Jul 6 2012

Never Settle

by andrew

There are at least 2 meanings behind this post’s title. Ah…. where to begin? Maybe a brief and astounding recap of what the last several months have contained to catch the record up to the present:

  • Spent a mild and blessed winter in Winnipegosis, MB
  • Appreciated all the fellowship we had with our close friends in that area between Thursday night guy’s group, Friday night Bible Studies / games nights, and Sabbath / Festival celebrations
  • Were delayed by several months from our original plans to depart in April after Passover
  • Zach, Renee, and Bennah had birthdays
  • Reayah pulled off her first entrepreneurial enterprise with a bake sale that turned a profit and was quite a success
  • I went to Winnipeg in early June to shoot the last Outdoor Adventure exam race, which turned out epic in so many ways
  • Resigned from Clvr
  • Found out we were pregnant with #7 !!!
  • Discovered the Quarry House is indeed for real on the market and started trying to figure out how YHWH might provide for us to land there
  • Managed the overwhelming task of moving back into the trailer after 8 months of adjusting to house life having spread out again…

Last week was pretty intense – building up the momentum and wrapping as many loose ends as possible to once again have enough propulsion to break orbit and launch back into the crazy storm of life on The Road.

Never Settle means primarily two things to me right now. Our lives are presently characterized by disruption (in and intense but also positive and scary but exciting way). Being pregnant again. Technically jobless (though Father is providing projects and income). And a host of other potential stress-storms. We’re travelling again, and so I feel like we’re Never Settling… I thought I would never be ready to settle. Roughly 2 months before Renee got pregnant again (funny wording, I know, as if that just somehow mysteriously happens) I was reflecting on my restlessness to be traveling again and getting frustrated with the financially induced delays (which Father used for other purposes of course). And I distinctly remember asking myself, “is there anything that would make me want to settle down and plant some roots,” and the only thing I could think of at the time was, “well, another child would probably do it,” but like that was ever going to happen. Well, it did. And so there’s part of be that will Never Settle – life is about never settling – staying in motion, constantly growing, learning, adapting, becoming… if we settle and fight that and stagnate we die. We might be alive but we’re dead. Then again – never settling can also be a form of settling. If I were to insist on traveling after that season is over I would be settling for a craving whose time has past.

When I got back to Winnipegosis after a few days in Winnipeg shooting the Race, it felt like I was arriving home, and it was more than just the fact that my family was there… It was a very bizarre emotion because I don’t recall ever feeling like a particular place was home. My nomadic spirit has always felt like home was a state of being not a geographical location. It was very peculiar. Trippy even. More so because I know that ultimately Home is Israel – the land promised by the Creator to His people. And perhaps this is a stronger reason for my typical aversion to associations of Home with any physical place I might temporarily inhabit. Even this sensation I felt for Winnipegosis – it felt more like Home than I recall any other place feeling – but I must acknowledge that that too is only a temporary condition even if it lasts for years.

So here we are on what will likely be our last major tour. That in itself is laden with quite a bit of surreal strangeness because over a year ago we thought we were arriving in Winnipegosis to build and settle. But I guess we hadn’t been made ready quite yet and there are shaping adventures that must be chased yet. We are delighted in the joys and familiarity of travel life once again and have been in Winnipeg for almost a week now. Of course, with the delights there are also the stresses, which are compounded by the things that make it difficult to pretend we’re just in vacation mode. House life is so much simpler. The differences are stark and fascinating with the vantage point to compare them acutely. Although some things are simplified, there’s also a whole other layer of logistics that comes with the territory.

Never Settle also embodies the core DNA we want to imprint on our next company. We? Well, it’s a really long story. But I and two of the other three principal owners / members of Clvr resigned. Some dust is still settling, but my time there is completely done. It was really an odd and unexpected plot twist in my life story, but the Author has His reasons. I’m excited to discover them. It still feels weird to be done with something that I never anticipated ending this way and poured an immense amount of myself into for 2.5 years.

We leave Winnipeg tomorrow with a spontaneous shift in the original plan to stay here at the Welcomestop campground until Monday. Instead, we’re headed further south in Manitoba to spend the weekend with dear friends and catch up as much as possible before we leave Canada.

On the horizon – the adventures that already peak around the corner, staring at us even now:

  • Heading to Denver, CO primarily for some amazing wedding events and to spend some summer time in the mountains with our dear family and friends there.
  • Building a new company. It might even be called something like Never Settle. And it will be very different from Clvr or any other company for that matter.
  • Perhaps a fall east coast tour with destinations along the way of getting there (?)
  • Huge decisions to make like where to have this next baby, where to spend winter, how soon to return to Canada…
  • Immigration processes to research and apply for my permanent resident status in Canada.
  • Finding Home: Winnipegosis? Quarry House? The Edge? Somewhere else?

What does the Author have up His sleeve?

Nov 13 2011

Life in Winnipegosis

by renee

So, we’ve been in one place since April. That’s hard to believe. We have had a couple little weekend and a 2 week-long trips during that time but always returned to our little spot in front of Leon’s work shop and beside the barn where Lewis the Llama and Pixie the horse are always wondering around. Last week, as Andrew wrote, we moved from our trailer into an old, but warm 3 bedroom house in town. We loved being at Leon & Jenn’s but it was getting too cold and instead of heading south for the winter this year, we felt we were supposed to stick around. This week, it became winter officially. The temperatures have dropped (and will keep dropping) and the snow is here to stay. Being in a cozy house with lots of room for the kids to frolic makes me almost welcome the cold winter weather. For after playing a while in the snow, or a long walk to the library and back, we can leisurely take off our boots and coats with plenty of elbow room and enjoy the rest of the day indoors, sipping hot cocoa, playing games and doing more school (winter is a great time to get more school done-less time outside)!

I can say that I have become a country girl. I really love it here. I loved the spring when the snow was melting and people starting riding their quads, and the town got together to work to sandbag around the lake again. After it dried up a bit, we’d pass the tractors and other farm vehicles along the highway and wave to the farmers as they started planting. The summer was a blur, gardening and enjoying the sun. The fields were golden yellow and comforting. Fall brought out the big combines that took up the whole shoulder and your lane and some of the far lane, but around here, there was never any traffic so it was always easy to pass them and the kids made sure to wave as we were going by.

Now, winter is here. After this season is over, we’ll have stayed here a full year. One whole year in one spot. Nice. We’ll see how anxious we are to start traveling again in the spring. Andrew wants to be in Colorado for the spring/summer next year, which will be nice, although I can say already that I’ll miss this place.

I love Winnipegosis. I love the size. Even in such a small town (630), there are many stores here where you can find almost anything you’re looking for without having to drive to the large town 30 minutes away. There are two grocery stores, a hardware store, a Chinese restaurant, a hospital, a hotel, 2 banks, a pharmacy, service shops, real estate, salons, and a fire station with the only pink fire truck in Canada! I love the little library, which is as big as our living room but Zach thinks it’s the best library ever, since we did some cool crafts and played a few games there in the summer and he can take home a new bookmark and stickers after every visit. They can also order in any book I request.

I love the way people wave you when you pass them, whether they know you or not. I love the feeling of community. Even though we might not know many people here yet, many people know of us and have heard of us. Yes, people talk and gossip, but it seems to me so far that it’s more of just talking about what’s going on around town, and not malicious. I feel that if anything ever happened to us or if we really needed help, we would have lots of people come and help. We’ve felt that with many of the places we’ve visited and groups we’ve become a part of. We are so blessed and thankful to have so many people in our lives who we can love and trust like family and who love us. Many of them are not near us and are missed.

After a week of being in the house, we still need to move a few things from the trailer yet, and then do a thorough cleaning and winterizing. I’m planning to paint a few rooms in the house, just to make it more personal. Andrew rolls his eyes at me and smiles when I tell him what I’d like to do and try to explain to him, from an artist’s perspective he importance of colour in our lives.

I’ve used about half the tomatoes we harvested for sauce but still have many more to can or freeze. I need to can my beets as well. They are getting soft. We have a lot of storage space in the basement for food supplies that will come in handy and be important especially during the winter when blizzards and electrical outages and other inconveniences could prevent or limit our access to outside supplies.

Have a blessed weekend! oxoxo

Oct 27 2010

Day 563: The Day that Ended with a Flood

by andrew

I knew it was going to be an interesting evening when the horse escaped. Pixie was tearing out of the gate as if she meant business and I figured pretty quickly that she’d be way more difficult to catch if she got too far. I was just coming out from my cousins house when she made the move and I ran to block the path at the gate to her pasture. But she was already out, and instead of falling for my attempt to push her back she started hugging the outside of the fence and trotting south.

Good old buddy – a brilliant black mut that has some Lab in him somewhere – observed what was at stake and came running out to head her off. As he circled and turned her around I approached from the other side and blocked any potential escape routes. The 2 of us wedged her in, forced her back into her pen, and she was not happy about it. Even though Leon got some treats ready for her she still kicked up a storm at Buddy.

Later on we tried to shoot a skunk that has been pilfering the dog food in the garage. It snuck out as Jen pulled the other car out of the garage and  potentially out of harms way. A few days later we got it though. We had it trapped behind a big sheet of plywood and the wall. I eased the plywood back ever so slowly. When it peeked around the corner Leon shot it in the head. It must have already released though because… man… you think they smell bad when you drive past a dead one on the road somewhere. Wow. It is quite debilitating.

Ok, so back to the night in question. Anyway. The wind turned vicious. It was nearly impossible to open the door to the heated shop (in which we had parked our trailer for our stay at our cousins) without going for a ride. It literally yanked my mom-in-law off her feet at one point. The door didn’t get shut all the way either at one point and the wind literally tore it off its hinges.

Try reattaching a door on hinges to the frame and some of the hinges back to the door while holding it open in Category 3 hurricane conditions. Fun times. It took several sessions (my first couple attempts were successful but not permanent as the wind had its way with the door again and again), but I finally got it. And I’m actually not exaggerating about the conditions. I know it was Cat 3 winds because at midnight we got a call from the nearby town (Winnipegosis) asking for help sandbagging. There’s a river that flows into the local lake (Lake Winnipegosis). Well, the winds were so strong and constant that they were actually blowing the lake water backwards up river and flooding parts of the town.

It was quite surreal. So we went and sandbagged for a bit. The next day the winds continued and the water displaced some residents, The Dredge, and a bunch of other stuff we found washed up around various fields that we went quading (4-wheelin) through a couple days later.

That was quite a day. People that have lived there all their lives said nothing ever close to that has happened before. I think there was some kind of flood in ’53 but hardly anyone remembered. Here are some shots from the next day.

Canada Flag shredded from the wind

Our friend's house in town. The "normal" river is way in the distance.

Driveway at the first place we sandbagged the night before.

Had coffee here at 2am. This was probably one of the worst-hit businesses.