Heidi Farfel manages taking care of her three young children in a 30-foot Silverback fifth-wheel trailer while her husband Matt works as an electrical lineman, sometimes being away from home for extended periods of time while he responds to emergency power situations during California’s peak electricity usage season. When you see Heidi out in the yard area in front of her trailer with kids always smiling and playing happily, you can’t help but wonder how she does it. After all, twins are suppose to be more than a handful, right? Well you wouldn’t know about the reputation of twin toddlers by looking at Abraham and Barrett.
Heidi and Matt have been on the road from their home in Colorado since he became a journeyman high voltage lineman and before they had their three children. Currently the family lives in their fifth-wheel at a Sonoma County, California RV park near Matt’s current work assignment. Heidi left a teacher’s assistant job five years earlier to join her husband’s mobile lifestyle so as to share in the adventure of travel for fun and for work.
“Some of our family and friends are concerned because they don’t understand our choice but most are supportive,” Heidi says. The family hopes to be on the road one more year before they return to Colorado to buy a house.
Heidi finds support on the road with other line families and with other fulltimers that they meet in the RV parks that become temporary communities. On occasion the young couple finds friendship with other nomadic fulltime-RV parents.
While Matt goes to work early five days a week (seven days a week during emergency callout period), Heidi takes the kids to playgrounds, the library, stores and does house chores. When Matt returns at the end of the day, they try to have dinner as a family followed by stories and bedtime routine.
When it is time to move due to Matt’s changing work locations, preparation involves a few days of getting organized. On the day of travel they secure loose items, do safety checks, review travel routes, organize snacks and items for the kids before hitching and going.
Heidi and Matt are truly young pioneers. Because they can be mobile, they are able to remain together as a family while they move about to accomodate Matt’s line of work. Although they plan to return to a fixed address in Colorado in a year, in the meantime they intend to take advantage of the local attractions where they are. They look forward to trips to the San Francisco Zoo, the Cheese Factory and Sonoma County beaches to fish and play. They’ll make a visit back home to Colorado in the fall for hunting. Heidi says they may even get down to Disneyland over the Christmas break.
You really have to hand it to this young couple for stepping outside of the box to live their lives as fully as they can during difficult economic times. They are an example of a new breed of family willing to sacrifice a bit to gain much when it comes to being a family. The almost continuous smiles on their kids’ faces gives the clear message that these parents are definitely doing something right!
Author Levonne Gaddy’s book “This Restless Life: A dream chased through California parks in an RV” chronicles her relocation adventures from the Southwest to Central Coast California during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. They encounter many twists and turns including a dead body found near their camp hosting camp site, problems finding work and multiple threats of floods. @Levonnegaddy
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Way to go guys love mom
That is an awesome artical on the family! Very enlightening and inspiring. Great job guys!
Love you! From the Plains of Colorado
Aunt Dorothy & Uncle Jim
Hey Matti, Abe, Barr, Beautimous Heidi, and Handsome Matt, Goodness gracious you kids are sure growin’! Great to see you all on the internet this AM (8/7), you all are looking wonderful, and what a great story to read. Makin’ us proud all over again, you all have a lot of spunk! We think of you often and look forward to your return to Colorado. Go get ’em Farfel’s!! XO XO XO XO XO And a internet kiss for each of you! Uncle Jim
Ahh Thank you so much for forwarding this.to me .Ahhh I can’t believe how big the kiddos are what a great article so great to see all of you. Congratulations on being in such a Great article and for keeping together your Family.Love you all Sheri
Wow! So glad to see so many of Matt and Heidi’s family and friends stopping by! Thanks! What a pleasure it has been to get to know them.
Such an inspiring family! They’re living the pioneering dream and being such hard working and dedicated parents while they’re doing it.
Thanks Levonne for highlighting such good parenting and great fun!