The state of the Vardo

We’ve been goofing off in Oregon for a while. Now we’re back on the road south.

In Salem we met a friend. Her name is Sam, and she’s awesome. How to sum her up? Can’t. She’s a good human. She didn’t even hesitate to make us a part of her great family, her community–a resource she has built and cultivated like few people I know. We stayed with her for quite a while. It was a sad parting when it was time to go. We’ll meet again; of this I am certain. While we were with her, we felt at home–something we’ve found in short supply since we left.

Nebuchadnezzar continues to keep us out of the weather and gets us where we need to go, faithful vardo that he is. We’ve sold off our bikes, which were slowly rusting and getting little use. We continue to hone our strategies for living in such cramped space, but we’ve long since adjusted to the basic realities of it.

Which is not to say it’s without problems; our expensive refrigerator died, which is sort of moot since our “deep cycle” batteries have degraded to the point that they wouldn’t keep it running overnight anyhow. A lack of storage space leads to a somewhat chaotic organizational scheme. Gas is expensive (although I have learned various strategies to get our mileage up to 17MPG+ on the freeway). None of these are killers, and certainly not worse than the similar–and more expensive–issues we’d certainly face as house-owners. We have a list of solutions to implement when we get back to Tucson and have a little more access to tools and free advice: a bed platform to add storage and elbow room for sleeping; new, higher-quality AGM batteries; and so on. Just add money! For now, we’re getting along just fine with the very kind loan of a Coleman electric cooler to keep our perishables from spoiling (thanks, Sara!)

Speaking of money, we’ve been doing OK on that front as well, thanks to a consulting engineering gig in Portland (still in progress), some web design work, some jewelry resales, and a few odd jobs. It’s not so hard to fund yourself when you don’t have to pay rent!

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