hippobrigade hippobrigade

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Beckey Brumfield  Conquering the western states and Canada full time with our family of 5 in our 31’ Airstream ✨🏔🌲🌵🧡💛💚

Yellowstone is for lovers 💛

100 days
We’ve been out here watching sunsets, building fires, using our hands, making it dreamy, fighting over missing the exit and wishing the kids would just be quiet for a minute!
100 days of living tiny, wandering, adventuring, eating car sandwiches and wishing we would change nothing, because when the windows are rolled down and the music is up, and it’s your favorite song, you push your arm out the window, against the wind and watch the scenery change, you realize everything is good and 100 ain’t no thing.

I use the word sometimes a lot. Because sometimes I don’t want to be resolute. I want there to be room for the other times. We drove through a wildfire the other day. I’ve never driven through a wildfire, but there I was driving a two-lane forest road, watching a fire burn gently up on the hill. The fire fighters were there. Watching. The smoke made our lungs tight. I always think of the animals in the forest and it makes me sad. Like, are they going to get out?! EVACUATE! I want to yell at them. But I think they know what to do in the event of fire. Just like us. Stop, drop and roll, right? I have never once needed to do that, by the way. But the squirrels and mule deer and bears, I think they just run. They know what to do. It’s animal instinct. They do their version of stop, drop and roll. Sometimes wildfires are necessary. The forest needs to burn to grow. I think that’s a good metaphor for life. But only sometimes.

Good night 🌙

I’m basic.
I like dogs, coffee and yoga pants.
I like the coastline, and horses and pumpkin spice. I like babies and new shoes. I like sunshine on my skin and open sky in my eyes. I like the smell of the morning breeze. And I like hiking to new places where I can see autumn spreading it’s warm colors all around me.
And I like waterfalls. whatever.
I don’t think basic is so bad.

Our table is also our bed, and our couch.

We have no other place to sit in the airstream. In the morning, I can’t be lazy and in stay in bed while my children eat breakfast, I have to get up, and I do. Reluctantly every day. It is also where we do school work when weather is cold and the kids aren’t ready to go outdoors. It’s the place where we squeeze together and feel equal parts annoyed and shoved. It’s the place where books and yogurt and coffee collide. It’s the place where the kids get into arguments over cereal and pencils and the dog. But it’s also the place where we play games and eat warm meals, and laughter spills out and moreover, it’s the place that feels most like home.

Most of the time I’m the one driving.
It’s not that I specifically enjoy driving, but it gives Pat a chance to work and so I get behind the wheel. I’m not trying to shatter any gender stereotypes but I’d be lying if I said i didn’t feel like a real bad ass.
I drive curvy mountain roads, through rain, down long and lonely single lane highways, into busy downtown streets, and in tight and uncomfortable spaces, all of it.
I think this arrangement is good, because if I didn’t drive, I’d likely be sleeping, and I miss out on it all. Today we drove through Yellowstone and we followed a river and I was the only one looking out the window at the granite cliffs and yellow fields, and the pines smoldering off in the distance from a recent fire and I couldn’t take a picture, so I had to let it burn itself into my memory instead.

Homeschooling is new to me, but the pace is something I’m familiar with. Unhurried and flexible. It’s kinda my manifesto. I remember when we were in the planning stages of leaving on this trip, and people would ask me ARE YOU GOING TO HOMESCHOOL?! Like it was complicated and unbelievable.
Don’t be deceived, it doesn’t always look this peaceful, mostly Silas is squealing, STOOOOP! While Hudson breaks his sticks and throws the rocks he was collecting out into the dirt. Or berlyn is crying because of math.
We do school on weekends because somedays we drive all day. We hunt for rocks and look at the night sky. We paint and draw and color and collect leaves and go on hikes. We catch bugs and talk about the states and even though it’s so different than what we’re used to, it seems to suit us.

I’d like to think that I’m adventurous. I’d like to think that I am effortless, that I am wild, that I am unscripted. I’d like to be considered bold and daring. But if I’m being honest, fear is always a short distance away. Sometimes I let fear make my decisions for me. Sometimes I miss out on things because I let fear perch itself on my shoulder and I listen when it whispers for me to turn away and go back the way I came. And worst of all, sometimes, I believe the fear. I believe its cautionary words of repression, and slowly I let it weaken me.
But other times, I choose not to listen to fear. I hear fear’s words but I keep going. I feel it try to settle onto my shoulders, and I push it off, and I make decisions despite the fear.
Living on the road can be scary, and fear is weird and dumb, and a LIAR. When I hear it creep in I have to plug my ears, and sing “LALALA!” At the top of my lungs. Because I can’t and I won’t let it dull the adventure, the wild and the unscripted.

Sometimes we have to stop at a place and do chores.
We have to pause every once in a while and do normal people things, although it’s necessary, I find it completely monotonous.
We’re in Billings Montana and I did all my laundry.
I met a woman in the laundry room who told me that Trump was here the other day and she was 500th in line to see him. I scratched at my arm and looked at the floor.
Sometimes people just want to be heard, someone to listen to them when they talk. I listened.
Silas told me that boys are kid-men, and girls are kid-women. I nodded and smiled.
Today I taught Berlyn how to shave her legs, and told her to be careful around her ankles and I didn’t cry about her growing up so I regard it as a victory.
Hudson named his lego guy DJ Echo Darts and I felt oddly proud.
Parenting is hard lately, It feels intense, like we’re always correcting and I’m always yelling. And sometimes that’s exhausting. But somewhere underneath all this parenting and yelling and chores and travel they’re growing up with smooth legs and echo darts and I think maybe it’s good to pause every once in a while.

I like it out here, in the west. It’s the Lakota, guns, ranchers, and it’s megafauna. It’s Theodore and the Antiquities Act, the prairie, the quiet, the history of millions of years painted on the sandstone hills.
And there is a beauty in the loneliness, in the history, in the slowness.
and I like it all.
But also, it’s powerful and arresting when you are looking straight in the eyes of a bison on your way to the bathroom.

Trying to strike that work/life balance.

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