D. C. On a Dime

Nomadic life is not the same as being a tourist on vacation. Nomadic life contains all the same mundane qualities of stationary life, just in motion. We have to do laundry, grocery shop, make meals, clean our bus, do school work, book musical gigs, find communities and host families to neighbor alongside, negotiate the road ways in a 40 ft rig, take care of maintenance on our bus and van and sleep, yes, sleep is good. And then, depending on our host and how we are all feeling, we might venture out to see the main attractions but usually our preference is to actively engage with the local culture through the eyes of our host. Once in a while, however, we get to go explore like a tourist. The difficulty for us, is the most of those moments, we’re broke. Ha! So, it was with our visit to DC.

We did find, though, that there were plenty of things to do on a dime. In fact, there were a number of free things DC had to offer. We visited the White House, the Capitol building, most of the Memorials and Monuments, the Smithsonian museums, including the Natural History, Air & Space, US History, the Zoo and Botanical gardens. We had a few spare dollars for parking and for meals. Our first dinner was at an authentic Ethiopian restaurant called Dukem Restaurant and our second meal was at District Taco.

 

And, then as a special treat, Craig took our son, Banjo, to his first major league baseball game. They saw the Washington Nationals vs. Craig’s favorite Chicago Cubs. Sadly the Cubs lost, but they had a great time and Banjo fell in love with the game. Being his first experience in the big leagues, he had a funny little moment while walking in to the stadium, pointing out the Nationals logo on everyone shirts with confusion and asking Craig if there was a Walgreens convention going on at the game that night. Craig laughed and quickly explained that it was the team logo. Banjo, was embarrassed¬†but still found it silly that they would have such similar logos.

 

All up, our favorite museum was the Air & Space and we loved the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Our favorite monument was good ol’ Abe as it was exhilarating to sit on the steps, people watch, and look across the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument. And for our meals, Dukem was probably a bit out of our price range but we ended up sharing a platter for two and one extra main between the five of us, and it was plenty. The food was amazing! District Taco was fast, delicious and we were able to fill our bellies for about $8 a person.

Our time was well spent and we learned a ton but next time around, we’d¬†hope to connect with a host family or community and get the other side of life in Washington DC.

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Here we Roll

We’re rolling on down to Texas over the next month. We’ll have two new friends riding the bus with us.

1780901_212370275619978_1126500491_n Rhys Duursma, whom we met while visiting God Squad in Glenrowan, Vic, AUST. He’s the son of our host family and drummer in the rock and roll band, The Quick and The Dead. During our short time with them, we found a commonality in our faith and music. Rhys is a contemplative and thoughtful person with a great sense of humor. He began to dialogue with us about coming on board for a time back in April. The timing worked out and he’ll be riding with us from Chicago through to Austin.

10531211_10204260418494729_1692708406_nSylvia Christensen is a native of Green Bay, WI and a starting her second year at UWGB. We’ve known Sylvia and her family for the last ten years and have watched her blossom into a beautiful woman. She’s gifted in music, compassion and has a deep desire to use her gifts and talents to impact others. Last summer when Sylvia was contemplating what to do with her future, we offered her an open door to ride and learn with us. This summer the timing worked out and she’ll be on board from Chicago through to Hot Springs, AR.

Our itinerary is as follows:

Map

Aug 13 Milwaukee WI, Benefit concert for dear friends who are adopting a child

Aug 15 Waukegon Public Library concert Waukegon, IL

Aug 16 We pick up Rhys at Chicago O’hare,¬†who will be riding with us through to Austin, TX

Aug 17 Music at Risen Savior, and later that afternoon Sylvia Christianson for her two weeks on the bus)

Aug 18 Indy, IN (visit with dear friends)

Aug 19 Lexington, KY Listening Session hosted by the Wayfaring Family. (We met Annie through Twitter. She and her family traveled the world for one year, and she writes a travel blog about their time on the road. It will be our first time meeting them in person) Also connecting with Sean Gladding and the rest of the Communality kinfolk.

Aug 20-22 Nashville, TN, connecting with new and old muso friends

Aug 23 Travel day, possible stop to visit the Hedlund family.

Aug 24-29 Coffeyville, KS, Humanities program with Coffeyville Community College, workshop on Australian Bush Songs. Super excited about this as Rhys is from the same town¬†as one of Australia’s best known outlaws, Ned Kelly. (Coffeyville is where the Dalton gang was taken down.)

Aug 30-Sept 1 Hot Springs, AR Connecting with the Rogers family, like-minded kinfolk who we met through a music festival called Cornerstone. House concert on the 30th.

Sept 2 Monroe, LA Meeting for the first time, share a meal with staff and parking with New Life Community Church

Sept 3-5 Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans, LA. (a few days of rest and exploration)

Sept 6-8 Lafayette, LA House concert, Stoked to visit with our former bus rider, Chaz Jones and his Masters Commission community.

Sept 9 Arriving in Austin TX and setting up life for a four-month stay. After three years full time on the road we are looking forward to this extended stay. We are hoping to use our time connecting with friends from past stop overs, and our main desire is to create and record a third album. On a side note, we are hoping to finish off some of our bus conversion, namely our bathroom shower and hot water heater.

So far 2014 has been an intense year, touring Australia, a two month trek across the country with fellow travelers, Greg and Jeffery, working at camp all summer long and now a one month trip down to Austin, TX. We have experienced the lows and highs of life, seen hope in the midst of hard times, met some of the most inspiring folks along the way, and found that through it all, as each day comes, we have just what we need, when we need it, sometimes to share and sometimes just for ourselves.

As we go into the mystery of the rest of this year, we would be so delighted if you would consider partnering with us. Your help on this leg of the journey would be affirming and appreciated.  You can do so through our Modern Day Missions Fund.

Bus Conversion- Painting

Inspired by the historical street cars in San Francisco, specifically the 1946 “Philadelphia,” and this little potting planter, we have chosen to paint our bus what some folks call sea-foam green. We had the paint organized and Craig had been slowly stripping ¬†the sides of the bus. It was one of those projects that was sure to take a long time, chipping away at it here and there. However, upon arrival at our host home in Mt. Vernon Iowa, we found an eager and expert set of helping hands in the Anderson fellows. They are the one’s who actually brought the subject up in conversation. Asking, if we had any desire to paint the bus. We answered, “well, sure, someday.” That someday was this weekend. With tools in tow and paint, they sanded and cleaned up the remainder of the bus. Taped it off and away they went.

We couldn’t have organized or asked for a better scenario. Besides, a helping and encouraging hand at painting the bus, we enjoyed the delights of solace amongst the fall colors, sharing meals and inspiring conversation, and plenty of activity for the kids on the ¬†the Anderson’s farm.

We didn’t see it coming and the blessing will continue to go with us as a reminder as we continue down the road. Serendipity!

Below showcases the process.

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Some day, day down the line, we’ll add a red pin strip and art work on the back.