Myrtle Doodles

I got stuck. Really stuck. I had all these grand ideas and thoughts in my head for Myrtle. But I had no idea how to even start. If someone wants to tell me what to do….I can do that and do it well. But how on earth did a woman with no construction/renovation experience get an idea in her head that she was going to renovate an Airstream? I blame HGTV and all these do it yourself shows. But they didn’t make me take this leap. So that’s pretty silly of me. I kept putting it off.

Then last week I had no more excuses to postpone it. We had finished cleaning out Mom and Dad’s house so all the weekend time I had spent working there was all the sudden free. I WANTED to get started on Myrtle. I NEEDED to get started on Myrtle. But I was doing silly stuff. I was picking out paint colors and buying knick knacks to decorate. I was a 10-year-old girl planning her wedding with no real concept of what a wedding, or a marriage even really is. Stuck.

A good friend got me moving. They told me to measure Myrtle. See how much room I have for everything. And then draw it out. Put it on paper. The measuring part I was good with. But I’m no artist. I can’t draw. I like words. I’m good at words. Bad, bad, bad at numbers. And geometry… How on earth do I get a 3 dimensional dream on a 1 dimensional piece of paper? But I tried. I started to doodle. Myrtle Doodles my friend called them.

Nothing is to scale. Nothing much more than straight lines and ridiculously out of whack spaces and sizes. But it’s a start. And that’s all it takes. I can picture it now. I have an idea of where I want things to go. How I’m going to make the bathroom (a little) bigger. Where to put a table. I need to remove a shelf to make more room for sitting and storage. (I also became very thankful that I’m a pocket person and not going to need a lot of room to shower, because there REALLY isn’t going to be much room. )  This weekend we are getting started. With a little help from family, I am going to take the next step toward making my dream a reality.

I am sharing my laughable drawings with you to show that all you need is an idea. A little push. Not perfection.


#airstream #caravanner #midlifecrisis #adventure #myrtleandstephanie #myrtletheturtle #remodel #myrtledoodles #vintage #renovation #unstuck

Be The Light

This past week has been an emotional struggle for me. We have been working for about 7 straight Saturdays trying to get our parents house, “The Big House”, ready to sell. It went on the market last Sunday, and we had a full list price offer the same day. It went under contract in 48 hours. While I’m so very thankful for that, it is solidly closing the door on a chapter of my life that I lived in for a very long time.

Instead of energizing me though, it seems to have grounded me. I’ve been down. Depressed. Sassy (pup #1) got sick and required a Vet visit and medication. My friends hitch ended up being the wrong size for Myrtle so I have to start over with that. And one of my employees turned in his 2 weeks notice, so work has been and is going to continue to be crazy. I have struggled to find the light.

Normally, when things felt confusing or hard, I would pick up the phone and call my Dad. He was the most sensible, even keeled, intelligent man. He would always listen, and always guide me. I lost the ability to go to him for guidance several years before we physically lost him. Alzheimer’s took his mind. He never stopped recognizing me, he never got angry or mean, he just withdrew. Became childlike. And that was so hard. Every time I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing caring for them both, I wanted to ask his advice. “Am I taking care of you the way I should? Would this make you proud?”. I knew he would never steer me wrong. But he was now the one person I couldn’t ask. And that seemed extra cruel.

Right now, while I can’t fully get started renovating Myrtle, I have still been trying to move forward. Towards my dream. So I have been trying to decide what kind of vehicle I need to buy to tow her. I love my little Kia, but let’s be honest, there’s no way The Soul Train is going to tow Myrtle. I have wanted to talk to my Dad about my different options. And he’s not here.

I miss Mom too. She loves color, and shopping, and decorating. I can just imagine how much joy she would get out of helping me with Myrtle. I just know she would love her name too. I guess I get that silly quirk of naming things from my Mom. I mean she did name a crazily painted china cabinet in her kitchen the Bodacious Cabinet.

I know this project, this adventure, this freedom for me, would make them happy. They loved travel too. I plan on having their wedding picture in a place of honor in Myrtle so they can adventure with me. This adventure is for them too. That’s my light. They are my light.

#airstream #caravanner #midlifecrisis #adventure #myrtleandstephanie #myrtletheturtle #remodel #endalz #bethelight

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

When people NEED a sign, they will find signs in the most random things. If they need that sign to push them to do something that scares them, they’ll find a sign. It can be a big reach, but they’ll find it. In just about anything.

Like dishes for instance. Vintage, Melamine dishes. Stay with me, because I swear I’m going somewhere, and it has everything to do with Myrtle. A couple of years ago I was deep in the throes of caring for Mom and Dad. It was all new and we hadn’t figured out the budget fully, and were still trying to get settled with good, dependable sitters. At that time I would get one fully free weekend a month. One glorious weekend of no responsibilities. But I had nowhere to go. I could check into a hotel. But that was stupid expensive. So I decided to buy a house. Are you starting to see a theme in my life? Get overwhelmed, spend a lot of money on somewhere I can only live part-time. But whatever. I digress.

So I bought a house. Then I had to buy stuff for the house. I was on eBay one night (more retail therapy) and I found this set of Vintage, Melamine dishes. I bought them. They were precious. White with accents of teal and avocado green.

Fast-forward two years and the loss of both Dad and Mom. I decided I wanted to travel, but I didn’t want to leave my dogs behind. The idea of buying an RV started forming and I started passively shopping. (Online. Again.) I saw an Airstream. I called the guy immediately but he had already sold it. He took my number and said he would call me if he found another one. 2 days later he called me. He already had another one and wanted to give me first dibs. He sent me exterior pictures. I was interested but I started getting scared. This was a big deal. I was talking with my sister about it when he sent me pictures of the inside. I nearly started hyperventilating. Myrtle had teal cabinet doors and an avocado green stove. That was my sign. I had to have her. Because of my Vintage, Melamine dishes.

I called the man and started a rambling story about how I had just lost my parents, but I had these dishes. And they were the exact same color, and I know you don’t know me but please I have to have this Airstream. Please don’t sell it until I can get there. I’m pretty sure he sold her to me because he was afraid I was unstable.

And that’s how I fell in love with Myrtle.

#myrtle #midlifecrisis #adventure #remodel #findyourself #airstream #caravanner #myrtletheturtle #myrtleandstephanie

Grief makes you do crazy things

This is Myrtle. She’s a 1957, maybe 1956 (no-one is really sure because VIN numbers on something that is 62 or 63 years old are tricky) Airstream Caravanner. I bought her in May, on a whim, because $7500 impulse purchases always seem smart. My mom had just passed away in April, just 5 short months after my Dad passed away. This was retail therapy in a BIG way. Myrtle the Mid-Life Crisis.

For 4 years, I along with my sister, had been caring for our terminally ill parents on top of working full-time jobs. Dad had Alzheimer’s Disease and Mom had Parkinson’s Disease with dementia. Then bam, we lost both of them in short order, and I was lost. What do I do? Where do I go? Who am I? So I rode shotgun in a 15 passenger van with $7500 cash in my lap, on a 2 hour drive to buy Myrtle. Site unseen. Just some photos sent to me from a man I’d never met, in a city I’d never been to. We left Birmingham at 6:30 PM. On a Tuesday. 3 hours later we were hitching her up, dry rotted tires and all, and praying she would make it the 2+ hour drive back home. On a side note, friends who are willing to go on a crazy adventure with you are the BEST kind of friends. And if they’re willing to drive, KEEP them. At all cost.

So there we were, 2:00 AM, unhitching Myrtle and look for anything in my driveway we could use to secure her and make sure she didn’t roll away and crash into the house across the street. And that’s been about 6 weeks ago and she’s still sitting there. Because, well, I don’t really know anything about Airstreams. But I’m about to learn. How to refurbish them, how to tow them, and how to hit the road and live out of them for 3 months or more. With 3 dogs, a GoPro and a laptop.

Buckle up, even though I’m pretty sure there are no seat belts, and join me and Myrtle and our Mid-life crisis. #airstream #caravanner #midlifecrisis #adventure