Goshbless’em my parents have bought me a trailer. A 5th wheel camper-type thing, but intended to be stationary on the back of their property for when B. and I come to visit – like our very own summer cabin in the woods (trailer-park style). My dad is working on the hook-ups this week – septic, water, electric – and I’m looking forward to seeing it later this month when I’m visiting after my upcoming union convention. (The photo accompanying this post is just illustrative).
When my mom first brought up the idea a month ago (a friend offered it for a good price) – it seemed like a good one to me. Space in their home is at a premimum, and now that I travel with husband, teenager and (sometimes) dog – there isn’t always room without resorting to sleeping in the decrepit camper out back. This solution is several steps up from the camper without breaking the bank – and provides a fully operating bathroom and kitchen plus a full-sized bed. (Not to mention a couch, tv, microwave, etc. It’s fully kitted out.)
But much more important – this trailer is a huge symbolic gift by which my parents are demonstrating that there is a place for me on the family 5 acres. And that they want my family to feel welcome to spend time there. Which is an “oh, duh, of course” on one hand, but given some pretty screwed up family dynamics in the last couple of years – well, let’s just say I have had a lot of strong emotions with regards to my family of origin this year. I wouldn’t characterize this as a peace offering, so much as my parents making some assertions about what they want for the whole family – including my little Vancouver offshoot of it.***
So that’s a big deal, and I’m really gratified by my mom’s suggestion of it, and the fact my dad apparently had to do a lot of work to situate it properly (this involved knocking over a rotting shed and cutting down some trees leaning precariously over the site). I’m sure it’s been more of a hassle than they intended, but now B. and I have our very own lovenest trailer to stay in when we come to Victoria. With my new three-day weekends and our posh crashpad, I’m hoping to spend an increasing amount of time on the island – which means more help as my parents get older, and more time spent with good friends too! Funny how a little fifth-wheel makes that all the more possible….
(***This is in no way to imply that my parents have been anything but good to me – but without going into too much detail – you know how family dynamics can just be hard sometimes right?)