Zen and the modern camper girl

I am hard pressed to say why I love our camper so. It’s a mid-90s model replete with golden oak and pale blue Formica and a modern (c. 1995) feel.

These are all the things I swore to eschew when we willingly and of our own volition moved into an old home. Our house is all crannies and nooks and soaring ceilings and rich, dark woods. It is quirky, not open. It is full of things and stuff.

Our camper is small but open. At just 21 foot in length it is roughly the size of a living room (if that). The cabinets hold just what you will need with no room for “might need.” The sofa and the dinette nearly touch. There are a few storage nooks but you have to be choosy about what you pack.

I love it so much it hurts.

Tent

This all started with a tent. A few years ago we purchased an $80 tent and set out to become camping type people. By this I mean I always had clean sheets, an inflatable air mattress and a power cord, however long it took to make it all the way to the nearest electrical outlet — even if that outlet was located back at my home.

As an outdoorswoman, I’m an abject failure. I’m indoors all the way. I’m not the type of girl to be out checking her whip line (zip line?) or polishing up her Gore-Tex. Or wiping it down or whatever it is one does with it. See, I can’t even cop the lingo.

The camper, then, is my attempt to be outdoorsy without having to, you know, go outdoors. It’s cute and cunning and we did pick a smaller size so we could, at the very least, be all sniffy and superior about how we really do make do with less and go without — and I mean we have to fold down two of our beds at night and everything.

Yes, that is just like the pioneers did it. Right after they checked the fridge for snacks, took a hot shower, and flipped on the central air.

Have I mentioned how much I love our camper?

Love

Granted we would probably go stark screaming mad if we had to actually live in 21 feet of space. Yet in vacation use I find it darling. I love how everything fits together just so. I love how you have everything you need, but not much extra.

I love how we all tuck in at night, tightly cocooned. I love that the entire thing takes less than 15 minutes to clean. I love how it boils down to some wants, some needs and very little “extra.”

Packing and unpacking I do start to wonder how much of what fills our home — and our lives — is what we really “need.” Even living the luxe life of camper people, you realize very quickly that packing extra “baggage” costs you in time, money (extra fuel) and pure energy to haul it around.

You learn to pare down. To want less. To streamline what you really must have from that which you really can do without. That’s a great metaphor for life too. Take only what you need, cherish a few chosen “wants” and let the clutter and extra “baggage” go. Also, pack wine.

Good fit

Looking at the 21 feet that holds my most precious people safe, I realize that all I really need in life can easily fit in here. It fits wherever they do.

I’m so Zen that in my next life I’m so going to be a nomad. The kind of nomad who travels light and lives close to the land — or, y’know, close to the camper and ample food and hot water with a soft cushy bed at night.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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