We continued planning our bus renovations, dreaming and scheming throughout the month of November. Towards the end of the month the rains set in and it became obvious that it was not the proper time to replace and raise our roof. Around this time the bus was beginning to feel quite small as Sage continued to grow and explore her surroundings. The near constant rain and cold kept us indoors quite a bit more than usual.
It so happened that, in early December a friend was moving out of one of the small house 's on the very property we were parked on. Our friend asked us if we wanted to rent the place for the winter and without knowing exactly how we were going to make the rent, we thought about it for a few days and said ....yes.
So, here we are now, living in a house .....
For the first time in my adult life I am renting my "own" house, that is, I am not just living with others for a time. I have never, as an adult had a place with a bathroom or hot running water. It has always been outhouse's ( which I still prefer) hauling and boiling water for me. The place is small and lovely, with many large windows overlooking a meadow with peaceful grazing horses. There is no central heat, only a wood stove, which I like as it keeps me more in touch with the natural world. Having more than one room is a wonderful luxury as well. I now have room to set up a fiber studio in and can finally bring my large floor loom out of storage from down in California.
Most importantly however, Sage loves the additional space. She runs around and around, dances, rolls on the floor and seems to play more enthusiastically. We are taking the other bedroom and making a playroom for her. There is a a lot of work that needs to be done on the place, and we prefer it that way. The birds are even getting larger quarters with a big aviary we are building in the living room for them and an outdoor one as well.
On the down side, one of the immediate differences I noticed was the greatly reduced connection with the natural world. I am used to ti-pis, yurts and bus's , dwellings with thin walls, where you can really hear wind blowing , the rain, even the sound of snow falling. In the house the walls are much thicker and so all the many wonderful outdoor nature sounds are eliminated. It is SO quiet, too quiet and almost claustrophobic. Not being able to hear the rain on the roof or hear and feel the wind blowing my home about, is rather like watching a movie with the sound turned off. I will adjust though and will dwell instead on the many opportunities this change presents for us.
There are horses here and many acres to run and explore on. I even found a way to reconcile my feeling that there is not enough wild-land for me. Across the road here, a charming and winding country road, and down about 1/4 of a mile, is the land we used to live on all those years ago in the tipi..many thousands of acres. There is a back door to the property there and I can ride the resident horse here, Tom , over and explore all I want. We also try to go for regular walks there. I feel very strongly that Sage should know what undomesticated, wild land is like, and that is the best I can do for now. The land does have many wild inhabitants . The other day while hiking , we crossed a stream and noticed fresh black bear tracks. Upon looking up we caught a fleeting glimpse of the tracks owner as he bumbled behind a tree. Sage said he was a dog and I of course pointed out that he was a bear. I like the idea that she witness's animals in the wild first, instead of a zoo.
So, Is this the big change I was anticipating ? If so, what does all this mean for the enchanted gypsies and our travel blog ?
Yes, I do think this is the change we were sensing, or the beginning of it anyway. It may not seem very momentous by most standards, but for us it is significant. It is possibly the beginning a new chapter in our lives. Being still for this time, weather it is ends up being just through the winter, or possibly longer term, will enable us to embark on many other projects that have been difficult or impossible to accomplish on the road. We can focus more time on developing our puppet show and I my fiber arts . Moss can finally work on and record his music, something almost impossible to do on the road and something he has neglected for far to long. We can grow a garden and if we stay on long term, are planning to get a few sheep, chickens ( for eggs) and raise some bees. In addition to that I can even get back into wildlife rehabilitation, which I had done for many years last time I went through a prolonged stationary phase.
As for the blog and it's future..well the content may change a bit as I grow and explore various topics, but it will remain, and I will continue to update it as well, when the mood strikes me ( or when enough angry people write demanding an update..LOL). You can expect detailed posts on everything from sheep rearing, mothering, felting projects, birdwatching, animal tracking and naturalist studies to case histories of various wildlife patients that may come through my doors ( if I end up back into rehab work).
After all, the Enchanted Gypsies are us, and our journey through life and how we view things, not just about our life in a bus or on the road.
As for the bus, it is now parked near our place and will be used, for the time being, as a recording studio for Moss's music. I do not see us ever parting with it and we will most definitely be living and travelling in it again, maybe in a year, maybe in two.....
Who knows ?
We could, and very likely will, leave here at any time, just as quickly as we arrived, in any manner or mode of transportation. Such is the nature of our lives, and we like it that way.
So how are we paying our 400 dollar rent in this new place ? We are still selling our fiber art online, which brings in a decent amount from time to time. We have also begun doing production type felting work. We are making large flat sheets of felt for a local leather shoe maker who wanted to add a line of felt shoes to his business. We make the felt and he cuts and sews them into shoes. The shoes are very different from ours which are done using a resist and are seamless. It does not pay a lot of money at this point but holds lots of promise.
In this manner, we hope to be able to make ends meet. We prefer to have less money and more time with Sage and each other. Getting a 9-5 job, if it is even possible for me having virtually no work history in the past 18 years to speak of, would sure make it difficult to spend time together as a family and pursue our creative endeavors, as those are our priorities.
I leave you with various pictures of life on the farm, our new home and pics of us on solstice morn...
Our view of the meadow from living room window.