Coming Home When You’re Houseless

Coming home to meet Baby Jaxon

Coming home is an interesting term. We’ve been “here” now for a couple months. And it’s the longest amount of time that we’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for the past three years.

Whenever we’re out and about, I look forward to coming home. To seeing our family and friends. To feeling whole, like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. I think that feeling comes largely from a sense of belonging. Of having a place in life.

My place is with Steve. And our home is where ever we are together. Today that means we’re sitting in our daughter and son-in-law’s home. They’ve been very gracious, as I’m sure we’ve overstayed our welcome. My mom used to say that fish and house guests are the same…they both go bad after three days. Ha! It’s been a few more than three days.

What does Coming Home Mean?

This week it meant calling our daughter to say our truck broke down and can we please come back to your house while it gets repaired. That felt hard. Like we’re asking for help, rather than just visiting.

It’s so odd, this stage of life we’re in.

Choosing houseless-ness and living in our truck camper means that when we come home to visit, our home comes with us. No one fully gets that we’re just as comfortable staying in your driveway as we are in your guest room. We can sleep in our own bed. Watch tv if we want. Or get up three times in the night to go to the bathroom without feeling guilty for waking up your dog.

Now, coming home means we’re in someone’s space. We try to move around to share the load of having us here, but we generally are parking in one of our children’s driveways. Or at my sister’s place. We tried staying at a local campground and at an RV Park and that probably is the best alternative. But when we visit one of our family members, we’re still driving up in Cupcake and taking over your driveway.

Our Last Couple Months

We came back to the Northwest at the beginning of May. It’s mid-July as I type. That’s a long time for us to be in and out of our family’s spaces. They’ve been gracious, especially our oldest daughter and her family, who’ve put up with us the most. We try to be quiet guests, but there’s really no such thing. We’re in their home or in their driveway. And it’s a lot of togetherness.

That’s great. But we also know it’s tiring, just having extra people around.

Here’s a short video that Steve made about coming home!

We got a New Grandson!

On May 12th, we welcomed Jaxon Scott B. into the world. Well, technically we didn’t get to welcome him personally for a bit, because we had a Covid exposure and had to wait. But he’s here and he’s healthy and he’s beautiful. We’ve been hanging out with him and his fur brother each week (okay, his parents too!) and it’s been great seeing him grow.

He’s smiling now, which is super fun. And oh so adorable. Jaxon turned two months old this week and he’s a chunky, healthy baby! Our daughter is looking a tad more rested, as is our son-in-law. It’s pretty amazing seeing them as parents! Can you tell I’m just over the moon in love with this little guy? The best gig in the world is being a Grammie!

Our Oldest Grandson Graduated!

We’re at opposite ends of the spectrum in this grandparenting business, as our oldest grandson graduated from high school this June. Celebrating Logan has been super exciting and we’re pleased as can be with his accomplishments. We have a great bunch of grandkids, all around. So it’s been good sharing a bit of all their lives.

Logan had a huge graduation party, with lots of friends and family coming over to celebrate him. It’s pretty neat to see him growing into a thoughtful and responsible young man.

And My Sister Celebrated a Birthday!

Logan’s graduation party coincided with my sister, Trish’s birthday, so we had two cakes! Another sister, Della, flew in from Chicago and we celebrated sisterhood and birthdays. We were missing my youngest sister in Louisiana though. Three is not the same as all four of us together!

Trish had grandkids in town, so we got to spend time with them and with Della. Super fun! There was an outdoor movie night, a trip to Ape Cave and even a home-made ice cream sandwich competition!

The three of us sisters went out to happy hour to celebrate Trish and to catch up for a few minutes without a hundred people around. We had a great time laughing and maybe even shared a tear or two together.

Coming home Means doing All the Things

Coming home this time brought my parents to mind quite a bit. They would have enjoyed meeting their new great-grandson. And seeing another great-grandson graduate high school. Mom would have gotten a kick out of cooking with Cooper. And I know Dad would have been riding dirt bikes with Hunter and Carter. I’m reading a book called Signs, The Secret Language of the Universe. It’s about communicating with those who’ve crossed over. So, I’ve felt my parents’ presence through out our visit. And that’s been neat.

Related: Missing my Dad

Coming home means getting to hang with our kids and grandkids. Cooking meals together, camping at a motocross raceway, watching softball, eating dinners. We’ve had a chance to do all the things we got to do from our sticks and bricks home, just compacted into a smaller timeframe.

It was still rainy season when we got home, so we got to remember what the weather is really like in the Pacific Northwest. Still had so much fun camping and watching Ainsleigh play ball though!

A major accomplishment since we’ve been home is that we’ve reduced our crap from two units to one storage unit. That’s huge and will save us about $300 per month. It took more than a few days of sorting, making trips to donate items and re-packing. But we were able to condense and it sure feels good to have it finished.

Steve and I both had arms and legs covered in bruises from juggling boxes and furniture. But saving so much money each month will be great.

Coming Home Also Means Saying Goodbye

It’s been so good being here and seeing everyone. But it will also be good to get back into our own rhythm. It’s nice having our own space and our own agenda. It’s also nice not feeling like we’re cramping everyone else’s space.

So it’s always great to be home, but it’s a little nice to start adventuring again too! We planned to be at the Oregon Coast this week. Even went downtown to get our crabbing pots. It’s the wrong season, but we thought it’d still be fun.

Saying Goodbye, but not quite yet

Well, we got almost to storage when our truck started making a god-awful noise. We ended up parked next to a homeless camp, where people literally just walk out of our tents and pee. Yep, that’s what Portland has turned into. Sigh.

Anyway, we got a tow. Now we’re getting a new driveline. It could have been worse. We could have been in the middle of nowhere! Our tow driver was a gem. He drove us through packed streets and did great. So that was kind of an adventure in itself.

The RV Park at the coast was kind enough to keep our payment. Yep, 5 stars for them. So now we’re back at our daughter’s for a few more days. We use our son-in-law’s truck some, but it feels awkward. Somehow, like we’re the kids boomeranging back home.

The truck should be fixed within the week and then we’ll start the next portion of our journeying. Guess we weren’t quite ready to say goodbye yet!


  1. Brandon in Dystopian Portlandia

    It is your joint karmic destiny to buy 15 acres at Campo and become the next-generation Scout & Frodo. But you would charge enough to break even…

    The RV park at the coast kept your money? Could you get at least deferral?

    • mcgarveysan

      Ha! No desire whatsoever to be the next Scout & Frodo. I’d probably lose it and yell for everyone to get the hell out of my house. 🫣

      Yep, they kept every dime. Not even a deferral. We thought that was cheesy. But it’s probably not easy running a small business. 🤷🏻‍♀️


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