Thursday, October 20, 2011

Haley discusses our journey with Mom

As I began this interview, I found out quickly how different they would be.  But it is a fun change and interestingly displays each personality.  Here we go with mom…

Haley:  When Dad first brought up the idea to take a long trip around the U.S., what were your first thoughts?

Mom:  “That sounds great; we’ve been talking about it for years”!  Other thoughts were probably “how?” (In regards to the business) and “when?”.

Haley:  As we prepared to leave in the next months, what were some key matters that you needed to accomplish in order to be ready to leave home?

Mom:  I knew that we needed to make sure that Dad had the right office and computer equipment in order to work full time, I needed to have my school resources for the new school year and I needed to make sure that the trailer was outfitted with organization in mind (since we’d be taking summer and winter clothing).  Also spending time with special people was important. 

Haley:  As the departure day neared, what were the last things you needed to take care of?

Mom:  Making sure that the house was in order.    

Haley:  Were you completely on board with the whole idea, or were you not sure how it was all going to work out?

Mom:  Completely on board.  I am used to Dad being an adventurer, and I’ve always shared his adventurous spirit.  I also had confidence in him to make it happen because he is a thorough planner. 

Haley:  Now let’s skip to the third week of our journey.  By this time, had you sort of established a ‘flow’ of our daily life? 

Mom:  By the third week (gets calendar out and goes to the third week)…yes…by then we had.  The first two weeks was a push to get to commitments with friends and family, so by the third week we didn’t have those types of commitments anymore.  Then we started a Monday-to-Friday workweek and traveling on the weekend routine.

Haley:  Because we were establishing a ‘new’ way of life, what were some things you (and all of us) needed to sacrifice in order to make this new life work?

Mom:  Privacy.  And the freedom to just get in the car and go somewhere, because maybe we were so remote that there wasn’t anything to go to, or dad needed the truck just in case he needed to go to a hotspot.  And space (laughs). 

Haley:  What is one of the most common things you’d find yourself doing at home that you cannot do now?

Mom:  Puttering in my yard, walking down the hall to do laundry, and running across the street to Grandma’s for a cooking ingredient.

Haley:  Dad’s work sometimes makes it hard for us to be in the trailer.  We usually have to go out if he needs to concentrate hard or make a call.  How do we cope with this?

Mom:  It does inconvenience us girls, but we know that this is Dad’s office and we have to honor that.  We do take advantage of the nice weather by spending time outside, hanging out, playing and doing school.

Haley:  Do you feel like the historic places we’ve visited have been instrumental in our schooling?

Mom:  Absolutely!  There’s nothing like being there.  It has made the books come alive.

Haley:  Have you forgotten anything from home?

Mom:  Some people have asked me that…yes!  My Turkish coffee pot!  But the girls and I were in a gourmet food shop and Suey and I spotted a sign that read “We now serve Turkish coffee!”  You can bet that we indulged!  I also forgot the round pizza pan and my biology teacher’s guide!

Haley:  We are two-thirds through now.  Has the trip been what you thought it would be, or better, or worse?

Mom:  Because we’ve taken a lot of shorter trailer trips, living in it hasn’t come with a lot of surprises.  It’s been better because we’re seeing sites that we’ve never seen before.  I hadn’t considered how stressful it would be while I am driving and Dad is navigating our course and working on the computers at the same time.  That is very stressful.

Haley:  Would you want to do a trip like this again?

Mom:  Yes, I would want to do it again.  It’s a great experience to share with our family.

Haley:  What are you most excited to do in the next weeks of our trip?

Mom:  I would say going to the Looper’s reunion and seeing the Halls.  And seeing what surprise destinations we have after that!

Haley:  Do you enjoy the long drives we take on weekends? 

Mom:  Let me defer to my sciatica…NO!

Haley:  What has been the most enjoyable or fun aspect about this new way of life?

Mom:  We ride our bikes more, I love that.  And running in beautiful areas!

Haley:  Have you found it easy or hard to keep in touch with friends back home?

Mom:  Hard on the internet, because I get very little internet time.  More challenging on the phone because of bad cell reception and the difference in time zones.  But all this has caused me to hand-write letters and cards, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I’ve really enjoyed making it a habit. 

Haley:  Do you find it hard to concentrate on certain things in a small area with four other people?

Mom:  I don’t seem affected by that, and we all seem to be considerate of that (personal space). 

Haley:  Has this trip brought us closer as a family, in your eyes?

Mom:  I think we’ve always been close, and we have no choice but to make it work, so we have to work together to function and resolve issues.  

Haley:  What are some places you’re glad to have seen along the way?

Mom:  Vermont, hands down.  It’s an absolutely beautiful state with all the woods and meandering roads and lakes.  As far as the public sights go…Ground Zero (P.S.  Don’t ever forget 9/11).  We have also visited quite a few libraries.  Every time we visited a new library, I make mental notes as to how our local library can be improved.

Haley:  Do you think we’ll all be more grateful of the luxuries at home, after living so differently?

Mom:  Oh yes, we’ve mentioned them as we’ve missed them.  But I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.  I just want to enjoy and appreciate this experience.

Haley:  What advice would you give to those who were going to live in an R.V. for an extended period of time?

Mom:  Be flexible!  That is a reoccurring theme for us.  Also, think of the R.V. as your home, so outfit it as close as reasonable to your ‘stick house’.

Haley:  Thank you very much for spending this time with me.  I’ve enjoyed getting your side of the story.

Mom:  Good night, good luck, good grief!  (Current favorite quote, a courtesy of Josh Groban).

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