Living simply in the wild

It’s a wrap: Moving on

Our time in Chelan is quickly coming to a close. Just a few more days, a couple more boxes, a handful of strolls along the waters edge, and then we will be moving on.

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Lake Chelan has been good to us. I don’t think we could have entered into this journey inside of a more perfect park. The Rangers and employees here have become like family to us and they did a wonderful job of showing us how a park should function underneath it’s skin. With bbqs and potlucks, bonfires and holidays. If we take one thing with us I hope it will be this facilitation of community inside the Park. Every Park is different. They all have different personalities and different voices, but one thing should remain constant: community. Community within the members running and caring for the Park.

I’ll never forget the day we pulled into Lake Chelan for the first time. The head Ranger came barreling towards us with a welcoming smile and a full tour of our home for the next year. We walked inside and a park aide was vacuuming up all of the deceased bugs around the fire place and wiping the spider webs out of the windows. There was even a toy train table waiting for the Juniors inside the garage, one that anther Rangers grandkids had out grown. We were greeted with cookies and we had help unloading our truck so we weren’t left doing it alone.

“This is what Rangers do” they said.

And that sealed our faith in this decision we’d made.

Outside of the Park everyone i’ve met here in Chelan has been oh-so kind and some incredibly generous. The people here are warm and you’ll receive a smile from just about any local you pass. It has been such an adjustment getting used to a small town but a year later i’ve settled into the town and have figured out it’s little quirks.

It has also been painfully isolating here as well. Most of the locals here are lifers and have a very close knit group of friends. They have their life they have shaped the way they want it and it is comfortable, they stick to it. Most places are like this i’m sure. But as an outsider coming in, i was in a position to see things under a new light.

Making friends as an adult is incredibly tricky. There is a fine line between being friendly and looking like a stalker. When you’re a child and you ask someone if they want to be your friend or if they want to come over and hang out…that’s normal. As an adult, it’s uncomfortable. There’s rules and social norms you must follow, there’s a courting period. It can be complicated.

I have yet to figure out how to break into the inner circles. As friendly as people are, getting into the circle of friends is something they keep sacred. Pass someone in a store? A friendly smile and a warm hello. Bump into someone on a playground? Friendly conversations exchanged and a goodbye. Want to be friends? I’m sorry, I already have friends.

The way news travels here, I wish I could tell you. I never fully figured that one out. It seemed that most kid friendly events I always heard about them a day late. I’d hear the radio announcing what a great time was had and how many people had shown up. A personal sting each time it happened twinged through me. Each time another layer of isolation would build up pushing us further and further outside the circles.

Through the feelings of isolation and many tears I did find a few people here to be added to my tribe and I am so blessed to have come across those people. If we’ve shared a meal together, a walk in nature, a conversation that digs deeper then the weather, then know that i consider you dear to me.

One of the toughest parts about this journey is the connections. Most people are passing through or we are the ones passing though.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Real live Lifetime friends are extremely rare. If you’re blessed to have one you talk to and get to hang out with then hold those people close to your heart.

People that come into your life for reasons and seasons are the closest in my heart. I hold them so dear but their also the most painful. Someday I hope to perfect the art of letting go but I know i’m not there yet.

So we’re going to soak up the few days we have left in Sunny Chelan before we head over to the wet side. We have one foot in and one foot out right now and we are looking forward to digging into somewhere new, finding a new tribe, and forming a new community both inside and outside of the park.

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