Pleasantly Surprised

Posted on Oct 13, 2012 in Eliza Brownhome, Simple Living | 3 comments

I mentioned last week that in the months preceding this move, I was a tad anxious. The night we signed our lease, I laid in our King size bed and wondered, “What have we done?!?!” Then in May, as we were gearing up to move and our little cabin addition (with laundry and bathroom) was still far from finished, I developed stress-induced eczema on my foot. At some points, it was so painful that I could barely walk. I was functioning: packing, feeding the kids, doing everything that needed to be done, and wasn’t really feeling super stressed, but obviously the question of how we were going to make this work was weighing heavily on my mind.

Our move went relatively smoothly as far as moves go, but it was still a move with three kids in tow. It was hard and exhausting and followed by a really unfortunate dispute with our former landlord. The cooling unit in our bus fridge fried itself and the company shipping the gigantic replacement part made a mistake and didn’t ship it which meant that for the first two weeks after our move, we had no fridge. Our summer started off cold and rainy so despite being the end of June, we were still having to heat the bus with the woodstove. To top it all off, we had no way to do laundry and we were generating at least a load a day. I tried hauling all three kids to the laundromat twice before I vowed to find a different solution. Sounds like a recipe for unhappiness, doesn’t it?

Living area & kitchen, 1984 Bluebird schoolbus

But it wasn’t. As soon as we got all the boxes unpacked, everything was ok. I was amazed. It felt…well, it felt good to be home. I couldn’t believe it.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that:

  • The kids took the move in stride. They were so happy to be running around on the farm, exploring and checking out the animals. Noa was heard several times a week sighing wistfully and saying “Isn’t it wonderful?”
  • There was far less mess to deal with. It only takes minutes to clean up a 300 sq ft space and the kids seemed to like knowing that everything had it’s own place. They were really good about putting away one toy/activity before taking out anything new. I spent far less time picking up after them than I had at our previous houses.
  • The kids argued less about tidying up. In fact, they hardly argue about it at all anymore. We were in the bus for 10 whole days the first time either of the big kids complained about having to pick up their things. In our old houses, these arguments were daily occurrences. Now, they just seem to get it that there isn’t any space to play lego if their puzzle is still laying out.
  • I didn’t mind doing dishes. I’m not a big fan of doing dishes and I was really lamenting the loss of our dishwasher, but I found that washing up after every meal provided a nice rhythm to the day and it was intensely satisfying to see our tiny lovely kitchen all clean and sparkling after only 15 minutes of work. More importantly, because I was spending less time arguing with and picking up after the kids, I actually had the time and energy to do the dishes.
  • Silas’s sleep even started to improve after we moved (we’re still a long way off though).
  • Even when the bus is an utter disaster, it takes only a matter of minutes to clean up. A friend was coming for tea at 9am, which is a little early for me to get functioning. Nevertheless, I had all the beds made, dishes done, counters wiped, floors swept, kids fed and dressed, all before my friend arrived.

Anyone looking at our ramshackle, construction zone, make do, cramped bus from the outside might not understand this: somehow – despite the unfinished cabin; despite everything we’re juggling at the moment; despite the inconveniences of laundry, bathing, and sleeping arrangements; despite it all – somehow, we are so much happier to be here.



  1. I am so glad to hear that. I think that when you feel like you’re in the right place, a lot of things that would otherwise be difficult just aren’t so bad.
    Amber´s last post ..Midnight Hypochondria
    Twitter: AmberStrocel

  2. This cabin looks awesome! I need something like this urgent 🙂
    John Robin´s last post ..Induction Burner – Safe, Fast, Energy efficient

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