I have to tell you that after 43 years, I have never had a vision like I did tonight while I was sleeping. I think that it might be the result of coming to a cross roads in my life and deciding what direction I need to go in. So here it is for you to read and decide. Or maybe I am just crazy.

I would have thought it was a dream at first but dreams have never been this real for me before. After I had this at about 2343 I couldn’t go back to sleep because I was so happy and baffled at the same time. Before I get into the meaning I have assigned to it let me explain it the best I can before it slips into the mist of my memory.

The dream started off in what I could only imagine as either Pueblo or ABQ. I was walking along in a dilapidated part of town however I noticed there was an old huge water slide/entertainment/skate park. Now it was very old built solid with those kinds of big smooth bricks that you find in old schools and the windows the same with those big aluminum framed windows with dusty screens. Anyway I found out there was a competition there and I decided to partake. This competition was stupid I walked from the bottom of the water slide up to the top of this hill and it was a very long hike. I would land up going up and down this huge water slide about three times. So somehow I had clothes on when I got to the bottom. I would change back out at the top.

When I got done competing it was strange, there was a building surrounding the upper level of the water slide. It is all the same style architecture, old 1970’s school big brick. Like the middle school that I attended. I am walking around and there are a few people there and I see that it is messy and crawl across a few tables to clean up old magazines and such. I guess this catches the notice of a guy that for some reason reminds me a lot of Samuel L Jackson in Django. Except, he is wearing one of those 1970’s plaid suits. He tells me come with him he has something to show me.

We are in this same dilapidated neighborhood. But there is a hill with this huge imposing series of brick buildings. I mean these buildings are clean on the outside. They look like they could be some kind of old apartment buildings. Two of the huge buildings are bristling with balconies and what not. You could tell that they hadn’t been inhabited for a long time. But, they weren’t ruins either. After we pass by them there are two smaller buildings behind them. By small I mean the front buildings were maybe ten stories and the others where about half that.

We go into the bottom of one of the smaller buildings toward the back corner of this huge complex. It is full of life on the bottom floor. It seems that he is going to take me on a walk of what I could only describe as some kind of clinic with a lot of sick people laying down and sitting in the waiting room. He tells me, “It’s my mission to take care of these people.” So I respond, “Okay”. I don’t know why he is showing me all this. As we were walking up to these buildings I start to have this feeling that all of these buildings can be restored to their former glory. I mean these buildings although run down I could tell that they had potential. When I say I felt this I mean I felt this in my mind, body and soul. As if this was a fact that could not be disputed. I have never had a feeling like that before in a dream. I mean that feeling was concrete. It was like I was watching a panoramic drone shot of how huge these buildings were and I didn’t see them as run down but I could see and feel how they were going to look.

For some reason we walk to second floor of the building that we are in. I am by myself on the second floor and I get to the last room of the floor and I look up and there is one of those firefighter poles going up three more floors. And on the next floor this same guy I am talking to and peaking over the edge, asks me if I like this place. I am respond in the affirmative. He is like that is good because I own all of it. My heart almost stops. I am like how does this dude own all this. He tells me if I want I can live here. I respond, “Hell yeah!”

We leave this building and we are walking in front of the other three buildings and it is clean but urban and the bottom floors are filled with those two story glass window all the way across from beginning to end. We walk in and out of them and look at a few of the units. There are people living here and there interspersed in them. The plumbing is running and there is light but these are run down but somehow solidly beautiful under that brick work. It as if my view keeps switching between aerial and where I am standing.

At this point I am jabber at this man that I can make this place beautiful again. When I am saying this he is telling me, “You can do it and you will do it. I believe you will.” He basically tells me to get it done. Not with a mean tone but as if he has complete faith in me and my vision of not what this place is but what this place could be. Not that kind of weak condescending type of agreement when he says what he has to it is as if he believes me the same as I believe in what I am seeing and saying. I am so touched by him telling me this I am balling my eyes out; these are tears of overwhelming joy. It was as if years of pain and self-doubt were lifting from me. That the horizon was clear and that there was nothing but infinite beginnings and ends. The only thing that I could feel is joy and love. As if I could feel how everything fits together perfectly.

I woke up from this dream at 2343 and would you believe it if I told you that I was actually crying. My eyes and pillow was soaked with tears. However, as crazy as this may seem I know that tonight that the universe had something to tell me. That as much at some points in my life I have failed to believe in myself and my vision, the universe has never lost faith in me. I couldn’t go back to sleep after this and had to take a shower and seriously think about what had just happened and write it all down. I have lived my life everyday sometimes to my benefit and sometimes to my detriment by my own internal script. I have seriously doubted myself and seriously had fits of over confidence as well. I knew after this dream that I had just been touched on the shoulder and reminded that I can never stop believing in my vision. No matter where it leads me.

The Airstream Part One…….

Before I get into the whole story about how my wife and I decided to move into a twenty two foot trailer, I need to foreshadow the events and thinking that was going on in my life. Before I met my wife, my plan was to purchase either an Econoline van or a Honda Element and convert it into a “stealthy” mobile living unit. I planned on doing nothing except travel around, fish and live off my military retirement monies. After I met MG, things changed and I dismissed my little escapist dream and carried on with the business of life.

I really need to frame that correctly. We just got busy with life in general and living out of van was one of those fantasies that I stubbornly held onto and would dredge up from time to time. Some people have a sandy beach in Belize, I imagined myself as a modern day hobo. I knew that between the both of us that there was eventually going to be some sort of left turn that would lead us to adventure. Both of are families are nomadic by nature. MG’s grandfather lived off his sailboat and travelled around the Caribbean. I knew that we would figure out something that was our own adventure and our own path we were going to create.

In May of 2018 while watching something I can’t even remember she turns to me and said, “Can’t we just say fuck it and move into a camper?” I had never heard more beautiful words spoken. It would be cliché and say that I saw golden lights drenching our couch while a host of heavenly angels sang in the background. But, that isn’t what happened. Still those were words I never expected to hear and that I was not the only one with a fantasy of dropping everything and moving into a camper.

So the day had come. So we finally pulled the trigger. So everything happens for a reason. We tried to get financing from the bank for 60K for our dream rig. An Airstream Bambi. Well needless to say with our credit such as it was we were denied by the bank. Got it understood. It wasn’t too heartbreaking.

I kind of expected to be denied by the bank. But, before you pass judgement on me and call me a dead beat with no interest in paying his bills….I will elaborate. This back story ties the whole story together.   I am going to reach back all the way to January 2009, I was going through a divorce and I was stationed overseas at the time. I really didn’t have any family in Colorado at the time. My sister was busy with her life and my parents were still living in Germany. I went by word of mouth to hire my lawyer and let’s just say that he wasn’t too gifted in the art of negotiation. Which you would think is a prerequisite for the job.

When the divorce decree was finally issued by the judge in Colorado, it basically stated that the house that my ex-wife and I owned would remain in my name for four years until she could either sell it or refinance under her name. I know you are probably saying…..hmmmm….You are probably thinking well it sounds reasonable and any reasonable person would be happy to have four years to get it together. Reasonable people pay for where they live right? Can you see it? Feel it?? The storm of financial disaster was brewing just over the horizon.

The first four years went by rather uneventfully. Then when it came time for her to take over the house, she just stopped paying the mortgage. Oh yeah. The judge also ordered me to quit claim deed the house to her, so I had no legal standing with the “ownership” of the house. Unfortunately, being a sailor I was protected by the Service member’s Relief Act. This meant that the bank wouldn’t evict her from the house for another four years. Those years went by rent and payment free for her. I was not going to come up with the money to save the house….I am not crazy. I called the bank so many times to beg them to foreclose on the house and they just couldn’t do it.

Eventually they did foreclose in guess? 2018. Crazy right? So what does this have to do with the adventures in this story? Well this left me wondering will we ever be able to make the move to get out of our current place.  Will we ever be able to have our own place? Am I going to be haunted by this bullshit the rest of my life? I just felt horrible as if I had failed at some part of my life. I have made my own mistakes in life and I will take credit for that long list, I hate being financial reminded of mistakes that I really didn’t have a hand in.

So the question was “what next”? We were asking ourselves how is it all these broke assholes somehow have money for houses they can’t pay for and a slew ridiculous toys. All we wanted to do was to buy an Airstream and that was the end of the story. You know actually be fiscally responsible. Shit that people don’t do anymore. Both of us were pissed because we really didn’t want to spend the rest of our lives in the same condo giving our money away and every month that we lived there we felt as if we were just burning our money.

At first the prospects looked grim. We began by looking at 25 foot travel trailers at the local RV store. But, the prospects of getting an ugly behemoth of a trailer were not exactly what we were looking for. We looked but our efforts were halfhearted at best. We were turned off after talking to the salesman and were told that in order to pull a trailer of that size we were going to need to purchase some kind of supersized rig that you need a CDL just to drive.

Part of the reason that we wanted an Airstream, is that both my wife and I love mid-century modern. We loved the clean almost perfect airplane look of the Airstream. We wanted an Airstream and not some camper that looked like a cheap box on wheels. Not a snow bird sarcophagus.

We were really only interested in two brands of campers; Airstream and Casita. We had convinced ourselves that a Casita was probably going to be in our price range. After the sharp sting of credit rejection had worn off, we decided that we were going to save for whatever camper we were going to get and pay cash. We are both super stubborn. The only catch with these two types of trailers is that even the older models cost a pretty penny, because they are so iconic.

We had been saving for a few months and we were getting to the stage where we had enough money to start looking at campers that would probably need some TLC with the amount that we had. After about two weeks of scanning Craigslist and RV Trader looking for a Casita that could fit our budget, Mary Glen happened to find one in Knoxville. She made the call to see if the camper was still available. However, the owner said that she wasn’t going to show it for about another week and that there were two people before us that were going to look at it.

So we decided to take a quick bike ride to the beach and when we got home MG had stumbled across a 1972 Airstream Argosy for sale in Alabama. Right way we were both in ADHD mode. Feverishly sending texts, nervous and the recent pain of the last Airstream rejection as if this was a mirage and it was too good to be true. We learned that this camper was a one owner and garage kept. Like that mythic Ford Escort that grandma has been keeping in her garage since 1993 and it has 12K original miles…. Yeah to us it was like that. The owner had restored it which basically means he freshened her up.

I think we made contact with this guy on a Wednesday and he told us that he had put the ad about a week prior and that there were supposed to be people travelling next Tuesday to look at it. When you have the fever and know that this is the one…you have to act and we acted quickly. MG got off the phone and we quickly put together our strategy which wasn’t much. We were going to offer to wire this guy the money to hold it and not show it so we could get down there first. You have to understand these campers are extremely popular and if you are slow you aren’t going to get it.

We got him the money and that would be the start of our adventure…….