we reflect on all we have seen and done in the great state of Ohio this summer, I am left with many thoughts. We have been more or less stationary for almost four months now, with the occasional week or weekend away. There are definite positives and negatives to being in one place that long for us.
The biggest drawback to being in one place for such a long time is the lack of being able to remain “anonymous”. Honestly, that is one of my favorite parts of living life on the road. We get to go to new places without anyone knowing us. We pick and choose who we correspond with, and it’s usually a sweet experience. For introverted people, such as myself, it’s the ideal set-up. Having lived our entire marriage in the “ministry spotlight”, it’s been really nice to fly under the radar through our travels.
For example, I met a couple at the state park we visited this last week. Our dogs enjoyed playing together at the dog beach and I learned they also are a home school family, their dog’s name was Lily, and they were there celebrating their son’s 10th birthday by camping. I shared a little about our full-timing story, they were fascinated, we exchanged pleasantries and well-wishes, and went on our way after about an hour and a half. I look back on that as a sweet time. We also met another couple who had the exact same rig as us. They were camped two spots down from us, came over to introduce themselves, and had lots of questions for us. Paul gave them a ton of tips and pointers that we’ve learned over the past year, and even loaned them our external water tank to fill their fresh water tank. Tom and Cathy were super nice people and I am glad we met them. It was fun to compare notes. We honked and waved at them as we left the campground. It was a sweet time.
Another drawback for me was hardly seeing my kids all summer. (They wouldn’t say this was a drawback.) They made new friends, volunteered on camp, and had a wonderful time. They would get up, throw some clothes on, brush their teeth, then be off until dark or later. Sometimes they would come home for food. LOL! After being so close and spending so much time together on the road, this was a HUGE adjustment for Paul and me. The kids had a blast though. We made sure we reconnected on the weekends. Every Saturday we did a family outing to a new place. That was really nice for this Momma’s heart. We had planned on year round homeschooling, but it became very obvious early on that there were too many distractions on camp for it to happen this summer.
On that note, it has definitely been a positive experience for the kids! They made new friends, got lots of social time, and had many opportunities to volunteer. Emily helped in both the kitchen and the gift shop. Tyler enjoyed popping into the office to see if there was anything he could help with, picking up trash around camp, or just smiling and saying hello to everyone. He knew everyone on staff and made sure he called them by name and said hello, most of the time in a British accent. 🙂 It was really cool to watch God work in and through my kids during our stay at Camp Chautauqua.
Another really awesome thing about being stationary for a period of time is that you really get a feel for the place. We now have a really good picture of this part of Ohio, its landscape, its culture, its people, and its history. We have seen and experienced so many new things this summer from catching crawfish, dancing in the rain, zip-lining, watching skydivers, hot-air balloons, fireworks, new parks, making new friends, and catching up with old friends.
We have also been able to get a lot of work done, both at the camp, and for our business. While on the road, it’s sometimes hard to balance work and play. It has been nice to focus on finishing up some projects while stationary.
All in all, it has been a great place to spend our summer. We have learned, seen, and experienced so much! Will we stay this long in one place again? Probably not. Looking forward to hitting the road again next week. We’re going to squeeze in a couple more sightseeing things and a Reds vs. Rangers baseball game before we go! Hopefully by the time we make it home to Texas, the temperatures will be a little cooler!
Can’t wait to see my family!
Looking forward to new adventures!! See you next time, Ohio! 🙂