Countdown to Liftoff: not Monday, but soon

Sunday December 22, 8:00 PM

I was scheduled to leave in the morning, but it is not going to happen. A combination of too many things to wrap up and some rain have thwarted my plans. At the same time, I will have a couple of days to better prepare the trailer which should help increase the odds that these first few weeks living out of it are a success. Everything is out of the house except miscellaneous kitchen stuff and clothes; for both, the remainder not coming with me will go into storage. I realized today that I need to switch storage units. As I am storing things like papers and framed pictures, I need a climate controlled space. It was warm and humid today, and the paper items I had stored were showing ill effects. I figured that humidity wouldn’t be too bad during the winter, but we’ve been setting heat records. Blame it on climate change I suppose. The need to switch storage units is one factor leading to my delay.

Another is the fact that the trailer leaks. Well, not really leaks, but (not surprisingly) lets in water through the numerous holes that are present in its structure. There are 15 elliptical holes in the walls of the trailer. There are several additional places where water can get in because the camper shell top does not completely cover them. I’ve got a way to use a tarp to funnel any water that gets in away from my stuff, but I’d like to prevent it from getting in at all. My trip to Home Depot today didn’t turn up anything useful. I think I might just use some wood and duct tape for now, even though it would only be a temporary solution as the wood will eventually start to rot (I thought about pressure-treated but apparently it gives off toxic gases as the treatment dries and so is not good for a living space). I put the whole trailer into the shed, cleaned up the inside with a water-windex mixture as best as I could, and aimed a fan at it to dry it out. I hope not to drive it again until the holes are plugged. Looks like the holes are my Christmas Eve Eve project.

I realized a potential benefit of having the windows low on the sides — I could make shelves that go across the width of the trailer, just above the windows. There is some sturdy-looking bracing around the windows and it would be fairly easy to fashion into a shelf or two. Since I’m more limited by space than anything, the ability to better organize and store stuff more than makes up for not being as easy to see out. I also realized that there is a little gap between the upper supports and the roof (because of the way that they are both curved). It would therefore be easy to tie things to the upper supports. Tents often use a mesh netting in the top to provide extra gear storage; I’m thinking about something similar.

I’m somewhat camping out of the house at this point. I’ve got a bed / chair that consists of an air mattress, a memory foam topper, a fleece blanket , me, another fleece blanket, and a comforter. It is very soft, comfortable, and warm. Who needs an expensive mattress? This bed costs less than $100 and is as comfortable as I’ve ever slept on. I’m using a 5-gallon bucket as a trash can. I’ve got a 2-gallon water dispenser for drinking water (my well water is full of iron and sulpher so I don’t drink it). I’ve got a few things in a cooler, and the bathroom stuff is already packed up in a bucket (not the same one serving as a trash can). The DSL and TV are gone, so I’ve been reading instead. I’m reading John Muir’s My First Summer in the Sierra each night before going to bed. Does that man ever have a way with words! Rarely does one come across sheer joy expressed so effortlessly. If he doesn’t make you want to live outside for long stretches at a time, nothing can.

It’s about time to wrap it up for the night. I’m a little sad that I won’t be home for Christmas. I’m not a believer in the Christian gods, and if anything, the religious part of the holiday always made me feel worse for not believing something that most of my family, and the U.S. population in general, seems to believe fairly easily (that is the subject for numerous future posts). I’ve finally fully formed my opinion on this now and so it doesn’t bother me much anymore. I do have many fond memories of the family aspects of the holiday and that is what I’ll be missing this year (and the good southern food, since I missed Thanksgiving as well this year!)  I’ll just have to extend the holiday season a bit.

I’m not going to worry too much about it. I’m supposed to gaining more freedom, and to me that includes loosening the reins on time and schedules as well as spatial encumberments. I’m moving towards “island time” and “home is where I hang my hat” as much as possible (likely the latter more than the former as I’ll still have to work). As my grandfather always says, I’ll be there “when I’m supposed to”.

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