We had only been back in Portland for a few months, but our outlook on staying much longer was sopping wet. There were many days that we stayed curled up in bed. The cold drained our spirits. We were too fatigued to do much else.
After many blurred weeks, I did what I could to fight back. My only guess was that the mold had weakened our immune systems, and we lacked Vitamin D, plus perhaps a peppering of seasonal depression. Often times, I would listlessly walk into the gym, just for a change of scenery.
The temperature rose before the sun. The days began to get warmer by the time we were finally prepared for the cold. Slowly we began to have more energy, and the downpour lightened. Goose (our cat) was our thermometer. We knew spring was near when he would sleep on top of the bed, as opposed to being snuggled up under the sheets – tucked between the only things producing any warmth.
We had managed a winter without heat, which was an achievement that far surpassed our summer without A/C. The summer had been a physical trial, but it hadn’t prepared us for the dark. It took our sleep away, while the cold forced it on us. And as the sky lightened, I was already celebrating the achievement of having lived in the bus for a year.
We had made so many changes, and learned so much. While it had been difficult, it had also been exceptionally rewarding. I have never owned a home, or land, or anything that I could have worked on and built up until the bus.
The only way that I knew to celebrate the year was to ask Cody if he was ready for another. I asked myself if I was ready. The summer would be brutal again, but we knew what to do this time. We would face days of darkness and rain with only 120 sq ft to live in. But, we had been through all of that before.
I half expected Cody to say he was ready to get back into an apartment, which I also expected from myself. There would be nothing wrong with walking away – back to a small apartment, after a great adventure. But, as we had been smiling on that first day, clipping curbs driving it back from the lot, we were excited for what the next year would bring. It was our home now, and we still had so many more adventures ahead of us.
Suddenly, everything was beautiful. The summer months in Portland made living in the bus about as good as it could get, allowing us to forgive it for the winter it had delivered. And, Goose has plenty of warm weather to get out and walk through the grass.
So, we’ve decided to give this town another go. Nothing is permanent. We can leave when it’s time; when the rain gets to be too much, or the summer doesn’t dry us out enough. It really doesn’t matter. We can be happy anywhere. Without the bus, this is a lesson we may have never learned.