Friday, November 26, 2010

WHAT I'M THANKFUL FOR

Im in such a different place than Ive been for any other Thanksgiving that it has really given me an opportunity to think about what is really precious to me. Foremost I am so thankful for friends and family and for God. I could not carry on through the winter the way that I want to without my friends who I rely on dearly. They literally give me the warmth I need to sleep at night. I have realized that this American life as we know it, no matter how minimalist you choose to live, is only possible with the help of others. YOU NEED OTHER PEOPLE! With my family being thousands of miles away I had to rely on my friends, namely Dave and his wonderful family, my perfect girlfriend Heidi, and Mia the foreigner to have a normal Thanksgiving.



We had an awesome time and we were so so grateful to be invited to the Root family festivities. We'll never forget it. 

Sleeping in the van in the winter is so much easier than the guys I know and see who are still out on park benches and in doorways. Provo does so much for the homeless yet there are still those who refuse the help of others, arent well enough to accept it, or just need more. Ive come to know a lot of the programs here they are fantastic. Before I stopped accepting money from the blog I was able to use it to give a little here and there to a bunch of the charities around town. However a peculiar thing has started to happen...

I thought I would grow close and connect to the homeless around here. I mean, yes, I function and I do this by choice with help. I get to use electricity most nights and when I dont I still have the van to be able to shelter me so believe me when I say that I know Im not homeless or "like them" as cruel as that sounds. But like I said, I thought I would grow close are relate to them. Not the case. What Im finding is the opposite. Im growing farther away from them. I understand them less. I care about their wellbeing more because I know a little better what they are going through, however I dont fit in. I should have guessed that I wouldnt but I thought differently when this whole thing started. I am however growing much closer to the people I love and rely on. Solitude is great! It gives you the time and the quiet that you need to focus on the things that matter. I have thought about my family much more, Ive been a better boyfriend (if you can believe that) than Ive ever been in my whole life. And I am much better at humbling myself and asking of my friends those things that I need. I have grown a little closer to my Heavenly Father without all the distractions and the things we call necessities these days. It so weird.... but I think that I have gotten MORE on track with my life by getting in the van than by sitting around in an apartment watching TV. 
So all in all Im learning a lot. And although it doesnt show so much on this blog of mine how much Im changing and learning, I really really am. Thanks for reading, for caring, and for being concerned. I wont let you down guys. Im gonna make it a whole year! Come rain or shine. A commitment is a commitment. 

P.S. I know I suck at blogging. If you guys want to know anything or hear about something Ive done, or just have a question about the logistics of this kind of living arrangement, please comment or email me at Kurtrussellanderson@gmail.com and Ill do a post for it I promise. Ya'll are great! Thank you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bunk Bed: So much more space for activities!

So I got up this morning a motivated man! I built a bed. I should have done this to begin with but you live and learn. And then you get Loves. Anyways.


My friends Dave, Daniel and I had a manly man day going back and forth between Autozone and Home Depot all morning getting wood and supplies. We constructed this baby in a speedy ten minutes or so and I only smashed my thumb once! 

If you can see inside there you'll notice the place is a pig sty. I have been thinking on the moral classiness of my living situation for quite sometime. I am a classy person and this van situation should not define me. But when looking in my van, all you notice is the disorganization of life and chaos. I took action today and figure I could put everything I own under my bed and actually have a room back there.

Daniel, proud partner in the bed building project

The finished product! I vacuumed, organized everything under the bed, made my bed and hung my church clothes up. This is how van life should be! video
THE FINISHED PRODUCT! EFF YEAH!


Im so proud of the work we did today. Tonight there is a blizzard moving in at 8pm. BYU closed campus early and that says a lot, because they NEVER shut down anything in Utah for weather reasons. Everyone here is freaking out and all I can think is how awesome I am because Ill be sleeping in a full on blizzard tonight. Wish me luck. Ill let you know how it goes! Happy Thanksgiving doods.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Blueprint for Van life, Shingle Mill Peak, Alien Slabs, and Little Swiss Towns called Washington.



Ok so here is my idea for my van. Thought it up while I was bored in church one day. YOu know what. Ive just decided Im gonna label all this junk to make it easier so check it:



There. Thats better. Im going to go to Home Depot today and get the plywood and shelving and stuff for it and me and a few friends are going to get started! Ill give you detailed step by step of how its looking!

In other news: Im very very sad to hear about my fellow UVU Students who died recently in a flight instruction plane crash. Its the first UVU Flight School crash in the history of the program and its devastating. Just terrible. 
         I have come down with what seems to be a headcold or the Flu or something. Im getting through it and am on the up and up. The swelling in my knee is going down. However I still cant straighten it and sort of walk with a limp. 
        Ive moved my van to a different location to be closer to a bathroom and to friends and the area where I most frequently am near BYU campus. Its turned out to be awesome and I only have my friends Dave, the twins, and my dear Heidi to thank for it. 
       Ive started watching the show The Walking Dead and cant stop! I love Zombies! They are my all time most wanted fantasy life. That sentence didnt make sense. I wish that I would step outside my van one day and BOOM! Zombie Attack! I would take to the nearest Costco, fortify it and dig a tunnel to the mall. I'd be set for life. You're welcome to join. As long as you ain't bit. 
     
Things I plan on Doing: 

1. Hiking up alone to Shingle Mill Peak, or as I call it, the Alien Slabs. And camping there. I will document all of it and hopefully will not be eaten by mountain lions. This peak shows up in my dreams more than any other thing. I dream about it constantly. Ive hiked it once and it was wonderful. Just below the peak there is a somewhat flat area that looks akin to the swiss alps topography and I dream constantly of putting a town up there someday with little moss covered cabins, steam billowing from the chimneys. A town where everyone knows one another and they gather nightly at the town center for hot chocolate and story telling, then retreat down the cobblestone streets to their little homes to read scriptures to their heavy eyed children until they drift peacefully away. A little town called Washington. A place where the bread is fresh and warm always. Where the favorite book of the towns children is Moby Dick, or Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Where there is no need for cars and bicycles are a must. Food is delivered up from Provo on a zip line and in return down are sent little thank you notes with smiley faces on them. Washington: A place for us.

THE HIKE UP TO SHINGLE MILL WITH UTAH LAKE IN THE BACK ROUND.

THE FIRST TO SIGN THE SUMMIT ROLE IN 2010!

A GOOD LOOK AT THE SLABS AND THE VALLEY BELOW. THE VALLEY OF MY DREAM


2. Finishing My Van

3. Make a difference every day in the lives of the people around me.

Ill think of better things soon. I just cant stop thinking about my little town of Washington for the time being. It clouds my thoughts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winter.... or the beginning there of, is a difficult thing to weather. The nights are in the twenties and thats just the beginning. There are things happening to me that I never planned for. None of these things are bad and Im excited to experience them. For instance,

- Did you know liquid freezes past thirty two below? Also, did you know that your contacts are in liquid when they arent in your eye. My contacts and my back up contacts have recently frozen. Ive learned to keep things you want warm either in your pockets or under you as you sleep.

- I sleep with my computer now to keep it warm.

- I sleep with my contacts and solution

- Ive decided to construct a better looking situation for the van. Something more homey. If I can get a picture of the blueprints on here Ill show it.

- Hardship is the great motivator of the spirit. It moves me to action, upwards. I move faster and work harder to keep warmth and this is good. Every trial becomes a stepping stone upward.

- I tore the Meniscus in my right knee playing a soccer game and cannot move it. I cant do anything about it except limp on it until after the first of the year thanks to Kaiser Obama's Obama-care. This has taught me that Im an American and that my body is super special to me.

- I have an ear infection that has locked up the right side of my jaw. Though the symptoms are receding, the pain wont allow me to eat all that well and my teeth are moving.

- I have a girlfriend! Can you even imagine how wonderful she must be to not care that Im a cripple living out of my van!? She is perfect. And she takes up all my time at my own request. She gives me a reason to serve others though the only reason one needs should be because it makes God happy.

I went to Georgia for a wedding after being in Baltimore and it was great but a very quick trip. I saw my family for a few hours, slept for a few hours, talked and caught up with everyone for a bunch of hours, and saw my best friend Steve get hitched to a wonderful woman for the rest of forever.
        Ill update more later.

All in all, everything is working out well for the winter. I have a home, an electric blanket, a jacket, thermals, an awesome hat that covers my ears, a job, and goals. What more could an immature 25 year old ask for!?