Christmas in Key Largo with the Ones You Love


I’m two days late, but it was on December 21st, 2009 that our lovely mama Renée finally made the decision to hop into a 1978 Volkswagen Bus with Tristan and I to float around this world.

That’s a lifetime away now, another fuzzy memory different world I’m not sure even fully existed except now as a look back in time. A moment leading up to this, these moments. It seemed like a dream at the time–winning the love of your life finally after more than a decade wondering where she’d gone, if you’d ever see her again. Calling a van your home and deserts your playground. Skipping around like literally there was nowhere to be, and no good reason to hurry getting there.

Then again, I’m writing this from a hammock swaying slow and softly breezy from Key Largo, where she and I and Tristan, along with our much bigger family now, will celebrate Christmas for our sixth time, every one in a different location.

The first year we were lucky enough to spend together, we broke down just outside of a hotel room in Colorado Springs. I snapped a branch from a bush and tied it up in a small ring of purple fairy lights I had hanging in the bus, a few clothespin dolls Tristan had made. We watched A Christmas Story and drank Jameson and I was broke, but there were handmade presents for all.

The next year in a beach house on the Oregon Coast as we cooked our second son, Winter Erik. After that, a house in the Black Mountains of North Carolina, and the following year, our youngest Wylder only a few months old, we strung lights in a treehouse in nearby Montreat, NC.

Last year we sourced a local Sitka spruce sapling and strung it with popcorn. Christmas came and went, and we planted it in the forests of Astoria, Oregon. And now, a potted Palm for Christmas in the Keys.

It seems we go back to the places we love come the holidays. But I don’t really go anywhere at all, I’m everywhere and always some particular somewhere at the same time.

With the woman I love, on the adventure of a lifetime.