The Calm Before The Storm: Awaiting the trip & Irene

August 26, 2011 in North America, Travelogue, United States

The blue skies above New England are dazzling. Puffy white clouds dot the sky. A light breeze blows. The calm before the storm, in more ways than one.

As the whole eastern seaboard braces for the impact of Hurricane Irene, our little family braces for the impact of the beginning of our next journey.

We packed up the green van this morning and are now rolling north toward New Hampshire and the Wood Family Farm. The van is quiet. Spanish guitar music is playing. The children are drawing and writing and reading. My cup of tea is keeping me company and we’re enjoying our last quiet family moments for the next two months.

This is the first big adventure that we’ve embarked on that will separate our family for more than a couple of weeks. The kids and I heading west with The Mama Bus, Tony hunkering down to do some serious work while we’re away; flying in for a week mid-trip. Everyone is a bit nervous about that. We like being together, that’s a big part of why Tony quit his job in favor of working at home with us.

I’ve spent a lot of time planning this trip, and equal amounts contemplating it. The idea for a cross continental combination of education and adventure is the dream-child of my buddy Lois. Creating the reality of it has been the combined hurricane force effort of every member of both of our families, from tiny two year old Jenny Wood, right up to the Daddies, who are preparing, nervously, to send their whole worlds away, out of their reach. I’m proud of all of us.

I lay in bed an extra half an hour this morning, enjoying the feel of the sheets, the sound of the fan running overhead and the various creaks and noises of camper life. It was very likely the last morning wake up I’ll spend in that camper, as we plan to sell it before we head for Asia. Our life is full of transitions, and today marks another.

In two short hours we’ll pull into the Woods driveway. We’ll be met by a monkey pile of stair step kids who’ll pile, screaming and hugging into our van, as they always do. The dog, unable to contain her excitement will follow them in, and then all of them will tumble back out, chattering a mile a minute as they run for the forest. I think it’s the best welcome we receive anywhere in the world. No matter how long we’re gone, or where we’re headed, the Woods always fall all over themselves to greet us… literally.

Between now and our Tuesday morning launch there is a lot of packing, sorting and last minute round up to be done. There’s a party & concert to be hosted. And, oh yes, a hurricane to be weathered. This will mark the third hurricane we’ve been camping with the Wood family in. It seems to be a hallmark of our big adventures with them.

For now, I will ride quietly in my smaller green van, breathe deeply, enjoy my tea and the quiet and the smell of my husband that fills the air, although no one seems to notice it but me. We’ll roll north in comfortable silence. I’ll push the laundry list of “yet to do” from my mind and try not to worry about impending storms… of various sorts.