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?