Sunday, August 11, 2013


The van is almost complete. I think. It's clear, though, that my stuff needs more trimming.

How many pairs of socks do I really need?

What about the box of art supplies?

One seven-gallon water jug instead of two?

What's on these hard drives? Does not remembering mean there's actually nothing all that important on them? I need to check.

Nearly every shirt I've worn the past six weeks is now permanently stained with something or other. Do I keep some of them for when I need to do dirty work in the future? Or do I just toss them to lighten the load?

Tools. Wrenches (metric and SAE), pliers, screwdrivers, drill bits, clamps. A sledge hammer? Well, something might need to be pounded. Hard. Can I consolidate it into one tool box instead of three? Oh, wait, there's the electrical stuff, too.

Meanwhile, more things are on the way. A small folding table. A cell phone antenna. A wifi booster. Caulk.

I look back at this transitional life, living out of a 6x12 trailer in a friend's back yard, and think about what material things I've actually used—other than tools to outfit the van. Not much. Changes of clothes. Grooming needs. Bedding. Laptop...

I used to be proud that I could leave the house with just my wallet, keys and phone. I used to shake my head at all the stuff I had that was just taking up space. So why now do I worry that I might not have enough things? Because there's no home base? No anchor? Yeah, probably.


  1. WHat have you settled on for "necessary" tools and how many change of clothes? How often do you do laundry? Thanks!

  2. Let's see, I have a set of SAE and metric wrenches, some screwdrivers and pliers, a hammer and 3 pound sledge, cordless drill and a few other odds and ends. It fits in one toolbox. I have about two dozen sets of underwear, a dozen pairs of socks, four pairs of long pants, six shorts, a dozen or so long and short sleeved t-shirts, a fleece pullover, a hoodie, a down vest, a jacket, a knit cap, a couple of ball caps and a sun hat. I do laundry when the 3' by 1' duffle I use for dirty laundry won't fit back into its cubby hole, which means doing laundry about every three or four weeks, depending on the season.

    1. Now, seven years later, the tools are about the same, but clothing has shifted. I rarely wear socks, so I haven't replaced the ones lost in the laundry. And now, more fitting with the actual weather I've encountered, there are fewer shorts and more long pants.