We recently left Arizona where we had spent the winter, heading for a short visit in Oklahoma. We left the park in Tucson around noon on Friday. It is a long way from Tucson to OKC, and I wanted to have two shorter days of driving with one longer one between.
I have not yet figured out how to hook my phone to the RV sound system. Neither have I sorted out how to get the surround sound playing with the radio so it can be heard while driving. Because of this Mireille and I had a lot of time to talk, which we do all the time anyway.
It was probably somewhere in New Mexico when Mireille asked me if I still liked what we are doing.
“You mean living in Charlie?”
“Yes, do you still like it?”
I thought about it for a while. We have talked often about what we are going to do “after.” Whenever “after” winds up being.
“Yes, I still like it, it’s just…”
“It is just that it’s not new anymore. It’s normal. I don’t mean that as a bad thing; this is just home now.”
“I know what you mean.”
I thought a little more about it. “I really like this…the moving to new places. We were probably too long in Arizona.”
She nodded. “Yeah, I like the moving and exploring too.”
I don’t know precisely when things became normal rather than the pinch myself feeling we woke up with every day when we first started. For me, I think it was somewhere after Maryland heading south from spending summer in the north. But it was normal when we were in Oklahoma in November, and definitely normal in Arizona.
I still don’t mean that normal is bad. More that our idea of normal has changed and morphed. This has been such a learning experience for both of us. We have learned so much about ourselves and each other. Our relationship with “things” and “possessions” has almost rolled over completely. So much so that neither of us now want to own much of anything. Why should we be surprised that our idea of what is “normal” should change as well?
We are daily very aware of how fortunate we are to be able to do what we are doing. We still love having people visit us in our home. We love them to see how nice and comfortable it is. It is home to us, and we are proud of it. We know that what we are doing is not normal to most of the people we talk with. They often react to what we are doing as if it were almost impossible. We know it is not. Maybe that is what has changed. We live in our home, our home just moves from place to place.
When we first started, when we were out we would talk about things we needed to do when “we got back to Charlie,” or “back to the RV.” We didn’t say “when we get home.” Now we say that more than anything else, “I need to check the mail when we get home,” or “When we get back to the house remind me to…” So that mental migration has taken place. We are at home with the place we call home.
I have seen the question asked on social media more often than I would think possible, about whether someone who lives in an RV full time is homeless or not. I always thought it was a silly question. Now I just think it is one of those questions someone asks when they just do not get it at all.
Right now as I work on this, it’s Friday afternoon. I am in the bedroom, propped up on the bed, my computer on my lap. The shades on the window on my side of the bed are up, and rain is gently drumming on the roof. It’s cool, cloudy, and grey outside. Mireille is sitting in the living room. We are both comfortable and cozy, and I cannot think of anyplace else I would rather be than home.
Igor and Abby image courtesy – https://cinema1544.files.wordpress.com