The Big Why

Well, dear reader, we are still here. We are spending our first day in the camper in I can’t remember how long. We have four fresh inches of snow piling up on top of what was left from the last five inch snowfall. Chris is trekking our trash over to the dumpster in his snow boots and trying to put in at least 12 hours of his work today. I am listening to the whir of our dryer, knowing that Chris is dreading closing up the laundry outside once I am finished, and this snowfall turns to freezing rain. My hair is wet from a shower, in which I had to choose between washing my hair, or shaving my arm pits (forget about the legs).

We are still finishing the house. We are getting close now. We are in the final stages; the stages where Chris and I do the majority of the work, where everything needs coordinated at once, and where the problems start to arise.

We just finished three days of laying flooring, one piece at a time. We are licking our many wounds and applying homemade salve. We are massaging our joints and muscles with essential oils when we fall into bed at midnight and roll out of bed in the morning stiff and unrested.

We are sore. We are tired. We surpassed our very last bit of physical energy and mental reserves long ago. But, we are still here, reader.

Still building. Still persevering. Still loving the challenge. Still thrilled that we share a love in which we delight to work together.

I have found that when we face the biggest challenges, it is not until the end is in sight that the journey gets the most difficult. It is those final tests that really knock on the door of my resolve.

Yesterday, when we fired up the laundry room sink, we found a leak in the wall. Just when the laundry room was entirely finished, the sink and cabinets had to be removed and a saw was taken to our perfect drywall. The snow today has pushed back both our kitchen countertop delivery and install and our bathtub delivery; which in turn affects our plumber’s schedule and on down the line. We are so close to being finished with coordinating all of the deliveries and the subcontractors, but these changes have to be made. Our electrician just finished wiring all of our lights, and the next day our sider broke one of the exterior lights. It was the most expensive light I bought, of course. The siding installer should have been done weeks ago, but there was a hold up at the siding factory, and they were very late on the shipment. All of our subcontractors are working 6 or 7 day weeks currently – with the improved economy, the construction industry is booming; which is great for the men, but we are not getting a single day’s break from the house which is making our primary fulltime jobs much more difficult. Here we are on a Sunday with the painters, the electrician and the siding installer…

building your own home

With more snow and bad weather in the forecast, we are now uncertain when we will actually be able to move Aunt Glady and move in to Wanderer’s Rest. The finish line is there. I can see it. But, it is staying on the periphery no matter how hard we work or how much we accomplish. It can’t evade us forever…right?

How do we bear up against what seems like unending, back breaking tasks while living in a RV in the winter? We focus on our motivation…our big why.

We are ready for this next step in our lives, and living in Wanderer’s Rest is a blessing that we never dreamed of for ourselves. A year ago at this time, we were not even considering building our own home, and now look how far we have come. We will be finishing our home within four months of the start date…in a Pennsylvania winter while living in a RV. I am pretty sure that is unheard of. And, in our opinion, it is the most beautiful home, and it is uniquely fitted to our needs, so that we can continue to RV too.  There are meaningful, big things on our horizon, and Wanderer’s Rest is the first step on our path to them. Our why is what we cling to.

And in the end, we will forget the problems, the bruises and the pains. The constant falling snow and icy paths. That darn port-o-pot taunting me in below zero weather. The difficulties and the exhaustion that we can’t seem to lift from our tired bodies now, will soon fade from our memories.


A year from now, our focus in looking back will be drawn to the fun we have had together, the new accomplishments we have made, and the special moments like when we carved our names together in to our slab as a symbol of the never-tiring love that this home will be filled with.

carving our initials in our foundation

While I have a break today from the new house, and a chance to catch up on laundry, cooking and cleaning; I am pondering the challenges and the finish line. And it is reminding me of the other times in our lives where we had to push through big obstacles to make a meaningful change in how we live. Do you know the first similar situation that comes to mind? It was when we became fulltime RVers. If you have yet to read that story, please take a few minutes today to read about the chaos we faced – you will get a kick out of it. It involves stray cats, foreclosures and an oil puffback (I didn’t know what that was either, until it happened to us).

cat and kittens

Chris’ birthday will be our very first night in the new house, even if it is only with an overnight bag. You better believe that we will be having normal showers that day. We will also be sleeping in our King size bed in a room that we can actually stand up in. It is going to be comfortable and warm. Just like my man.

So, tomorrow we will be back at it. Clearing the snow. Finishing the baseboard installation. Installing at least one shower door. Closing up the hole in the laundry room wall and re-installing the cabinets and sink. Cleaning the last of the sawdust and drywall dust (please let it be the last of it). Installing the countertop in Chris’ office. And so on.

Finish line…here we come.

how to build your own home


About Jen

I love travel, which led me to become a fulltime RVer. I love wellness, which I can talk about 'til the cows come home. I love being self-employed, which means I get to dabble in what interests me from essential oils to RV planners. But most importantly, I love my husband and our life together on the road!

8 comments on “The Big Why

  1. Wow! What a great article, Jen. Your words really made me feel as if I was right there with you both! I hope you will share the final pics when you are all done. I am still so excited for you and Chris. Continuing to pray for you all and your healing journey. Keep up the good work, guys, and congrats on your new home!

    Thanks for taking the time to write in the midst of your work. I really love and appreciate the updates. 🙂

  2. Loved hearing from you!! Your house looks awesome! So happy for you both!!
    What perseverance!! Praying for all of what you are going through, to work out, as we
    know it will! Romans 8:28 & 29 🙂
    Looking forward to seeing more pics!!
    You are almost there!!
    Thanks for taking time to write!
    Blessing, Cindy

  3. What a challenging adventure you two have experienced!! Hang in there. Looking forward to seeing you settled in your new home.

  4. I’m still cheering you both on!! The warm cozy shower then a good nights rest will make all the negatives disappear!! (pretend LOL)

  5. What made you decide to go through the stressful process of building a home? Also to still plan to be seasonal RVers?
    I’m just asking because my hubby and I are in early 50s and we are going to start our Full Timer journey – with our 3 goldens – in about a month. I too have medical issues and have a lot of medications to contend with.

    While apprehensive about healthcare and medications, we are looking forward to do what we enjoy most. We have a 31’ Starcraft travel trailer and are going to upgrade our truck too.

  6. Hi, Candy! Wow, three goldens! One of my dearest RV friends had 4 dogs, about the same size as goldens, in her RV when we first met her – along with her husband too! The dogs loved the travel. I am so excited to hear that you will be fulltimers – it really is a special experience. A while back, I wrote a post on our reasons for making the transition in to part-time RVing, you can read it here: That will answer your questions. Best wishes to you!

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