Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lost perspective

If I wasn't a person who preaches about keeping things in perspective I wouldn't feel so humble right now. I have lost my own perspective.

Over the past couple of weeks, looking for a tow vehicle, I had become a little self-absorbed in this "problem", losing focus on the big picture and forgetting to enjoy the journey I  have chosen. While being out on my road trip, and for months after returning, I had what I would consider a good outlook, a lot of gumption and an overall feeling I could conquer the world. People even commented on how my energy had changed; they could see my happiness written all over my face. This was the biggest compliment and accomplishment I had made; Inner and outer contentedness.

Where did that go? Yesterday, thinking while sanding, I came to some conclusions. I'm a little ashamed of how worked up I was getting over something I would consider a privileged persons problem. I often say, probably to some people's annoyance, that anything above food, shelter and clean drinking water is a privilege and here I am tying myself in knots about what kind of vehicle I need to tow my camper, another privileged item. It would seem I have not been taking my own advice. Yes, I'm allowed to have bad days. I allow myself one, then I must stand up, disband the pity party and get on with it! After all, I have chosen this path and I can change it when I want and go another way. I have this privilege.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Keep on keepin' on.

I follow a blog called the Art of Non-Conformity and one of the latest posts, 'worth it all',  has me thinking. Judging from the comments after the post it would seem I'm not the only one with doubts. Author Chris Guillebeau writes about the internal struggle some of us have when we pursue a life that is out of the 'norm'. Is it worth going against the tide to achieve my goals? Do I really want to be out there, living on the road, more than anything else? The answer is always a resounding yes. Even on the bad, self-doubting days I'm still more scared to stay put than to follow my dreams.

Some days I wonder what I've gotten myself into. I've invested too much money in a trailer, don't have a car to pull it, nor do I have the funds to travel. I am a 38 year old with no equity and no retirement savings. I guess I don't plan that far ahead, although I'm told it's wise to. What if I don't get to retirement age? Where's the guarantee that if I work a 9-5, Monday to Friday and save for travel after retirement that I'll actually make it there? There isn't one. I remember a story I was told of a man who worked every winter, saved, and spent every summer traveling. People thought he was nuts for wasting all his money and not planning for retirement. He died in his 60's; before retiring. He spent almost half of every year doing what he wanted and not waiting till later. I know this is just one story but I hang onto it. I think a lot of us put things off till "later" and they never happen.

So, as my van becomes un-driveable, my camper renos become more overwhelming and the search for an affordable towing vehicle disheartening I keep my chin up and keep on plowing along. Because the alternative is to give up my dreams and I'm sure not ready to do that any time soon. I made it happen once and I can do it again dammit!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sanding….wait, what is that?!

I’m finally at the sanding stage of my Boler renovations!

I started by scraping all the loose chips off and I was happy to be able to get my scraper way under the layers of paint really easily. For once I was glad the people before me half-assed something. The layers and layers of paint on one side weren’t adhered at all and came off in big pieces. I thought I would be able to scrape the whole trailer and not have to sand off seven layers of paint.  Not so.
paint chips
Working towards the back I came to a spot that was thick and definitely stuck to the body. Once I brought the sander to it I saw why; the back end had been smashed and repaired with some kind of filler. I have left it for now and will attend to it later.
damage filler closeup
I am a perfectionist, as I’ve said before, and want to get all the layers off in order to get the best paint job possible. A friend of a friend has offered to take it to his work and paint it professionally and even though he said I just need to scuff it up I can’t help but sand it down to the original gel coat. It’s a lot of work, and wear on the body, but once I switched from 100 grit to 60 and 80 grit for the first few layers it made a world of difference.
bottom colors
Layers on the bottom
top colors
Layers on the top
sanded door whole sanded side
I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty details of sanding but to give you an idea, it took me four hours to sand both sides of the door down to the gel coat.

I did find one cool thing under the layers though;  a  Certified Recreational Vehicle sticker. I think it has the original serial number on it too! It reads;
Certified Recreational Vehicle,
Complies with applicable vehicular plumbing, gas,
oil, electrical requirements of ? standard Z240
No 1834

I see many days of sanding in my future as I plan to scuff up the gel coat inside as well to repaint. I would love to get it our for a trip before the summer is over but I am learning things take a lot longer than you think when taking on a project like this.