Archives for posts with tag: camper

We are now o-fficially camper dwellers. Sort of. We have a series of house-sitting gigs lined up to delay our camper dwelling status. In the meantime, we’re working hard to get camper life as amenable as possible, starting with a visit from my favorite pest control professional Charles. Charles is the renaissance man of pest control. He can speak intelligently on most topics, but when it comes to bugs he is a walking encyclopedia. We walked my property while he educated me on the various types of wasps, ants, flies, roaches and other insect life we saw. When we got to the camper I asked him what he could do to ensure we wouldn’t have any creepy crawlies inside and keep the mosquitoes to a minimum outside. His response:

“See this nice pine tree providing shade to your camper, and all the roots running along the ground underneath it? Termites love pine tree roots. And fire ants’ favorite food is termites. And carpenter ants’ favorite place to live is old termite burrows. You are living on top of a great big ant hill. See how close you are to the water, how pretty that is? I can’t treat any area that close to the water under Florida law.”

Two hours later Richard was at Home Depot spending a fortune on poison. We all now dress in hazmat suits and gas masks. Camper dwelling appears to have many surprises in store.

You know how sometimes in moments of relationship strife you say truths that are better left unsaid? I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I kept staring at the camper in disbelief that Richard would subject his family to this miniscule living space. So I said it. And I felt awful.

But then – Whittington Plumbing ran water lines from the mains and an electrician got the camper hooked up to “shore power” (I’m learning camperese), we popped out the living/dining area and voila – from mini to maxi living. Sliding out that 30 square feet was like slipping on elastic-waisted pants, so roomy and comfortable!

Sexy slide-out room

But then – we tried turning on the air conditioner. Nada. Andy tested the fuses, checked the current, scratched his head. Sigh. Elastic-waisted polyester pants, roomy but hot and scratchy. Another problem to solve.

Richard admiring the kitchen

But then – two large owls flew overhead and perched on a limb just over our camper. We sat outside our polyester pants camper with the kids and watched the owls watch us while they peeped softly to each other. Truth is, it’s all just part of the big adventure.

What do you get when you cross a sunny day, a shovel, and a canine? My son’s latest riddle.

It was in the 90s today, humid, my clothes were soaked through after about 15 minutes at the new house. Summer here will be interesting. Our whole rhythm of life is about to change, much more sensitive to the weather. I realized I have signed on for an upscale camping experience except that I still have to go to work and pretend I’m not camping on weekdays.

Home sweet mobile home

Tony Rieck put on his game face in the heat and took photos for us while Joe Dunbar worked on stripping the pine trees of vines and clearing for pickup the rest of the oak tree trunk he fell  (about two feet in diameter). Some of the vines have grown through the chain link fence and are about 3-4 inches in diameter. We’re going to need a chain saw for this property.

Joe about 50 feet up

My new favorite store is General RV on The Westside. They have flamingo and palm tree lights we can string along our awning. And lots of stuff I never knew I’d need (as opposed to the aforementioned lights which I’d anticipated): large mildew-resistant entrance mat, clips to prevent the awning from flapping in wind, shade bubbles for the skylights, a cedar slatted platform for the outdoor shower, etc.

Kids got to see their bunk beds and the 10 inch tv sans cable and are delighted.

Kate in flamenco dress using pneumatic wood splitter with Justin

I am currently lying in my luscious king-sized, Sealy Posturpedic bed with 400 thread count sheets already mourning the experience. It might be the thing I’ll look forward to the most during this renovation. That and being able to raise my arms straight above my head while standing inside the space I call home.

View of house from camper

Signs of life - our temp mailbox and "no trespass" sign

Sometimes before you go big, you have to go small – we’ll be living in a 300 square foot camper while our 3,600 square foot house is repaired. Sure the kids are excited, they’ll have bunk beds and a pool outside the front door. Me, I vacillate between images of running screaming into the river being chased by a cloud of encephalitic mosquitoes and a serene evening sitting in a deck chair watching the sun set with my hair wrapped in a towel à la Raising Arizona.

But that’s not the latest – we have finally closed on our renovation loan and have our building permits! Our friendly neighborhood forester Joe Dunbar and crew have carefully removed six large trees to clear a path for the crane and scaffolding, and the kids and I have drawn up plans for the tree house we’ll construct while the real house is getting repaired. We may be going small, but we’re still thinking big.