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...