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Beckey Brumfield  Full time traveling family of 5 in 31’ Airstream 🧡💛🌵🌲🌞

There was a time when you didn’t go to school.
You didn’t stay indoors.
You didn’t look at screens all day.
Instead you spent your time
Making rows and rows of mud pies,
Counting rocks,
And throwing them as hard as your arm
would allow.

What are you going to remember from this trip?
Are you going to remember fighting with each other?
Are you going to remember all the stuff you missed out on?
Birthday parties?
Soccer games?
School Thanksgiving feasts?

I hope not,
I hope you remember the mud pies.

Post hike beer out of a ceramic tumbler? Is that a thing? It should be a thing.

We are the Brumfields.
We’ve been living in this Airstream for the past 5 months.
Not because we are running away from something,
But because we want to see everything.
We traded in a suburban life of convenience
For the unpredictable
To wander
To let our children be free to explore uninterrupted
Our lives are uncomplicated
There’s a ease to it.
We are brave.
We are learning.
It’s bug bites and sunrises and sunsets.
It’s uncomfortable at times.
People alway ask us what’s next, where are we going to end up when this is over.
And we just stare blankly at them.
Because we don’t know.
We don’t know what our lives will look like after, and honestly, we don’t want to know,
because we’re out here right now
and we like it.

I’ve been cold.
Wet nosed with wooly socks.
I watched autumn drop its yellow leaves.
Seemingly suddenly
Like a lady at the market holding too many soup cans.
A chaos of leaves
Rolling and tumbling every which way.
After the novelty of cold wears off, it makes me cranky.
Uncomfortable and constrained
So yesterday we drove.
We drove west toward the sunlight that glittered on the enflamed red hills.
The cloudless sky promised us warmth.
We are sun chasers.
We need it.
I hold its warmth in my hands,
It slips through my fingers,
But press it into my shoulders like a blanket.
It’s orangey glow warms my bones.
We need it.

Family portrait//in tattoo parlor window//SLC

I don’t really care for Salt Lake City.
Sorry Utah.
I love so much of your state.
But Salt Lake has a strangeness to it.
Eerie.
Quietly uncrowded.
Maybe it’s all the salt?
We are bloated.
But we’re here anyway.
Mostly out of circumstance.
Obligation.
The silver lining is I’ve been able to see many familiar faces here.
Loves.
Relatives and besties.
But I’m ready to head out.

HOWEVER, Pat’s computer is broken and it’s orbiting around in Apple space somewhere, maybe it’s Texas they tell us.
So we have to stay.
A few more days.
It’s so cold here.

We are used to leaving. Pulling up the anchor and sailing away, but we have to stay.

A few more days.

I am impatient and ready to move on.
Because we can.
Because we are all wheels and movement.
We are pliable and elastic.
But instead I’m learning to be content.
Patient.

A few more days.

Birthdays can be weird when you live in an Airstream. But I think this one is going to be okay. Happy 6th birthday Silas.

We’re all still in awe over the awesomeness of Antelope Canyon.

I don’t like when a song fades out.
I pick at my teeth after I eat chips.
I laugh at my own jokes.
Sometimes my inner dialogue is British.
Last night I ate a full sized Snickers bar and watched the Lady Gaga documentary.
Chocolate pieces crumbled down my shirt and melted into my bra.
That’s when I feel like a real winner:
When I get undressed at the end of the day and I find melted evidence of my bad decision.
But honestly, I do feel like a winner.
Pat has been gone for the last 4 days in Boston for work, and I’ve been crushing SLC hard, just my kids and me.
Dealing with the always cold.
Everything thing is foreign and unfamiliar.
Emergency bathroom trips downtown.
Parking my obnoxious black truck.
Museum
Bird zoo
Planetarium
University
We checked all the boxes
I don’t like doing hard things.
But I do them.
I can’t heap into a limp ball just because my husband isn’t around.
Instead we rally.
We do shit.
We explore.
We find fun.
We feel like winners.

And at night I eat candy bars in bed.

It’s beautiful
Haunting
Lonely
And when you look closely
It’s tragic
Salty
Ugly in parts

And it smells.

This moment was not posed.
We had to drive for miles on bumpy dirt roads to get to this hike.
The kids were cranky.
I was cranky.
When we made it to the trailhead I was upset at Berlyn for doing something that I can’t remember now.
The boys were arguing and it was cold in the canyon when we started hiking.
We almost went back.
Then we began climbing.
We found some sunshine.
The kids were laughing.
We kept climbing, shedding our jackets and putting on our sunglasses.
It got warmer and warmer, and the boys took off their shirts.
Then we reached a point where we could see down, down to where we parked and argued, and suddenly everything we were upset about felt so small.
Berlyn came over to me and hugged me tight.
Then the boys came over.
And of course I yelled at @patbrumfield QUICK! take the photo!
Now this picture serves as a reminder of how being outside:
Changes us.
Challenges us.
Warms us.
and reminds us that we need it.

So many mothers say, “stay small forever.” Even me, i’ve said it to your chubby tummy,
and your wet smile,
and your fine wispy hairs, because you are my little one.
My last.
You will be my last one to need a car seat and the tooth fairy.
Night lights and hugs after scary dreams.
But the words never stick.
Instead they get dropped on the floor with crumbs and forgotten toys.
So, on this birthday, I say grow big, my love.
Grow in strength.
Grow in tenderness and righteousness.
Grow tall and wise.
Dance in the warm rays of sunlight.
Find beauty in different people.
Stand up for what you believe in.
Say yes to things that scare you, it will make you strong.
Make things with your hands
Chase things that are important to you. Chase them hard.
But keep your youth, hide it in your eyes and your smile. Keep it safe in your laugh and your pockets,
because you can’t stay small forever,
but you can stay forever young.

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