Steep (Learning) Curve Ahead!

So. Much. Fun. And SO Much To Learn …

This adage is true in a vanlife: Everything has its place and everything must be in its place! Being in a small space, attempting to live a large life requires forethought, mindfulness, and flexibility–all of which I will surely be practicing until the flow becomes familiar.

It all worked; I successfully cooked three delicious meals, the dishes and pot & pan got washed without too much splashing, and the fabulously firm, oh-so-comfy bed allowed for a deep, restful sleep.

I made lentil soup at home, which got packed into the fridge then reheated for a late Saturday, post-hike lunch. Cooking on an induction burner is familiar, as I have an older device that I have used many times during past cooking demos. (However this toaster oven combo device is totally new to me so I’ll be getting used to the proper temp and timing over the coming months). I broiled the bread, added grated cheese, then broiled it again until the cheese melted. It was a scrumptious hot meal.

Dinner was a warmed up broccoli/cheese pastry that we purchased that morning at the Woolery Farmers Market — one of our favorite markets and a monthly destination for us in Bloomington. We also celebrated with champagne in honor of our inaugural night out!

There was no wifi and cell service was limited, so I pulled out my current read, Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, while John read on his iPad. I set up the coffee pot before going to bed so I’d only have to push the start button in the morning. We slept so well, lulled by the strong rain that began sometime in the night. It was in the morning that I made a colossal blunder…

We awakened early, in the dark, savoring the strong, fresh-brewed coffee. The plan was to go for a hike at first light, waiting for breakfast until we returned. It was cold and damp, the rain had stopped but everything was drippy wet. Most important was that the quality of cloudy, early-morning light made the fall colors pop, John’s favorite time to photograph out in nature. Getting our hiking stuff together, I grabbed my cloth water bottle holder which holds the van key in its front pouch. Inadvertently, I pushed the panic button on the key fob, blaring the horn. Over and Over the horn blared! The key fob is new to me of course, so there I was pushing the door lock buttons to no avail, until I noticed the panic button. Whew! Oh my was that horn loud! We giggled, I’ll admit, as we sheepishly hiked away from the van and into the woods!

We hiked for 5 glorious miles, through the rich fall colors and wildly rich aromas of wet leaves. This is known as Forest Bathing — a time of quiet reverence for mother nature’s unparalleled beauty. Back to the van, I made a yummy French toast sandwich breakfast, a Sunday favorite.

What a cozy spot! After we stay in dedicated campgrounds for a few more adventures during which we’ll get to know our way around the van with ease, we’ll tiptoe into boondocking–being out on a dirt road somewhere without electricity or water, to immerse ourselves in a truly simple vanlife. For now, we were grateful for our “practice night” experience!



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