If you follow me on any social media you will have most likely seen that Travis, my husband, our 2 kids and I am building an earth bag something. We are calling it the bus barn. It will be a warm, cozy slightly bigger tiny home for our tiny home. We have been traveling the country for 3 1/2 years now and absolutely love it. Yet we had purchased this property in Missouri last year when the virus made it apparent that there was a possibility that places that we loved to stay could get shut down or we would be stuck wondering with no where to land. This created in a us that desire to build again. After purchasing the property the family we bought it with, really feeling that they were our family, started showing signs that they wanted to create more of a party scene or festival scene on our 22 acres rather than a family community scene. This didn’t sit well with us and we didn’t have a way of creating an agreement. We were heading out to Arizona for the winter, as we were not prepared to spend a winter in Missouri last year by ANY MEANS, our bus isn’t even insulated!
The other families transmission was going out, their bus was having some mechanical issues, and we didn’t want to just leave them in Missouri with winter closing in. So we offered to take them with us to Arizona, all 10 of us, 3 dogs, and a kitten. It took us 8 days to go from Missouri to Arizona and we had an absolute blast. We loved spending time all together, especially the kids. When we arrived in Arizona we watched their kids for another night while they went to go get their other bus that had been housed in California for the year, since it had been infested with bed bugs. Things we didn’t learn about until later.
While in Arizona things continued to get strained. We realized that our lifestyles were actually not very similar and we moved spots while vending to separate more from them. They continued to talk about festivals and traveling, yet got back to the property before us, talking about holding a 300-500 person barter faire, on 22 acres of our property. This made us very nervous as anyone that is on our property we are liable for. So we went back in May, 2021 and decided to keep traveling. Knowing that the property wasn’t going anywhere. The events we were used to doing, 1800 reenactments, renaissance fairs and pow wows were all open and thriving. So we decided to keep on traveling. The property was paid for fully and was ours forever. We knew we could always come back to it when we were ready to do the hard work of creating the homestead/ retreat center of our dreams!
So we left in May to discover that they were inviting the festival world out to the property. When we saw pictures of them ripping out huge areas of timber and destroying the natural beauty of the property we were left feeling like we had to do something. So we decided at the beginning of September that rather than continuing on to go to Washington and back to Arizona for the winter, we knew we needed to go to the property to stop the damage from continuing and put an end to inviting the world out to our small, quiet space in the middle of nowhere Missouri.
For the almost 2 weeks that it took us to get to the property from Wyoming we weren’t sure what to expect. We found out that they had picked the lock on our trailer and had been using it the whole time we had not been there. We weren’t sure what else we would find or who, on our property. So we pulled into the property with the sheriffs so that we could file the report on our stolen trailer. Upon arriving we also found a letter from our title insurance company. I called them to find out what was going on, and it turns out that they had filed a claim to get our insurance to try to use that money to pay us off for the property. They had told us they had the money to buy the property from us, but this was not the case. So we told them we would purchase the property from them. When they took their buses and all the people they had invited with them off the property 3 days later, we had already filed a partition with a lawyer to end our relationship with them legally.
I have never had to go through the court system before and it all felt so surreal. These people were our family. We loved them and were planning on building our dream utopia with them. Yet when the reality of their dreams and ours came out, there were so drastically different. After sharing their vision of hundreds of people living on the land, I knew our kids would not be safe in that sort of environment. We shared this with our neighbors and they were clearly upset with the news. One of our neighbors had asked them to keep his cattle gates closed to keep his horse and cows in the yard, which they screamed in his face over and refused to shut the gates. I was saddened to hear that the intention of community was so far from reach for this other family. They repeatedly choose to get their vices filled over the needs of their children, or what it means to live in a giving community. It suddenly became so clear as to all the things that I had refused to see. The red flags, the behavior, the actions, I didn’t want to see them for who they were, because the idea of finally having a community was so close.
So here we are a few months later, building our bus barn to live in for the winter. We will be going to court on December 21, winter solstice. They have agreed to get paid out for their share of the property. The title company is getting us new title insurance, and writing up a new deed. So if we are able to settle everything before the court date, the case will be dismissed. If not we will continue ahead for the partition to occur. Life is such a spiral of learning and growth. Always trust your intuition. Always look at others behavior AND their words, if they are not in alignment, seek to see that and learn how to stand up for yourself. These are the lessons I have received through this experience and will continue to create a space of love. As has been the desire of Travis and I for 13 years now.