Monday, May 30, 2011

to feel the free wind on my face

The Renovation Station!

The gutted inside (before cleaning)

Matt's stealie stencil on the engine tin

The engine in process

So sitting in the back seat of a Mustang with the windows down on a 9 hour drive to Florida was not exactly the "free wind on my face" I was looking for but I have the good company of two of my best friends and the journey will be worth the rewards. It's been a few weeks since I said goodbye to Birmingham as my home and I feel like the fears I had in the process have all pretty much dissipated. The world has begun to work in mysterious ways. It's as though any time I feel like things are going tough I am handed the tools to make it better. I guess it's a bit like grace and grace has helped my patience grow.

So much has happened since Matt and I left Birmingham to begin a new path in our lives. As soon as we arrived in Guntersville we began working on pulling out the old engine in the bus and putting in the new. We took our time and I feel like we put a lot of love into that engine. I will strongly suggest that if you ever buy an air-cooled Volkswagen that you take the time to learn every in and out of the engine. We have a little bit of work to do as it still will not run. I think we have narrowed down the problem but we hope to have a VW guru to double check before we throw another new part at it. To make the time pass, we started on the interior renovations and gutted the inside yesterday. The new floors inside the bus will be laminate hardwood for easier cleaning (and beauty!). We are also re-doing the larger cabinet to suit us better. We tore out the old canvas top and I have plans to sew up a new one made out of old sailboat sails and part of an old tent. Not much longer and the bus will be worthy to be called our new home.

I think my mentality has survived well through all the setbacks and crazy adventures life has thrown my way recently. I keep waking up in the middle of the night occasionally not knowing where I am. The first week in Guntersville I kept thinking that I was still in my old bedroom back in Birmingham. Although I am disoriented sometimes, I feel like I am exactly where I should be. It's been tough work too--we usually get up fairly early in the morning and work until the sun goes down. With all the aching muscles and exhaustion, I could not be happier. I feel like I have finally arrived in my life and can begin being fully involved in it rather than just going through the motions. It's here. It's happening. I feel a free wind blowing on my face.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

what a week can do...

The past week of my life has been a roller coaster ride and I'm glad that I have kept my plans flexible. Life threw a lot my way but probably the most tragic were the tornadoes. After watching bits and pieces of Tuscaloosa rain down over my house and a near miss here in Southside, I was blown away to see all the destruction that has occurred in the my wonderful home state. I'm sad that in my current situation I cannot help much. Once we are out of Birmingham, Matt and I plan to help my mom clean up in Guntersville for a few weeks. It'll give us some breathing time to do all the renovations for the bus as well. We did have to cancel our first trip to Wakarusa but I honestly think that it's for the best.

It was also sad to learn last week that my brother (who is also my roommate) lost his job at the J.Clyde where he had been working for nearly 3 years. It was also exciting to know that in two weeks he had found a new job in Atlanta and a new place to live with his girlfriend. This made things a little hectic for us at the house since we are having to move EVERYTHING out instead of leaving most of it for him. Because of this, I am not going to be able to paint the mural in Birmingham.

It's nice to see these seemingly awful events as blessings in disguise. Although I may not have the free time I thought I would while still in Birmingham, the busy schedule is making the time fly. May is always a crazy month and it helps me to keep a good attitude and take things one day at a time.