from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three-year journey between homes
6/2009 ~ 6/2012
July 2010 (North Webster, IN)
“Sometimes, when you possess nothing at all, the only thing you can do is hang on to your dignity. But even simple words can take that away from you if you’re not careful.” *
We are in transition, my husband and I.
As of June 26, 2009, we have been living life on the road.
Having sold our home in Colorado, we stored all non-portable, and “to be used later” items in a storage unit; packed two duffels with clothes, books, Bibles, toothpaste, and meds; filled the car trunk with tools, hydraulic jack, an air mattress, fold-up sports chairs, and mini basket with important papers; and the rest of the car with a greatly reduced number of items needed for our livelihood. For my husband, that included a computer with two screens, tech stuff, a mobile wi-fi device, and business materials; for myself, two guitars, one ukulele and a satchel crammed full of selected musical scores, teaching/marketing/composing materials, and of course my journals. Throw in our two pillows, a small “food/domestic needs” box, CDs, DVDs, camera, coffeepot, water bottles, maps and there you have our home on wheels.
Whatever we continue to take with us, has to be able to fit in our 2003 Toyota Camry, so if we have a non-disposable need other than what we have on hand, we usually do without; not only because of financial considerations, but also because it all has to fit back into the car once we’re on the road again between destinations. Most destinations have been house-sitting/house fixing up assignments and/or visiting and helping out family and friends, with lots of cross-country traveling thrown in for good measure.
Essentially, we are between homes. Our middle child, Michelle, who has just completed her Master’s Degree in International Business/Education, loves to tell others of her “vagabond hippie” parents. And, in describing our life’s journey right now, terminology is everything. After all, how does one graciously respond to the remark, “Oh, you mean you’re homeless?!?” Hmm, I suppose we are, but that term conjures up so many images and emotions that it tends to close down communications with people instead of bringing forth any meaningful dialogue or exchange of perspectives.
What instigated our need to walk this life path isn’t as important as is the fact of it being a means to keep expenses down while getting my husband’s new business off to a good start. While it was hard to leave behind my own established private teaching studio, regular performances, workshops, and local bread and butter gigs, not to mention friends and family, I can now say I am an on-the-road musician. And in my profession, that’s a pretty cool cred to add to the old resume!
We hope to be settled somewhere by the holidays this year. A good many of us in the Family have been in various transitions, so we’re all looking forward to being together again somewhere, just us; with a real big turkey on Thanksgiving and a real live tree on Christmas and lots of laughing and talking and hugging and music making. One thing’s for certain, my Ma was right when she told us over and over again that roots are best planted in the hearts of people rather than in a place.
Truly, home is where the heart is.
*from: “Born Under a Million Shadows” by Andrea Busfield; a very lyrical and beautifully written fictional account of the reality of living in Afghanistan as told through the character of a young afghan boy; highly recommended reading.