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December 2011


As we sit by the crackling light of our early December cave fire, we reflect on the many ups and downs of 2011. The life of a hip-hop star was filled with riches, fame, gold teeth, rap battles, Que-$ara's own line of plus-size designer clothing called "Miz HuskyThredz", tweets filled with bad grammer, yelling at the guy that polished the spinner rims on our Camry, and the feeling of pride knowing that both of our boys made parole. However, the fast-paced lifestyle of almost getting invited to lots of parties caught up with us and we found ourselves exhausted, broke, and in need of a change.

What started out as a couple of laps in the pool of luxury quickly turned into our family drowning in bad debt, a "Miz Husky Thredz" lawsuit, and us having to fire MC Hammer as our financial advisor. After filing for chapta 7 bankruptcy (yo, we still keep it realz), we decided it was time to simplify. But, the Fowlers don't simply simplify, we simplify in the most complicated way possible.

What better way to put our own stamp on a simpler life than getting rid almost everything and moving into a cave in the hills of outer Nashville? But since we're not neanderthals, we kept all of our burnable items and our keys. We didn't plan on keeping our keys, but without them, the feeling that we were forgetting something was simply overwhelming. Putting a little stick rack by our cave entrance to hang them on after a day foraging in the forest really makes it feel like we're coming home.

We moved into our cave with a few changes of clothes to keep warm. Then unsurprisingly, on the first night below freezing in our cavernous abode, Sara decided that building a fire with our clothes as kindling kept us much warmer than just wearing them. The whole family agreed with her logic for a toasty 3 hours. However, the sooty aftermath had us all longing for our days decked out in Miz Husky Thredz, building squirrel traps and talking cave politics.

Overall, the simple life has been a pleasant change. The cell service inside our cave is so poor (thanks a lot, AT&T), that we feel rather solitary. Aside from the fact that our cave is in a popular state park, we're pretty much disconnected from the outside world. Our hobbies now include: making toothpicks, arguing about what month it is, throwing rocks at hikers and telling those "strolling hippies" to "stay off our lawn", and decorating our cave with berry juice paintings and rocks that look like modern household items.

The boys love life here. We've adopted the "free-range children" idea of parenting. We just let the boys do whatever they want and they pretty much raise themselves. Aside from Miles wandering off for a month or so sometime around summer's first full moon, they've policed themselves pretty well with their rocks and sticks. But don't think we're deadbeat parents that aren't involved. We started a rock soccer league for the boys. Although, we're thinking of taking the kids out of it because the practice schedule just doesn't work for us. Also, we got Coyle a small fire for his birthday (which he immediately blew out thinking it was a candle and not his present).

Kiddie definitely loves it here. She heads to the river each morning, drinks as much water as she can and then spends the day marking all 80 acres of her new territory.

Well, we better get going. We have to go put some presents underneath our Christmas tree. And since we haven't decorated it yet, it will take a while because we can't remember which tree it actually is.

The Fowlers
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Fowler Fun Facts

• We shot this picture at Narrows of the Harpeth State Park in Kingston Springs, TN right beside the parking area. Our picture taking was interrupted by a couple out for a walk, but they didn't know what was up, as we had washed the mud off of our faces and put our regular clothes back on.
• The idea for this letter started with the idea of free-range parenting and devolved into "what if we were all naked for the photo?"
• The boys had a blast playing in the dirt.
• Sara kept requesting that Lonnie make the black boxes bigger.
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