rule of thumb for van living--expect it to happen. there's a delicate balance of items in the living space of the van, coffee mugs, hot plate, toilet bucket, toaster oven (yeah, i know it's overboard, but it's my favorite kitchen appliance!), water jugs, cooler, and of course random clothes, cd's, tools etc. i'm learning the lesson over and over again, that if it can happen it will. 2 nights ago i spilled the pan of water i was heating not once, but two times. i was so mad at myself the first time and demanded that i be more conscious of my movements and not do that EVER again. then i did it again five minutes later. several soaked towels later, i realized i had to come up with a better system and rather than just setting it up as quickly as possible, i had to take my time and run the cord over to the sink area, set up the burner on the cutting board and then NOT do anything else in that area until the water was done. ok, so now i knew the law of tight spaces and wouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security...um, yeah until this morning. i was having a leisurely start to my day, straightening up the van, rearranging the stuff outside and taking a shallow "bath" in a plastic tub. i had heated up water to wash with and then i heated water for my tea. i chose the delicately delicious jade pouchong and steeped it in my favorite handthrown mug while i prepared my travel mug by washing it and putting the correct amount of honey in it. then i went about gathering up my things and putting them away, getting ready to head out for the day. i had it all together, opened the gate and got in the drivers seat. pulled out and headed down the alley. i turned the corner and heard a crash from the back. uh oh. what was that? i pulled over and climbed into the back to see the my precious tea spilled all over everything, i'd forgotten to strain it into my travel mug and all that careful work was lost and worse, i'd created more unnecessary work--soaked the carpet, tea leaves stuck to the cabinets and cooler and soggy slippers looking sadly up at me. dang it. i really wanted that tea!
so, i sulkily went to the bank and headed to the laundromat to do all the wet towels, but i still needed some caffeine. determined not to waste time or gas, i was going to stop at whatever coffee shop was in between the bank and the laundromat, as long as it wasn't a starbucks. well of course there was only a gas station or a starbucks and when faced with that choice, my palette concedes it's better to go corporate than stale folgers. i hate starbucks with their carefully crafted marketing and color schemes, it's just too push button monochromatic for me, and usually the service is curt and impersonal. but, again this day i am to expect the unexpected--the guys working at this place were hands down the friendliest baristas i've ever had the pleasure of ordering from. i mean, i was in the drive thru for cryin out loud and they're asking me about my day and if i'm happy and what i have planned for the afternoon. they weren't nosy, just curious and it seems longing for some human connection. they were so full of vigor (or maybe just espresso) and doing their jobs so joyfully, i couldn't help but laugh at myself for prejudging my experience. we parted like friends and i can't help but hope that one day i'll be in the same predicament and just have to go back and see them again.
desert heat/small doge/blind faith
14 hours ago