Even while living the RV life, the word “home” still conjures up specific images, smells, feelings and sounds.
My daddy makes pancakes while it’s still dark outside.
The bus honks a warning.
My mom plays the piano while we slip off to sleep.
We chase four quick dogs through wheat fields.
It also defines various locations in my life.
I refer to “home” when I talk about our family farm, the hotel room I’m eager to return to while exhausted on vacation, our current stone house, the town where I attended university and . . . the camper we used during the RV life.
You’re the same way.
It’s a word used loosely like “love” or “need.”
RV Life : Where is “Home”?
As quickly and frequently as we throw the word “home” around, each time we say it, we mean it.
And, we all know that while home changes, the elements associated with it do not.
What do you think of when you contemplate home?
I think of peace, safety, comfort and always, without fail, delicious food.
The house we left behind when we started our RV life was plum full of “home.”
It had a shady, green back yard with a magnolia tree Danny planted in honor of our 15th wedding anniversary.
We’d remodeled every bathroom and the kitchen so it was a reflection of our style.
Our girls were so young when we moved there that they could not remember living elsewhere.
Our house sat a short walk from an incredible park and friends.
We hosted numerous holiday feasts with loved ones gathered close and the scent of smoked brisket in our noses.
It was supposed to be our forever home.
So when we gave that up for an RV life, well, I was flummoxed.
How was this brown-infused, hideous upholstery everywhere box on wheels ever going to be home?
It wasn’t at first.
It was just . . . RV life.
In the beginning of RV life, we climbed awkwardly up the steps. (“Hold on to the handle, girls!”)
We had to go back inside 34 times each time we attempted to leave for the day.
Where is the sunscreen?
Do you have the cooler?
We fought back our felines with escape on their minds and didn’t use the shower for the first two months because it scared us. (And, because we kept our dirty clothes in it.)
(Please note, we did in fact shower but just chose to use the RV Park facilities).
We dropped things (including a giant, boiling pot of chicken noodle soup).
Every sound or smell was a mystery and sometimes the mysteries involved the waste tanks.
Our girls fought over space and other things like who brought the beach inside with them.
Paige’s plastic dragon committed suicide by launching itself in between the walls when we brought the slides in one day and . . . it wasn’t pretty.
Then, I don’t know, around two months in, I suddenly realized that when I said home, I meant our RV life and no other image came to mind.
When I said “home,” I meant that box on wheels and it brought me comfort (we brought our queen size, memory foam mattress, did I mention that?) and safety and so very much peace.
I even learned to make fantastic food in that teensy kitchen.
We cuddled up on chilly days in front of our little electric fire even though midway through the trip the “flames” stopped flickering, but it still produced a surprising amount of heat.
We all wore fuzzy slippers to ward off the chill.
I made popcorn on the stove with lots of oil.
We watched Little House on the Prairie and discussed the differences between Jack and Bandit and how each dog was the perfect friend for Laura.
Sometimes, we got campfire smoke in our eyes while making s’mores.
I made mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and gravy from scratch and it tasted heavenly.
We flipped pancakes and read Harry Potter and prayed during rainstorms.
Also, we sliced up a pineapple and hammered our way to coconut milk while in Florida.
We packed lunches and talked on the phone and cried from missing our loved ones.
The girls swept the floors and we stripped our bedding and scrubbed the bathroom.
We slept soundly in Wal-Mart parking lots, boon docking beside 18-wheelers that hummed us to sleep with their rumbling engines.
We were home.
Even when our little transport vehicle moved every week to a new park, new grocery store, new adventure, it was fine. Home came with us and we just added bits of each explored place into our home stew and kept on moving.
It was beautiful and unforgettable.
We raced up and down those bouncy steps with confidence.
Everything had a place. We knew what cabinets had to be chained closed before we took off again.
We showed off our home with pride when friends or family stopped by to visit.
No, we never got the hang of the oven but it made a fabulous place to stash snacks.
And all homes have their quirks, right?
Lisa loves to travel (obviously) and stay at home in her pajamas. That’s why the RV life was so good for her soul. Read about it at www.armedonlywiththis.com.
RV HOMESCHOOLING : READ THESE NEXT
If you’re interested in learning more about homeschooling while traveling and RV life on the road, check out: