I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Pisces, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoy spending time near water. Luckily, there is a lake about 45 minutes from where I live.
I had to make a run today for some craft supplies and it just so happens that we cross that lake going both ways.
On the way home, we found a little out of the way place and had lunch on a little bank looking out over the water.
Water does a lot for me. It soothes and recharges me but it also helps
me focus and sort out problems. Today was no different.
As I sat looking out at the rolling waves of a heavy chop, I thought about a few questions that’s been reoccurring a lot lately. What makes me happy? What kind of life do I really want?
I know, some of you may be thinking, “Wicked, you’re almost 40. Shouldn’t you have figured this out a long time ago?”
Maybe I should have, but the truth is, I’ve never really had roots anywhere. The unwanted child, threatened with being sent to a girl’s home until I was 12 and went to live with my mother.
Between 12 and 17, we moved three times.
At 17, I was out on my own with the boy who would be my first husband. In two years, we lived in five places.
After we separated, I lived in a number of places, including my car, until I meet DO.
DO was in the army when we met and went on to drive a tractor tailor for over a year. Home was wherever we parked at night. Because of this wanderlust, we traveled light and didn’t really own anything until about 2 years after we got together.
Since then, I can’t count how many places we’ve lived.
“Stability” has been measured by staying together, not by staying in one place.
EQ asked me a year ago (and again a few months ago), what kind of life I wanted. I parroted off what I guess you’re supposed to say when someone asks you that, but the truth is, I wasn’t really sure.
The last year has been an exercise in trying to find out what that actually was.
What I ended up finding out was all the things I didn’t want.
Roots and wings don’t usually go hand-in-hand. An effort to find a balance between them landed us in the camper back in March.
It wasn’t a completely horrible experience. There were parts of it that I actually loved and under different circumstances, I’d gladly do it again.
I will say this. Don’t assume that just because a smaller one is easier to transport, that it’s easy to live in. Don’t underestimate the importance of dedicated rooms and a decent-sized bed. Don’t buy a really old one and think you can fix it up, especially if it’s been siting unused for a while. More things break than you think will.
I suggest buying new, or nearly new. One with a living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen at the very least for full-time living.
What I loved most about it was it being a more rustic-style of living and cheaper to run. I loved the idea of a portable washing machine, clothes hanging on a line, trees all around (once I got used to the large wildlife anyway, lol), feeling so close to nature in so many ways.
I missed regular plumbing, but if we’d been somewhere with septic hookups, it wouldn’t have been as bad.
What I didn’t love was lack of space. Space for storage and space to move. Feeling like I was tripping over everything we owned with no where to put anything. The tiny kitchen was a pain, too, for someone that loves cooking as much as I do.
So I spent time thinking about all that and then I spent some time talking to DO and doing a little research.
After all that, I realized that it wasn’t the camper I wanted, exactly. The camper was one way to accomplish that goal, but not the only one.
There is a name for the kind of life I want. It’s called Modern Urban Homesteading.
I like having certain things. I’m a blogger and now I run all the online interests of mine and EQ’s business as well. I’m not giving up computers, internet or cell phones unless I have to.
What I would like to do is spend my days crafting, canning, baking bread, making cookies and homemade wine and writing.
I like for the TV to be off when there’s nothing on. I like the idea of idle moments being opportunities to be creative or productive.
I like the idea of knowing (at least mostly) where my food comes from and what is in it.
One day, if we ever do buy a place, I’d like to walk outside and get my eggs directly from the chicken in the mornings.
As I’ve found out, all of that is still considered homesteading, just not in the extreme sense. It’s Modern Homesteading in urban areas. People who still have internet, electricity and indoor plumbing but try to reduce their impact and develop a closer relationship with their life and the things they use and consume.
We aren’t vegetarians, so DO is considering eventually hunting and fishing for our meat. We’ll then use whatever other parts of the animals we can. Some of those things might eventually turn up in the Etsy store since EQ and I are both part Native American, RH was a Boy Scout and DO grew up on a farm. We all share the idea that if you’re going to hunt, do it for food and use everything you can.
People may scoff at the idea of living this way within the modern world, and I’m sure not everyone will understand, but this is the life that I think would make me feel happy and fulfilled. It appeals to my roots as a Native American and also my ideals as a Pagan. DO agrees and wants the same life.
I credit, and give thanks, to my Gods for helping me see this. For giving me the direction and space I needed to figure it out and for leading me to an afternoon spent on the bank of the river to find the focus to figure it out.