First Daily Prompt Post!


I’ve never done a Daily Prompt before but this one is so close to who I am I couldn’t resist.

Daily Prompt: Rolling Stone

by Michelle w. on July 7, 2013

If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?

First, let me state that I am definitely a nomad at heart. As a child with only a library card, I would decide which country I wanted to know more about and I would read fiction set in that country. I read wonderful  stories set in Japan, Australia, China, Zanzibar, Greece, Crete, England (of course), France and others. I would search the old-fashioned card catalog for the countries and then search fiction.

I have caused my family to move from Illinois to Iowa to Michigan to Canada and then to Maine. This has all happened since 1981. This doesn’t even cover the number of times we moved in Michigan which was 5 over a period of 16 years.

I didn’t realize at the time how hard all these moves were on my son. He was always the new kid at school until I finally realized this and kept him at one Catholic private school for several years until he was ready for middle school.

As a child and teenager, I lived in the same home from the age of five until I was 17. Then I moved 250 miles south to college and never felt that home was home any more. I felt more at home at college than anywhere. Of course you can’t stay in college forever!

Once back in Champaign, I felt the same about my hometown. I didn’t like it. There isn’t any cultural stimulation in Champaign and it is separated into town/university. The two do not mix at all.

After our marriage and the birth of our one and only child, the wanderlust hit. My husband was working as a designer for Kraft Foods. The pay wasn’t lovely and we had child support to pay. I could only make $5 an hour if I worked and I didn’t. Day care was way more expensive than I could justify paying for a $5 an hour job.

We looked at various places to move. We found a job in Iowa. It was not a good choice for us. We heard, after the move, that the company my husband went with cleaned out their engineering department every 3 years. Yup, they did. Three and a half years after we moved there he was out. They said he didn’t fit in. I’m not sure how it took that long to find that out. We were devastated. I had a job which wouldn’t support us and our son was settled. Time to pack up and go.

We landed in the Detroit Metro area. This was a great move for me although my husband didn’t like it as well as I did. I found Detroit charming, metropolitan and not at all scary. We first lived in a suburb on the east side – Grosse Pointe Woods – and eventually bought a home and ended up in St. Clair Shores where we stayed until he retired.

The move to Canada came next. This was a gargantuan undertaking from not only the logistics, the immigration, the forms, the trip to NYC for an interview with the consulate, getting everything moved, settling in – finding out we weren’t welcome – leaving. This move may have served one purpose. It taught me to watch what I asked for constantly. I do not want to live in the country ever again and I don’t want to leave my country ever again. I make jokes about it, but I’m back and I’m never leaving the shores of the US again.

I revel, however, in watching British TV shows and those set in France. While living in Canada we could watch Escape to the Country on BBC. My son recorded it for me if I was at work when it came on. Now they have Escape to the Continent coming up and I’m super bummed that I can’t watch that here. Because along with traveling, I love to move into a new home. Sigh.

I’m pretty sure in a former lifetime I roamed around a lot. I’m part Native American so maybe I get this gene from my full-blooded great-grandmother. Wherever it came from – it’s there. I can see living in an RV (accept for the price of gas for Gawd’s sake) and traveling all over the US. I would like to see the west as I’ve only been through it as a tiny child. I haven’t been to Florida since I was 3 and that’s just fine with me. I’m anti-snake all the way so actually living in a place like that would not be my idea of fun. But I would like to see the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert and Mt. Rushmore. I would like to go to northern California and Washington and Oregon. My dad liked Vancouver when he was there building ships. I would like to see it for myself.

I want to visit the Rockies and New Mexico again. We went to Santa Fe in 1996 and I loved it. I went back in 1998 to Taos but I went to a weird Art Camp where most people were from California and they were downright strange. I hung out for a few days with this young woman (this is being generous here – she was a bitch) and her friend. One of them was decent. The first was not and spread every comment I made all over the camp as if I was an idiot. She was always bragging about making love to a woman with a mango. She was odd and I left that camp in 4 days. I said hell with it – I’m going home – I’d rather be at home than around this bunch of total lunatics. The camp owner took me to Taos to grab a lift to the airport. We talked about this Taos Art Camp and how poorly it was run. She said all of the Californians ganged up on the cooks because there wasn’t enough vegetarian food. It was horrible. So no I have no wish to return to a camp of any kind where traveling Californians may be in bulk.

Taos and the camp itself was lovely if you could get past the constant teasing and nastiness. We were supposed to be attending a plein air painting class but the teacher decided after the first day to hold the class in a quonset hut! Instead of seeing the countryside I saw the inside of an aluminum hut. Yetch.

If I were ever lucky enough to be able to afford to roam again, I would go to Europe and ride the trains. I wouldn’t want to backpack because I wouldn’t be staying at hostels so I would call it just traveling through Europe. I would stay at nice B&Bs and visit Venice, Tuscany, Rome, Florence, and then Sweden, Norway, Latvia and Finland. I would end up somewhere in France. For a little while ………….. until the urge to move on hit – my limit’s about 3 years ……………



5 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer says:

    The tomatoes are AWFUL. I don’t know what’s wrong. I fed them and they aren’t growing much at all. I should have got some really big plants when I saw them at Walmart. It’s been cold and damp here until about a week ago and now it’s blazing hot. The beans look good and so does the zucchini. I just wish the growing season was longer.


  2. Ya think? LOL So go spend money in NM and help restart the economy:) How are your plants doing…the ones in the wooden stands?


  3. Jennifer says:

    At some point I think you have to let history go and just go with it. No one would ever visit Germany if they reckoned with its past. Or England for that matter. Or the southern United States. Or the northern United States. Where do you stop? You certainly wouldn’t want to step a toe in Indiana or southern Illinois or even Kentucky or Colorado. West Virginia would be out as would Virginia. I’m pretty sure where I am is tainted as well. History does that.


  4. Being part Native American you may not want to go to Mt. Rushmore. It is not what it seems. Holy land taken AGAIN. There is a good video on the guy who ran the building of Rushmore and what a horrible person he was. NM is in a 55 yr drought. Poor souls. Terrible economic conditions there right now. Feel really bad for them. Even Canyon Road, and the Gallery scene… hard times. I was there about 1 1/2 years ago. Well, I hope you get your wish and it turns out to be just what you thought it would be. Check out the white supremacist who did Rushmore. You won’t want to go.


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