Our Crazy Flag is still Flappin’ in the wind
One year ago today my beautiful bride and I drove through the gates of our beloved Butterfly Hollow for the last time. We handed over the keys and everything we had built, touched and created to the new caretakers. With tears flowing, we inched forward into the unknown with everything we owned condensed into what we could fit into a 19ft camper and our Ford pickup.
It’s probably the second most craziest thing we have ever done. The first was when we did the same sort of thing 18 years earlier and sold everything we had, took every penny we could save and moved from our nice three bedroom home in a lovely Nashville suburb and put it all into the purchase of 85 overgrown acres, three falling barns and an old farmhouse that hadn’t been lived in for 30 years. I think it was because we burned the boats and had no way of going back to the life we had before, that it somehow opened us up to dreaming outside of what was comfortable. Four years later the two of us, who had never built anything before, except a bookshelf, had somehow restored the old home place ourselves. We blew new life into the two of us and one fall day decided it was time to open the doors of our 1899 farmhouse for the first time as a Bed and Breakfast retreat. The next 15 years were to be the best ones in our lives… so far.
This new adventure we are on now is similar in that we didn’t know when we pulled through that gate a year ago saying “goodbye”, what was quietly waiting ahead to whisper “hello”. Actually, we still don’t know really. We wanted to take a year in celebration of our 25th year of marriage and strip it all down to just us, a few clothes, a couple essentials, and a guitar of course and travel in our camper. We decided to go slow, stay in state parks mostly, never drive more than 200 miles and try to stay a week or two at each stop. We mixed in family, connecting with old friends, visiting some of our past B&B guests and volunteering and went from the hills of Tennessee to the tip of Key West, all the way up to the border of Maine and Canada, back through Tennessee and into the sunshine state once again for the winter.
It’s been amazing, breathtaking, and totally beyond anything we could have ever imagined the experience to be. We have fallen in love with America and all the wonderful little backroads and small towns that connect us all together. We honestly thought that after our year long sabbatical that we would one day drift into some quaint town somewhere and decide that it’s time to put down a root again and maybe start another B&B or do something completely different. I guess that still may happen one day, but as of this breath, our new chapter of being wanderers and explorers feels so good. We don’t want to stop. We’re not sure how it’s all going to work, how long we’ll be able to travel, where our income will come from or where the road will eventually lead us, but I think this mystery is somehow part of why this feels so right.
So a year later our boats are burned once again and our crazy flag is still flappin’ in the breeze. We are still madly in love and feel so very fortunate and lucky to be tripping down these two lanes of freedom across this great country of ours.