MAMARONECK, NEW YORK – We travel light. 

Ideally, everything we own would fit into a suitcase. 

In the hobo underworld, we’d be called “streamliners”…

Homeless, Anchorless Family

Greetings from Mamaroneck, New York…

My family and I are a homeless, anchorless family. We drift from place to place, adventure to adventure, like seeds in the wind.

We just spent six months in London, living at my late mother’s house, and seeing as much of the city as we could. 

Yesterday, we arrived in New York. We are visiting my dad, or “Grandpa,” as the kids call him. Here we are on the plane from London…


The half-full flight from London to New York

The plane was only half full. The immigration hall at JFK Airport was quiet, too, and we came through immigration in about 20 minutes…

Making Plans

We haven’t seen Grandpa since before COVID-19. Our only purpose here in New York is to spend as much time with him as we can.

We will stay here for six weeks.

Then, when we’ve finished visiting Grandpa, we will head to Idaho, where we lived last winter. We’ll retrieve our car and all our possessions and drive them back to Florida.

After that, who knows…

Sharing Grandpa’s Hobby

Grandpa loves model trains. He has a huge set of Hornby 00 model railway track and accessories. He and the kids are going to build a giant layout around Grandpa’s apartment.

We started today. (This is just a beginner-stage layout before we advance to the next level.)


The love for trains runs in the family

Searching for Perspective

We’re not “streamlined” at the moment. 

Our car is parked at Idaho Falls airport. Inside it, there are two guitars, four studded snow tires, a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a Vitamix blender, a box of school supplies, two snowboards, a pair of skis and shoes, and clothing for five people. 

The much bigger problem, though, is my mother’s house and all her antiques, which we just inherited and which we left behind in London.

When we reach the car, the first thing we’ll do is recharge the battery and get the engine running again. The next thing we’ll do is jettison as much stuff as we can from inside it.

As for my mother’s house and all her antiques, we don’t know what to do about that.

We’re hoping this trip to America gives us some new perspective… I can get over my feelings of nostalgia for old wood and ceramics… and we can return to being streamlined hobos again, as we were for two-and-a-half years…

– Tom Dyson

Like what you’re reading? Send your thoughts to [email protected].


Mixed thoughts after Tom shared his brother’s dilemma: get the COVID-19 vaccine, or lose his job

Reader comment: Tell your brother to stick to his guns… the retired vet surgeon is a sheep… nothing more. I’m all-in as far as medical freedom, and no vaccine. With a 99% survival rate, who in their right mind would even bother to be concerned?

Also, I totally agree with your parenting plan, and am absolutely thrilled that you restored your marriage and family. That act alone is the best decision you could ever make for your family’s health and wellbeing. They will remember, and all benefit from that one decision, far more than any financial success you could ever achieve.

Reader comment: Please tell your brother to hang in there. We are the minority, but we are still millions of people. And please tell him not to quit his job, but to wait until they fire him. That way, he may have some legal recourse at some point.

Reader comment: Sorry, but I don’t agree with your brother. However educated and healthy he may be, there is no excuse for avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine. This Luddite view is irresponsible. We have a moral duty as citizens of our country to be vaccinated – to take the strain off our health system when our folly is otherwise exposed – and to do everything possible to avoid infecting others. I can’t believe you’re actually justifying his right of so-called “freedom of choice.”

Another reader extends a warm invitation to the Dyson family…

Reader comment: Safe travels back to the States. New York sightseeing will keep you busy! If you travel a bit north into Connecticut, I invite you to stop by and visit us (my husband, daughter, and me). My husband is a private pilot. I could ask him to show you his plane nearby, if you are interested. It would be so much fun to meet you! Enjoy the visit with your dad/grandpa.

Tom’s note: Thanks for writing in! As always, please keep your questions and comments coming at [email protected]. I’ll answer as many as I can in a future Friday mailbag edition.