July 29, 2010

23 feet: Home is where your sock drawer is.

photo by Alan Kahler

“Home, home on the…?”

I had this dream the other night about buying a Volkswagen Westfalia. We’ve seen lots of Westys on this trip and I’ve slowly started to long for one of my own – I’m now in the throes of a most unexpected vehicular crush.

So this Westfalia of mine was sitting in some dream driveway somewhere, and I was sorting out my things and arranging them inside, taking care with some big ridiculous fluffy bed, hanging posters on the wall. I was just about to climb a magic staircase to the upstairs when Greer shook me awake, and for the rest of the morning was haunted by that wistful ache you get when the previous night’s dream world felt really, really good.


Its fun to talk to people who live on the road about what “home” means, about what and where makes a safe place to hang your hat. Popular wisdom tells us that home is, you know, where the heart is, and I suppose that’s about right. My home for the last month has been our Airstream, Roma, who officially belongs to Allie but has taken me in just the same.

The majority of the people we’ve met on this trip are living out of their vehicles now, or have at some point in their life. And I’d be willing to bet the connection they have to their vans or trucks or bicycles is much deeper than the affection one might have to their commuter sedan. It’s interesting that in a life of de-emphasizing the material, some material objects take on a greater meaning.

Roma isn’t just a (really cool looking) trailer. She keeps us warm, gives us a nice place to sleep, even has an electrical plug or two so we can watch “Pride and Prejudice” on Allie’s laptop at least once a week. Allie could very well live in her forever. She’ll be my home for a while, too.

And maybe one day, I’ll find a little old Westy of my own to stow my heart in.

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