I am a wanderer by nature. I come by it naturally. Growing up in a household with a successful salesman, we moved about every four years. I thought it was exciting. An adventure. I would re-invent myself with every new town and school. With each new location, we redefined what “home” is. For me, this became more of an internal experience.
When the opportunity arose for me to leap onto the seasonal work train it was a perfect fit. I would spend my winters working on a ranch in the Sonoran Desert and my summers in the Rocky Mountains. Every thing I owned in the world fit into my pick-up truck. I was incredibly proud of my minimalist lifestyle. Too, there was a certain romance to living and working in some of the most beautiful, pristine landscapes on the planet. Oh, and with cowboys, mind you. The real deal. (But that’s another story.)
I nicknamed my truck “turtle” for obvious reasons. I carefully selected what clothes I collected and discarded; what books I cherished enough to bring along; what rocks, seashells, feathers would travel with me. And when I arrived at a ranch, I set up my room with a certain innate Feng Shui finesse.
One of my touchstones throughout my years as a ranch gypsy was NPR. Being in the middle of nowhere, TV reception was not an option. Remarkably, no matter where I happened to be, I could always pick up NPR on the radio. When traveling from north to south and back again, I could count on the voices of Garrison, Sue Scott, and Michael Feldman to carry me along.
Four years ago I decided to come in for a landing. I’ve attempted this “settling down” thing before. I would last about a year. My yard sales were legendary. A friend still recalls the sight of me running to her truck with the lamp she had just purchased. I couldn’t get back to “turtle size” fast enough. But I could tell. This time I was ready.
I decided to explore the eastern seaboard and fell in love with Charleston, South Carolina. Moving from the southwest to the south was monumental on so many levels. Still, I had learned. My home was something that traveled with me. A place approximately in the center of my chest. Guided by intuition and something that feels more like trust than faith. And maybe even Guy Noir.
How does a wanderer settle into a place and still, well…wander? It’s about adventure. I have taken a variety of classes and spontaneous day trips. And I have collected far more than a bed that is too big to fit in my truck. I have an amazing partner. I adore my chocolate lab. And I still place each object in my home with a certain uncanny and inexplicable precision. My radio? Still tuned to NPR.
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