It’s a misty grey wet morning in Pennsylvania, the kind where the sky is a solid mass of a lukewarm gray, not stormy, not cloudy, just overcast. I had my window open last night — no air-conditioning running for the first time! — and it was lovely, but this morning I discovered water dripping in and running down the wall.

I immediately jumped to full-blown paranoia. Oh, no, water in the RV: she’ll grow mold and delaminate and the walls will fall apart and she’ll be unlivable. And then I took a deep breath and exhaled and actually looked at that wall. Water in RVs is a big concern for those aforementioned reasons, but Serenity’s a camper van, not an RV. Her walls are metal and solid plastic, like the kind they make playground equipment out of these days. She can’t possibly delaminate, because her walls aren’t made of laminate. True, if I let her cushions stay damp for days, they could grow mold, but obviously, I won’t be doing that. In other words, it’s probably not a bomb. I wish my brain did not jump so quickly to worst-case scenarios.

So I made it to my brother’s house after a ridiculously long day of driving yesterday. I really should have stopped at a campground after about eight hours but I was close enough that I stuck it out. Rainy rush hour driving through a construction zone after nine hours of driving was probably not a good idea, but we got here in the end.

Last night therefore was my first night camping in someone’s front yard. Well, or sidewalk, rather. This morning after I walked the dogs, I took our empty water jug up to my brother’s front door. Locked. So I went around the side of the house, unlatched the fence and found the water spigot in the back yard. Filled up my jug with water, came home and made myself some coffee. I’m not sure why that was as fun as it was: obviously, in mid-winter, if it was cold outside, it would not be entertaining to be hunting down water. But it’s not mid-winter, it’s high summer. I had to push aside branches of an apple tree with little green apples on it to get to the water, walking by beds of strawberry plants, flowering bushes, and what looked like an ocean of squash. The raspberry bushes had a few last berries on them, but mostly I missed my chance at berries this year. Next summer, I’m going to try to make it here in time for the strawberries.

I’m not much of a photographer: I don’t think of taking photos often and when I do, they’re seldom as good as they were in my head. I’m sure I could get better if I put some effort into learning more but it’s never been high on my list of things to do. The world has plenty of photographers. But as I drove away from my house for the last time, I paused to take a photo.

dead end sign in the rear view mirror

Dead end sign in the rear view mirror

There were times when I wondered if buying a house with a Dead End sign in front of it would turn out to be prophetic. I’m glad that wasn’t the case.