Forged in Fire

A lot has happened since my last post, so let me summarize.

We woke up to the smoke alarm on March 24 at 2:30am. Our apartment was filled with smoke, and there were flames at our back door. We grabbed the cat and a few essentials and got out. No one got hurt, but if that alarm hadn’t gone off we likely wouldn’t be alive to talk about it. We’re alive and kicking, but we suddenly found ourselves without a home.

Fortunately, we’d already been working on building ourselves a new one: my 2004 Ford E250 camper van. Our plan had been to sell off some stuff and move into it by the end of April. The fire forced us to move into it NOW. Of course, it was still winter in New England (I don’t care if the calendar says spring starts in late March — snow can, and did, happen all the way through mid-April), so we couldn’t actually live in our unfinished van just yet. We’ve been fortunate enough to get help finishing the van and having a place to do the work. Some friends in New Hampshire created the wood counter and cabinet doors we weren’t equipped to, as well as other small jobs to get the van ready to go.

I’m typing this from Indiana, of all places. We’re wrapping up a two week stay at Telos Farm, where a friend invited us to stay, work on the van, let me get back to work for FIXD, and try to relax a bit. We’ve been able to finish getting the van workable and livable, and are about to load up and head back to New Hampshire to tie up some loose ends. I get my second COVID shot next Tuesday. We’ll also pick up my cat to join us on our travels. From there, we’ll make our way toward Florida, where we intend to establish residency since they make it easy for RVers and other nomads to do so. It’s also warm. We’ll be back up north for summer, but other than Climb to the Clouds and the New England Forest Rally, our plans are up in the air.

We’ve finally had time to get out of emergency mode and resume whatever “normal” is to us now. We finally had time to make a video to relaunch our YouTube channel, which we’ve renamed Smokey Da Van as a direct reference to the circumstances that literally lit a fire under our butts to dive straight into van life. We’re hoping to post regularly, and have been all along on Instagram. We have even more projects in mind to tackle as time goes on.

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