Being on the move all the time takes a certain mindset--one of non-permanence, non-community, and non-rootedness. It takes a while to get used to when you've lived 20+ years in the same place and have long ties to the community and your friends.
My niece may kill me for saying this but a shopping day with her helped me down the path of embracing this new nomadic / gypsy way of life. We were fortunate to meet up with her in St Augustine, FL and visited for a few days. She loves to shop so for a day I loved to shop too. After our visit Rob and I were leaving Florida and I told Rob, "Going in those shops annoyed me! It was like they were telling us we should like this color, this style, this thing over that thing. I like what I like, not what they tell me to like!" (yes, I know the purpose of shopping is to find things that express who you are but I've always felt it more like someone was telling me what I should buy.)
Friends, especially high school friends, may not be surprised by that revelation but I surprised myself with how passionately I felt it at that moment. Rob called me a maverick, I started to think about making my own clothes. :-)
Then today, the oddest place helped me go even further into the world of nomads...the Mardi Gras museum in Bay St Louis, Mississippi. Here I found extraordinary, ambitious, and beautiful costumes on display. All hand made by a local artist, Carter Church, who has been doing this work for decades. The artist doesn't look like a flamboyant person, and yet his creations are magnificently over the top.
As I wandered around taking photo after photo of all the amazing costumes he created I talked with the woman working there. She told me that his workshop was just 2 blocks away and, whereas it isn't open to the public, I could drive by and take a look...so of course I did! She was right, it didn't look like anything interesting and definitely didn't look big enough to house all his amazing creations. But there it was, and the only thought that ran through my head was, "you can do anything in this world, anything."
Sounds cliche? Maybe, but how many people really believe it and act on it?
Carter Church did. He started making costumes and because world-famous for his designs. And he lives in a small, historic community best known for tourism and being demolished by Hurricane Katrina and creates in what amounts to be a tin garage. He found what he loved and figured out a way to do it. I am creatively inspired!
In fact, I am starting to really embrace the idea that we are living life differently and I don't need to fit into the mainstream. Some of you may say, "you mean you were trying to fit in?" And to that I say, hold onto your hats, a more artistic Lucy is being imagined and created as you watch! I don't know what she will look or be like but she is coming one way or another.
So here we are, living a nomadic / gypsy lifestyle in a camper driving across the Southern states in the middle of winter to look for a boat on the West Coast and I used to think we were crazy. Now I think we are lucky and I'm excited to see where we go from here. :-)
*Disclaimer: Apologies to any Roma reading this. I am aware that the word "gypsy" is not welcomed by the Roma people. However, I feel it is the right word to communicate a sense of a nomadic life to an American audience.