Hey ya’ll. Deggers, your papa here. We’re in our 26th year living in our 28th house in our 35th city when Autters, at 25 years old visits both our new city and new RV for his first time exclaiming ‘it feels good to be home!’.
THIS. Read it again if you didn’t catch that.
You all radiate your Home is not a space or place for us. Home is an experience, a warmth, with the people we love. The feeling and emotion where our heart belongs. BareNakedFamily. Your Simple Living experiment started as living cheap for fun and moved to travel to find home, and to work together. Work, Learn, and Play together. We did it.
Your mama and papa still work together, as you like to refer to us as ‘Kardashian Cowboys’ in what is now our fancy truck and trailer, not as simple, but simpler still. For us, our goal remains to work together as the couple we started as – building hot rods together.
I’m putting this post together listening to Pink’s new album – Beautiful Trauma. I’m sitting in Austin. We just did Halloween, your mama’s favorite. She’s a bad ass. Your mama… and Pink.
We were on our way to L.A. in the first pic in 1991. On the drive back, we got married, alone, in front of God in the Arizona desert. We needed the gas money and didn’t make it legal. Called it good.
In the second pic, we recently visited the feed store in 2017 when we made it legal, because that paper matters. We got married by a J.O.P. giggling the whole time.
Pink would’ve been 12 years old when we met. Your mom was 17 when we met. SO HOT! …then and now.
A Beautiful Trauma.
We haven’t updated the site chronologically for over a decade outside of some random posts here and there. Gonna try to get back into it for you kids. Turns out you come here a lot now that you’re older and appreciating your parents did something a little weird with ya.
Can’t help but going back to the first decade of starting to living corporate real quick – 1991-2001 – Austin was brought home for 1 day to our first home, a 1974 Mobile Scout dad used for college. Mom was crazy enough to move into it with me. It’s how we moved easily and broke from San Antonio to Austin in 1992. Then AJ and Charlene believed in us enough to owner finance our Dorchester house in East Austin. Dell believed in us enough to provide paychecks. We lived there from 1992-1998. This was our baby home.
So. Many. Diapers.
Then we got our ‘lakehouse’ in Lago Vista. The boat, the Bronco, the view. It was awesome for like 6 months before we were moved to Seattle into corporate ‘shutterstock’ apartments (Issaquah). We did a christmas there before we rented the Tiger Mountain house. Then downtown Issaquah. Then we moved out of Dell too, into what we’ve heard you all call your childhood home.
The Elante as your childhood home
By late 2006, we were wrapping things up with the RV we had lived in and worked out of since 2000. You all often think of it as your childhood home. I love that.
I love more that in 2017, at 25 years old when Austin first saw and stepped into mom & dad’s new RV home, he simply stated – ‘it’s good to be home!‘ – a ‘place’ he’d never been. You all have learned that Home is truly not a thing.
So cry not when you view the coolness that was our Elante. I’m sure it’s an epic piece of shit by now, more likely rotting in storage if not destroyed.
In 2006, when we left that pos to live out of the Jeep and Thing for the next half year…
And to help you remember – this is how you sleep a family of five with a dog in a Jeep… Mama and Papa in the front seat and floorboard, Austin in the backseat with Timon, Kes and Sunny on top of the luggage in the back back. Ya’ll are troopers!
This is all around the time when we met a group of families in the desert in 2006 to film this segment for ABC Nightline. We used our friends ‘rolling turd’ for the piece. Also when Tivo would create a VCR recording for us that we had to capture through an RCA cable to PC card converter box thingie and upload through likely DSL. Total Shite.
Also before YouTube would allow uploads over six minutes?!? (Part II) with the screen grab of you guys playing battleship with John Berman.
Remembering our months on the Mt Shasta property through the 2006 holidays.
Then back to Austin after a trip to Seattle to pick up our storage. This is in the Moor guest house… This is also where a missing bnf.com decade begins!
The last monthly update I did on the oldsite when we came back to Austin from Mt Shasta in Jan ’07. We moved into a friends guest house just before finding the South Austin Wilson St house. So I’m going to start there… (we pretty much stopped updating the site in 2007, because time).
SOUTH AUSTIN – Wilson St. (2007-2010)
We moved from the guest house into this cute little 2/1 bungalow in South Austin. We searched hard to find this little gem at 500 square feet for $800/month (it’s now like $1600/mo). It was a little more difficult to talk George, the owner into letting five of us with two dogs in there. He really wanted to put us in a much larger house. We actually sold the idea to him by handing him the Muse Magazine we had been featured in… Tiny Houses, Big Backyards:
This Wilson Street house is the time when our Families Rock project was really taking off – Rock Shows for Families with Kids coupled with promotions and productions for other families. We also did decor and lighting for an events company. Truth is, making a good living in the live music industry for families with kids is a tough boat to row.
That’s part of why we went to Santa Fe in there somewhere for a few months when papa built stores. We picked up that red stripe trailer that had a bunch of dog food in the ceiling.
Remember when you kids were being total a-holes and needed to accomplish something so we calculated all the time you spend bickering and decided it was 448 hours and we made you volunteer for 448 hours? That was fun.
BTW, that Airstream at Wilson house we gutted and you turned into your studio. It became Stubb’s green room.
This whole Wilson St. thing turned into working events and publicity with Torchy’s and Opal Divine’s and Threadgills and Katz and Hyde Park and Antones and all that. ‘On The Porch with Jim Swift’ came out to help promote our Antone’s show. (link to video on Vimeo)
We also did that Isaac’s Rock thing where we tried to help carry the burden and hauled that rock around for a year or so before Isaac died of cancer. Fuck cancer. Know what I mean?
35 mph across the country (2010-2011)
Then we were like – “Things are so great, how about we move to Seattle?”. We bought that Corvair powered Ultravan thing that would do 50-60mph in Texas all day long to Seattle and back for about a year from mid 2010 to mid 2011. We had to let go of the Thing to get things. We let go of our family car that served us so well for over a decade. Big mistake. Totally should’ve kept that Thing. Sorry.
Remember when we drove the Corvair powered Ultravan, Happy Max, from Austin to Seattle and turned west in Amarillo and it would only go 35mph all the way to the Oregon coast? Elevation is a real thing when your power to weight ratio is perfect for around 500 feet above sea level of flat elevation. Physics bitches. Remember when VW buses would pass us so excited? I love how they always waited for us at the top to meet up. I think they just wanted to pass us. Again and again. They don’t get that often outside of hitchhikers and bicycles.
It also broke down in Montpelier, ID. Threw a valve seat and smashed up a piston and head. Steve helped me and Austin rebuild the motor at the KOA with Stuart and Kathy. That was fun. You guys all went to work helping out with the cabins and we built that bridge and thought they wrote ‘METH’ on the ‘M’ontpelier mountain, but they didn’t. It just had the circle strikeout thing we couldn’t see during ‘M’eth awareness week. That was weird.
We finally got to Issaquah and tried out some urban farming. Remember those shirts and photo-shoot we did that one time and never did again?
We did score on that awesome Dogwood house on the creek where we built websites and worm bins and had a garage for the first time in forever.
Then you all rebelled after a year and made dad go back to the Austin heat. I really loved the NorthWest, you assholes.
Actually, I do remember we were broke and the Seattle economy was shit and Austin had lots of work. Urban farming didn’t work out so well – we actually had $135 we were deciding could go towards gas or rent. Remember the ‘American Pie’ project trading work for gas?
American Pie led us into the mid-west, straight over the northern Rockies to the headwaters of the Missouri River. Papa had also figured the severely under-powered Ultravan would run the Missouri River home better than the Rockies. Totally worked, downhill all the way until we broke down in Madison, SD. WTF were we doing in Madison? Carthage for burgers at the Cabaret Steakhouse and Lounge where Christopher McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) left all of his ‘Into the Wild’ photos and journals with Wayne. Austin just had to go (thank you).
Getting stuck in the middle of our ‘Into the Wild’ adventure detour turned out pretty good. A month with Wayne was pretty good, and working with The Cabaret Steakhouse was a great experience too. You’re welcome you bunch of assholes.
Corona Cafe and Pinewood life (2011-2013)
Then we got our hands on that coffee shop back in Austin from 2011-2013. You kids ran that dog show like it was your bitch. Loved it! Jim Swift still loves you too! (Corona video with Jim Swift)
Running that coffee shop was a great homeschool grad project. Pretty sure ya’ll learned some shit and when we learned that we could graduate you as Homeschool parents by just printing you diplomas – you all decided that was not good enough. GED’s? SAT’s? Nope. You all researched and downloaded the standard HS grad TAKS tests, studied for some weeks, held us accountable to making sure you took them proper and passed them proper. Of course you all nailed it so we did the best we could for your high school graduation. Congratulations you home schooled freaks.
Those were some significant times. Austin got his first car, you were all getting boyfriends and girlfriends, jobs, spending all night out, not following child rules anymore, growing up. So we all got our first tattoos together. Inspired by Austin, let in on the surprise, we all jumped on board. Papa never wanted a tattoo and could not be prouder of his first and only. Mama wants to be tattoo lady now. Thanks for that.
None of you wanted the coffee shop. Dad was writing and editing code. We didn’t need to be in Texas, or anywhere in particular for that matter. Ya’ll didn’t need or want us anymore. It was sad. We told you mom & dad were moving back to the North West. You wanna go?
All three of you said no – we’re staying. That was hard, but we decided we’re going anyway. We helped you hand over the coffee shop to the amazing Rigby family. It’s now Corona Coffee Co. and they’re killing it!
We were so proud. We’re leaving you.
Astoria, Oregon (2013-2016)
Yeah. All of us. You all decided to go with after about a month of contemplation (of paying your own bills?). We just ‘made’ Sunny go. She had some grand plan of staying in Austin and couch surfing. We pulled the parent card, not sure it was actually going to work, and she bent and went with us. She was pissed. For over a year.
Mom and Dad also purchased their first car with payments. It had heated seats and papa didn’t have to work on it. Plus, 50mpg and we could sleep in it. Remember when Sunny got strep on our way up and we had to pay an emergency room in Moab for antibiotics? That was fun.
We rented that giant 5/2 house in downtown Astoria on 8th St – on a stupid steep street with a stupid great view.
You all went to college and nailed it. We loved seeing you thrive in a classroom for the first time ever. Kesley and Sunny got their licenses and first cars. You all got jobs and lots of friends. You turned our house into a frat house and we had trouble leaving our room.
So after about a year, we left you.
Your mama and papa moved into our 18′ T@DA at the local KOA.
We also got married in Astoria again at our friends boathouse. For the fourth time?
Hey Kes, remember that time you left us all to back pack the country and never came back? We do.
Then Greg pissed in a cup to help a rural hospital get all computerized. We moved to Seaview, WA into a beach cottage.
You kids would come visit. Even Kes would come home. Austin got Chaco.
Nearing completion on the hospital thing, the VW diesel scandal encouraged us to get a truck and somehow we thought moving to Colorado would be awesome and we started wrapping up the hospital work.
Then the Colorado gigs seemed to be going nowhere, so we settled back into Astoria, OR at the Floral St house. Greg also got a BMW e30 for fun.
Then some Colorado deals came through, and the Toyota got smashed, so we went a little bigger and got a washer/dryer in the RV out of the deal.
Moms and Pops had been empty nesting for a few years now. Sunny had moved into the Floral St. house with us for about a month before Colorado started to work out.
We had been wondering where we’d want to wander next because you kids may live anywhere and we wanted to be closer to our home state of Texas. Kes had been in Colorado mostly since setting out with her backpack, and papa always wanted to live in Colorado. When some work stuff started gelling, we pulled stakes and headed to the Colorado front range. Sunny decided to go with us to Colorado and Austin was preparing to move from Astoria to Bend.
Moms and pops were invited to help out with a Tiny House Hotel in Colorado.
Hey Kes – remember that time we lived next door to you in Colorado and called you – ‘we’re naked, grab your camera!’?
Your folks worked that place over for the better part of a year and today we’re out in Texas working to do our own thing again…
Boobers – you are amazing. Always forging your own path in life, consistently. Persistently. Courageously independent and reliable. I love that you are living on your terms, in your place, with your people in Colorado. You are an amazing caregiver and lover of people. Enough love to tell them exactly like it is. You’ve always been a bad ass that way. Papa loves his boobers.
Kessie – I couldn’t be prouder of you, your accomplishments, your insane search for meaning and adventure and purpose. Your hard work, the ethic to do it perfectly, with integrity, pride, and meaning. The authentic care and love you have for mother earth, fellow humans, and all creatures. You take proper care and pride in all that you do – from housekeeping tasks to rid the futon of someone’s vagina stains, to climbing more 14’ers than your papa will ever see. I can’t wait to get up one with you. I love you my Messums. Keep on trekking. You got this.
Autty – You’re facing the beautiful trauma in the best place you’ve ever been. Your life and art is so good. So beautiful. You got this more than any man I’ve ever known. You are kwan – Strength, Power, good sense, style and ability. I couldn’t be more proud of your strength – the way you carry those you love. Your good sense – you move through this life finding new. Your style – from your equipment to your smile. Your ability to make it all work with you. You are so blessed. So smart. So beautiful.
I got all these pictures from your current facebook profiles. Listening to this, over and over with only the best thoughts of how we all fucked each other up in the best ways we could ever think of. A new generation. A break from the cycle. I love you all more than any high I’ve ever felt. Thank you bnf for saving my life.
I’m so grateful you’re all ‘My love, my drug, we’re fucked up‘.
I believe humans can make a list of life’s failures, all your fuck ups add up to how many risks you’ve taken. How much you have accomplished.
I hope for you all, you have a very long list of loves, of ‘drugs‘*, of fucked up to learn from – because you took so many risks – and have so many accomplishments. You have all made my life a beautiful trauma.
*Anything can be bad (and good). Choose wisely.