"Good gas mileage. Fully self-contained!"

Carter and I are in the planning stages of a move to Oregon. Yes, we have gone from a pondering stage to a planning stage. That means, we both have been wearing the idea of this move on our shoulders for months now, and we both have come to like the fit of it very much. “What if” has morphed into “When and how.”

One scenario that has been surfacing again and again in my thinking is that we might need an interim step between here and there. Between, that is, one family abode and another. We own a house “here.” We need to sell it and have money in our pockets to do a purchase “there.” Our kids will be joining us in the Portland area. We will need the flexibility with money and time to find the perfect place that can house us all happily…

Rent, our friend and family are telling us. Don’t commit to anything right away. But to rent means moving all our stuff from this place to another place, and then, finally—down the road a ways—to yet another place. Have I mentioned that I can no longer count the times I’ve moved all my @^$*&@^$ stuff from one place to another place? Have I mentioned just how much I dislike (a mild word for it) boxing, hauling, and unboxing?

I’ve begun calling on Turtle medicine lately to show me a fresh alternative. Shells are appearing in my mind. Not the bone and carapace kind, but the fiberglass and aluminum kind. Why not become as Turtle, carrying “home” with us wherever we go? How might it be to slip into a shell of engine and casing and motorhome it for awhile? The idea is intriguing and scary at the same time. Intriguing because of its wonderful flexibility (Gee, let’s go off to the coast for a weekend), and scary because I can’t yet imagine life in such a smaller space.

Years ago, I lived on a sailboat. She was 55 feet long, carting us across oceans, and rocking us safely in ports of call. I was a sea turtle in those days, lean and lively. I’m an old landlubber these days, with lots and lots of stuff that I need to make proper home: Big TV for Carter; big kitchen to handle the stock pots and kraut crocks and bread bowls. Big bathroom where I can soak my cares away. Big closets filled with anything and everything I might need should any emergency come along. A room of her own for Cookie, the possum. A room of my own for meditating and pondering and planning. A man cave for Carter. We take up lots of living space these days.

So, I ask Turtle, would a massive scale down in our lifestyle be a refreshing blessing, or a cramped horror? Before I went to sea, a sailor told me, “Better like your sailing partners, because you’ll be smelling their farts a lot.” He was right. Literally and figuratively.

I’ve been asking you to send prayers for the New Moon Pipe Ceremonies for the past few months. I can’t tell you how many of you have asked for prayers for guidance to the right place, the right new home for yourselves and your families. Many of us are on the move. Maybe the right “home” for now is one we carry on our backs? Maybe becoming as Turtle—with a little bit of gypsy thrown in for good measure—is an opportunity some of us might explore.

I am. Craigslist is full of “shells” for sale. I’m especially drawn to those “Minne Winnies.” How about meeting me for a weekend on the coast next summer?

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8 Responses to MAYBE I’LL BE A TURTLE

  1. Bob says:

    Susan, thank you for this image and metaphor of Turtle. I, too, have just had to sell a home (again), move out of town (though not cross-country) and buy another
    home. The idea of adopting the model Turtle offers us is very helpful to me!! I would be very proud to be able to identify with Turtle. Blessings to you. :=)

  2. d.B. says:

    I mentioned once we all coming to Indiana, so to meet on the coast next summer, heck yeh!!! Just for that idea I will add some energy for this new journey of yours right into my daily mediations.

    Hey Cindy, if you are keeping up with this one send some of your “magic blessings” although I’ll bet you already have! 🙂

    When I move I only take what I need and my keepsakes, it’s a blast to start over on the “gathering quest” and see what things are drawn to you and to leave things behind for friends and family or that unknown neighbor that really needs a few things.

    Best to you,

  3. Cindy says:

    Very timely, Susan. I am facing a move myself to a (hopefully) forever home come this next summer. After the divorce I landed in a very nice rental house, one that cradled me for the last 18 months while I got on my two feet again. It is a lovely smaller home, but still not the “forever home” I seek. Add to that my landlord informed me (AFTER I had just signed the second year lease) that he and his wife will be selling the house I now live in, but he doesn’t know when in the coming year. Ugh….uncertainty. But I embrace change now and know in my heart of hearts I will be led to the perfect home. Not a house, a home….and not a rental. I need to lay down an herb garden again!!! I had to leave my beautiful garden when my life turned upside down 22 months ago, but I blessed it when I walked away and the new owners of my last home are loving it. So what blesses one, blesses all. Anyway…..I am meditating on “home”, what it really means to me and giving up any preconceived notions of what that might look like. I trust enough to know I will have what I need, when I need it….and it will be just right.

    Blessings to you on this new journey…..we will all “come round right” and land where we belong. I know it! Hugs to you!


    • Susan McElroy says:

      My, but so many of us are looking for the “right place” to hold us in these uncertain times. May we all be blessed as Turtle in the end, who never leaves his foreverhome from the day of his birth, until his blessed transition.

  4. Susan, I feel the same way when I see a snail cross my path – he looks very content. So glad to hear you’ll be making your way back to Oregon.


  5. Carter says:

    An eon ago, when I was in college, I lived with two other people in a 30 foot trailer. It wasn’t as bad as you might think. Although my “bedroom” consisted of a sheet pulled across the former eating area of the trailer affording enough space for a twin bed and a 13″ TV at its foot, there was a block construction living room, bathroom and bedroom adjacent to the trailer.

    I never thought I would be considering such conditions again. But, have you heard “What goes around comes around”. Although the saying is more applicable to karma, it seems that life comes full circle more often than one would think.

  6. Susan, I’m so glad you enjoyed Forever Paws – thank you! As for turtle, wasn’t it George Carlin who talked about all the “stuff” we humans collect, and how our homes are just covers for all that stuff? I guess if we could let go of some of those belongings, the size of our homes might begin to shrink in a way that felt balanced. It’s the letting go part that’s so tough!

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