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Reflecting on 2017 – because that’s what you do the day after Christmas … right?

Change is a good, simple word that reflects on our year. After a really busy 2016, in March we closed escrow on what we thought would be our forever home. It was, after all, our dream home. It’s the home that took us over 18 months of searching for to find. We would drive from MD every weekend to look at all the homes we’d searched and looked at on the internet all week. Dozens and dozens every weekend, for a year and a half.

Did you know it took us only about 2 hours to decide to sell it and everything in it, and live a life more intentional? Crazy! But that’s how we’ve made some of our best and most memorable choices.

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March – Sold our home

April – Sold our rental property

Traveled through West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa and South Dakota. 

May – Changed our domicile from PA to SD

Traveled through Wyoming into Montana where we tried our hand at work camping at a small National Forest campground

September – Finished out our season with the National Forest campground

September-November – Traveled through North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania

We stopped in WV to spend an early Christmas with our youngest daughter  who attends college at WVU. She referred to our celebration as “Hallo-Mas”. Then up to PA to celebrate with our oldest daughters. Being prior military, Christmas to us is not about December 25th. It’s about the time you can spend together celebrating. There were many years when we still had our tree up in April because that’s when Justin was home from deployment to celebrate together.wanderlust-

November / December – Traveled through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and stopped in Mississippi to visit our very good friends. It was a much needed re-connection. We really enjoyed getting to know his family and now have more future plans together.

December – Traveled through Louisiana into Texas where we currently are volunteering through RVDC. A disaster relief organization. We are in Port Aransas TX where hurricane Harvey hit just a few months ago. Part of our personal journey in life is to make sure we give to people less fortunate than us. Not our money, but our time. Making sure the ones that need it, get our physical help. It’s been so soul filling to hug, help and lend a shoulder to the people at the bottom. We spent the better part of the last week helping set up a Christmas event at the chamber of commerce building. Toy and food donations poured in from all over, and the looks on the kids faces when we told them they got to pick a gift was priceless. We then headed over to the local donation center run by an amazing, giving person. Her home is just the shell as she lost it in the hurricane as well. But she has it set up as a walk in donation/distribution center. Donations are accepted, but if you need something, you just come in and get it. We make lists of what people need, and put it up on the website she created, and people from all over bring the items requested. Just truly makes your heart grow. They will be rebuilding and healing for years to come. Long after we leave and move on, they will still need help. I watched Bobbie get almost giddy last week when a local grocery store donated gift cards. She was so excited to go get food to stock the donation center shelves with for the people of Port A. Giving back. We didn’t know it was going to feel this amazing. It’s what we all are supposed to do as humans right? But we don’t really ever find the time to really do it. Sure, Justin volunteered at the local fire house, and Stacy gave time to an animal shelter a few times a year. But the time got less and less as the jobs and the house projects got more and more time consuming. “This” is the most soul filling thing we’ve ever done. Please “remember to remember”. If you can spare a month or two, please consider giving back this way. It doesn’t have to be with the organization we are volunteering with, but choose one. If you want to donate directly to the people, please see the video we made below, and consider donating directly to the donation center. Here’s to a beautiful 2018. Thank you for following us on our journey.

 

5 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2017 – because that’s what you do the day after Christmas … right?”

  1. Sure sounds like you’ve found YOUR adventure. Thank you for helping out in Port A. This is the first winter in the past four that we won’t be visiting the TX Gulf Coast and I’m truly missing it. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. We really have been enjoying our stay. If your decision not to come down was because of the storm, please don’t let that stop you. The private RV parks are open and there are businesses re-opening. They really need our help to get their economy flowing again. The chamber of commerce has an app with all the open businesses to find your favorites. Safe Travels.

      Justin and Stacy

      Liked by 2 people

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