A fella corrected me today on my declaration that we’d been “camping for a few nights” by reinforcing the well known belief that if you’re not in a tent, you’re not roughing it. He was a nice enough old gent, red in the neck but floral hippie of hat, and in the few several moments between that statement and his rebuttal (without wait for any reply of mine, actually), the myriad thoughts one might have…

“Well, no it’s not actually camping because it’s not a tent,” to “Oh well actually as of late I’ve started sleeping sans-tent altogether, if you’re in the tent you’re not under the stars,” but finally landing on “Yeah, it’s definitely camping, though.”…and he replied,

“No but in that thing it actually is pro’lly harder anyway. ”

True, my florally feather hatted friend.

I’m currently sitting on the edge of a pond, the serenade of bullfrogs bullshitting to the backdrop of VT 100 traffic going home still from the 2nd of July fireworks (never too early to party in Vermont’s VW Bus capital of the world and during Vermont’s country drunkard scrappers fireworks carnival extravaganza). Sitting on a picnic table while the interior of the Bus has been converted to either sleeping or storage, a Coleman lantern (with one mantle down) burns soft between the few rare lights from distant porches and slowly thinning out highway traffic. The beers, being heated up slow roastedly in a 90• metal oven of a Volkswagen make and model, were needless to say at optimal temperature for an evening spent outdoors. Where normally a fire would roast, there is now a reason to notice the stars as they’ve slowly shown themselves over the parting cloud sky like constellations made of kernels popping slowly into place one popcorn string at a time. Our tent is a metal box plugged in like a giant toaster. Our kitchen is a ring of fire pit and the closest picnic table we can muster. I use the same knife to cut open bundles of kindling that I slice my bread with and at times an oily pliers will touch some of the beans as I’m prying it open. But other than that, I’d say if it’s not truly camping, it’s at the very certainly most least, homesteading.