There were many things I gained from all that. Living in the Airstream in many ways could almost feel like a privilege. On the edge of the woods, with a wild field in front and beside me, I felt almost part of the landscape, and the local wildlife seemed to accept me as such. Windows in airstreams are low enough that when an animal is right outside, they really are right next to you. And I was fortunate to live in an area with abundant wildlife, from black bears, coyotes, and foxes, to eagles, osprey, and owls, song birds of all types, insect life of incredible variety, deer, the most adorbale bob white families, and all manner of smaller mammals. On top of that, being someone that already valued simplicity and disliked waste, I found it a useful experience to live without so much. It really is possible.
Throughout most of this I had my parrots with me. I was fortunate enough to have some wonderful family members to help me look after them when I was unable to give them all, or even any, of their care. No, they were not kept in the standards I hold, but they did get my very basics (good food, toys, etc), and we stayed together. Although there were periods some had to be moved into smaller cages, they were in their big cages for much of the time, even in the airstream, which had little else besides cages! Through all this, I was rather amazed, although I felt like we had a good bond before, just how much of a flock we became. It truly shows how incredible parrots are. They all become so conscious of one another, and even more so of me. I am including Gwen in this statement, as my cat stayed with my sister through these many transitions. Even Chester, who formerly hated birds, particularly the little ones, has become rather attached to them, protective. They all talk to each other alot. We all got through it together.
This time last year I was testing a new place to live, and stayed there for 2 months, hopeful that it would work out, although in the end it did not. It was a long way away, and the trip was horrendous, so I am very glad I survived. My parrots were unable to be with me then, so they stayed, again, with my darling sister. Being away from them was quite hard, and according to my sis, they were none to happy with the situation, either. Fortunately, she is quite patient and understood their pain.
I say this all now in my new house. My new safe house. My new safe house in the mountains, with plenty of fresh air surrounding me. I have a beautiful view, and lovely yard, and am surrounded on three sides by woods with a huge and absolutely storybook perfect cow pasture in front. My closest neighbors are extremely nice, into animal rescue, and totally unscented. All of my parrots are here with me, and loving their new life. I cannot believe I made it, and I feel so fortunate. Obviously, my plans for the best possible captive parrot environment (in a home, I mean) are huge. They are slow going, but we will ge there. But more importantly, after being here several months, I am already so much better, and with my new treatment and program, hope to be far better very soon. I can do so much more, and really give my parrots what I want them to have. For one thing, they all have room to fly here, even Miss Claudia!
Since coming here I have adopted a starving English Shepherd puppy. And against my initial better judgement (which turned out to be false, for once) a wonderful African Grey, whom I will introduce soon. I hope to start fostering again soon as well. In fact, one of the people who worked on the house, before I came here, is rather desperate for me to take their cockatoo. My MCS is getting better, and I hope to be going places and seeing people more. And I just cannot say thanks enough for all of this, and most importantly, for my parrots and dear Gwen. I would not be here without them, and although they seem content enough just being with me, I feel obliged to make it up to them as well as I can. Being part of a such a flock (and who knew there could be such a close band of such a group of misfits from different continents and animal kingdoms?) is truly amazing.
So, here's to 2012. I hope the rest of you have as much good luck in this next year as I have had in this one!