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Trailer Days

We live this lifestyle for many reasons and being outside in the nature that we all crave is definitely one of our favorite perks.  Then there are those other days.  The gray, gloomy days.  Cold.  Rainy.  Wet.  We refer to them as “trailer days.”  Otherwise known as the days that challenge our very sanity.  Welcome to the home of the wintertime blues.  These days are expected, but never welcomed.
These particular dreary days that we have encountered recently soon leave us doing nothing but begging for a sunny, seventy degree oasis.  They leave us desperate for a ray of sunshine to soak up the lifeless puddles left behind by the January rain.  Sitting inside with four larger than life personalities, childish energy waiting to be exhausted, two less than amused cats and let’s not forget the overly bored dog, comes the unforgiving realization of how small 300 square feet actually is.  Then, throw in a batch of middle school roadschooling and you’ll find the perfect recipe for almost losing it. 

We need the sun (preferably paired with temperatures above seventy, but, hey, beggars can’t be choosers).  I will at least take sun over gray skies.  That has become my new cry from the depths of our winter life on the road.  The few, and I mean like three, days we have had to hike, bike and throw around the football have felt like a God-send for an unusually cold and ugly month.  The other days have left our family feeling like bears in hibernation mode waiting for spring to bring us back to life.  This type of environment will lead one to questionable decisions when a so-called warm day arrives.  And, such a day came last week. 

It was the most beautiful day we have had in over a month—around 70 degrees (what I would consider the tipping point of warm.)  We were at beautiful Inks Lake State Park in the hill country of Texas.  Inks Lake is a completely picturesque park with a natural landscape and has to be one of the most popular spots in the summer here in the hill country due to the perfect swimming area provided by the natural rock formations surrounding the lake. 

So, what does one do on a day in the middle of January desperate for the healing power of the outdoors?  Somehow I soon found myself mid-air over a cascading waterfall in a moment of “what the hell did I just do?” as I realized my body would soon be hitting the untouched and possibly (and that would be totally optimistic) not so warm waters below.  The moment came and there was no turning back.  With it came the self-posed question of what the heck was I thinking.  Amazing how an originally unmotivated family kayak paddle led to this unplanned and radical moment.  I excused my behavior as a mere attempt to coax my thirteen year old son into the same insane decision.  And, guess what?  It worked.  After all, he was responsible for the discovery of this hidden waterfall off in the distance.  After hopping out of his kayak and taking a short hike on his own, he came back like an explorer dragging all of us to his incredible find.  And, this seems to be how all of our crazy adventures start—an opportunistic discovery and a supposed once in a lifetime moment.  (We seem to have a lot of these “once in a lifetime moments” to take advantage of in the last six months.)

Unfortunately, the other two smarter members of our family, escaped the waterfall waters and found their place as cheerleaders in a much warmer location on the sidelines.

This was the cure to a dull week of gray.  That very moment under the blue skies and blazing sun drenched by the coldest water I have ever felt was exactly what I needed.  A peek into spring and hopefully quite a few less “trailer days” ahead.    

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