I hate the uppity descriptor "trailer trash." In a society where consumption is king, there's an innate prejudice against people who make do with less.
My sister lived in a trailer for the first several years of her marriage. I was twelve years old; not too far from having packed away my Barbie dolls, and to me, the trailer was like a Barbie Dream House on wheels. The wheels are a key component, I think. Mobility is the antidote to being tied down. Who the heck doesn't want to pull up stakes and head for the highway now and then?
I got to live in a trailer my junior year when the enrollment of my college skyrocketed. In a stop-gap measure a dozen or so trailers were hauled onto campus complete with gas barbecues installed in the tiny yards. My front windows faced a stand of giant evergreens, and the kitchen, dining, and living rooms were wide open to one another so the place seemed spacious. The bathroom was set up like a motel bathroom with the sink in its own separate alcove in the hall outside the toilet and shower. Perfect for four college girls sharing one mirror. Even then I would have liked to hook my little home up to a truck and pull it down the road just for the adventure.
Nowadays, trailers are known as mobile homes or manufactured homes. My brother has lived and worked in a big mobile home park for decades at a fraction of the cost it would cost to live in a regular house. My mother lives with him, and its narrow hallways and efficient layout are perfect for a somewhat frail 86-year-old. As my brother recovers from hip replacement surgery, the compact floor plan is good for him, too. A narrow hallway less than the width of your wingspan is great if you are unstable or hurting. Too much space is the enemy of the old and the impaired, but the American dream tempts us constantly with more and more as if down-sizing were an admission of defeat.
I visit my brother's place regularly now that my mom lives here. During this stay I've resolved to walk in the evenings and traverse every street in the mobile home park. What has struck me so far is that within the confines of the park, there are neighborhoods with their own character. I've already picked out my street--where I would live if I lived here. For some reason, I have fantasized about living just about every place I've ever been. I sometimes wonder if it's some kind of disorder. Promiscudomilcilitis is how I think of it.
One of the distinctions between neighborhoods here has to do with lawn ornaments. I'll write about that tomorrow. If I haven't hooked this place to a truck and pulled it off somewhere.