Its funny how a year prior when we decided to go to California, I was adamant that we would only be there a year and then return straight back to Wisconsin. While we were in California, working at camp and exploring the beautiful coast, God began to change my heart and allowed me to truly consider staying in California for longer.
Brandon and I have a love of wandering. Before we even started dating, we would go for long night drives around southeast Wisconsin. We would get in the car, pick a direction and just start driving. Growing up in Milwaukee, I knew a lot of the areas around, but Brandon made it a goal to end up somewhere neither of us had even been. I can remember one night, I shrieked at Brandon to stop the truck. It had just started snowing so I jumped out of the car and made a snowball and threw it at him in the truck. We often laugh about that because it was so unexpected and fun!
While living in California, we often did the same thing– got in the car, picked a direction and just started driving. San Francisco was one of our favorite places to go, but we also wanted to find the hidden treasures around us.
If you are like me and watched the Tiny Houses documentary, you started a pinterest board immediately after and thought through all the things you had that you could live without.
In 2016, my husband and I accepted jobs in the christian camping field and as part of our contract housing would be provided. However, in order to accommodate us (being married and living together) the camp asked if we would be willing to live in a trailer. Being excited about our work opportunities, we gladly accepted.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with the surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
January 1st, 2016– Day three we awoke to below zero temperatures (-16 to be exact) and a delicious continental breakfast. While I finished my food, Brandon headed out to crank the car up so that it would be nice and warm when we started driving again. THE CAR WOULDN’T START! Jumping it didn’t work, the fuses looked fine. We were stuck. Thankfully, we were able to get a tow truck fairly quickly but, we knew that no garages would be open since it was New Years Day. All we needed was a warm garage for the car to be in, in case lines were frozen (which was our hope.) After a tow to Walmart, a new battery, our car being pushed back out into the parking lot, & still un-repaired; we checked the fuses again and found that one that had given us trouble before, had blown. A quick drive down to the car shop and a $4 piece, we were back on the road…for now. Feeling relieved to be done with this ridiculous issue, we were ready to finish our final day of driving.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders, let me walk upon the water wherever you would call me.Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” Oceans- Hillsong United
Brandon and I were about to embark on the longest road trip of our life together as we moved from Wisconsin to California. In true Chappell fashion, we had less than a month to pack up our apartment and hit the road to California. (This quick decision, quick action scenario has played out a number of times for us.) Moving outside of Wisconsin was a huge challenge for me personally, as I had never lived outside of Milwaukee county in my 22 years of life. For my honest account of the emotions of making a big move for the first time in my life, click HERE.
“You get a strange feeling when you are about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way again.”
In my 22 years of life, I had never planned to live anywhere but Milwaukee, WI. I had grown up in the same house from utero to 18. The furthest I had ever lived from my parents was 20 minutes when I lived on the east side to go to college. I love my city, the fact that Lake Michigan was a mere 20 minute drive from my childhood home, how I could walk anywhere that I wanted to go, that almost everyone that was important to me lived within a half an hour drive. Growing up, I imagined getting married and living in my hometown, starting a family, working for companies in buildings that I had seen my whole life. Never being more than 30 minutes from my parents, siblings, nieces or nephews. And all of these thoughts made me happy. Milwaukee is my home and has my heart.