Van Life: In The Beginning

“That was the captivation of it to me. If it had ever been meant to be lived in, I might have thought it small, or inconvenient, or lonely; but never having been designed for any such use, it became a perfect abode.” – David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)

I moved into my rolling home, affectionately nicknamed The Sylvan, a month ago. Now that my build is functionally complete, I have more time to focus on activities like writing. It would also be fair to say that it is because my build is at the liveable stage that I am writing in the first place.

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Van Life: Moving House

What if the house you built with your own two hands was capable of moving to any forest, lake, or city?” That is the question pondered in my first monthly van life column for The Selkirk Sentinel. This series of articles will cover the whys and hows of entering and living life in the ex-cargo box of my 1990 GMC Grumman Olson Step Van.

Already some interesting challenges have presented themselves. In my first few weeks, I had to get stitches in my thumb (I lost a knife fight with an avocado) and an attempt was made to break into the van while I was laying in bed. Those small moments of negativity may once have seemed more significant. But the sheer volume of greater experiences has already faded their memory. I’ve parked by streams and rivers with my kayak and rod ready to go when I wake, in moss covered forests, and at the base of hiking trails. Ok yes, there were a few parking lots but those don’t seem so strange any longer. The first month has gone very well. Looking forward, I am filled with excitement and anticipation.

Assimilation Shall Impress

It is morning and the sound of Mr Fritz’s voice is muffled by the haze sleep which hovers over the heads of my fellow seventh graders. Large letters appear on the board in a tilted cursive script which appears to me more like a yellow chalk coloured blotch scrawled across the blackboard. It is morning and my head is like the bear; full of fluff.

A piece of rolled up sheet music hits me in the nape of my neck, breaking me out of the monotony of the daily morning routine. Seeing the page, I know instantly which of my classmates is responsible. It is covered with sketches of cars, tanks and uniformed men with overly large heads.

As I turn around, the face of the culprit greets me from across the room. Aden’s round short-haired face is beaming and he leans across his desk.

“Can you believe we have to read this?” he says waving a small purple book with his left hand.

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