...and crafting a purposeful recovery

A Tale of Two Trailers.

Well, I got through yesterday on two levels.  First, my son’s departure.  Second, Cinco de Mayo.  May the 5th.  May I have my fifth?  Just kidding.  Big party days don’t tempt me.  Hell, I didn’t even enjoy them back in the day – New Year’s, St. Paddy’s, Cinco de Mayo, those are all for amateurs.  True alkies don’t need a reason to drink.  Any day ending in “y” was enough for me.

After venting the pain of Italy’s gain by tearing apart Sparta’s forward interior yesterday, I came home, showered that God-awful fiberglass off of me and remained in my robe for the duration – sulking, texting back-and-forth with those family members still on this continent and streaming Netflix.  No, I didn’t descend into “poor me, poor me, pour me another” (sorry AA members and those familiar with the many program slogans sprinkled about my blog.  Sometimes I just can’t resist a cheap cliche).  I try to just sit with my feelings now – good, bad or indifferent.  I realize that streaming multiple episodes of Catastrophe (actually, that’s on Amazon) isn’t really processing my emotions, but it beats the hell out of Smirnoff blue straight, no chaser.  Plus I feel so much better today.  It helps that the last text I received last night before drifting off to sleep was “Love you” from my daughter.

This blog entry’s title suggests that Sparta may have two tales, two sides.  She does.  As I was assessing her condition yesterday, the old parable of the blind men at opposite ends of an elephant came to me.  One holding the tail, the other a tusk and yadda, yadda, yadda.  From the pictures below, you might see two different things:

The elephant’s tusk

The elephants posterior

My predesessor must have had a panel by numbers strategy. I am getting rid of these but they might make good templates.

sparta wood grain

Not quite sure what this wood is. It’s a 1/8″ ply from Home Depot at $10 per 4′ X 8′ piece. Note stained section on left side.

You could see either a really nice, clean Imperial Mansion ready for show or a badly dilapidated version in need of help.  She is both. Unfortunately, when fixing a trailer you can’t cherry pick.  It’s an all or nothing proposition.  If some of the floor needs replacing, all off the floor needs replacing.  Have you ever tried to match 60 year old linoleum?  Same goes for the birch paneling.  I suppose I could sand and refinish old and new wood, but since all the insulation (which disintegrates in my hands) and wiring need to go, I am going with all new wood, probably something with a more interesting grain.  Also, some safer wiring might ensure that I don’t just become another crispy critter found in a burned-out shell of a trailer – a fate worse than ignominious.

So by the time I finished my cathartic demolition yesterday, I was left with a forward cabin reduced to skin and bones and just a bit of connective tissue.  I am leaving the wiring in place for now since it may be instructive when I rewire Sparta in the future.

From this perspective Sparta’s aircraft pedigree really shines,

Last night, while sitting in bed recovering from streaming binging,  I bought a book on Amazon entitled:  RV Electrical Systems: A Basic Guide to Troubleshooting, Repairing and Improvement,  by Bill and Jan Moeller – 1994

Watt, me worry?

Since I know squat about electricity, I thought this might be a good idea, but I’m too snobby to buy such a tome from the “Dummies” series.  I will let you know if this book is worth the $13.

So the morning is wasting.  Time to take care of a little housekeeping and get back to the work of restoring…”It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”

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