Finally LIVING in the van and tatting in the park.

 | August 27, 2007 11:18 pm

I mentioned earlier to some friends that I didn’t really feel like I was living in the van, just sleeping in it, because I’d been spending so much time at work. (One friend asked if I actually felt like I’d been LIVING in my apartment, which is a very good point.)

Well, I started feeling settled into the van about three or four weeks ago, (something I think would probably have happened sooner if I hadn’t had so many 15 hour work days in a row), but thanks to some actual time off this week I’m starting to feel like I’m finally living in the van. Or rather living just outside the van. I had a very lovely Sunday morning and early afternoon spent at Woodley park in the valley, part of a couple of parks next to each other that I just discovered. (It reminded me of a Minnesota park actually, if you ignore the white noise of the 405 freeway 100 yards away, and the lack of sweltering humidity and swarms of bugs.)

I laid out on my brand new KJAZZ blanket and read a book on California history, nothing exciting to read about (as usual), but was great to be getting out. If I still had an apartment I’d probably would have spent the morning inside. True, I probably still would have been reading the same book, but it’s more exciting to me to know it’s being done in a park I never would have discovered otherwise.

I heard a guy once say that he loved road trips with his dog because his dog helped him meet other people. Well, tatting is my dog. I suppose it’s somewhat the same with knitting and crocheting in public. You always meet up with another crafter who wants to see what you’re working on. Tatting I think is sometimes even better because people can’t figure out what you’re doing without asking or without me noticing their interest and volunteering the information. Occasionally I meet someone who knows what it is, but I have yet to randomly run into another tatter.

The other day I was at Palisades Park in Santa Monica, when a group of women I’m calling the Armenian grandmothers sat down next to me and one asked me what I was doing. Not in English, but you can get the gist of tatting just by watching so slowed down and pointed out exactly what I was doing and got to use some of the eight words of Russian that I remember. Eventually another woman came who spoke better English and we talked for a while about how she came to the US.

That represents one of the things I’m looking for in this trip. I could just travel around the US and visit all the places listed in the guide books, but I’d be missing out on a lot. Tatting I think will work out as an excellent ambassador.

I suppose I could also spend a year sitting at Palisades Park tatting and meeting the people who stop to ask me what I’m doing, but I DO want to see the places in the guide book too. :)

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3 Responses to “Finally LIVING in the van and tatting in the park.”

marty wrote a comment on December 3, 2007

hey i just read one of your postings and i have to live in my van or as you said just sleeo in my van. i’m a little confused are you a female ???? i only read one, i was looking for advice and experiwence so i can make my stay there more easily , so i will continue reading and thanks for the input …marty .

Jessica wrote a comment on December 4, 2007

Check out, they have a section about vandwelling.

Also good is the Vandwelling email group on

Hope those help.

And yes, I’m female. Last I checked anyway.

So, um… you come here often? | The Indie Travel Podcast sent a pingback on September 30, 2008

[...] number one conversation starter? Tatting. I’ve written about this a couple of times on my website. Tatting is a way of making lace which, I confess, I’m addicted to. It fits in my pocket and I [...]

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