« Farewell Catalina, hello Tucson | Main | The "lock and leave" house »

Passing papers, passing time

Owning your own home is the American Dream. Going to the real estate closing is a pivotal moment in the process. Once you've signed all the papers, the house is yours, for good or for ill. And that's what we did today. We passed around sheets of paper until everything was signed and sealed. We'll get keys on Thursday when the deed is recorded.

Yet we have strangely ambivalent feelings about home ownership this time. Our perspective has changed so much. It has been two years (OK, one year and eleven months to be precise) since we sold our last house. In that time, we've been officially "homeless", roaming the country in our Airstream and it has become our primary residence.

With that experience, the fixed-location home feels like a second home ... a vacation place where we might live between extended trips in the Airstream. We're still trying to get our heads around the concept that this brick-and-mortar place is what we are supposed to call "home".

It's very much like going virtual with a business, or paying bills online, or switching from film to digital. Once you get used to the lack of physicality (no office, no paper, no negatives), you quickly get hooked on the advantages and before long you can't look back.

It is exactly like that with our house. Buying a brick-and-mortar house is like going back to paying bills with the checkbook. What's all this paper in my mailbox? I need envelopes? Stamps? How archaic!

Right now we are inclined to not take the house seriously. We bought it so we'd have a home base and Emma would have a place to go to school. But the Airstream still feels like the place we want to be. It's still our magic carpet. School schedules are going to seriously impinge on our travel -- we aren't kidding ourselves -- but the life of travel still calls.

I wonder how long that can last. Can we combine the lightweight, low-overhead existence we've enjoyed these past two years, with the obligations of home ownership? We're winning a few battles but they are small: the house won't have a phone installed, nor cable. When we are there we'll continue to use our cell phones.

But already the house has won a round too. We're stuck here for a couple of weeks while we arrange various services the house needs: roof replacement, electrical upgrades, minor plumbing fixes, etc. We'd rather be on the road exploring some corner of Arizona, but instead the house demands we stay close and give it our attention.

Subscribe to Airstream Life!

You'll notice the little ad for Airstream Life magazine above. I've been writing daily entries in this blog for eighteen months, and at this point we have over 600 entries and thousands of photos online. Unfortunately, the web hosting expenses have skyrocketed because of all the traffic we get now. I don't like the idea of putting out a "Donate" button on the blog because I would feel awkward cadging money from my friends who read it regularly.

So instead, once in a while you'll see an ad promoting Airstream Life magazine -- my day job. If you subscribe, thank you!, and if you don't you might give it a try even if you don't own an Airstream. At $16 bucks a year it's very affordable and a lot of fun to read. Click on the image above if you want to learn more.


home is going to be where you and Eleanor and Emma are...pretty soon you'll probably have a dog, cat and hamster...but we can vouch for them (all but the hamster)...they all travel well....

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please enter the security code you see here