I'm seriously thinking about buying a big-ass tent, a decent heater, and a chemical toilet, and camping out on Mom's property for the summer. In Alaska. With three cats. And a shotgun, most likely, in case of bears. Yeah, plenty of reasons to question my rationality right there. For those of you who've been following along (and for those of you who haven't), let me explain: We were planning on moving to Colorado this spring. NSA's family is there, it's a beautiful place, and we have no real ties to Southern California. BUT, since my mom died, I've been in a strange and funky place (and I don't mean that in a Lipps, Inc. kind of way), and her property needs a LOT of attention before it can either be occupied or sold. Cleaning out the house itself is probably at least a two month project. There's also a travel trailer, two sheds, and an old school bus full of crap as well. Jesus, just writing that comes across so hillbilly/white trash, I feel like I should be pregnant and barefoot in the Appalachians somewhere.
NSA and I have been considering moving back to Alaska and renting an apartment, but both of us really don't want to have to spend the winter there, shipping all of our stuff is expensive, and neither of us want to feel trapped by decisions Mom made. So what's the compromise? What can we live with? Well, NSA is the disabled one, so if he feels that he can spend a few months in a tent, then I can too. If we get Mom's place into a habitable state, then good, we won't be stuck in a lease. And if the house isn't decent by the end of summer, then at least most of the trash will be removed and it will be in better condition to board up and leave for the following winter. Storing the bulk of our stuff is definitely less expensive than shipping it, and it leaves the option of moving to Colorado (or somewhere else) open.
I realize that for some, spending a summer in a tent in Alaska sounds a little bit like Hell on earth, while for others, it's a dream vacation. I know quite a few people who've done it, even in the winter, while building a house, working in fish processing, doing wildlife research. Not having to pay rent would mean that we could live on a reduced income, and in this age of cell phones and wireless broadband, of movies and T.V. shows delivered directly to your computer, it could actually be pretty comfortable. Or it could be a horribly bad idea that ends tragically with my face being eaten by a bear. I guess we'll just have to see.