Thursday, March 1, 2018

Snow Days and the Stealthy Couple

Good scheduling, the gods, and twelve inches of snow all conspired to allow The Wife and I to spend ten days straight together.   She joined me, the two of us living in the van for three nights while I spent my work days in the office. We had the van in a good spot, we didn’t move it all week. During that time however I didn’t write a single word for this blog.  I was in a way, quite proud of myself. —Because I have obsessive tendencies.  Instead I devoted myself strictly to quality time.  Even so I had a bit of a backlog.  I was able to publish three times despite my total inactivity.  After this time though I fell prey to Newtonian physics.  I was an object at rest that stayed at rest for the next month and a half.

It has been consistently cold here in the Northland.   What we locals call “a cold winter.”  Most nights have been below zero, sometimes the daily highs are as well.  Weather like this makes me not want to move the van much.  I have found a couple pretty good parking spots and content myself with revolving between them. I work.  I either hang out at work until eight or nine, or I find a pub to drop into until then.  I open up my blogging tool.  I read the couple of paragraphs of what has eventually become this post.  I diddle with grammar and tense.  I ponder the orphans, the stray sentences I have written.  Then I spend the next couple of hours Trolling for Trumpets on Facebook and reading news sites.  It hasn’t been an exciting existence.

Snow buildup on the solar panels.
It was really fun having The Wife come and spend three nights in a row with me.  Lately we spend a lot of time talking about the future.  She and I are roughly five years out from empty-nestdom.  We love our children (no matter what they say about us) but seriously, this is a moment we have been anticipating for just over nineteen years.  As it inches closer we spend more and more time talking about what life will be like and what we plan to do with ourselves.  I have untested gypsy-like thoughts.  My bride is very much a homebody who has no idea where in the world she wants that home to sit.  Overlay that on an X-Y matrix of what we like -vs- what we can afford and you pretty much have our discussions in a nutshell.

What we are both pretty sure of is we have grown tired of six (or more) months of ice.  Last month when The Wife fell on our icy stairs was the turning point for her.  It has been a couple months and she still is moving gingerly.  She has to be careful sitting and one arm won’t reach the same as the other.  She went from cavalier-post-teen to "done with snow and cold" literally overnight.

The thing is neither of us have lived anywhere else and this is a very big country.  I dream about spending some time exploring it.  Likely we are always going to be urban dwellers and so a vehicle like the BV in some ways could be perfect for living on the road.  Rolling from city to city.  Seeing the sights.  Seeing where we like.  More important, seeing where we don’t.  A couple of years ago I did two interviews for a job down in Little Rock Arkansas.  It was winter here and those seventy degree forecasts were looking pretty appealing.  It ended up not working out (obviously) but in the meantime of the interviewing process I wrote a couple of friends of friends who live down there.  The realization my Bernie Sanders sign wouldn’t be welcome in most neighborhoods was a factor in our realization just how much we wouldn’t fit in.  …Almost more than the fact the position reported directly to the governor and paid $67,000.

So we know there are places we don’t want to live, how do we ferret them out? What I wax poetic about is living a life where we would travel around, finding towns where we would like to stay a while and landing in an AirBnB.  Live there a couple of weeks or even a month but in-between we would be living out of some sort of stealth camper.

The Wife seems to believe this would be entirely too much me in too confined of space.  As I look at it, the only way to dissuade her into any sort of nomadic lifestyle is to simulate it.

These are the types of things we need to figure out.  Five years from now I hope it will be van version 2.0.  Maybe by then I will have the money for a Sprinter van instead of the fifty inch ceiling I deal with now.  Being able to stand up isn’t critical for me, just needing four night a week cheap lodging.  Seven days a week for an indeterminate length of time is another story.

I just know my digital photo album is full of screen shots from Instagram.  Van dwellers who shoot pictures looking out the backs of their vans.  The view out that back window is limitless.

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