Friday, August 17, 2007

On Not Missing My Stuff

It took me twenty minutes to pack. We'd lived in the tent for eight weeks. I could have stayed forever.

The tent was in a meadow nestled against a ridge, with two other tents. It backed onto the woods, so I kept the back flaps open, and if I kept only the left flap open in front, from my bed all I saw was meadow and then the far woods, steepening up against the ridge. At dusk, as we went to sleep, it was as if we were alone in the wilderness.

It's a big tent, with walls about four feet high and a pitched roof, up four steps on a platform sixteen foot square (not sure I'm saying that right: I mean sixteen feet on each side, not four). It had a double bed, a single bed, a big set of shelves for our clothes and a smaller double shelf with books on the bottom and things like toothbrushes, hairbrushes, lotion, a jewelry box, pens, a clock, a lamp, and an awful lot of flashlights on top. There was a bottle with water for brushing our teeth and an outhouse down the hill with the best view of any outhouse I know.

E and I mainly lived in the tent. S came up a few days a week, and M lived down the road in a bunk and a trunk. K spent one night, and her daughter N was there one night, and sometimes E had a friend sleep over.

It took me maybe 30 seconds a day to keep the tent clean. E brought up some toys and books, but aside from Bitty Baby and Teddy, she paid no attention to them. She was too busy training the goats, picking raspberries, braiding grass, swimming, and playing Hogwarts with her best friend. I had some books, but I didn't read very many of them.

There was one other time we lived in a different place, all of us. We went to London for several months with a suitcase apiece of clothes, one more suitcase of books and toys, and a laptop. S bought a guitar when we got there and sold it before we left. We were living in someone else's house, so there were toys and videos and CDs instead of goats and raspberries and grass, but the net effect was the same: I was perfectly happy without our stuff, with just a week's worth of clothes and some books and my family. I could have stayed forever.

Since we got home, there's been a lot of laundry and cleaning.

I like my house, but I miss my tent.


Kelly said...

oh, I've missed you so!!!

I would give many many things for a few weeks in that tent. It sounds heavenly.

Libby said...

It really does sound good--when we were in England for a summer without our stuff I didn't miss it, either. Though I did take my laptop...

We also had no phone and no car. No problem

Lucy said...

How utterly lovely. I miss your tent, too, and I wasn't even there.