NMC088 Meeting Sailing Totem Crew

Daphine Mbithuka


Meeting sailing friends and struggling with homeschooling as a full-time traveling family!

Do you ever make decisions that revolve around your family but still question whether you made the right decision? Have you ever been in a place where you feel like you’ve made the perfect decision that suits your family’s needs but somehow some people still aren’t happy about it?

If you answered yes, this week’s episode of the New Mexi-Castaways podcast is for you. Rosa Linda Román shares her experience on how she has had to deal with making choices around schooling for her kids while being a full-time traveling family, how she would get criticized by people because of her choices and decisions, and how she has dealt with it all. Are you planning to enroll your kids in school but are uncertain about the best way forward since you are also a traveling family? Listening to Rosa Linda will help you draw perspective on the subject matter.

Speaking of boatschooling, Behan Gifford from s/v Totem literally helped write the book (Voyaging With Kids) on the subject and all things related to sailing with kids. Rosa Linda & her traveling companion get a special treat this week as they meet Behan and her daughter on their cross-country trip. It is an inspiring episode that you don’t want to miss. We hope you enjoy it!

P.S. If you liked this episode you will love Rosa Linda’s book about her family’s sailing adventurers! Click here to find it on Amazon:

Recorded: October 05, 2018

Location: Driving from El Paso to Austin, Texas

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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román, and I am speaking to you from my husband's Audi A4 as I drive from El Paso, Texas to Austin, Texas. This is the end of a very long week of driving. I flew into Seattle, Washington on Sunday, and drove from Seattle to Sequim, Washington, which is basically, the most upper, like Northwestern point that you can get in our country and still be in the United States. I mean, obviously, not counting Alaska. Yes, I know, but talking about the, what is it? The contiguous United States. Sequim, Washington is a beautiful place, and that is where one of my brother-in-laws live. My other brother-in-law who has a camper, met me up there and he, Ari, and I, took the camper from to Spokane, Washington where I got to see two of my girlfriends. Actually, I saw three of my girlfriends up in the Washington area. Rosa Linda Román (01:34): One is kind of a new friend and she is someone that I knew through Facebook only and through a group called Kids4Sail. Now, in case you're new to my channel, what I'm talking about is my family and I, after living in New Mexico for several years, we moved onto a sailing catamaran for the past two years. And through that living on the boat, I met a whole bunch of people who also lived on boats with their kids. But very few have quite the story that this person that I'm talking about, Behan Gifford has with her family. Now, Behan lives on a boat called Totem. And our path crossed, literally, our paths crossed because I think, we were in either the Exumas heading toward Nassau, and she was maybe in Nassau, or the Berry Islands heading toward Eleuthera. And the timing was such that it was Passover, which our family is Jewish. Rosa Linda Román (02:33): And so, generally, when you have an event, whether it's a birthday or any kind of holiday and you're at remote place, you definitely invite anyone, especially, with people that live on a boat with their kids. So, I invited them to join us for Passover, but it turned out that they went to a harbor. She was kind of making a beeline for, I think it was maybe Rock Sound or somewhere in the Eleuthera, because she was flying out because she is a speaker. She and her husband speak at a lot of different events that have to do with the sailing community. And so, she wasn't able to join us for Passover. But we've remained in touch through Facebook and through this group called Kids4Sail, S-A-I-L, not selling Kids, but Kids for Sailing. And she's really a neat lady because she not only has circumnavigated the globe, they actually just finished their circumnavigation this summer. Rosa Linda Román (03:29): She also wrote or co-authored a book called Voyaging with Kids, and she writes a really great blog. And then, her husband is a sail-maker. And so, they're just a really neat couple. They do consulting work for people who are thinking about living on a boat or need kind of a little guidance making crossings, or different things that you face when you're living on a boat. So, I've been in touch with Bien for a while, but never actually friends, and that's kind of, I have this weird thing where I don't friend people unless I physically have met them, and know them, and they're someone that I can vouch for. And I know that comes from my years of being in broadcast media, just very cautious about friending people. But I always felt like she and I would be fast friends. And so, she happened to be in Seattle, actually, in Bainbridge Island, and I was in Sequim. Rosa Linda Román (04:22): I was going to be driving by that area on my way towards Spokane. So, I got in touch and I said, "Hey, any chance we can meet for coffee?" And she said she was working on a whole bunch of stuff for her upcoming tour at the Annapolis Boat Show, which is where she is right now. She had a bunch of like teaching engagements where they had some sessions and I think some events that she was speaking at. And so, she had a lot of work to do, to prepare. I think it was like the next day or the day after that she had to prepare for this event. But she said, "But who doesn't have time for coffee?" And so, Ari and I met Behan and her daughter, Siobahn, at a Starbucks in Bainbridge Island. And that was super great, and it was really neat to talk to them. In particular, I enjoyed talking to Siobahn because we had just been having a conversation, my brother-in-law and I, about the pressure that I had been kind of feeling with homeschool and whether it was the right decision for our family and that a lot of people that love us were very stressed about the fact that we're homeschooling our kids and really don't want us to be. Rosa Linda Román (05:27): And then, there's always the question of social. You know, I'm always worried about whether or not my kids are getting enough social engagement. Now, Samuel, our seven-year-old is in a brick-and-mortar school in Texas, but my girls continue to do an online school. And so, you know, I struggle with it. I want to make sure that they're getting age-appropriate socialization and all of that. And my brother-in-law said to me that and granted he's biased, he, you know, loves my kids like I do. He said, "When I'm around your kids, it's clear that they are well-socialized, they're fine." You know, he wasn't worried and trying to ease my mind. And then, when we talked to Chevon, it just kind of melted a lot of that stress away from me because it reminded me of that amazing benefit that I feel like our family has gained. And so many families that either live on a boat or maybe they travel the world with their kids or live in an RV and you know, do full-time family traveling like that. Rosa Linda Román (06:26): And that is that the kids learn, get along with all kinds of different ages and they just learn to carry themselves differently than a lot of kids that I've encountered in just a normal, you know, neighborhood or school setting. And that's not to say there are not amazing exceptions. Of course, there's lots of kids that can get along with different people, but by the nature of sailing, I find that when the kids do see other kids, even if it's like kids much younger or kids much older, they just find a way to connect and get along. And a lot of times there's only people that don't have kids with, you know, other boaters who also have adventurous spirit and are interesting or have something to teach. Rosa Linda Román (07:07): And I found when we were sailing from different island to different island that our kids really benefited from the dynamic of, well, first of all, you're disconnected, right? So, they're not just zoning out on tech, they're actually in the moment and learning about how to get along with lots of different kinds of people. So, talking to Chevon reminded me of that. And I just want to give a shout-out to the Totem crew. I didn't get to meet the other members of the crew. Their oldest Nile just went off to college and their other daughter who I am, sorry, I don't remember her name, I cannot believe it. But anyway, and then, the husband Jamie. So, they're an amazing group and if you want to learn about a family, and what I love about them, by the way, is they're so generous with their knowledge and they share their experiences. Rosa Linda Román (07:57): So, if you go to their, I think it's called Sailing Totem is their actual blog. They've been on the Today Show when they've circumnavigated and they just have some really cool things on their website. So, check that out. So, that was one person that I met in Bainbridge Island. Then we went to Spokane and I spent the night at my friend Molly's house, and we basically just pulled into her driveway, and we went out with Molly that night, and her husband Kevin held down the fork with all their kids while Ari and Molly and I went out. And the next day we met our mutual friend Teresa for coffee also at a Starbucks. So, that became our kind of theme for the first part of our trip is meeting girlfriends at Starbucks, which I think is appropriate, right? We were in Seattle and it's like the birthplace of Starbucks. Rosa Linda Román (08:48): So, that was really fun. Those friends. And the friend that I met next, which was in Salt Lake City, was Sarah Hicocks. And she and Molly and Theresa are all friends that I knew from the Manic mommies. Now, I know if you've listened to my podcast any length of time, you know, I hold up the Manic Mommies podcast as the gold standard of what I think a podcast should be. And the people that run it are just, were, they still are. But the podcast is no longer in existence. The Manic Mommies is basically was my first introduction to audio podcasting. I don't remember how I found it, but I think I was kind of a young mom. I mean, I wasn't young, but my kids were young and just trying to figure out what podcasting was. And I discovered the Manic Mommies and it was run by Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt, and they just talked about what it was like being parents, and they had such a great friendship, and they shared their experiences with their audience. Rosa Linda Román (09:49): And it's interesting because one of the things that we talked about, I talked about with Bien was actually a part of what Erin and Kristen struggled with toward the end of the Manic Mommies. And that is when your kids start to get older, like it's one thing when they're young, and you're putting together, you know, you're talking about potty training, and you know, people can identify with what that struggle is like, and it doesn't really affect the kid because they're just little and you're just talking about your journey and your struggle. And mostly it's not really, I mean, you know, fill in the kid potty training is difficult, or nursing, or you know, sending them off to kindergarten. Like, the struggles that you have at that age, I don't think it's so perceived as so earth-shattering for the kid. But as they get older, you know, their online presence, you know, that's their right. Rosa Linda Román (10:39): It goes from being mommy's story to their story. And I'm going to pause before I finish that thought and tell you that I am looking at the most gorgeous view with a rainbow across the sky in front of me and the big huge clouds all around me. Just these puffy, beautiful clouds and layered mountains in the mountains, I mean, in the wide-open space between El Paso and I don't even know where I am. It says I've got 105 miles to my turn. I'm on I10. So, anyway, just wanted to let you know. I wish I could take a picture, but I'm flying solo so you'll just have to trust me that it is gorgeous. Rosa Linda Román (11:22): Okay, so back to the online presence, right? Once the kids get to a certain age, they're aware that you're talking about them and they're aware that you're talking about the challenges that you're having with them. They're also aware that their friends have Facebook, or whatever they have Instagram. I know Facebook, my daughter told me the other day, "Yeah, I think Facebook is like Instagram or maybe whatever, Snapchat for old people." She said, "I don't remember something like that." And I was like, "Oh my gosh, it is a new generation." But yeah, they start to take, be more aware of their own rights to what you're posting and we, hopefully, parents are being mindful of that. Not all parents are. I've seen some videos where they're like, you know, they post their kid doing something stupid and shaming their kid and I really have a problem with that. And so, I try to ask my kids if it's okay for me to, you know, post this and I try, especially, if it's pictures or video, I check in with them and make sure it's something that they're okay with. Rosa Linda Román (12:23): And that was something that Bien talked about with Chevon that, you know, she tries to always ask them like, "Hey, is it okay if I post this?" You don't always, you like to think that you will always ask, and always respect their right to privacy and things like that. But you know, you're also doing your life and telling your story. And my story, obviously, I couldn't tell my story without telling my kid's story in some way. Now, I can kind of say my daughter, and my son, and not be specific, but if you followed my journey any length of time you know which kid I'm talking about. And yeah, so that's kind of difficult territory and that is what happened. I think that was part of why the Manic Mommies decided to call it quits. That plus, one of, you know, the members of the Manic Mommies, Erin moved out of state and because they were in the Boston area and then she moved to Rochester, New York. And so, that made it harder to record regularly. Rosa Linda Román (13:19): And then, each of them went on to new ventures in their own lives. And Manic Mommies was never… to them it was a hobby. It was never like their full-time job. And so, it was a lot of work along with the concerns about whether they should be posting things. And so, some of the times I felt like they were probably withholding some of what they wanted to talk about out of respect for their kids. And so, eventually, the Manic Mommies went away and that made us very sad. But the Manic Mommies tribe continues to be strong and we keep in touch with each other. And the reason it's a tribe, it's not just people who listen to a podcast, is that they did an annual escape where Chevy would sponsor this escape in different cities around the country. Rosa Linda Román (14:07): And once a year, usually, it was the first weekend in November, we would converge on a city and they would have learning sessions called Mom You, and you could take a Chevy test drive and drive a cool new Chevy car around town. What else? Just, you know, camaraderie and spending time with other fascinating women and you know, have a whole weekend without the kids, without the husband, but in a supportive, loving environment. You know, I've been to things or like girls nights where it's like, oh let's get out on the town and you know, live it up. But to the detriment, potentially, of, I've been on situations like that where it's like the women are cheating on their husbands or drinking to excess and you know, doing things that really was, for me, it's not supporting the life that I want. And I think it didn't support the life that a lot of the women that I'm thinking about would've wanted. Rosa Linda Román (15:06): And so, I really liked the Manic Mommies because it was supportive of our relationships, and parenting, and just our general wellbeing and didn't, you know, so the husbands I think or wives would be comfortable with us leaving to go to the Manic Mommies escape because it was supporting, you know, our best life, our best self, and therefore what we bring back from these escapes was a better version of ourselves ready to reengage with our family in loving ways. So, the good news is we built friendships that have lasted for years even though the Manic Mommies podcast is no more. So, yeah. So, after Spokane we drove to, that night, let's see, we drove to Idaho Falls and we stayed at a campground in Idaho Falls and then the next day we drove through St, I mean, Salt Lake City. Rosa Linda Román (16:07): Now, I don't think I've ever been to Idaho, or Salt, or Utah, and Mount Montana, that whole area. I may have driven through there once or twice, but I don't think I've ever spent any significant time in any of those states. And they're stunning. I mean, stunning. So, that is a place and… but we were in a hurry and we had to rush on that trip, so we didn't get to do a lot of stopping and sightseeing, although, we did stop at this one lake that was like, take your breath away. And I did a little live video, which if you want to go to my Facebook page you can find that, do a search for, I think it might be Idaho. If you do a search for Idaho, you'll probably find that video that I posted from that lake and it was gorgeous. Rosa Linda Román (16:52): And then, side note, after I left that little live shot, admiring the lake, taking panoramic pictures and I was going back to the camper, my brother-in-law said, "If you touched anything make sure to wash your hands." And I'm like, "Why?" And he said, "Look at this sign." Apparently, that whole area is contaminated with lead poisoning. I mean, lead. So, I guess it was a big silver mining area and now the whole area is contaminated with lead and they say if you do any recreation there, don't let your kids you know, play. I don't know if you can't swim or you're not supposed to like have a picnic on the ground. I don't know, it's just very sad to think you could have that natural beauty and not be able to enjoy it. But I did enjoy it when I saw it and that was beautiful. Rosa Linda Román (17:42): Then we drove and I saw my girlfriend, and so, in between, somewhere along that route, I guess it was the night I was in Idaho Falls, I got a call or I got a text from my, like, one of my closest friends in the Albuquerque area and she let me know that her mother passed away and it's just devastating. She was someone who was the matriarch of this huge family and a family that I just adore. It reminds me a lot of my family because they have a lot of kids, and a lot of cousins, and they're super welcoming, and super kind, and generous, and just so many great things about that family. And it just broke my heart to think that her mom died of cancer and how much that was affecting, obviously, everybody. So, it just so happened that I was going to be getting to, I said, "When is the funeral?" And she said, "It's Thursday morning." Rosa Linda Román (18:35): Well, I was going to get to the Albuquerque area probably late Thursday night as it was based on, you know, just figuring out how far we could drive in any one day. But with that information, I'm like, "Okay, I'll be there, I'll find a way." And so, we upped our driving time and drove like crazy and it was a lot of driving. Some of the things that made it way more enjoyable along the way was that my brother-in-law, Ari before we left Sequim he did a bunch of cooking and prepping so that we had a freezer full of ready-to-use food. And by that, I mean he cooked a bunch of like peppers, and mushrooms, and I think tomatoes too maybe. And he put them in little Ziploc bags and then froze them and then he also made chicken soup and froze bags of chicken soup, and he cooked chicken, like white meat chicken breasts and he cooked those ready to just… all we had to do. And by we, I mean he, because, you know, if you listen to my podcast for a long time, you know I generally do not do the cooking in the family. Rosa Linda Román (19:50): And so, we would pull up to a, like a rest stop, and when we needed to stop for gas or whenever we needed to stop for potty break or whatever, he would just fire up the stove and maybe make an omelet, veggie scramble with some eggs and we'd have breakfast or he'd take the soup and heat that on the stove and then we'd have some fresh hot chicken soup which was great because it was very chilly many times along the way. So, that made this trip a lot easier in a lot of ways. I am going to pause and take a break because I need to check my progress, and then I will continue with the story of my race to Albuquerque. Please stand by. Rosa Linda Román (20:42): All right, I'm back and now I have a few new pieces of information that I wanted to say. One, I love Loves beef jerky. If you've ever been driving and you stop at a Loves, which is like a gas station, you have to get their beef jerky. It's ridiculously expensive, but it's awesome, and it's the perfect snack for when you're on the go. So, Loves beef jerky and it's like their brand or whatever. So, that's one thing. Two, I went through a border, no not a border, a inspection station, I guess it's border patrol, I'm, you know, in Texas but it was, there was like a lane for the trucks, and they all had to stop, and that was kind of backed up because they were inspecting each truck or checking it for, you know, making sure I guess that it's supposed to be on the roads in Texas. Rosa Linda Román (21:32): I have no idea. But the car lane stopped, it was just like one car in front of me and then me, and I was wondering what they were going to check. They just asked if I was a U.S. citizen, which I am, and if anyone else was in the car with me. And I laughed because if you can see my car it's like completely full top to bottom, well not completely full. I can see out of all the windows and the seat is not piled, you know, like it's not blocking my view but it's pretty full. I said, "I don't think anyone would fit. They said "Okay, keep going." So, that was two and then three, it is raining now, and I don't love driving in the rain and I have to say the trip from Sequim to this point, up until now, we were blissfully low on rain. Rosa Linda Román (22:18): We did have some and we had some wind that was a little scary at times, especially, with hauling the trailer and all of that rain. And I think this rain too maybe is the result is their remnants from… not hurricane from tropical storm Rosa. So, my dad was kind of like, "Oh you're causing trouble, aren't you?" Yeah, I said, "Well I guess there can't be two Rosas moving through Salt Lake at the same time." Or whatever because my friend had said, "Yeah it rarely rains here." And it was raining. But we did pretty well on the roads. I was so grateful that it was not a lot of raining and we tried really hard to be in place by the time it got dark, which we were not able to do once I kind of sped things up to try to make it for the funeral. Rosa Linda Román (23:03): And then, the fourth thing I was going to say is I just crossed over into central time zone and that's always a weird thing when you lose an hour and I'm really trying to get home in time to go to see my daughter's first flag football game tomorrow. Ziva is doing flag football as is Samuel. Actually, Samuel's the one who signed up first and that kind of was a natural thing, right? And then, I saw that it was co-ed and I said, "Oh, Ziva, you should do this." And she goes, "Okay." And so, she's been practicing and training, and I'm just so impressed with her because I don't think I would have the guts to do that when I was her age. She's the only girl on the team. She is, unlike all the, you know guy, the kids that are playing with her have been playing for several years. She's 11. So, a lot of them are already seasoned flag football players and she's just brand new to the sport, and she's the only girl on the team. Rosa Linda Román (23:56): But I'm just so impressed. She was supposed to have a game last weekend but it was rained out. So, I'm hoping to get back in time. But I have an eight-and-a-half-hour drive from El Paso to Austin and now it's raining, so yeah, we'll see. I probably will get as a good distance and then have to stay somewhere tonight, and then, drive the rest in the morning, which is kind of the MO for this trip. So, I'll take you back to my story. I was kind of trying to speed up the pace, not necessarily the pace, but deciding not to do just… I was going to originally do like several six-hour driving days, and then, stop somewhere because I was worried that Ari wouldn't do well with that many hours in the car. Rosa Linda Román (24:52): And so, I was like, "No, we'll just, you know, take it slowly." Well, once I found out about the funeral, I wanted to get there in time and he agreed. And by the way, everything we had with us was for camping. We didn't have anything for like, you know, a formal event or like a funeral in the camper. So, in Salt Lake City, we had to stop at a shopping mall and went to JC Penney and bought clothes so that we could go to the funeral. And so, we're running around trying to do a little shopping. I had like no makeup, no way to like freshen things up. I mean, we had a shower and stuff like that, but you know, I didn't want to show up to the funeral disgusting. So, that was kind of on my mind. And then we were driving to get to Moriarty, New Mexico, which is in the east mountains outside of Albuquerque, trying to get there by the start of the funeral, which was 10:30 on Thursday. Rosa Linda Román (25:46): So, now you can hear the rain is coming down much harder, and I'm not sure if that's affecting the sound terribly or not, but hopefully, you'll still be able to hear. So yeah, we were driving and that night we got through, let's see, Provo at Salt Lake City and then Provo, and Moab, and then finally made it all the way to Farmington, New Mexico, and Farmington we did something called boondocking, which is where you basically dry camp in a parking lot. You don't have any way to plug into power or anything like that, or water. So, you just stay in the parking lot and sleep there, and it was perfect. It was great. And actually, at like six in the morning, so we had reached a point, I think it was like at midnight, we finally settled into the Walmart parking lot, decided we were just going to sleep for several hours, and then hit the road again to make the funeral. Rosa Linda Román (26:42): And we woke up in the morning, went into Walmart, I got some makeup because I didn't have anything, and then we hit the road again. Well, once we were on the road I realized that time was working against me and I was barely going to make it. I was going to make it but I needed time to change because we just kind of got up, brushed our teeth, and went. And we still had like, I think it was three and a half hours to drive. So, we got up early and started driving, and then I realized I was coming over the hill near Cuba, New Mexico, and I saw a police officer heading in the opposite direction as soon. As he passed me he put on his brake lights and I was like, "Oh I'm done four." I was speeding, I'm not going to lie, which I am not doing anymore at this point because he sure gave me a speeding ticket and I wasn't going that much over. Rosa Linda Román (27:34): It may have been like, I don't know, probably five or like seven over, which is speeding, I know. But anyway, the time that it took him to kind of check my ID, and go check my registration, and all that, took quite a bit of time that I would've made up for, you know, if I hadn't spent speeding and I would've made it to the funeral on time. But because we had to sit there and wait for him to give me my $87 ticket, I was late to the funeral. But gratefully, I did make it, went to the church service. My friend is Catholic, so it was a beautiful ceremony for her mom, and it's interesting for me to be in a Catholic church because I grew up Catholic, and so, I know all the prayers and it does feel like coming home with my family, you know, because I've been to many, many, even since I've been Jewish for 20 some years, I've been going to my family's, you know, significant events, baptisms, communion, confirmations, weddings in Catholic churches, and so yeah, that we went to that, and then we went to my friend to where they were having the burial and the burial happened. Rosa Linda Román (28:43): They have this family, they have some land out in a community called McIntosh, New Mexico, which is south of Moriarty. It's a beautiful area, kind of wide, plain, open area. And they have over the years built like a family, compound is not the right word, but basically, an area that all the family gathers because my friend is one of seven siblings. And so, they gather on this property and they had like a beautiful bunk house built so that they can have like summer camps for the kids and it's just really a special place and a special family. And so, they decided that they would have… they've created, with permission from the county, a family funeral plot, I mean, a burial plot in one corner of the property. And so, that's where everything happened, and the reception, and I cried a lot. A lot of tears were shed and funerals are a strange thing because you're so reminded of, you know, how precious life is and how short it is and how, you know, you really want to embrace all that you have in this lifetime. Rosa Linda Román (29:50): And so, you're reminded of that, and you're sad because someone beautiful is gone, but at the same time a funeral brings everybody together, and watching their family all gathered was just really uplifting, and seeing the legacy that she had left within their family. Her kids, her grandkids, and even her great-grandkids were there, and all the cousins, and community members that had gathered to celebrate her life. And it really was a celebration. You know, it left me emotionally drained and very pensive thinking about what I want to do with the next phase of my life and whether I want to move back to New Mexico because, so after the funeral and after the reception, by the way, side note, a funny, and I don't know if you've had that experience where you know it's a sad situation and you really have no business laughing or feeling like playful and someone will crack a joke and you'll find yourself laughing and you know, it's interesting how this range of human emotions is still there amid the sadness and loss. Rosa Linda Román (30:56): And so, anyway, we were driving after the church service. The funeral procession followed, like the police escorted, you know, the hearse, and then all of the friends and family followed behind to head toward where the burial was going to be. And I went up and talked to the police officer before we left and I said, "You know, I'm not sure what I should do because I have a camper, and you know, I'm not sure how to follow along in the line of cars." And he goes, "Yeah, just stay close to the next car and you're fine you. We've had funerals where someone who drives semis for a living had passed away and all the semis followed one another to the location, and you'll be fine." And sure enough, we took the camper and there's all this line of cars, I mean dozens, and dozens, and dozens of cars, and then there's our camper in the middle of it. Rosa Linda Román (31:48): I think people were probably like, "Am I supposed to follow this camper? Is this part of the, or did somebody, this crazy lady just cut into the funeral procession?" So, that's just a lighthearted side note. So, then we took the camper and drove to my house, which is was about 40 minutes from there. And my house, if you don't know, is 75 acres up in the mountains in the forest outside of Albuquerque. And I was nervous about getting the camper up the hill. I was nervous about getting it to my friends to the funeral area because there were so many cars, and we had to kind of go down this side road, and it was a little scary for a few minutes but nothing compared to trying to get it up the hill to my house. And it's like on a slant and we have trees all around and so you start to like try to turn the thing around and there's not enough space and like you're inching to try to maneuver around these pinon and juniper trees, and start kind of half sliding down the hill in the wrong direction. Rosa Linda Román (32:48): It was a little harrowing, I got to admit. But the reason I was up there at our house was I wanted to get some of the things that have been stored there at our house. Wow, it's really raining now as you can hear, I'm sure. Some of the things stored at our house, including my kids' clothing that had been handed down from their cousins to them, and we had put it in… stored it up like in the garage on shelves when we moved onto the boat and it was way too big. All that stuff, it seems so far off that they would never fit those things. Well, they're in those sizes now. And so, I didn't want to just have it sitting in the garage in our house. And so, it was an opportunity for us to go up to the house, get some of the bins of clothes, also get my Halloween decorations because for the first time, I love doing Halloween and if you ever want to see my crazy take on Halloween, not crazy, but just my enthusiastic feelings about Halloween, you can go to my blog and this is more like the family blog, you'll find it, it's called Landlocked Boat Babies. Rosa Linda Román (33:48): There's not a lot on there. But I have put articles, a few blog posts over the years and one of them is about our family's enthusiasm for Halloween. But we always would decorate, you know, this house up in the forest and no one would obviously ever come trick-or-treating and no one would be up there. So, we would go into Albuquerque to do our trick-or-treating in neighborhoods. Well, we now live in a neighborhood in Round Rock Texas. And so, I'm like so excited that I could get my Halloween decorations, which have just been stored on the shelf in my garage, and we're going to decorate the house in Texas. So, we got a bunch of that stuff and I spent a little time, you know, being in our home. Now, when we moved down to the boat, we left our home, we left it furnished, and left everything, like, you know, the dishes, the cutlery, I don't know, the blender, you know, whatever, everything stayed with the house except the few things like our clothing and things we actually needed on the boat. Rosa Linda Román (34:46): But like the stuff that belonged to our New Mexico house stayed with the house and we rented that out to a family that is friends of ours, and they've been living there and taking care of the house for the past two years. Well, being up there, I had mixed feelings because it brought back, I mean, one of the things that was like wonderful is looking at the stars up there in the mountains. You can see stars better than anywhere I've ever been except for, with the exception of Puerto Rico. So, Puerto Rico and out at sea when we were sailing, like doing a crossing across the Atlantic Ocean and our home in New Mexico. Those are the three places that have just stunning, beautiful stars at night. So, that was a nice thing and the property is gorgeous and it's beautiful to be there, but it's also a little bit sad for me because it leaves me thinking like, "Do I want to come back to this house?" Rosa Linda Román (35:41): It doesn't exactly feel like my house. There's a lot that would need to be improved in order for us to want to move back in. Plus we built the house when our daughter Ahava, who is now 13, was a baby and like, we celebrated her first birthday in that house and it was still not even finished under construction. So, we've outgrown the house. We now have three kids and they're getting bigger. So, it's a three-bedroom house and also, it was a house that we learned a lot from. We didn't build it like with the latest, you know, idea of like passive solar use and just a number of things. And that is something I can talk about on a future episode because now I really think I need to concentrate. But let me just kind of wrap up and say that we made it to the funeral, we made it to the house, and to Harris in New Mexico and then, we made it to El Paso where we stored the camper and I picked up my husband's car, which I'm in right now, which is an Audi A4, and he keeps it in El Paso because he still does his clinical work in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Rosa Linda Román (36:48): So, he keeps his car in El Paso so that he can drive from the airport to his clinical shift work in Alamogordo. But my brother-in-law wanted his truck, which is what hauls the camper. He wanted it back in Tucson, which is where he's from because he's involved in an organization called MKP, which is Mankind Project. And it's a really cool program, I'll tell you about it sometime. In fact, I think I may have told you guys a little bit about something called H.E.R Weekend which is affiliated with that. But anyway, it's kind of this accountability, self-improvement positive group of people who are working to improve themselves and the world. Okay. So, it's a really neat program and he is staffing this upcoming weekend for that program and he really likes to have his truck because they move a lot of stuff and they have people coming and going and it's just helpful for him to have his truck. Rosa Linda Román (37:42): Well, the problem with that is that means the camper, I had no way to pull the camper so we decided to leave the camper in El Paso, take my husband's car, which is what I'm driving to Austin and Ari took the truck, and he's currently driving to Tucson. So, all of that to say I'm going to be on the road for many hours tonight. I don't know where and when I'll stop. But I just wanted to kind of update you guys on what we're doing and say thank you for listening. If you want to see some of the videos from this camping trip, I did try to do some live ones, which are on my Facebook page. Just do a search for New Mexicast and you can even join our private Facebook group. If you see the Sign-Up button, just click on that. But yeah, I even did a live shot from, oh the side thing that we stopped at is Hatch, New Mexico to pick up green chili and we bought like a ton of green and red. He bought some Ristras chili, so I'll put those pictures on the Facebook page as well in that private group. But yeah, so check it out and if you like these podcasts, please share them with whomever you think might enjoy them or write a review because that certainly helps me a lot. And that's it. You can always write me a note. That's rlr@newmexicast.com. I appreciate you listening and safe travels to you and yours, wherever you are going next. I'm Rosa Linda Román and this is New Mexi-Castaways. Take care.

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