A lot has happened since my last post. Not only because it’s taken me so long to compose it, but mainly because life has moved/changed a lot in the last weeks. My last post was on June 21st and it’s now August 10th… I feel like such a failure as a blogger; sorry for the delay.
Late June and all of July were filled with events which kept us from getting things done on the bus. From the Hatcher family reunion in NC, to the Fourth of July, then my birthday and the the Robertson family reunion it seemed like we were never going to get anything done on the bus. And yes, we could have skipped all those things but we decided to convert a skoolie so we could live life more fully, not so we could skip out on it. In fact, had I decided to skip the Hatcher reunion I would have missed out on my last opportunity to spend time with a beloved family member. Never skip out on spending time with those you love, you never know when may be the last time you hug them. Rest in peace Rosie.
We had been hoping to move from my dad’s parents’ house to my mom’s parents’ house to facilitate the building of our bus. Both my dad’s parents are still alive and both my mom’s parents are not. Strangely enough, both the houses need to be sold at nearly the same time. My grandfather has been ready to sell the house we’ve been living in for some time now, but we weren’t sure what our next move was. Deciding to build a skoolie is a huge can of worms. There was no room to park it at my grandfather’s house in Powell so we knew we’d have to park it elsewhere. I have a client who allowed us to park it on his property in east Knoxville, but it was all the way across town so we had to schedule time to go over there and get anything done. This is why we wanted to move to my mom’s parents’ house in Dandridge. It was much further away than we wanted to be, but it had plenty of parking for the bus.
We also had financial considerations when we started this project and the Dandridge house offered us the opportunity to have a much lower cost rent, which would allow us to put rent savings into the bus. The low cost rent would be bartered with labor we’d be putting into getting the house ready for sale. The previous tenant left a lot of trash and really abused the house during their stay. However, that plan didn’t work out. Firstly I had absolutely zero cell reception there, not a good thing when you run your business from your phone. Second, we decided that it was just too far. Too far from my clients who tend to be in west Knoxville (the far side of town); too far from the gym which would prevent my wife from getting her workouts in (me too, but she’s far more dedicated than I am right now); and too far from my primary source of assistance (my dad).
My parents had said that if we needed to we could stay at their house. We really didn’t want to impose, but we also knew that the Dandridge house wasn’t the great option we had imagined it would be, and there didn’t seem to be any other options available. We decided the best move for us was to park it at my parents’ house and make the plunge into full timing in the bus. Dad has been great. The biggest thing I need help with is merely having a sounding board for ideas. I cannot stress this enough; having someone you can bounce ideas off of is exceedingly beneficial. Not only that, but he’s got nearly every tool I could possibly need to get this project done. He may not have the time to get hands on with our project, but his advice and tool supply are all the help I really need. Thanks dad!
So we’ve been living in the bus full time for two weeks now and we’ve gotten a lot done in that time. All the walls are now insulated, half the flooring is in, we made screens for the windows, we framed the rear wheel wells in and built our first two walls. Decisions have been made about how the electric is going to be done and I’m installing the vent for our composting toilet today (among other things). I’m excited about the progress we’ve made and am looking forward to the rest of this journey. I’ll end this post here, and I promise it won’t be so long between posts from now on!