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In the past three years my life has gotten smaller and more compact. I’ve given away, sold, thrown away, and donated nearly everything I own. Yet I’ve never been happier. While my life is small, its also bigger than the wide world because of the people I’ve met, the scenes that take my breath away, the confidence I’ve gained in overcoming obstacles, kindnesses that have been shown to me, and in the friends I’ve made.
As I move into this nomad life, my priorities are changing as I find my purpose and meaning. I’m wanting to accomplish different things. Most important is my desire to share what I’ve learned with others. With you! Its no longer enough to keep it to myself. I don’t just want you to learn how to draw or paint, but more importantly, I want you to learn to do creative things that are just right for you and that let you live in the moment.
The last house I owned was a log home; large with a wonderful studio, where I spent a good portion of my day. In that room, I edited film, did photography, read, painted, taught art, hosted Bible Study groups, framed finished art projects, watched movies, and spent a lot of time entertaining friends and family. The cabin was also a bed and breakfast. Many of the guests gravitated to my studio, where I often invited them join me at the long table and handed them some paper and colored pencils or art pens. “Lets do art”, I’d say. The room was comfortable and occupants immediately felt at ease. While learning some little art task, they would tell me about their dreams in life. I loved being there. I loved the people who visited. I was comforted by the place.
Now I’m a grey nomad. I didn’t decide to do that on a whim, although, once the decision was made, it was put into action quickly. A lot of thought, over many months, went into my decision. Thought and research. I talked about all that in previous posts.
When you get a good idea, it just sort of refuses to leave. Especially if it’s a great idea.
Here I am now, two and a half months into my adventure; my idea turned into a little home for myself.
Right now I, my little home, and Sophia are visiting friends in Ohio. This is our first trek and I admit I was a wee bit anxious at first. Okay. Maybe for the entire drive. Would I be able to find a gas station I’d fit into with my rig? How long would it take? Did I miss a turn, because it felt like nothing was familiar? Oh, look. I recognize that. No missed turn. Would I be able to back into the driveway at my destination, in the dark? But here, at last, we are.
I’ll spend a week here, heading back to Pennsylvania Saturday. From then until early November, life will become a comfortable routine of campground life. I have a summer job in the office at the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. Yogi is a large, busy place with lots of amenities and guests. At one time or another every single guest passes through the office. The RV is parked at another campground nearby. Both locations are nestled in the woods, surrounded by Amish farms and roadways are shared with horse drawn carriages.
The comforts of RV life? I’m comforted by this small environment. My art/computer desk faces a large window that looks out on summer scenes serenaded by a plethora of birds. My art table itself is a comfort to me. It’s made from a table I bought from a second hand shop. The legs were discarded when it was put in here, but it fits perfectly.
Lately I feel ready to change the way I do art. In this limited space its more practical to work on small projects, using perhaps colored pencils, pastels, and watercolor. What I’ll do with the little projects, I have no idea. Art has been my voice, a way of communicating my heart to the world around me. The message has changed and it isn’t clear what new messages I’d want to paint. The bigger question – do I have anything to say that anyone would want to hear?
In the meantime, here I am. Cooking meals for myself in my little corner kitchen.
Spending time in my corner art studio
and gazing out the window at whatever scene is there at the moment
Comfort is a process; a niche to find and settle into. The sentimental, comforting things I keep must be settled on, keeping in mind the weight they add vs the joy they bring.
In the kitchen my mom’s recipe box sits next to the a favorite basket, on the counter by the window.
So there you have it. No matter where you live, you can be comforted by the little things in life.