A Lack of Stuff

Kathy at White Pines Whisper recently got me to thinking. (Beautiful haikus by Kathy and others are featured in the comments of a previous post, by the way.) Kathy said in a recent post, “Stuff ain’t where it’s at, people.” Being as I am a stream-of-conciousness kind of guy, and I saw the word conservation, I got to thinking.

You’ve probably noticed – we live in an RV, situated on our own property. Granted, we also have a 10×14 cabin with a woodstove, and we’re talking about a 32′ RV with a full kitchen, plumbing, furnace, and central air. However, it’s still small. Conservation is a necessity. Conservation of both resources and of space. We use about 40 gallons of water per person each day (as opposed to the US average of 75 gallons per person per day). We use much less electricity. (Awesome.) And of course, we use much less space than most folks would. Everything we own fits in the RV or cabin. We do not have much stuff.


Reactions to the RV vary from incredulous to blasé. Frequently, the incredulous responses end with, “But, where do you keep your stuff?!” Easy. We don’t have stuff. Actually, we still have plenty of storage space free, and we really don’t go without. It’s surprising how much one is able to simplify when the need arises.

We’ll build a house when we feel like it. I guess we just don’t feel like it yet. I love living in the RV in Spring, Summer, and Fall, and I don’t mind it terribly in the Winter. And – here’s the biggee – it’s free. We already own it. In the winter when I get a little stir-crazy, I go out into the cabin, light a fire in the stove, and find something to do. Read by the fire. Or play the piano. Honestly, there are plenty of people that live similarly in our immediate area – cold water cabins down Keese’s Mill, RVs on secluded lots, those older mobile homes that look like RVs on back roads. I think the oddity is that we’re so visible, not that we’re so singular.

Of course, every so often, you get a jackass.

We were once at a party with a group of friends. The sort of large party where you don’t know everyone really well, but you’re at least acquainted. One of guests was making fun of people who live in trailers over in Lake Placid or something. Going on in the poor-white-trailer-trash vein. Some story about a community meeting or something. I believe he concluded with, “They shouldn’t get a vote, hell, their house in on wheels.” I walked away. A bit later, a friend replied, “What a jerk.”

Do I take pleasure in the fact that this guy couldn’t hold a candle to either of us – intellectually, professionally, or otherwise? Yeah, I do. I’m sorry about it, but I do. It’s hard not to be petty. I know I shouldn’t be. I try not to be. So, I still talk to the guy. Some. Try to be at least a little friendly.

Besides, isn’t living well the best revenge?

Viva RV!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “A Lack of Stuff

  1. AS Milt and I are spending time in an RV this summer I can relate…some.
    Granted, it is not full time like you do. Yours is laid out better though they are the same size.
    I would not like to live in one full time but who knows what the future brings.

    The fact that you are not in a hurry to build a house lets me know that this is working out great for you.
    Your place looks great and I am proud of what you have done this past year.

    Good job!!!

  2. We are admittedly Stuff-Covered. But I’m working on that. Really. No. Really…

  3. I am also covered in “stuff’ but am also working on it…Just the bags and bins of yarn and fiber alone…oiy… Still i have the desire to let it all go. It’s happening, bit by bit..
    I’ve been having this dream lately that me and my 5 dogs are all stuffed into a small camper and we travel all over the place. It’s one of those truck campers with the bed over the truck kind? It feels so free…

  4. Pamela

    Sometimes I think it would be really nice to just walk away from all my stuff and just start again, not letting the stuff build up this time. And other times I am really glad I have all my stuff when the urge/need to create something means I can root in a cupboard and I have everything I need to whip up a pair of new curtains ( lined and all) or make a birthday present for someone. Maybe I just need to pare it all down and keep it more under control. Remember the days when you went off to Uni and all your possessions fitted on one car?

  5. I came to visit from Adirondack View blog. I love RVS. And I agree with you because if you are happy then why spend all that money to build a house right now. People who make ignorant comments annoy me. I gave up “stuff” a few years ago and what a relief it has been. I enjoyed your blog.

  6. Irish45

    My sons live in a paid-for trailer and love it. When I see what I could have (instead of a l0 room house) I pine for theirs. My “stuff”, like some of your commenters, is mainly yarns, craft and art projects and so hard to give up – but I will do better and enjoy my place more. Gorgeous flowers. IRISH 45

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