« Home again | Main | 30 amp blessings »

The Airstream refuge

We are settling in to homeownership, in our own peculiar way. Our lifestyle this week is the result of conflicting forces, to wit:

a) we do not wish to buy anything in the house that will take up floor space, since the first challenge of the house will be to rip up all the existing floor coverings and install new floors that are more friendly to allergy sufferers.

b) the outside temperature for the next several days will be 100 degrees +, and it's not cooling off much at night.

c) we won't have a 30-amp outlet to run the air conditioning in the Airstream until at least Saturday afternoon.

d) we'll be leaving Tucson in about 10-12 days, thus discouraging us from getting into any major projects at this time.

This limits our options. During the day we occupy the house because it has central air conditioning. We've been fixing small things and making lists of many more things. Each day we have numerous phone calls to make to tradesmen, and each day a couple arrive to review the state of things and write up estimates. We are making a lot of tradesmen happy.

Scheduling appointments could be a full-time job but I already have one, so in between calls and estimates I use the kitchen as World Headquarters of Airstream Life magazine. I stand in front of the computer sitting on the kitchen counter, because there are no chairs. On the bright side, I suppose it may be healthier than sitting in a chair all day.

At night, we re-occupy the Airstream, with all the fans running and windows wide, waiting on cool night air to slip in after midnight. But we are happy to do it anyway. It's still home. I was thinking last night that it would be the only night of heat, but then the electrician arrived today and told me he'd be back on Saturday to do the actual work. So it was another day of heat in the trailer and once it reached 101 inside we tended to avoid it.

There's lots to do but we can only do a few things at the moment. Today we tackled lights. Nearly every light fixture inside or outside the house had an issue: no bulb, dead bulbs, loose wires, or too-large bulb. One bathroom fixture had a 240-watt bulb where there should have been no more than a 75-watt bulb. That left a nice scorch mark. We replaced all of the interior bulbs with the CFLs I bought earlier, and now we have functioning lights, a minor accomplishment but one that feels good.

Tucson house back br.jpg

We also done some exploratory surgery. The ugliest room in the house is the one Eleanor and I would like as our bedroom. It has great light, a beautiful view, and sliders to the back yard. Unfortunately, it is also encumbered by dark 70's wall paneling in decaying condition, the single-pane window glass appears permanently fogged, there's an annoyingly humming ceiling fan, very little closet space, and in the morning the eastern sun comes glaring in at 6 a.m. and heats up the room.

Ripping up a piece of wall was a way for us to get a hint of what lies beneath, but it was a dusty, sweaty, dismaying experience. And after that we went to the hardware stores with our long lists and spent a few hundred dollars on stuff.

So you can see why, at the end of a day, we are not particularly bothered to leave the cool house for the hot Airstream. In our Airstream, we can turn our back on the house projects and camp in the driveway for a few hours. It's a vacation from the obligations of life, and oddly enough for a mobile thing, a stable anchor in which we can recharge for the next day.


I highly recommend a visit to the local thrift store, Goodwill or Salvation Army, or whatever the local variety is out there. Perhaps they might have a couple of lawn chairs and more that you could use in the house. Low cost and handy. Then again, remember that there is FreeCycle, where you might be able to get something to use, just for the asking of other members.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please enter the security code you see here