What Condition My Condition Is In 

Today’s a full-on rainy, cold day on the southern coast of Oregon; we’ve been stuck inside for the good part of three days. I’ve finished my tiny house; ukulele seems like too much effort (lol, imagine that!); and our cell signal is slow and weak.  So, it’s a good time to fill you in on the condition we’re in.  

Like We’re on a Runaway Train

We’re in the middle of a long stretch of campground reservations, back to back, week after week—headed where we want to go, but it seems rather inescapable.  We’re not out in the wilds of Montana or Arizona where we could pull away anytime and pick another boondocking spot to gather our wits.  We’re locked into these hard-won reservations, and we couldn’t get different ones if we tried.  

Sometimes fun seems a bit like forced labor.

  1. Travel day
  2. Get your bearings day
  3. Errand day
  4. Hike on good weather day
  5. Hunker in on bad weather day
  1. Start again day
  2. Enjoy your goddamned vacation 🤪

And we are, we really are! Even if it feels like we’re on a train roaring down the tracks.

Like the Warrantee’s Run Out

RVs are designed for short trips; rumor is RV parts are built for 44 uses.  We’ve been on the road using all our appliances and gadgets and electronics every single day for more than 1,000 days.  

Things are breaking.  And we have to deal with what’s wrong ourselves because RV service centers are strained with shortages in labor and parts. That’s even if we could get an appointment at an Airstream service center within, say, a three-month window.

Of all the worn out, broken parts of our tiny home (range hood light, bedroom TV, stereo speakers, etc.), the most troubling one is the power inverter, which loudly died on us, then mysteriously came back to life a few days later.  We’re not foolish enough to think it fixed itself. But we also don’t have the warrantee info; the guy who installed the solar package has all that, and he’s not returning Tracy’s calls.

Having electricity is kind of important, too.  Looks like we might have to straight-out buy a new inverter ($2k, maybe?) and cast a spell on Tracy to turn him into an electrician so he can install it.  But where, and when? 

(That would be a realistic addition to any song about trains. Imagine Casey Jones, high on cocaine, trouble ahead, trouble behind, and you know that notion (to get certified in electronics) has just crossed his mind.)

Like I Can’t Catch Up

Everything’s dirty.  The cream-colored curtains, the runner rugs, the whole outside of the Airstream.  These all need special circumstances for cleaning, and not one is going to be on our northbound line.

I have a laundry list for laundry (this makes me happy!).  After each trip to the laundromat, I check off the items I took so I’ll know what to take the next time.  If I washed the beach towels we use to clean Banjo after she comes in from the rain, then I probably didn’t wash the bath towels.  Coats versus fleece sweaters?  Dog bed versus outdoor table cloth?  Decide each time, and live with the dirty stuff that didn’t make the cut.  

Celebrate the trifecta nights, when the sheets are clean, the duvet cover is clean, and, miracle of all miracles, our bodies are clean.  Yay trifecta nights!

Internet use I am so behind on that I won’t explain.  Imagine updates, back-ups, cross-device synching, route planning, book/music/video downloading. And the big one: photo storage.  *Brain explodes* (But does it if I don’t have a photo of it exploding?)

Like Sleep May Be Serious

I’ve written before that I have a lifelong problem with insomnia, and it’s gotten only worse in the trailer.  (Why do you think I’m building all those tiny houses in the middle of the night?) And to say that brain health is a problem in my family is a laughable understatement.  

One factor is routine, yet there’s nothing routine about constantly being on the move.  Often, I wake up drowsy in the middle of the night, wracking my brain to imagine where we are.  Literally, how close are strangers to us? What state are we even in?  Is tomorrow a travel day? 

Insomnia is the condition that affects all other conditions I’m in. It adds to my incompetence as a travel partner, it adds to my loneliness, to my grief.  But would my quality of life be better without surprise octopus sightings?

Like I Wouldn’t Trade

Indeed, what would my life be like in a “Sticks and Bricks”?  Before this life, it was bills; I was always behind on bills. (Ask us how many bills we have now that we don’t own a home.) It was house cleaning. (Yeah, now I’ve got dirty curtains and rugs, all two of them.). There was work. Family scheduling. Rush hour traffic. Deadlines. 

I’m not going back to that.  Please give me a runaway train instead. Even one hijacked by a confident monkey.

(Ukulele Segment reinstated for this post only for humor! Plus, look at lovely Utah.)