...until a spread sheet blows someone's MIND.
I still have vestiges of my former corporate self despite my attempt to pass as an authentic trying-to-find-myself bohemian chick. These deeply seated roots cause me to do oddball things like create detailed spreadsheets about my trailer.
I know. I know. I KNOW. (Hangs head in shame.) Who takes something as organically fun as a vintage trailer and makes it into WORK?
But, but, but...Santa, I can explain!
You see, acquiring the trailer was easy. "Hey, Daddy, can I have the trailer?" "Oh sure, Honey." Small talk with my Dad. Easy-peasy.
Taking possession of the trailer? Well, ok, somewhat harder. See details of the 3,000 mile odyssey by reading posts from last May/ June 2010.
Actually owning the trailer? Let's just say, I'm seeing an analogy with having a baby here. Trying to make a baby? Easy, hopefully fun, if you're doing it right. Delivering a baby? Well, harder, but you gets lots of professional and friendly advice. Hopefully exciting. Really having a kid? Complicated, amiright? Ye-ahhh, it's like that.
You see, what I don't know about the care & feeding of my baby-trailer could fill a book. Or, in this case, a laboriously filled spreadsheet. First you get some tabs regarding restoration, filled with goodies like the terrifying "systems" tab which chronicles my attempt to understand and research electrical and propane systems. Or, perhaps you would like the "exterior" tab which explores topics like airplane sheet metal fabricators and polishing compounds? No? Try "interiors" and look at varnish links.
Beyond just the restoration, there is the Future to Plan For. Remember that idyllic little piece of land I keep waxing on about? See the "land" tab. And the architecture I envision there? And the solar panels? And how 'bout the BUDGET, humm? And does anyone really want to spend more than one night of their life researching composting toilets? No? Then you damn well better get it into the spread sheet the first time, Bozo.
See? See? It's so easy to slip into old habits. That crumpled to-do list is really just a gate-way drug to a serious spread sheet relapse. Sigh. And like most non-profits, the problem is lack of funds. So, create even MORE spreadsheets to justify and explain the cause. About this time it is wise to step away from the spreadsheet and work on perspective.
It's a great trailer. I love it. I want the best for it, to see it grow up an become more independent. And to have as much fun with it as I can before one of us gets too old. So, I pedal back on my big dream spreadsheets and try to enjoy the moment.
Thought you might want to see what the inside of the trailer bathroom looks like. It is all metal, even the door backing, and the shower drains down the floor. Neat, huh?
I can't say I remember using the shower much growing up. Most campgrounds have less-claustraphopic showers. Plus, when you are a kid on a camping trip formal baths are largely optional if you can just get hosed down after swimming.
Most of the fixtures are orginal, including the towel bar/ soap basket/ tp roll holder. I think the shower knobs are house fixtures circa 1980.
It has recently had a good scouring with old fashioned product called Bar Keepers Friend. Naturally, Tiffany, who tends bar at an Irish bar, did the cleaning:)
And where is the potty, you ask? Ta-da. In all it's yellow porcelain glory. Why yellow? No idea. Never had any yellow matching stuff.
If I had to have a weirdly colored vintage toilet, why O why could it not be pink? Or mint green? Damn it.
To complete your little tour, I'll mention that there is a shower curtain bar that runs around to protect the door. I took down the curtain that was hanging there, mostly on account of it being really ugly. I'm tempted to replace it with something that captures a little yellow... but then again, maybe I'll stick to the baths-are-optional-when- camping concept;)
Could it be any more darlin'?! Just gorgeous! This charming vignette is brought to you courtesy of my friends Teresa and Nicky. They are just SO stylish!
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the are many ways to play the vintage trailer game. What makes this one so special is that it is so pristine. "What?!" you say? You thought I gushed about rustic patinas? I do. But I also gush about the art of detail and sparkle. And this beautiful Shasta, like the owner's other trailer, a sweet Little Gem, is amazingly, dare I say, lovingly restored. You can pretend it's fresh off the showroom floor.
Look again at this picture. See how clean the paint job is, including the hitch and frame? See the wonderful (NO rust!) red vintage cooler and water cooler? The clean wood under the stabilizing jacks? The colored bulbs?
Teresa and Nicky just have an eye for elegance- enough but Not Too Much. (Not that I don't also love Too Much!). They keep the lines clean, the finishes fresh and the whole experience classy. There is no juryrigging, half-ass duct taping, bungee-cord-of-death contraptions
or such. Nicky finds a solution and makes it look good. Teresa adds a theme, but keeps it classy.
I admire this so much. I love my Spartan, warts and all, but my goal is elegant, too. I take my patinas, but my vision is to bring all the details to a well cared for look.
If you had tried to explain this whole vintage trailer owner camaraderie idea to me a few years ago, Im not sure I would have understood it- or believed you, frankly.
I mean, just owning a hunk of metal you haul around does not seem like a solid friendship starter. 10 minute conversation maybe. But... in fact, it just somehow brings out the commonalities in people.
First off, you've both committed to well, a big hunk of metal you haul around. But more than that, you both saw the adventure calling, the whim and well, the practical. (One stay at a mediocre hotel and the resulting bill makes a trailer look good even to the unconvinced.) Its an odd mixture- funky and artsy + practical and outdoorsy. Start with those qualities and, actually, yes you do have a real basis for friendship.
So I am back from a fantastic week-end with like-mided people who inspire me, feed me and make me laugh. I flunked outta taking pictures, but I will sort what I've got and illustrate some posts with them.
Meanwhile, I have that relaxed but energized feeling that makes $3.75 diesel but a buzzing fly to my rally experience.
We have s'mores planned for Friday night at the campground. I actually have a dual purpose in celebrating- it's my Dad's 90th birthday! I saw him earlier this week; we had cake and popcorn and and I told him about the rally.
In honor of Roger, here is a photo of him in the trailer with my brother George. I'd say this was taken in the early 90's.
In anticipation of the Vintage Trailer Rally this week-end we are all a flutter. I am (gasp!) driving Blue up by myself (well, with my 6 year old co-pilot) on Thursday. Tiffany and I headed down to where the Spartan is stored yesterday and hitched up Blue so I would not have to do it myself.
Tiffany also decided my mirrors need an upgrade, so voila, new towing mirrors. Thanks Tiff!
I have also been trying to doll up Blue so that it does not look quite so much like a band of roving thugs or mariachis is going to pop out of it. Wadda ya think?
If you are thinking that now Blue looks like a band of roving clowns might pop out of it, you can hold your silence, mmmm k?
I do think it looks more festive at any rate.
It was a wonderful day to be out puttering around at the trailer. Sunny, fresh; Spring in Houston is underrated. Here is an amazing thistle that was blooming by the back door. It was huge- maybe 1 1/2- two feet in diameter.
We are packing up an impressive collection of odds n ends and getting ready to hit the road in the morning. Eggs boiling on the stove. Bubble wands, coolers and solar flashlights stacked by the back door. Happy, bouncy kid deciding what treasures make the cut to fit into her backpack. Slow realization that I am actually having one of those moments when the anticipation may be as good as the event.
Then again, no s'mores at the moment- so I hold out for perfection.