The Airstream served me well (and will continue to do so, as I travel back to the Lowcountry over the next year). The garden is tucked away, relatively speaking - a bit of rain last night made me feel better about leaving it.
Off to Virginia today.
More soon. (I'll have to post a pic of the backyard of my rental place - it'll make most of you laugh).
(This image I took of the Airsteam was chosen to be one of the Airstream Co's digital holiday card images last year, 2010. I thought that was pretty fun.)
Today a friend came over, and helped me wash the Airstream and it's awning - and together we rolled the awning up to keep it safe while I'm gone. Leaves from the live oaks collect (and decay) on the top - and only about once a year do I remember to get my little ladder and clean off the top. It's nice to know that after I leave, it'll be sitting there, shiny and clean - and without the awning out, vulnerable to wind. Waiting patiently, of course, for my return.
We also took apart my two beds (in the old house) and worked on the shed a bit so it's more level - now I'll be able to lock it when I'm gone. The shed has my washer and dryer in it - fortunately the rental home has a washer and dryer, so these can stay here and be used during my somewhat frequent visits.
Yesterday, the last day of July, was the second anniversary of my moving into the Airstream. I've lived in an Airstream for two years. I've liked living in such a small space more than I ever thought I would - and truthfully, I'm proud that I made it work. I've learned that I don't need much, that I'm resourceful - one sauce pan, a fry pan, a pot for a homemade soup - one burner, a small microwave, a toaster and a toaster oven. A crockpot. Just a few utensils. A few books, a good computer, good blankets on the bed. Frankly, I don't remember everything that I packed up two plus years ago, and while I'm sure it'll feel like Christmas unpacking next week at my rental place in Northern Virginia, I think it'll take awhile to not feel a bit crowded, and overwhelmed surrounded by so much stuff.
Enough dinnerware to serve 10? What a strange thought that is.
Decorations for a Christmas tree? Now that's just crazy talk.
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.
A friend couldn't resist getting this fun cotton kitchen towel for me as a gift... and I must say, it's perfect for the place, don't you think? And probably quite true - I had a friend from my graduate school days in East Lansing, Michigan visit last week, and I had her and her husband out to dinner at my place (I know, I know - here they were, in Charleston, with a gazillion wonderful restaurants, and I had them over to the Airstream - that's almost cruel) - and having them visit reminded me that I I've always been a happy camper. Even in a tent. Thank goodness for that.
The towel was handmade by Pam Spivey, right here in Charleston. You can find her (and other examples of her work) on Facebook. They're alot of fun!