Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Do

Antsy to do something on Molly, but pressed as I have been by work, I thought I'd show some pictures. That's always easy and makes me feel like I'm working.


Molly "roared" ("smoked" would be more like it) to life. She's getting out just in time, too; notice the mighty walnut tree she's been parked under. Thud. Thud. The sound of walnuts falling on Molly.

My passenger is Tristan, who's seven. He desperately wanted to ride to Molly's new home at the distillery (www.hardtimesdistillery), but I only had one seat bolted in.

Like this:

A closer shot will show the work I've done on the dash:

And even closer. Notice the new CD player. Molly only had a tape player. Getting the Blaupunkt to fit was an interesting project. I also removed all the gauges and polished the plate. And the wiring....oy.

Last winter the cap came off the reefer vent and in came the rain. I don't know if you can tell very well from this piss-poor image, but the wood I attached to the headliner the summer before is now mildewy and stained. I like the look of Airstreams and I've been considering covering the headliner with metal. Brushed, riveted, aluminum. (THAT would never stain, and it would be easier to install.)

So, Molly made it to Hard Times. Like our building? We'll paint it one day. After we can afford to.

This is our back yard. Yes, we have our own waterfall. (In the picture, Molly is to your left):

So...stepping back a little and looking left, you'll see something like this. (Note the lock on her "hood". I shopped a year for a replacement latch, but with no success. This is my solution. Works and looks interesting.)

Then, if you kept turning left, you'd probably see a version of still #1:

Curious, you'd step up onto the slab and walk inside, turn right and fill your eyes with--

Welcome to Hard Times.

This is Molly's new home. And it's a distillery. Somehow or other, if you think hard enough, everything eventually makes sense.

My shop. Molly Molly everywhere, but not an RV in sight.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Onward Molly!

Chores. They define us. They pursue us. They tackle us and throw us to the ground. At the beginning of this recently-deceased summer I had a longish list of them. Chores. It was overwhelming. Especially when added to the fact I was still working on a new business startup (www.hardtimesdistillery.com). Gasp. You mean I still gotta paint the house and....and everything else?! At least it wasn't the whole house, only the west-facing side. But, still. And the garden...the yard. The boat... Had to get rid of that. Had to rebuild the trailer, and I'd been promising the boyos a treehouse forever...what else?

Oh, yeah. I had to move Molly.

It's been two years since she hit the road; what would it be like to drive her again? Would she even make it the eight miles that separated her from her new home at Hard Times in Monroe? It was time to find out. Before that damned walnut tree she was parked beneath started to shed.

It took a while to get her ready. First I had to find an RV battery I could afford. Check. Then I had to finish putting back together the decidedly un-together dash (this would require enlarging the old radio/tape player slot to accommodate the new/used Blaupunkt CD/radio I found on CL). Check. Stainless steel screws. Check. Fuses. Check. Bolt in a driver's seat. Check. Spruce the place up a little. Check. Turn key--

But wait.

What if the transmission decided to fail? Or the tires went flat or fell off? Or the fumes killed me before we got to Monroe?

Only one way to find out.

I turned the key. Molly fired right up. She smoked a little (a lot), and none of the lights worked, and the power steering squalled, and the speedo flapped up and down like a moth on benzedrine, and the brake pedal 's action redefined the meaning of sloppy--but so what; we got there (with Jenna trailing behind just in case, and about eighteen various cars and trucks trailing behind her...), didn't we?

Here we go...

(Yes, I do have the hatch cover.)
She's just different looking. Not boxy like what came in the 80s. She has a dreamy Airstreamy quality. I can't wait to paint her and add an expanded metal deck on top. Oh, and of course finish the interior. And have her engine looked at. Seriously looked at (check compression, look for leaks, replace all hoses and belts). I've given myself a year to finish her. The clock is ticking.

And so's this little guy's. He and his brother are two VERY important ticking reasons for finishing Molly. N'est-pas?

Next up: more of Molly in Monroe...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Falling Fast

Of course I thought I'd be done by now. Two years? Not me. I'd get 'er done. I'd have my family on the road in 2010, lickety-split. Oh yes I would. What could stop me? Malaria? Rigor mortis? Last summer when I wrapped up I knew I'd be through by now. Now being the beginning of fall, 2010. And Molly continues to lurk behind the hedge next door. I had been bogged down by work. My partner, James, and I had started Hard Times Distillery. The place we landed in was a sty. It needed cleaning (the building had sat empty seven years and had formerly been a feed store), then remodeling. My tools traveled one day to work and never fully came back. In the meantime, Molly sat there. Lurking. Add the aesthetic insult of her back side being spraypainted by some High School hoods, and I began to lose steam, as well as heart. I looked out the window at her all winter, walnuts raining down, and poured martinis. Should I keep her? Should I move her to Hard Times (8 miles away) and work on her there? But I had no money. And there was so MUCH to do.

It took months, but when I finally opened her door and saw the wood ceiling I had so painstakingly installed covered with mold...I almost cried. How could this be? How could something like this happen? And to me? I ran back home and went online. In no time I had found someone on CraigsList who was looking for exactly what Molly was--a mid-70s fiberglass motorhome in need of completion. I composed an email and sent it.

I had decided to sell Molly.

I received an intriguing, well-written reply. The sender was willing to trade a fancy German woodstove, formerly installed on a boat, for Molly. I called him. We talked. I have no need of a fancy German woodstove, even if it was installed on a boat. When we were through talking, we each know we had met in the other a similar spirit. I acknowledged that I had been overwhelmed, succumbed to the cascade of minutiae that awaited me. I asked my new acquaintance to forgive me for wasting his time. I had decided to keep Molly, after all. And not just because I had spoken with a supportive, understanding soul, but because of this: my son, Tristan.

The day before I had asked him (I'm sure with a scowl on my face) what he thought of Molly. "Good," was his classic Tristan reply. "No," I said, "How do you feel about Molly?" He didn't miss a beat. "I love Molly, Dad." "How," drilling down on the subject, cutting to the chase, "would you feel if I got rid of her?" His face changed. "I would be sad, Dad." Over the winter we had given away our dog. We talked about doing it for a year. Jenna and I were becoming so busy, no one had time for her anymore. She needed more attention, longer walks. We found a young couple with plenty of space and who fell madly in love with her (our dog). Could I get rid of Molly the same way? Don't have time, too busy, mind's elsewhere--bye. Could I do that twice?

Of course not. So last week the boyos and I washed her (big-ish job for three small squirts). Then I bought a battery. Next I have to reassemble a few small details (like the steering wheel and gas pedal), then I'm going to get a trip ticket and move her to Monroe, Oregon (pop. 680) and park her out back of Hard Times Distillery. During those long distillation runs I'll get back to work on her. And I'm even glad she got tagged. Now I have to paint her. I've been thinking about that a lot...