After living in the RV for three months in Illinois about ten miles from our secured-to-the-ground-house which is now rented out to another family, we headed south west. Our first brief settling place was the KOA in Springfield MO, an ideal place to be in autumn as the park is full of trees. Here’s a bit about our time in the Ozarks.
Four Campfires – 3 at our site, 1 at the cabin of fellow campers we met the previous evening in the common room.
One Family field trip – To Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home in Mansfield Missouri, where, by fantastic, unplanned timing, we were on the same tour as our campground neighbors. I have never been to a museum or historical marker, aside from religious, that I had as much familiarity with as Laura’s home. I lingered in her writing room, fortunately alone, eyes closed, tears visiting, and I could feel the hours her spirit spent creating the Little House series. I felt like I was in a temple. Indeed, I was. I had the same experience in her living room, only it was prompted by a meditation on her life, played out day by day, hour by hour in the house where I stood, between the walls where I was pulling in breath even as my own spirit danced round and round to a faint but very real melody; echoes of a love lived long ago, continuing even now beyond the veil?
Four Predawn drives – To take my husband to his temporary work site, followed by three visible sunrises (one day it stormed all morning), and three naps into late morning/early afternoon (on the fourth day the boys determined to stay awake. I dozed here and there). This was the first time my kids witnessed a new day’s light.
I wrote about one of those perfect naps.
Meeting three new families who are now friends –
-The first family was a couple we met by calling the National Baha’i Center for contact information for local Baha’is. We went to their house our second evening in Springfield MO, then walked to the best Health Food store I’ve ever been to. If you’re ever in the Ozarks, go to Mama Jeans. Their quality is outstanding. Tons of deli salads (many soy and onion free!), incredible soups, and rich bakery treats, including an amazing selection of gluten free sweets, like flourless almond brownies, mmmmmmm…….!
-The second family came to the main building to do laundry and noticed the common room was open. We had asked for it to remain open so my husband and boys could play a long, involved game of Ships which takes up lots of table space. When the other family’s dad turned on the Cardinal’s game, my older son asked politely if he could, “…please turn it off,” which prompted the dad to ask me, “Is he for real?” From then on we had a conversation going. I spent a while talking to their two daughters, enjoying an impromptu spelling bee, and later the mom and I talked as I folded clothes. Laughter came easily together. By night’s end we had plans for a campfire next evening. The campfire was magical. Four children running around wildly waving flashlights, giggling, the parents easily moving between humor and deep subjects, their twelve year old son quietly listening.
-The third family is a mother and daughter, Baha’i’s we met when attending the weekly Children’s class. Mom had not received word we were on the way. When four people pulled up to her house in a big black pickup truck on a quiet Sunday morning, she was rightly perplexed, but it all worked out beautifully. We spent the entire class sharing songs and teaching each other new melodies to familiar prayers. A few nights later they came to our home. We roasted hotdogs and talked as people will beneath moonlight in the glow a campfire.
(An addition I just remembered!) -We also met several other Baha’i’s at a Holy Day Celebration: The Birth of The Bab, First Manifestation for the Baha’i Faith. We met children our boys still talk about, and enjoyed a few brief conversations after the program. As we expect to spend more time in Springfield MO over the years, I expect we’ll get to know most of these people better. I hope I never take for granted the fact that we can go to anytown USA and be among friends.
Thanks to facebook, we’re now connected to all three families.
Then we spent a single morning packing up, unhitching, unhooking, and continued southwest to Texas.
We’ve been in our current spot for a little over a week. I have more to report than a generous serving of warmth and sunshine, but that will come in a later, once we’ve been here a while.
We are truly enjoying life on the road
I wrote a poem about this first sunrise
My older son gathering dry leaves for the first campfire
My husband getting fire wood. The boys learned to use a saw on the same wood. I was too nervous to remember the camera when either child wielded a saw
Fruits of their labor. Every fire was enjoyed until well after 10pm. Holding flashlights beams on the smoke rising after we poured water on the flames had a mesmerizing effect, much like a lava lamp in midair