The Westfalia has been really useful lately in powering small appliances when we were under peak event power restrictions from Portland General Electric. In the morning, I’ve been putting it in neutral, unlocking the hand brake and pushing it slowly in the driveway to get the Van and its solar panel under the sun. It’s then pretty easy to just plug in the slow cooker or the dehydrator and use some of that “free” energy. Yes, I realize the irony of using all the technology to dehydrate food instead of directly using the sun but I figured that since we have it, it’s an acceptable compromise.
And as I take the Van out this way more often, I get used to the inclination of the driveway and how hard and how long I need to push before I start holding it steady to put it in place. Every day, I do this faster because of my increased confidence.
In the last few days, I found myself wanting to keep the momentum going and just pushing the Van until I get to the road. When I bring it to a stop by pushing it in the opposite direction, I find myself walking away and thinking of how nice it would be to just get on board, have the rest of the family join in and just drive away.
Yes, it’s a ridiculous thought. We’d want to put some of our gear and camping essentials in the Van before going. But it’s not so much the litteral idea of leaving impulsively rather than just making that decision and then being free to go as we get ready.
Now, reflecting on those thoughts, I interpret this as a manifestation of my desire to break free from the many prisons within prisons that we’re stuck in. The relatively high rent that we’re paying meaning having to work full-time. Even if we dropped the rent and adopted a semi-nomadic life for a little while, we’d still not be free (we need to have driver’s license, pay taxes, health and car insurance, etc.) but, depending on what would come next, what we’d learn and where we’d end up, we could be getting a few inches closer.