Newlyweds Quarantine in a Trailer

That’s a hilarious headline. Or it would be if the real story weren’t during a dire pandemic. Or—less important, but specific to us—when we had planned on traveling with the trailer, or at the least being outside the trailer, but are stuck inside in an unusually cold, wet, and dangerous world.

So to that headline add a little increasing brooding and a lot of stir crazy, and it’s not as funny anymore. The story goes on to report that there’s no drama, though, just boredom at the worst.

I’d love to write this entry in the third person, with Tracy and me being the subject of an article about how a pair of newlyweds are faring, but I’m not sure I could pull it off. It was a stretch to write that piece in Banjo’s voice. It would be a fun way to make this less of a personal journal though, and I don’t want it to devolve into that while we’re stuck here and I run out of topics. As an article, though, I’d have to repeat too many times the phrase, “She reports that,” so I’ll spare you.

We’ve Known Each Other for How Long?

The headline is true though at its bare bones. Tracy and I got married a mere four months ago, and we’ve known each other for not quite five years. So it’s a very good sign that we’re weathering well this extreme test of the relationship.

Again, I won’t devolve here into a personal prodding of our psyches. Just a little.

I’ve heard from couples who travel full-time together that personality traits that are hard to live with under typical conditions swell in proportion on the road. You’re with each other basically 24/7, for one thing, plus you’re both working towards just one goal: interesting travel.

For us of course nix that one goal and add in the fact that we’re both newly retired. So for the first time in our adult lives we really have nothing to do.

Ways We Spend Our Time

Tracy had been planning his retirement on the road in an Airstream for I don’t know how long—years before I met him. He was going to go alone if he had to, and I’m sure he would have enjoyed that.

The first time Tracy showed me an Airstream. Totally hooked.

As far as I can tell in our four years, he’s content by himself. He reads the news thoroughly for hours each morning (I skim the headlines and dig in only sometimes). He researches ideas that come to him, and he tinkers with databases of our budget and our route. He consults his nature reference books when he gets back from his walks. He learns how to fix things. In other words, he has a lot of brain bandwidth to toy with.

I have a lot of restlessness. I’m still winding down from working on 17 billion major projects at once (mostly intense family duties). I channel that into small projects: knitting, ukulele, this blog, making fudge last night.

And these two disparate ways of spending our time provide us with a separation we wouldn’t get otherwise, since there’s no way to be private in this lifestyle; there’s no independence.

When we’re both inside our new home, we can hear each other breathing no matter where we go. Unless we pull out earphones, we listen to the same music. Watch the same TV. Space in the fridge is limited, so we eat the same foods. So, as we’re sharing all aspects of our environment, the differences in how we personally deal with the lock-down help us create space for ourselves.

Maybe, just as this quarantine time is giving us a chance to learn about the Airstream in slow motion, it’s also giving us a chance to learn about how to live together.

Happiness Even Now

So that my headline isn’t for naught, I’ll end on a romantic note. I was gabbing at Tracy as usual (you can guess that happens a lot) about the ways my friends are living out this quarantine—some dealing with complex family relationships, some completely alone—and I mused on how hard I would find the loneliness.

It’s true that I used to long for a life by myself, and when Tracy and I were telling people “our story”—how we met and how we fell for each other—I was always quick to say I wish I’d had more time by myself before I unexpectedly, astoundingly fell in love.

But now the thought of slogging through these times full of worldwide struggle alone makes me even more grateful for this quiet, steadfast man close to me.

And when I told him that I wouldn’t want to be alone, he countered, as I would have guessed, that he would be fine alone. In fact, he’d rather be alone than be quarantined with anyone. Except for me.

A month into dating, at our first concert (Phish, of course). The photo at the very top I took at our first music fest we traveled to. Hats and sunglasses would be on our family crest.

6 thoughts to “Newlyweds Quarantine in a Trailer”

  1. Even if we here in Sweden don’t have your strict quarantine rules and regulations, it’s said that our quarantine decree will stay in effect till the end of December. But even so, some things as schools are begining to ease up a bit and start running. I’ve read that people in the US have started to protest against your government recomendations and that’s beginning to show here, too. I have declared myself immune (as there is no available tests “yet” to prove otherwise) and of course Marianne is immune too, so we’re out when the weather allow us to making our days as usuall. And I’m very sure that you make the best of your days, too.
    Hang in there!
    Love -Li

    1. Thank you, Li! I hope you and Marianne are wearing masks as you go out in order to protect people who are more vulnerable than you.

      1. There are no proper protection equiment and masks available for us ordinary people and for those working in elderly care here in Sweden, our government as it shows now, has faild us completely. Hospitals are priority and even they have problems to get supplies. And Marianne (nurse as she is) says that masks doesn’t always work. They have to be really good quality and be switched several times a day and disposed as toxic. Wronly used and disposed masks can spread the virus even more she says.
        In any case, we don’t mingle that much anyway.
        Love -Li

        1. Okay, my turn to argue and say, “You know me!” We’ve got a similar situation, but we’ve been making masks and wearing them when picking up shopping. I know the homemade ones don’t protect fully, but if you are a carrier and don’t know it and sneeze near someone (purely by accident!) even a homemade mask will help protect that person.

          1. Love it when you argue with me Shelly, just like in the old days. And you’re right, I’ll correct my grammar, but just a bit, “You know me!”.
            I’m very sure that I’ve had the virus and got quite sick in February for four days and then, after a couple of more days, up on my feet again as usually. Marianne didn’t get it at all, even that close to the virus, as close she could get. So I shouldn’t, or couldn’t, be a carrier. And then, as the authorities say; if you are vulnerable you must stay home. And if you look around when out in Stockholm, less than 1% wear masks, so we’re sort of in the same boat all of us anyway.
            Love -Li

  2. I think you and Tracy are in a very challenging living situation. I would venture to guess that this time will make even your most routine travels seem wildly exciting.