Finding Home…Ten Years Later

It’s been ten years that we’ve been on and off the road traveling with our Family looking for ourselves, creating our dreams, raising our kids with the intention of breaking Family cycles of divorce and mistrust, finding a place to call home, and setting forth a path that was foggy and unclear when we set out all those years ago.  A personal and private journey (believe it or not). Over the years people tried to fit us into some sort of box, justifying why we would shift gears like that leaving behind everything we had ever wanted. Some labeled us a traveling gypsy Family, vegetarians (yeah, right), band groupies, drug dealers, white trash, lost people, adventurers, stupid, hippie bastard (hilarious, we clearly do not fit the hippie persona nor have we ever had a desire), and brave. I get it, people need to connect it to something they are familiar with or understand. It took us a lot of years to get over the feelings those labels made us feel like. And we are still working on getting over some of the harsh things spoken by some of the closet people, our Family. Letting them go with all their thoughts and confusion on who we are has been one of the most freeing experiences and yet one of the saddest.

One of the biggest things we wanted more that anything out of our years on the road was to experience what real home feels like. Something we either never fit in within our past or had no idea how to create for our own Family. We had this sense that home was always out there ~ a place, a piece of land ~ and if we just found that place we could buy it, shape it, own it, plant trees on it, and make it ours and we’d be home. We spent countless years and thousands of gallons of gas to find that place. When we thought we had found it, we’d stay. Sometimes for months, sometimes for years. But, it never was. We continued to look for that place and then years ago it became clear that home has always been within us. Location free. We’re home where ever we are. We are homemade. We took that in proudly with all the emotional touchy feely things that come along with, but I’ll spare you in this blog post. But, as our kids got older and more independent we had one more place to try out. Maybe the magical combination of homemade with the ideal location just might be out there like some sort of jackpot. Someplace that Greg and I could be happy with even when they left us for the big world. Seattle. One year there. Not it. Happy and accomplished we tried.  And through some sort of clarity from that risk, we came right back to the very place we started everything we have ever loved and have achieved some of the grandest stunts of our lives. Texas. The launching pad for everything barenaked.

Here we are now. We’re happy. We’re content. We’re homemade. With an older and wiser Family. And just like when we started out to find home, we also started out to find our own business. With an opportunity to launch and replicate what we were looking for on those thousands of miles and great times out on the road, we are finding ourselves with a possibility of something we have dreamed about for years. A place that many will come and find that they are home too. Yep, we’re a lot of things. But we’re also BareNakedFamily.

American Pie in Thrift Store Groceries

As we were heading out on the road to Texas, we stopped for some road food and found a great local Family run grocery store. We interviewed the mom and son who have run it for years and even got behind the counter working for them. It’s a reminder of the good ol’ Family run businesses and community that thrives because of the American dream.

Livin Small…

Welcome to Casa del Austin a la Cabo in the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World!  We are a Family of five who prefers living small and accomplish this in a two bedroom, one bath, 545 sq.ft duplex down the street from all the action of the city.  Living in an RV and traveling across North America with our kids for six years, we found the peace in simple living  affording us to be cozy and tight with our kids, something that changed our living habits forever after having three homes that were typical of the American Dream.

After moving out of our RV of six years and into our home base, we still prefer to keep things simple and small, allowing us plenty of free time to be together. Our house is our office, art studio, music room, and guesthouse.  Though it’s small, it’s hosted many events, birthdays, art shows, dinner parties, friend appreciation celebrations (complete with podium rental and mic), backyard concerts (occasionally shut down by the fuzz), band tour sleepovers, and holiday soirees.  Having a small space allows us to work less and still travel a few months out of the year, taking off with a tent and our car.  It’s how Family looks for us.

When we first moved in (out of a 37′ RV), we didn’t know what to do with all the room we now had and closed off one of the two bedrooms and we all camped in the living room for a month with sleeping bags and pillows.  Lying in our new place at night, we were giddy with excitement and laughing at all the people that thought we were crazy for choosing to live this small.  Moving out of the RV, we had no furniture and started out with nothing but backpacks and a few odds and ends from storage.  It was completely furnished within a month with stuff from friends who were more than glad to get rid of their crap.   We bought very little to make it our own in the beginning and felt more at home than ever.

The wall in our living room has become a place where fellow travelers, friends, and Family who come and visit leave some wisdom, thoughts, lyrics, and random ideas.  It all started late one night after listening to hours of Peter Gabriel and Sammy Hagar with our friends, the Unpluggeds who were in town.  When our Families are together, it’s an untouchable feeling of being lifted from anything human and truly in the space of something bigger.  Most people would call this a best friend relationship, but there are really no words to describe this connection.  Drinking our special tequila together and listening to music, we picked up a Sharpie and simply started writing on the wall…It went on all night long and eventually became the wall with a thousand words.

Our kitchen is full of yummy goodness and usually a bottle of fine tequila.  Jenn started a fire in the oven the first week we got here and since we were just moving had no idea where the fire extinguisher was.  Flames were shooting out of the oven and smoke was everywhere in the chaos and noise of it all.  The kids were screaming fire and Greg, who was taking a shower, came running out butt naked and dripping wet sliding around on the floor as he came around the kitchen corner to see the inferno.  He quickly grabbed the fire extinguisher from under the counter and put it out a few minutes later.  We stood there speechless looking at all the white powder that now covered our entire living space.  That’s when we realized that the front door was wide open as Greg stood there barenaked and wet as the neighbors and people walking down the street were right outside. That’s when we introduced the no shirt, no pants, no problem rule…

The kids all share a room, which is something they have always done since they were young in all of our houses.  When they had the option of having their own room in our houses, we’d often find them curled up with each other in one of the kids rooms.  Even as teenagers they share a liking of having each others company and use this space up.   They entertain their friends, play music, and make art in here often.  It’s a privilege to have kids that are able to share a space and get along the way they do.  They respect one another and are good about allowing personal time alone when one asks.  Our kids are grateful for their space and are good at making it their own with their individuality and tastes. You can often hear them chatting and staying up way too late, forcing us to throw a shoe at them from our room next door.

We have one bathroom that seems to be enough for the five of us.  It’s the Costco pallet of  toilet paper that we store that seems to be the problem.

Greg and Jenn’s room is the smallest in the house, giving the kids the bigger room.  But we have the best view of our huge backyard that backs up to a bamboo filled creek.  Freckles, our freaky doll, also shares our room with us. We painted it lime green after becoming obsessed with Trevor Hall‘s song ‘The Lime Tree’.

BareNaked and Simple.