Leaving our farm for the last time, was tear filled and at the same time, filled with hope for Derek’s unfolding miracle. This is a time in our life when facing fear and uncertainty is done with dignity, grace, and for our family, a whole lot of FUN.
You see, laughter heals the soul. And we plan to laugh our way through this next phase of the journey.
Gavin took one last four wheeler ride full of laughter and giggles. It was great to have our kids with us up to the last moments we pulled out.
Our journey started off with an adventure right from the start. 30 mph gusty winds. Doesn’t seem like much. But when you are pulling a 42 ft trailer, it made for a grand ole start. Not 3 miles onto the interstate, we all looked at each other and as if we could read each other’s mind we knew:
This is going to be long a trip.
And then just like anything else, once we got going, things worked there way out. We figured out what worked and what most certainly did not. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed in my head, ‘Jesus, take the wheel.’ And he did, every single time.
Derek drove some, and when he had enough, it was my turn. Climbing in behind the steering wheel, may not seem like a big deal for most, but for me, I could have had 20 bottles of deodorant on and wouldn’t have stopped the sweat from pouring out.
However, Derek reminded me as he always does. We are a team. He coached me from the sidelines, Gavin and Snickerdoodle cheered from the back seat, and a whole lot of courage poured into me as I entered a whole new phase to this journey.
I became a truck driver.
We ended up driving further than we thought the first night. Once the wind settled down, and I got the hang of driving this rig, I couldn’t stop. Gavin and Snickerdoodle ate an entire large bag of beef jerky. If I could only invent a way to bottle up their gas and put it in the truck, we would hit a home run. Hanging my head out the window, I realized I was traveling across country with teenage boy. God help me.
Around 11 p.m. we pulled over and slept at a rest area somewhere on the east side of South Dakota.
I think that’s when it officially hit me. Our home was right behind us. To get out of the truck, and literally walk to the camper, go in and collapse onto the bed felt…
We slept in the next morning. Can’t even tell you what time it was. Didn’t matter.
Just grabbed a meal bar, some vitamins, tea and…. on the road again we went. Yes, my coffee mug is a covered wagon, Laura Ingalls mug. What can I say? I’m obsessed.
Heading throughout South Dakota, the flat easy roads turned to more hills. Closer to Rapid City, the hills turned to larger hills.Not going to lie. I had moments where I was white knuckling the steering wheel. Popping stress relief, and praying. The hills became steeper. Larger drop offs and any bit of wind gusts or fast moving vehicles shook us. I have a whole new appreciation for truckers. In fact, I have a confession. To all truckers out there, I had no idea how hard your job is. Dangerous. Weather dependent. Putting up with inconsiderate people. It was when I passed a female trucker pulling half a house that is when I knew, she was a pioneer. If she could do it, I could do it.
To the female trucker pulling the 1/2 of a house, you were my hero and courage flowed into me from you.
Truckers are my new heroes.
As we drove into the the beautiful hilly area, Gavin and Derek talked to keep my mind off of falling over a cliff. The discussion came to pioneers.
Imagine traveling over this ravine in a real covered wagon. No paved roads. No trails. No luxury trailers behind them with a bed, and modern conveniences. As terrified as I was, I couldn’t help but to think, ‘Sarah, get over it. You big baby.’
You see, when I was a little girl, I had a horrible experience driving in a RV camper in the mountains. To me, it was a near death experience. I didn’t realize the hidden fear I had suppressed, till several years ago, I was traveling in the mountains with Derek in a mini van. We had just switched driving to give Derek a break, and while I was driving we hit some really steep drop offs and cliffs. Never in my life, have I ever experience an almost full blown panic attack behind the wheel. That moment brought back this hidden fear I had buried deep from my childhood. Didn’t even realize I had that fear. Ever since, though I love hiking and standing on a cliff doesn’t bother me, driving on one is a whole other issue.
Now here I am. Facing this fear and many more hidden fears. I’m not just driving any vehicle, but a large one.
Go big or go home.
One thing I have learned about the past four years, is we have been pushed to our limits in facing just about every fear we have- head on.
The scripture that calms me is:
“With man this impossible. But with God all things is possible.”
Philippians 4:13 I can do anything through him who gives me strength.
I will drive this trailer. And Jesus WILL take the wheel, and I will not be afraid.
Pulling into Rapid city, and setting up camp at a campground, I got out and looked at the view. What I had driven through so far, was mind blowing for me.
Here’s the view after you face your fear.
Totally worth it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still very nervous and scared. But, it’s beginning to ease. It is freeing to face your fears. If there is any suggestions I could give you.
Just do it. Don’t over analyze. Just get in and drive. Stock up on a LOT of deodorant. And tomorrow is a new day. Get back in, behind the wheel and keep on keeping on.
I have to admit, even though we are only two days into this journey, a sense of freedom and adventure has hit us. Though the circumstances are harsh that Derek is so miserable and we are traveling for his surgeries, we have been blessed with a beautiful choice. To make the most of this and ENJOY this adventure.
It felt great to set up my new office and schoolroom for Gavin. Though Gavin will be outside most of the time for his schooling thanks to our new wifi jet pack. How awesome to learn in nature! What he is learning and experiencing in real life, is better than any classroom. To see him learn literally on the road, is teaching him more real life experience, compassion, empathy, problem solving skills, and the list goes on. His best friend is a dog named Snickerdoodle and his Dad. When I think of all that he is missing out on, I realized that I was missing all he was experiencing.
As for my office decor, naturally I had to bring my ‘Little House on the Prairie’ vintage lunch box.
And we also brought a covered wagon that was given to us by Derek’s grandparents back home. To remind us that Pioneers blaze new trails. The road will not always be easy, but the journey will be beautiful.
We have landed in Rapid City, South Dakota. Camp is set up.
And the journey continues….
Sarah Hein the Pioneer