The Absolute Freaking Weirdness of this Lifestyle

This hometown week on the Friends and Family Tour ‘24 has been a honking-big, tangled-up knot of red-hot emotions.

It’s not just been about seeing people I haven’t seen in years. It’s been about being struck by aging (and in a flash of recognition that really should be hidden). It’s been about cramming what we’ve been through since that pivotal 2020 into quick, intimate catch-ups, then having to say goodbye again. It’s been recognizing weaknesses we weren’t comfortable sharing before now; it’s been glazing over hard-won successes when there’s not enough time to tell the full story. Every single meetup has been intense.

I’ve also felt like I’ve been on a press junket. Answering the same questions several times a day, but with new answers each time tailored to what I hope that friend wants to hear about. Then I have to decompress in bed for a few minutes, trying to process what I’ve just learned, before I face the next meet-up. Which I’m thrilled to do! Just, emotionally exhausted.

We went to a small music festival where every single person there was smiling and happy and friendly. Wow. I’d forgotten what being surrounded by a crowd of good people feels like. And yet, every person there knew each other, and as usual we were strangers. Kind of like being a poor kid in a candy store. Or, after we were introduced as this cool couple traveling the country, more like being the famous kid in the candy store who wishes they could just sit at a booth with all the other kids and share the cheap candy together.

And don’t get me started on the fact that I’m not seeing some people because I don’t have enough time, which is its own weirdness. Or the fact that every person I do see I have to admit to that I don’t drive the truck. That Tracy does all the shopping and the cooking and the planning, plus managing Banjo. I’ve had to rehearse what to say when friends ask me, “So, what do you do?”

One afternoon between meet-ups while I’m decompressing, I’m scrolling through facebook and I see a request from a Wall Street Journal writer wanting to talk about insomnia. I respond, we talk on the phone, and next thing I know I’m on the front page of the WSJ. No kidding.

The story isn’t about me, and it’s not about Airstreams, but all I had to do was mention that I live in a small space that makes having insomnia tricky, and dontcha know the editor is asking for a photo of me in front of the trailer. (I had to prop my iPad on the picnic table and position myself so a napping Tracy wasn’t in the shot. More irony there.)

I don’t know if that photo will make it to the front page of the print issue with the story, since that won’t be out until Monday, and for me that’s a travel day, and I have bigger fish to fry than finding a print copy.

Like, functioning on very little sleep, seeing as how the campers next to us unfathomably travel with four large dogs, one of whom they crate outside all night, and it whimpers and keeps us awake as we try to decide who we should report them to.

Coincidently, today I’m dropping by a friend’s house to pick up a print copy of that alumni magazine article I was in last year. It’s an odd article that somehow manages to capture the weirdness of this lifestyle. As I remember, I compare myself to a nun in a cloister. A traveling cloister.

Okay, two whole media mentions about me online. Maybe now that I come up early in a google search (instead of Shelly Cox the volleyball player), some adventurous book agent will find my blog and see potential there. Because, that’s another question I’m asked on this press junket: Am I writing a book?

The answer is yes, I’m writing a book every time I write in this blog. I’m just not doing any of the hard work of shaping it into a manuscript or searching for an agent or, heck, even thinking about which of my many themes here over the years would be interesting to readers. Maybe after the F&F Tour of ‘24 I’ll think about that, and then I can respond with something fun when friends ask, “What do you do?”

12 thoughts to “The Absolute Freaking Weirdness of this Lifestyle”

    1. Hi Li! Only you could ask a sassy question like that that I’m happy to answer. I do a lot of the unseen stuff. Navigating, cleaning, packing up and unpacking. Most of the communications. Moral support. Card playing. Music choosing. Love you, Li!

  1. Wow. Do we have to call you Mrs Cox now and make an appointment to comment? The WSJ. Very cool!
    And hey the next time someone asks you what you do? Tell them you’re planning your next press junket.

  2. OMG. You should totally write a book! I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say I LOVE reading about your adventures. You cover so many different aspects of the lifestyle I suspect most of us would never bother to consider, insomnia being an excellent example. All I’m saying is, I’d buy that book!

    1. You are buttering me up so I won’t post a video mimicking a leak in your basement again. Seriously, if you know an agent, I’m up for the challenge. It’s a tall challenge, though.

  3. I also hate “what do you do?” PUKE

    I love that you made it into the Wall Street Journal. 🤣

    “Am I writing a book? The answer is yes, I’m writing a book every time I write in this blog..” I love that.

    1. I was on a grumpy role when I wrote this, for sure. Thank goodness it passed quickly.

    1. Thanks, Mark! I took that on the spot when the reporter asked about it. I think I mentioned that Tracy was sleeping right outside the shot, ha!

  4. I’ve been pondering this. Depending on who was asking and how snarky I felt at the moment I might go with, “everything else”, or offer my best sardonic smile. Mine is well rehearsed as you might imagine.