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GEOMETRY ALONE WOULD KILL ME
“How did you get a school bus in here?”
“Well, I drove it.”
That’s how you move a school bus. You drive it.
And that’s how I maneuvered a full-length 72-passenger school bus into the woods on the ranch. I drove it between the trees, pulled the brake and turned off the engine.
It helps if you know how to drive one of these things.
And I do.
“I didn’t even know there was a school bus up here,” was a recent comment. My response, unintentionally rudely, was something like “That’s because I didn’t tell you it was here.”
Really, if you’ve managed to drive something as enormous as a school bus into the woods, the whole point is that people don’t see it. That’s virtually the entire definition of hiding.
To be honest, I didn’t exactly intend to “hide” the bus in the woods. I “nestled” it between some trees. If you think it’s hidden, then that’s fine with me.
So, why a school bus? Why there and why nestled so?
Well, I had a cunning plan. A plan so cunning, in fact, that Captain Cunningham wouldn’t have thought of it in a conning tower.
I wanted a cabin at the ranch. A weekend cabin sort of place, on a hill overlooking the Nueces Valley, between the trees, where I might find shelter on a stormy night, shade at the height of summer, a place to read and write, with a tea kettle and a pillow. These are the simple things, the bare necessities of life, the essentials without which one is but a heathen.
Okay, I also wanted an air conditioner and a fridge. Oh, and a comfy chair. Can’t go spend a weekend in the woods without a comfy chair, right?
Now, the problem with cabins, and may I say they are legion, is that you have to build them. You have to clear land, shift boulders, assess drainage, dig holes for foundations, set up beams and joists, nail wall studs together, put more joists on top of everything, measure angles and pitches, drag sheets of wood to places far above your head, nail more things together, stuff things inside walls, run wires through everything, hang paneling, coat everything in paint, and then sort out what you’re going to sit on, sleep on, cook on or eat on, and anything else ending in a preposition.
Frankly, that just wasn’t going to be possible. One person doing all the work isn’t going to make it very far in a project like that.
The geometry alone would kill me. Never mind the summer temperatures, the complete lack of extra hands to “hold this while I do that,” and the lack of any equipment or power to do any of the chopping, cutting, nailing and all the other -ings that come to mind.
So I bought a bus.
It’s twice as big as any cabin I could have built, cost less than a third of the estimated price of a cabin, already has a level floor, solid walls, plenty of windows, weathertight roof, that nifty door opening thing and – let’s face it – it’s super groovy.
But of course it’s completely empty. Eight feet wide, six and a half feet tall and over forty feet long, this thing is a blank canvas, ready to be filled with cabinets, storage lockers, couches, beds, a kitchen, the aforementioned fridge and comfy chair, and of course a really bitchin’ air conditioner.
“Man, first you hide this thing in the woods on top of a hill, and now you’re gonna do all that?”
“That’s the plan.”
Other guys celebrate middle age by collecting bass boats or dead Camaros. Arriving a little late on the midlife-crisis scene, I bought a massive but very groovy bus.