Under a Roof

This morning, with a measure of sadness and anxiety, I placed my home of the last six months in a storage lot for the winter. Our eight-foot Lance camper has been a better home than we dared hope. Yes, we’ve had to replace the water heater and contend with a number of irritating mechanical problems, but as a couple we’ve been largely happy to call this small container our home. It’s beauty, however, depends largely on our ability to move it around, which includes the ability to avoid extended periods of low temperatures. Fort Collins winters at 5,500 feet were too hard in our 33-foot fifth wheel – a winter at 7,000 feet in the camper might be really unpleasant. When our friend and associate Peter offered us a cheap room in his house south of Santa Fe, we took it.

It’s been over three years since I lived in a house. Much of it seems luxurious, but aspects of it will take some getting used to. The feeling that our possessions are now spread over more spaces and not movable at a moment’s notice makes me uneasy. Having separate spaces to cook, eat, sleep, and work is nice, but I’m not good at it any more. I wander from room to room, prone to forgetting what I was doing. There’s something to be said for having everything you own at arm’s reach. More space also means more cleaning up, something I was never good at. I also feel like my environmental footprint is expanding with my living space, even though I have no solid evidence of it.

Ann has a great job, well worth a winter in a nice house in Santa Fe. I’ll have a bit more reliable contract work, telecommuting a few hours a week to a job for Continuing Education at Colorado State University. I’m determined to keep the outdoors large in my life, and to share my insights and inspirations in Outdoorism. If all goes well, we’ll be under the Wyoming sky for two months next summer…

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6 thoughts on “Under a Roof

  1. Oh, it’s sad to see the Lance go into storage. But hooray for Wyoming next summer! I think it all sounds like an acceptable plan. Surely you’ll find your land-legs soon. 🙂

    And, if you’re really curious about your environmental impacts, there are a bunch of good carbon calculators out there.
    Al Gore’s Baby
    The Nature Conservancy
    One from the EPA

    Of course, living in a larger house will likely increase your water usage drastically, which is a whole other environmental can of worms.

  2. Thanks Kate!

    Since we just got here, I’m not sure what our consumption levels will be. I’d like to track it while we’re here, though, and make more groovy graphs.

    Water in Santa Fe is a big deal, there’s a project getting started to pump water up from the Rio Grande because demand is already greater than the supply from the local watershed.

    We’ll also drive more, since we’re further from town.

  3. I hope you’re able to enjoy some time in more than a single room – i have no doubt it will only serve to make you look forward to getting back in the Lance as soon as you can…

  4. Oh I’m definitely enjoying some things. Like Peter’s amazing grilled veggies, and a fridge full of beer…

  5. Well, I’m glad to know you’ll be warm this winter, Mom that I am. I was so impressed with how you two and that fat cat all got into that camper at the same time. But now you seem a little like a hermit crab (I just painted one for my next book) without its shell!

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