My first house had 2000 square feet on one level. It sat on seven unmowed acres with the south fork of the White River running along the back edge. In the summer you could walk the length of the flagstone in the river bed. Come spring, the flood edged right up to the back porch.
My second house had fewer square feet but one-and-a-half stories, with a screened porch and a fenced backyard. A Japanese maple rose gracefully in front of the west-facing windows of the living room. I raised my son in that home and expected to die there.
Never ever did I think that I would have a third house, one on wheels. My fascination arose from sleepless nights spent sobbing in my pillow after my last break-up. I groped for the remote control and turned on the television, listlessly switching from channel to channel. I began watching shows about alternative life styles. A glimmer of an idea flickered in the fog of my sorrow.
Some say that I fled a town too small for me and my ex. Others speculate that I had a mid-life crisis which I would, eventually, regret. I keep my own counsel. I plotted and planned and schemed and calculated. From those machinations, my present situation emerged.
I have what I need here. Enough possessions and the right kind of accommodation. I stay warm in the mild winters and cool enough in the brief summers. I write at my wooden desk in a loft from which I can see the first glimmer of morning light.
Eventually, I will add solar and a fresh-water holding tank. I’ll find a more remote parking situation. There I will pursue my uninterrupted scribbling for another decade or two, until the arthritis cripples my hands or my mind wanders too far to reclaim. But for now, I perch on a chair with my laptop propped on an open drawer, steadied by a piece of wood reclaimed from my beloved Kansas City bungalow. I take the stairs downward to the main living space, and nourish myself with a cool glass of filtered water. In the morning, I put out peanuts for the scrub jays before driving in to town for the day’s work. Each evening, I stroll through the meadow and talk to the neighbors or enjoy the solitude of the soft night air.
I can ask for little else.
It’s the second day of the sixty-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.