Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Space Between

I have not updated in months, because it was just too difficult to follow the timeline that I was trying to maintain, but I am overflowing with thought and I need to share!!! So here's my latest (totally random) blog:

I am sitting at a picnic table in front of my RV, less than ten feet from a roaring campfire, in an insanely popular and lovely state park- and I’m pensive.
We have new neighbors this evening- from Pennsylvania- and they've commented, as have many others, how young we are compared to other hosts they've encountered. A common conversation thread includes:
·         You must love it- no responsibilities, fun all the time, just playing.
·         You must travel all over. I’ll bet you’re never in the same place for any length of time.
And most commonly (and obviously),
·         How?
We've been full-timing for a year-and-a-half, and traveling for about 7 of those months, and as I ‘settle’ into the ‘reality’ of living this way, I have begun to develop an awareness of the uniqueness of our particular circumstance.

Most of our friends and family are ‘stick and brickers’- that is, the majority of their lives are lived in a perma-structure of stick and brick creation. Some of them may be weekend campers or RVers, but their modular existence is in the nature of recreation, so when they are in their RV’s or tents, they are usually pursuing other entertainments or activities and are using the modular structure as a ‘hotel room’ to further enjoy their outdoor activities.
Some of our family and friends (Katrina’s parents and our camp hosting friends from Croft) are ‘full-timer lites’- when they RV, it’s often for months or seasons at a time, but they still have S&B homes and in the cases of all of our Croft friends, at least one spouse still works at a job that he/she must physically show up for most weekdays. These folks understand our hopes and dreams, because many of them share a similar vision, but they still have the ties that anchor them to ‘respectable’ society. In other words, most people don’t view them as fringe-ists or as completely unhinged- just slightly eccentric.
Lastly, there are the other full-timers that we know- The first group of folks are our friends from Salt Lake in the “RV Pit”, who are mostly just young families and folks our age struggling to live in an economically challenging situation and trying valiantly to get back into ‘respectable’ living.
The second group of full-timers are the retired camp hosts that we meet at the parks where we volunteer. Almost without exception (a widow, widower and single older lady not yet retired) all of the hosts are retired couples with big rigs and guaranteed income just looking to travel and stretch their accommodations dollar as far as it will go.  They are the appropriate age and demographic  to make vagabonding socially acceptable.
Enter the Brolts (my amusing haplology of our last names- kind of like Brangelina, but classier). We don’t smoothly fit into the niches of polite society- we aren't retired in our big rig, we don’t have a ‘settled’ place to return to (an ideal that my mother frets herself into foaming fits over- repeat five times fast)  and we’re not transitioning between the two.
We’re a bit of a conundrum. This entire issue really lies with me- someone from one side (an S&Ber, for example) will make a comment- perhaps about how lucky we are to be on a lark and just enjoying no responsibility- and it will irk me no end.
Do you really think that I have no responsibilities whatsoever?
How do you think I support myself and my wife, pay my bills and put food on the table?
Feed my cats?
Buy gas?
Repair Justin the Behemoth Beaver?
Buy awesome shit that I can’t live without?

So I sit in front of a campfire and ponder my life. I think about an internet meme that I once saw that depicted a vignette about Lesbians. I’ll include it below because it succinctly illustrates my next point (please don’t be offended at the slightly risqué- ness of it- I didn't create it)

So, off-color though it may be, the above is a good generalization of my current challenge. S&Bers think that we’re just hanging around the campfire all of the time, doing nothing; and the retired folk/Lites, wonder why we’re always inside on the computer working instead of out by the campfire like them.

It’s like we’re in RV purgatory…

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