Building Our Nest

Our bus has been sitting at the diesel repair shop for nearly three weeks. We have watched our anticipated launch date come and go as we patiently wait for the mechanic to work out the kinks in Bessie.  We drive 30 miles to the shop every few days to check on the progress and tinker around inside of the bus. The mechanic says that it will only take him a few hours to fix her up, but he has to wait for the wind to die down before he can get underneath and weld the leaky air tanks. So far, the wind has kept a constant breeze in Wimberley. For three weeks.
In the meantime, we drive the 30 miles with the Element loaded down with materials. We have been scavenging the neighborhoods and craigslist for 2x4s and plywood. Sometimes we find goldmines in the scrap piles of new construction sites, where cookie cutter houses are being built rows at a time. Entire neighborhoods pop up in a matter of weeks. Oh, the American Dream. I am realizing the importance of being involved in the planning and building of your nest. Just like food! When you eat food that you put so much love and care into, the food loves you back. You form a connection with the substance that you are putting into your body. In recent history, we have entrusted major corporations to grow and supply our food. It now comes pre-packaged and laced with chemicals. Looking at the rows of cookie cutter brick homes, I feel the same sentiment. Corporations now build our homes, and they come pre-packaged and laced with chemicals.
I am connecting all of these dots in my head. I am hoping that other people are making the same realizations as I am. We are eating chemicals, living inside of walls built with chemicals, walking on grass smothered with chemicals, sleeping on pillows made from chemicals. There are chemicals in our water, and in our air. It seems inescapable.
We spent 4 days constructing the hammock bunks in the bus. We were eager to build our beds so that we would have a place to sleep while we worked on the rest of the bus. Right now the bus is separated into two separate mountains of stuff. The back of the bus is stuffed full of our personal belongings and random materials. The front of the bus is a mountain of tools and more materials. In the middle is our work space, where the three of us sit in between our two mountains and drill holes in the walls, trying to find a secure place to anchor our bunk beds.
The frames of the beds are made out of the long metal poles that we removed from the ceiling of the bus. We wanted something that would be lightweight and low profile. Something that would not obstruct the windows of the bus and keep the bus feeling bright and open. Plus, re-using the poles keeps the bus feeling original and vintage.
Once the beds were mounted, we spent several hours cutting, sewing, and grommeting canvas cots to tie onto the frames. The first attempt failed miserably. We used painters drop cloth as our canvas, and the fabric ripped as soon as I lay down. So we went back to the drawing board and decided to upgrade to more durable canvas, and double layered it, and stitched a hem around the edge to give the grommets more support. It worked!! We finished tying the canvas to the frames and slept on the bus that night.
Sleeping on the bus felt so amazing! My bunk is below Caitlin, and Natalie is across from her. There is a window by my face that I can slide open and closed to let the breeze in and stare up into the night sky while I drift off to sleep. The bus creaks and groans at night, and I think the bus is either haunted or alive. I feel like the more energy we put into the bus, the more alive she becomes. It’s amazing to watch our home take shape! I feel so incredibly inspired by Caitlin and Natalie, and even more excited about our future. I could not have hand selected more beautiful, creative and dedicated women to share this experience with. Much love!!!!   -Jamie

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