Christmas 2011

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my future, but I haven’t made any decisions yet.  I love my Little-Apartment-on-the-Pond, I love my jobs and I love being close to family and friends, but as a renter, I know that this isn’t a permanent home…. as much as I may like it to be.   I don’t see myself ever having enough money to put down on a house or even affording the monthly payments on anything that would be for sale around here, so I don’t imagine I’ll ever be a home owner again…. at least not in this area.  So, what are my options?

I’m considering buying a trailer and building a Tiny House on it that I can tow from place to place until I figure out where I want to (or can afford to) land.  I telecommute, so my job can be done from anywhere that has access to the Internet.  The size trailer depends on how long I have to save up for the project and actually build the thing, and what vehicle I’ll be using to tow it.  Right now, I have a small truck with a towing capacity of under 3 tons and I don’t think I’d ask it to tow much more than a ton for any length of time.  But, I might consider getting a full-sized truck that would allow me to tow a bigger trailer, if I was really going to make a lifestyle out of this.

I have mixed feelings about ditching everything and moving into a trailer.  I’ve lived in various motor homes full-time for a total of three years and I never minded small living.  My ex-husband and I spent one of those years living and working at a State Park in Florida and it was a wonderful experience and I could see myself doing that; putting in my 20- hours for a free site and utilities and then working part-time to support myself.  I would miss my family and friends, but if I can’t afford to stay here, I have to do something.  The other big drawback to a mobile lifestyle would be the confusion for the cat and dog, although my dog Sammy seemed okay with being in the motor home and the cat was happy in it, as well, as long as we weren’t traveling.  Kitty isn’t a roadie.

I’ll probably be hashing this out in my mind for a while, but it’s one of the things I’m considering…. because at the moment, I can’t come up with anything else that will fit in my budget.  I’m very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it’s also become very expensive and the wages haven’t kept pace with the rising cost of housing.  I’m planning on staying for as long as I can but I need a Plan “B”.

I’ve also been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I don’t usually have any but this year mine is to limit my grocery shopping to once a month at the local market and once a month at the big-box store where I buy in bulk.  It would save money on impulse purchases and force me to plan ahead…. more than I already do, but one can always be more organized, and I’d probably eat healthier without impulse purchases, too!

Speaking of being more organized, I’ve been steadily working on purging all the garbage my ex-husband left behind.  He was a pack rat and he saved all kinds of stuff which may have had some value to him at one time, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was and since he’s abandoned this junk it’s going to the dump.  It’s a slow project as I go from closet to closet and cupboard to cupboard, but it’s coming along.  Every time I get another load of crap gone I feel so much better!  One of these days I’ll get him totally cleaned out of my life.

I’m also gradually getting my Christmas ducks in a row.  Not only to  prepare for the holiday, but my Dad sent me a new decoy that he’d carved for me plus another commercially made decoy to add to my collection of ducks that line the wall in my dining room.  I guess that birds might be considered an odd theme for a dining room in some circles, but I enjoy the various bird paintings, lithograph prints and carved birds I have in there.    They go nicely with the two pairs of mallard ducks that have moved into the pond in the back yard.  These ducks seem to be very happy in the pond, paddling around in the icy cold water, occasionally diving under to pluck a fish from the depths below them, with just their fluffy white bottoms above the water, looking like the exposed ruffled pantalettes and petticoats of a Southern belle as she bends over to pick a flower.  The ponds have been skimmed with ice on many chilly mornings so I wonder how long these mallards will hang around.

We’ve had our first real snowfall now and Sammy and I took our first Winter Wonderland walk of the season, coming home thoroughly dusted with snow.  It was beautiful with the trees and brush mantled with snow and the blue waters of the ponds clean and bright against the white backdrop.   The deer have been moving around a lot recently, so we’ve seen quite a few.  There have been several hunters in the woods so I imagine that the deer are spooked by all the extra people walking around.  This means that I have to keep a sharp eye out while Sammy & I are out in the woods, too.  I keep him on a leash and keep him close to me and I make sure we make a lot of noise.  I’ve only come across one hunter and I had a nice chat with him; told him where I’d be hiking so he’d know where I’d be.  The deer and I will feel more at ease when hunting season is over and we can stroll through the woods without being on constant alert.  I have nothing against hunters but I like our daily hikes better when I don’t have to think about the possibility of being mistaken for a deer.  Luckily, now that the leaves are all down, I can see quite a distance into the forest and I can scope out the area pretty well as we trudge along.

2012 is less than two weeks away, now, and I’m eager to start a new year.  New year…. new beginnings!

Dining Room With Ducks!