Stationary for Three Months

Friends ask what we’re going to do for three whole months in Brownsville, Texas: the longest we will have stayed put since we hit the road. I raise my eyebrows (dramatically, because I’m on the phone or texting), and tell them about our to-do list.

But what in the world would people without a house or jobs have on a to-do list?

Fix Stuff

Truck and trailer maintenance are the important items, and they’re in Tracy’s jurisdiction so I’ll give a few examples only. New tires, new lights connector between the trailer and truck, fix the trailer break light, oil a million things, de-rust the other million things.

Clean Stuff

The undercarriage of the trailer. Between the rock guards and the front windows. Where mold threatens behind the curtains. The rug I spilled beer on ages ago.

Inventory Stuff

We’ve moved nearly every week for 10 months or so, shoving new items where they’ll fit and and rearranging in an emergency. Now it’s time to see what the heck we own and where it is.

Do I need that expired dermatological cream right next to the toothpaste? Have we really lost both crucial flashlights? Where are my bicycle lights?

Install Stuff

Another coat hook for when Finn visits. More beer bottle caps in the U.S. cap map.

This very cool window treatment for the windows above the sink; the pull-down shade has been a pain in the butt since we moved in. Check out the replacement!

Buy Stuff

We have a shipping address now! A new outside sofa. Christmas presents. Whatever we discover we’ve lost as we look through stuff.


After a Herculean effort to time our arrival and service agreement and then get the hardware delivered and to install it on a solar panel (it might get stolen on the ground), we now have Musk’s actually helpful contribution to those who don’t have access to the internet.

Now, as long as we have a clear shot to the sky (we’re not under a tree) and we’re within coverage of his network of low-earth-orbit micro satellites, we will have strong, practically unlimited internet access for all our devices.

We can update them. We can stream. We can zoom. I can get all these danged photos off my phone and into the cloud. When we go to Alaska, we will still be connected.

No more parking in library lots to steal wifi. No more smacking mosquitoes as I hunker beside ranger stations. No more pretending like using their wifi isn’t the main reason we visit friends (it’s not, I swear!).

This is the biggest upgrade to our lives on the road since we had the solar and batteries installed.

Rearrange Stuff

Dishes, clothes, personal tchotchkes I’ve had stowed away all can come unwrapped and sit out on surfaces all risky-like!

Eat Stuff

We have a reliable grocery store (heck, several great Mexican markets, too), so we can keep more fresh foods in the fridge. I can drink green smoothies, ice tea, Tracy can cook with fresh shrimp. Or we could just eat tamales and Mexican pastries seven days a week, which is my preference.

Meet People

We unknowingly picked a camp spot right in the middle of an extended family from Minnesota who spend each winter here together. So far I’ve seen them manicure their small yards meticulously and walk between their brightly painted mobile homes bearing trays of food. I feel like an interloper, but maybe they’ll invite me to their karaoke.

See Stuff

We haven’t gotten out yet to South Padre Island or historic Brownsville or McAllen, but we did spend an afternoon on the beach at Boca Chica. We ate tamales on the beach!

We also drove by the SpaceX Starbase tracking station and launch control center. Hope to see a launch close up.

There’s a lot more on our to-do lists, but we’re going to be here a long while (as I keep saying), and I love to write these posts, so I better save some content. Hope this answers your questions about what we’ll do here, at least in part!