a garden & a bus

over the weekend, andy & i & the kids along with our good friends beth & henry put on a garage sale here in our actual garage.  which, if you’ve known us awhile, is kind of a big deal.  we’d gone a solid decade using garage space to store our house overflow, so our having room in the garage to set up tables & showcase our wares is new to us.  (heck, we even park the car in our garage sometimes, when we’re feeling saucy.)

we weren’t going to do a garage sale this year, had been saying it inside our heads & to anyone who asked that, “nope.  we don’t really have anything to sell.”  which, turns out, is a total lie.  somehow, andy sprouted eyes to see, & then mentioned that maybe we should actually throw together a quick sale.  (it’s our annual neighborhood garage sale weekend, this last was.)  so, all of last week was us walking through what looked like a war-torn house, scrounging items we didn’t even remember we had, & tagging them with blue painter’s tape & a sharpie.  we drug hundreds of things we no longer wanted to manage out onto plywood-on-saw-horse tables.  & then, we blew them into the wind.

what kept coming up for me, as i culled my possessions, was three-fold:  1.  i am a hoarder of memories (think photos, journals, the scrap of paper javin first wrote the letter “d” on.  i’m not even kidding.),  2. every single item i decided to release caused a pang in my heart, &  3.  BUT. as soon as i unclenched my grip from the (fill in the blank:  clown bank from kindergarten (see?  a little bizarro.  i told you.), balloon cross-stitch from my childhood babysitter, or other elderly miscellany from when i was 6), a gigantic cloud of relief descended on me & i felt my lungs expand into my chest.

no lie.

after the weekend, we added a few square feet of freedom & a hefty chunk to our decluttering count.  thank you, garage sale.  i love you.

so, on from there, today the kids & i started working in our garden.  we have just a bitty garden plot, but at this stage & in this place, gardening for us is really about getting the kids into the dirt & maybe, just maybe, some blessed green thing will poke through & feed us.
IMG_1519which, maybe you’re wondering why we sold our kitchen table (super bittersweet:  i LOVE(D) our table, the beautiful family that gave it to us a long time ago, & the fact that all four of my babies had sat there with me.  love love & a sniffle.  BUT, andy’s been gearing up to build us a table for years.  he’s dreamed up a sweet table plan, so we’re making space to do that, adding the mantra to our lives that if you’d like something to happen, you need to create a place for it in your life.  i truly believe this, & i’ll keep you posted.), why we’re downsizing ourselves like crazy, & why we’re still bothering to till the land (i can talk big about my bitty space.) when possibly we won’t be here to eat the tomatos.

honestly?  i don’t even know.  except that that’s the feeling i have in my belly.  which, if you don’t jive with my Jesus-ness, may sound a little loopy.  but as a girl who seeks, i’m following the path through today, the inclination i have deep down to do what i do.  & all the trails these days are leading me down into the basement to donate things.

or, like last weekend, to GO LOOK AT A BUS.  our first one!  a big, long white thing with thick blue stripes.  we called on the bus on saturday & made plans with the bus owner to go see it sunday after church.  we called for directions as promised at 2:35, told him we’d be there in 15 minutes. because we have four kids & a fair amount of unpredictability, we had to make a quick kid pit stop.  when we got to the guy’s house at 3:18, just 18 minutes after the appointed hour, he wasn’t there.  so andy & i & the kids walked across the street to take in our potential future home, one long-length of blue stripey-ness.  andy rang the guy while we peeked in windows.

“oh, sorry.  someone already bought the bus.”

what?  like, in the last 15 minutes?  yep.  that’s exactly what happened.  somehow in the divine plan for us, white-bus-with-blue-stripes was not for us.  we had been the only people to call about the craigslist ad since the guy posted it, until 10 minutes previous.  the kids were super disappointed (which also kind of surprised me;  i’d not been very sure where they fell on the this-is-awesome spectrum.  fairly high, i guess.), & andy & i were completely relieved.  the bus would have needed a solid chunk of work (which means money).  the whole dizzying half-an-hour that started with “this could be it!” & ended with  “huh?” was also a golden opportunity to talk with the kids about how our faith works.  we don’t hold the keys;  we just jump in the car (or bus) when it’s ready to go.

so, that was that, & we’re moving on to who-knows-what, holding out hope that someone will love our place & want it for their own, & that that will align perfectly with the big next-thing-to-do.

but we do know:  we’re here waiting & hoping, with a spacious garage, stacks of decluttered things to sort through, & a glint in our eyes (or is that just sleep-deprivation?). & all the while we’re growing our freedom, a garden, & our desire for a simple life on a bus.


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