As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we, like so many others, are spending maybe a bit more time than we typically might reflecting on the many blessings we have received this year. It has thus far has been quite a bit different than last. This, in itself, is something to be thankful for. Change, while sometimes difficult, has helped us become more aware of our environment, ourselves and our place in the world, and the diversity outside our usual realm, and that is something to embrace!
Another thing we’re quite thankful for is the opportunity to see/experience new places. The ever-changing landscapes are something we regularly marvel at (well…perhaps Jason and I more than the kids, but hey…maybe they internalize!). From the lush Midwest, to the steppe-highlands of the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Idaho, and then to the lush, green beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the stark contrast of each region is truly a wonder. Sometimes, in the course of one short travel day, we get to experience the difference in scenery in a VERY short amount of time. As we do, we stop and take note of the different terrain, trees, and temperatures. Taking the time to do this is like taking several deep breaths. It grounds us and reminds us of our place, while helping us to teach the kids to notice, really notice, the natural wonders we are privy to on a daily basis.
We are also thankful for YOU! Our family, old friends and new, and the truly beautiful and helpful people we have met along our travels. It’s been so wonderful to connect with cousins and friends in Wyoming, past roommates and co-workers in Seattle, and now family in California. We’ve also appreciated the cards, packages, and emails sent from friends and family in Michigan…they have been a wonderful connection to you back “home” as well. Our new friends include those we’ve met working on farms (our WOOFing friends). You guys have been awesome…opening your homes to us and sharing meals, your knowledge, and new experiences with us. We feel so lucky to count you among our new friends! We’ve also met a couple of families, taking the same type of unconventional adventure with their families. One family, in particular, the Fethers, have connected with us, sharing travel details, meals, and some great adventures and memories. Their friendship came at at time (back-to-school) when we were truly missing friends. We are thankful for our new friends too!
Today, at our campsite in Tehachapi, California, we are at 4000+ feet elevation. It is snowing and much colder than we expected when we made our travel plans a couple of weeks ago. We are here to visit the Block cousins and celebrate our first major holiday in our home on wheels. We are especially thankful today for heat and electricity, an opportunity to relax and catch up (writing, laundry, and even SHOWERS!), the beautiful view of the snow-kissed Tehachapi Mountains out our windows, and the warm cups of tea by the fire that are helping to keep us cozy in The Beast.
We’ve seen more, opened our eyes to life outside of West Michigan, and remembered to take time to connect with both old friends/family and one another. This is what I’m most thankful for, and I daresay my other half would say the same. Blessings to all on this Thanksgiving week! We certainly have experienced our share on this journey.