May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Enchanted Gypsy Has Landed

When I last left you we were parked on friends land in Oregon making preparations for our bus renovations. I had been feeling as though we were on the verge of some momentous change....and indeed I was correct..

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.

Sage rolls on the floor, enjoying the extra space to play.

Feeding Tom.

A funny picture of Sage, laughing and bouncing on the trampoline.


Anonymous said...

Yay! A post!! It is so nice to settle down for a bit in a home, I'm sure...some space, time to reflect. Be yourselves, no matter where that is...don't feel you *have* to be wanderers...just go where your heart leads you.

Sage is getting so big. I know you must be enjoying this time with her and now that she's getting older, some time to do the things you enjoy also! :0)

Love and Hugs from Tennessee~

hippymummy said...

How happy your little girl looks! I can't believe how much she has grown! So, your intuition was proved correct and here you are starting a new chapter. As far as your difficulty in adapting to your current stationary lifestyle, just remember that it is only a chapter, not the end of the book. I'm pretty sure that there're many chapters yet to write, each period in our lives happens for a purpose, even if we can't always see it in the beginning. Sage has too much of her parents in her to need four brick (or wood) walls around her forever. I look forward to hearing about you getting back in contact with the spirit of the place that you lived in and loved for so long. Also, we mustn't forget, the opportunity to introduce Sage to this wild and beautiful place, one of the few places that hasn't been completely scarred and/or ruined by man. You now have the chance to let her really know and feel the magic of the place, something that a fleeting visit couldn't allow.
What a wonderfully exciting time this is for your family! I for one wait with baited breath to read about this new and exciting chapter! xXx

Allyn said...

delurking to express my joy that you are all doing well and are ever-changing and evolving. it's good to be still for a while; you and the bus need a little rest before any forthcoming adventures in the coming months, years, and decades.
glad to see you're enjoying your home! :D

Nina said...

Congratulations on this new change in your life. As a mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 21 months, I totally can relate to wanted to stay in one place. We traveled this summer for three months in a very small RV and I came to the conclusion that it is not the right time to travel full time. I still want to take to the road but more likely when they are a bit older. Instead we are looking for land in hopes of living similarly to what you described. I want my girls to explore the land, know of all the trees and hiding places intimately. I want to grow a huge garden and have chickens and make soap- I could go on and on. And I TOTALLY understand when you say this is a big change for you. For so many settling down is just the logical next step in life, but settling down is something I never considered......and I have to admit the joy I have experienced in the idea of settling down is a pleasant surprise.

I look forward to following this blog and all the changes that are to come.


Anonymous said...

Soon, I will ask to buy some of your felt. Thanks!
Baree, son of Kazan and Greywolf

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can now work on a brother or sister for Sage? Enjoy this time together:)

I am so glad you are back writing again....


Unknown said...

So wonderful to get an update! I understand, completely, the Gratitude you feel as you settle into your new nest. Roots are a comforting thing to put down, even if for a short while. Wings are great to take us where the wind blows us. And you have *both*! Enjoy the Journey...

Anonymous said...

my partner & i found your blog a few months ago & love it. there seems to be a lot of similarities between us, despite your having traveled much longer (& being older & having a child, etc etc). we've lived & migrated in an old travel trailer for two & a half years now, & we often debate about these same things in regards to space & being rooted somewhere. but whenever we think of being still with four real walls around us i start to feel claustrophobic, & wonder if i would stop feeling this connection to the "outside world" (aka REAL world) that we're been lucky enough (hehe) to experience with no heat, a leaky roof, & a home that rocks around in the wind. the idea of space is sometimes really intoxicating though - i used to weave & would love to have a loom, my partner also makes music & hasn't felt totally comfortable recording in here yet, & i haven't really felt like i could spread out with my art. though i know technically all that could be worked around, sometimes i do fantasize about living in a house where we're snug & warm & don't have to fear rain, & can have all our possessions with us again.
anyway, just wanted to say hello & that i enjoy your blog very much & definitely hope it continues whether you stay still for a while or not. xo.

Alicia said...

Hey cousin! So glad to read a post from you.

I can't believe how big Sage is. She is just as beautiful as her momma!

I am sure this new chapter in your life will take some time to adjust. But I think it is good for Sage to see all different lifestyle's. Right now being in a home is just something new for her...something different to explore.

Remember...if you ever want to drive east, I have some land for you to park on! Lots of woods to explore!

Love, Alicia

Chris said...

Oh my God, what's next, a tv and cable????
As long as your happy nothing else matters.
Glad you like the new place but I hope you don't abandon the bus and traveling.. I enjoy reading your blog and have for some time..
Stay safe and warm,

Chris in Indiana....

Lizz said...

Lovely, lovely little place. Glad to know your here to stay (for the time)! Love to come and hike around with you. Will you be doing(have you considered) Saturday Market? I know you've lived here before.

Love and Bless~

Kate said...

Sage is growing up! And so gorgeous! I think she looks like a mix of her wonderful parents, and I feel like I've come to know you all through your amazing blog.

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone so much for the well wish's !

Jenn ~'s funny there always has been this little piece of me that wants to wander..and yes, I do feel bad about leaving the bus now. I know that it is only for a time though..

Hippymummy ~ Woah..your post was really heartfelt and so close to what I feel that I had to look twice to make sure you wernt a relative of mine. I feel you are very intuitive...your post was just so right made me cry..

3 Moons ~ You are a kindred spirit sister...I am hoping you soon find your place to land as well..

Anonymous Kentucky ~ A sibling for little Sage..hmmmmm

Karen ~ "Roots are a comforting thing to put down, even if for a short while. Wings are great to take us where the wind blows us "

Beautiful, thank you that...

Leafnest ! ~ Hello sister. It is great, a home that rocks about in the wind, isnt it ? That sounds so crazy too most people. Wow, it seems like you are another kindred spirit and that we definitely have a lot in common. I have felt conflicted between settling down and wanderfing for is my triple virgo, very homey nature mixed with my natural longing to wander. What I am finding is that having a homebase to come back to, then traveling out from there is what I really want...

Alicia ! ~ Nice to hear from you and when we come to PA ( we may be in Feb !) I would love to see you guys !

Chris ~ Ha, ha, ha.... No worries we would never get a tv and cable and we most certainly will be travelling in the bus, or some other house bus conversion again..

Lizz ! Yes, we will be at Saturday Market and yes lets do get together for a hike. I live right out Lorane hwy..

Kate ~ Yes she is getting so big. I look at her sometimes and it's like she is a little doll that has suddenly come to life. I thibk she looks a lot like Moss. I cant believe how much I love her...

Nikki ( said...

How exciting. We are always making jokes about the "stone house" dwellers, as we call them, and talking about how spending time in stone houses is so different, just like you said with not hearing the rain and the wind, a strangely chlostrophobic, alienating feeling. a ll the same there are, as you describe, many luxuries in living in a stone house to be enjoyed. best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, fellow MDC mama...

So nice to see an update! I've been checking periodically, and for once, there's something here!

The house looks beautiful, but not as gorgeous as Sage is. Enjoy this time!

Alicia said...

I would love to see you and meet your family!! And for you to meet mine!

ArtNomadix said...

Hi there, I found your blog thru my friend Hellena, who also has lived in a bus, and still plans to travel again.
I lived on the road here in Australia for 12 years, 8 in a pop-top campervan ! and the last four in a small bus, having 9 months 'off' the road to fit it out.
that last year we kept asking ourselves. "Well we've had 12 years, will we make 15 ?", I was dreaming of a fixed abode studio and my partner loved the driving and always wanted to be somewhere else, and the bigger vehicle used more fuel and thus we had to travel more slowly. Which was fine for me as I am happy creating something wherever I am !

Th e bus decided for us when we returned to this Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales, on the East Coast of Oz, just below Brisbane, we lost third gear.
'Dancer' our bus still sits awaiting her new gearbox, and a re-paint, which seems impossible to get done with our sub-tropical humid weather, and life lived in one spot syndrome.

But thanks to being in a fixed abode house and studio, I have been able to teach myself to use this computer and start selling on-line , slowly LOL

Lovely to meet you, a fellow nomad, enjoying life wherever you are, for how ever long you are there,

Love, Light, and Rainbows...Megg

Kim Caro said...

wow what a beautiful story and images :)

lala412 said...

Just wondering how you were all doing! It has been a while since that last post. I started following you last year because I am saving up for my own home on wheels, but I think if I had a toddler I would probably settle down again for a while as well. :-) The area you are in sounds lovely, and the house looks beautiful! Were you able to get your floor loom out of storage? I have quite a few small hand looms, but I move too often (for work) to invest in a large loom. Am thinking of a rigid heddle loom, at least, though I do like what I can make with the little ones and my spool knitters.
Hope you are well!

Rick Brentlinger said...

I wanted to pass along this website because the cool items they make reminded me of you guys.

Make cool jewelry from old, silver plated flatware.I find silver plated flatwear at yard sales and flea markets for about 25 cents each piece - sometimes you can find 50 pieces for $5.

Hope you all are doing fine, enjoying the coming of spring.

Rick B - a reader in Florida.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! Please post more and let us know how you're doing.

Allen said...

I chanced upon to view your blog and found it very interesting. Great ... Keep it up!

Drybones said...

I know this is an old post of yours, but I just stumbled across it and I wanted to say thank you. I too have recently needed to become, at least for the moment, stationary. After many years on the road I knew if I didn't finish school now I never would. So I made a hard choice, packed up my tent, and went back to my home town. It hasn't been an easy transition and I have to fight the urge every day to go back the road. And it's hard to neglect my own craft business for something so distant as a degree.
The way you talked about the claustrophobia of being in a house really hit a chord with me. I know exactly what you mean but could never put it so well. Late, bleary, nights I still put on my boots to walk into the bathroom. Ha!
I haven't found a place I feel is as "home" as the road was, but I'm hoping some of your peace of mind and reflection will rub off on me.
Thanks again.