Today I packed up much of the Airstream - that is, the things that have made the Airstream my home for the past two years (yes, TWO YEARS). Tomorrow I drive up to Virginia, and this week I'll check out the home I've rented in McLean - and stay there for a few days while I participate in a grant panel. The house is just over 1200 square feet, small to most - but for me, who has adapted to living in 216 sq. ft., I truly can't imagine needing that much space, and I envision the dogs and cat and I in a huddle in one room, accustomed to the closeness.
I'll return to the Airstream next weekend - and then in two weeks I'll head back up to Northern Virginia for a one-year visiting scientist thing, with my possessions from a storage unit crammed into a U-Haul - dogs and cat in the car. I'll enjoy a real kitchen, and walls for the paintings I've collected over the years. There will be bookshelves... filled with books. I'll be returning to Charleston and the Airstream every six weeks or so - for a full week - but then it'll be more like camping for a week, transient weeks where I'm guessing I'll live on take out and peanut butter... and huge gulps of salt air.
So... I suppose you could say that I'm breaking camp tonight, a camp that lasted for two years - one that kept me dry, warm (at least most of the time), cool (love the AC in this thing) and above all, it allowed me to weather this difficult period of unemployment with something resembling a home. For these things, I am grateful.