Looking at Van Life

My husband wants to buy a bus
Live like hippies go off the grid
Says travel light is good for us
My response is heaven forbid

He wants to travel far and wide
My husband wants to buy a bus
Adventure beckons but he lied
This decision we’d soon discuss

In his plan I’m superfluous
He is enamored with van life
My husband wants to buy a bus
And roam this country sans his wife

He’s seen You-Tube videos
Infected with the wanderlust
I am married and so it goes
My husband wants to buy a bus

Some men go through a mid-life crises and want to buy a red Corvette, or grow a ponytail, or find a mistress… My husband wants to live in a van. The internet is filled with all these videos and stories of people (mostly very young with no responsibilities or money) living out of a van and traveling where ever the wind blows them. My husband has become obsessed with what is called “Van Life”. I watched the videos. Van life makes living in a tiny house look like luxury. Although I’m pretty spry for my age, I need or rather my back needs my mattress. There is no way I could be happy physically, sleeping on a 4″ foam pad on a plywood platform. I’m old enough that I need to get up at least once per night. Imagine climbing up a ladder to shimmy into a bed suspended a scant 12 inches from the bumped up ceiling of the van. Then in the middle of the night trying to slide out of bed, find the ladder, back down said ladder, crawl under the bed and locate the bucket and then relieve oneself. His response to that scenario is that we’d park at a campground or a rest stop and I could use their facilities. In my pajamas? I think if I had to do that I’d require a bodyguard and he would be pressed into that role. Psychologically I think I’d become homicidal being is a van all day every day with my only human interactions being with the Van Life guy and any random strangers I’d see at the sink in public restrooms. Most of these Van Lifers had a wardrobe that consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 5 t-shirts, and maybe a bra and a couple pairs of underwear. Which is fine if you are 21. I’m not 21. Anyway I suggested that he could do the Van Life with his new wife after I’m dead. He said he’d take that under advisement. Pray for me!

The poem is for National Poetry Month for Challenge #7. Write a Quatern. A quatern is a French poetry form consisting of 4 quatrains (4 line stanzas). Each line has 8 syllables. The 1st line repeats in each stanza as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line of successive quatrains. There is no required meter or rhyme scheme. Generally the lines are written with Abab, cAca, adAd, eaeA.

42 thoughts on “Looking at Van Life

  1. We are thinking RV when my husband retires. At least there’s a toilet and shower in there. Although I need a secured no-fly zone after Paul uses the loo–don’t think they make an RV big enough. Ha!

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    1. Hehe! I haven’t seen an RV that I’d plunk down the kind of money it takes to purchase and maintain one! And I hear you about the spouse. I often say we are lucky the paint doesn’t peel off the walls!

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  2. Ahhh . . . that lifestyle was once a dream of mine. However, as I’ve gotten older the required size of the “bus” has expanded in my dreams to become a series of beach homes, mountain cabins, and luxurious resorts. 😀 lol

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  3. Muri, this one is AWESOME! Every quatern I’ve started for this challenge has died a horrible death; that roving line is a bugger. Not only have you nailed the refrain, you’ve thrown in a rhyme scheme, too! We have a ’66 Bus, and have had two others, a ’73 and an ’84 Vanagon (the modern version with a radiator). Old ones are uncomfortable death traps that lack the most basic of amenities. If hubby wants to go “sans wife,” consider it a blessing. Send him off with a nice hippie tofu sandwich and a thermos of coffee, and a scratchy wool blanket for the bed (to make it authentic). Let him pee in a bucket and wear the same jeans until they stand up by themselves. The engine will overheat before he makes it out of the state, and he will be back within a week. This type of obsession is common among men in their 50’s, and can only be cured with a cold splash of reality. 🙂

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    1. Hehe! Thanks for the glowing compliment! Sometimes you just have to persevere with these kinds of forms… I laughed all the way through your comment, so much so that Sparky had to look up my post to see what was so funny. I offered to pack him a lunch but he prefers to make his own sandwich!!

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  4. I kind of live the van life to some extent. Luckily the bathroom situation is I am young enough I dont have to get up in the night if I go right before bed. But at night if we are not at a truck stop I trust and feel safe at I wont leave Wranglers side even at the fuel pumps right next to the door.

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    1. We have already said when we are done trucking we may travel on vacation but it wont be in the truck. We will be ready to stay closer to home. I have one duffel bag that I pack clothes into. In the winter that makes 10 shirts and 5 pairs of pants. When we stay out for two weeks I hate that some shirts are worn two weeks in a row. Doing laundry on the road is horrible. Wrangler helps carry everything in. Than we sit the whole time our clothes are in the machines guarding them because I dont trust strangers especially men. And the machines are with very expensive or dont work efficiently and irritate you.

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          1. When I was pregnant with my first I insisted on purchasing a washer and dryer. No way was I going to attempt to juggle laundry and an infant especially in a sketchy place like the laundromat we went to!!

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            1. I understand. I have done laundry in an actual laundry mat twice once in college and it scared me badly I drove 20 miles to do laundry. And once last summer on the road. The people scared me. Truck stops you get all walks of life to but not as scary as laundry mats

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              1. Yep. The laundromat I went to was a strange place – inhabited by a wide range of people I would not have bumped into in my daily routine. Some were very nice and others made me afraid…

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    2. I don’t think I’d enjoy life on the road. I would be scared too! Anyway I’m glad you travel with the dogs and Wrangler – I bet between the 3 of them you haven’t had a problem!

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  5. I just now got caught up on your poetry. I really need to get started on this! It’s been a crazy busy month and I started it already exhausted. I can summon the energy for some geocaching, though, if we have a nice weekend.

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    1. I would love to go geocaching… this weekend is Easter and I’ve got guests coming so I’m being forced to clean (but only the rooms where they might wander). Weather permitting does the 27th sound possible?? Sparky will be cleaning out the garage so it might be a good time to make myself scarce…

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  6. As a teenager my dad bought a used Airstream and off we went on vacation. I remember the only park we could find was behind a gas station and I wasn’t allowed to plug the unit in as a pool of water was under the plug. Their were big coon dogs running around..while friendly I ended up with nightmares one night and thought my brother was a dog. We had the upper bunk.

    Your points are valid..but I’m also old. lol Oh remind hubby cooking in that RV and washing dishes was far from fun. Personally I think your husband is nuts. lol

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  7. Trade me men! I can happily leave behind everything but my dogs and my mountain bike. My husband, conversely, loves home and hearth. That said, I’m sure it works better as a fantasy than an actual goal. Very clever poem, BTW.

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    1. Glad you like the poem… I’m not sure I’d want to trade him in for a different model (I’ve invested a lot of time and effort to get him to the point that he puts his laundry in the hamper and rinses out his coffee mugs). He has been looking for a good used bike for himself and for me. I’m not sure what he has in mind but I think he just might be planning my untimely demise!

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  8. You could test it by renting a van for a summer vacation trip! There are people in this general area who park their small airstreams in friends’ driveways for a few days at a time, then go on to the next friend or park — sounds awful to me, but they do see things that others miss!

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    1. I’ve mentioned that to him but there aren’t too many available around here for rent… We see plenty on our geocaching adventures so I can’t imagine maneuvering a clunky vehicle would improve the experience. It does sound awful to me too!

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  9. Have Sparky start small. Let him spend a week in the Indiana Dunes, and see how he likes it. Make sure it’s during the rainy season, though. That’s when I slept there in a tent, and two days was actually quite sufficient.

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        1. I think he can sleep in the car and I’ll sleep in the house… Seriously I think this is his ploy to get a dog. He will try to trade for a dog instead of van life. It probably won’t work but he can try!

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  10. Your poem made me laugh too. What is it with men that they get these ideas? My husband always wanted a camper. I never did. It would have been just one more thing for me to keep clean. My son in law had one and traded it for a bigger, better? one. It has space in the back to house their Harley. They plan to drive it to So. Dakota in August. We’ll see how that goes. I expect they will have a good time.

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      1. Right?! Way back in the last chapter of my life I knew somebody with an RV dealership. They are *insanely* expensive. And some of them feel pretty dang flimsy for the money, IMHO. Good luck with your quest to avoid the ‘vanning’ lifestyle!

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