After Mama finished telling me about some cousins of mine who hitchhiked from here to California I asked her whether or not that might be where I get my yearning for adventure from. She laughed and said it could be, as her own mama’s side of the family sometimes lived like gypsies.
Those cousins nearly starved to death as they worked their way across the country, washing dishes where they could to earn a few scarce meals from here to there. One day they found a dime down in a sewer grate and used it to split a bag of popcorn, which they later told was the best tasting thing they’d ever had to eat in their lives.
I don’t know why the lives of vagabonds have always held such appeal to me. Me, who has never been more than a few hundred miles away from home. Me, who came home every weekend that I lived away during college and every other weekend that I lived away during the first two years of my marriage. It is an appealing idea though.
The thing is, it’s like that Janis Joplin song says, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. I guess I’ve always had too much to lose to be as adventurous as people who just take off walking one day and never know where they might end up. That’s not a bad thing.
So I’ve been thinking that I guess maybe it’s not the idea of rambling that really appeals to me. It couldn’t be that, since I do like to be in my own home every night by sundown. I guess it’s just the simplicity that prepossess me.
I told my parents this week that I wanted to live in an RV, or maybe just a really little house. They think it’s ridiculous. “Where will the children play,?” they ask. I’m baffled as I give them the obvious answer. “Outside.”
I told them both I blame their generation for coming up with this notion that you need a big house to raise a family in. It makes but little sense to me to work towards the goal of having a huge place to live where everyone has their own space and no one has to ever see each other and eventually it just becomes a place to put all the junk you don’t need.
The ol’ husband refuses to even give the idea any consideration, even though we don’t use 75 percent of our house (and it’s not even very big). In the evening when everyone is home, we eat and watch a little television and start getting ready for bed by 8 p.m. What’s the point in having anything other than a stove, a bathroom and somewhere to sleep?
I sure couldn’t tell you.