Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Dream


There’s a dream I have, something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now, and if you’ve seen the illustration above you probably already have a pretty good idea of what it is.

I want to buy a small school bus and convert it into a beautiful house on wheels. It would be a sort of Howl's Moving Castle of the American roadways. I want to pack it full of books and art and juggling equipment. I want to pack it full of Hatke Girls. And then I want to drive to festivals and libraries and bookstores around the country selling art and books, meeting people, and putting on little shows. I try not to idealize it. I know it wouldn’t always be fun. I know a short bus is an awfully small space for a family of six (though it’s got to be better than a minivan). But it would probably, more often than not, be an interesting experience. Plus, the girls might see how big this land really is.

The more time passes the stronger the idea grows.

20 comments:

Gaelen Mibeck said...

Do it! Do it!

(Though I would prefer quadrupedal and steam-powered, but that's just me ;)

I have some good friends (Mom, Dad and five kids) who converted an old bookmobile into a RV.They use it for their yearly adventures.

Jeanie W said...

Sounds like it would be great fun -- for a while anyway. A gypsy caravan!

Ben Hatke said...

Ah, if only we could do a mechanically-legged steam powered high victorian traveling domicile.

Jeanie I'm glad your still popping by my little blog! I'm pretty sure it would be trying if we tried living in it for longer than ...well I don't know. But it would be GREAT for trips to ren fairs, even sundays in the forest. But one time at least I'd want to drive coast to coast. Maybe in the early fall.

Ben Hatke said...

And good heavens I don't mean this fall! I'm not even close to a position where I could buy a bus yet.

Fr Matthew Green said...

I think you would definitely need the tent that is glimpsed in the right-hand side of the drawing, in order to have sufficient sleeping space. I'm sure it would be an interesting experience, especially if you choose your sites well.

You might also have to worry about things like town permits to sell things, depending on where you stop. I can just see some grumpy local resident or shopkeeper looking up the local zoning and commerce laws to say that where you are parked with your house-on-wheels is not residentially zoned, or that you need a street vendor or performer permit...

But if you ever do this, let all your readers know ahead of time, so we can invite you to our towns. I know a homeschooling group who would probably love to have you stop by.

Ben Hatke said...

Hey Fr M, I have your book all packaged up but I missed the post office today! I just realized that Monday is memorial day so it won't go out until tuesday. So sorry!

Sleeping space would indeed be tight, but I imagine we would have a tent and we'd be visiting festivals and friends all along the way, so the amenities would vary from stop to stop.

I'm always worried about permits and such, but the big trip would be planned out in advance, especially where bookstores and libraries are concerned, and we'd be sure to blog and facebook everything along the way.

Kathryn said...

The Scheibmeir's would welcome the Hatke's any day to come park at our home during their road show!

Red Herring Jeff said...

Oh man, what a wonderful dream! and an easy one to get swept up in too, ha-ha-ha!

Dreams like this remind me of "The Hobbit"... by that I mean when Gandalf told Bilbo that when things seem bleak and too hard, to think of pleasant things. I often hear the voice of the Rankin Bass Bilbo saying "...eggs. Bacon. A good full pipe... cakes."

Thanks for sharing!

Annie said...

Why settle for a short bus? You might consider a full- sized school bus so you can stretch out a little! Did I tell you about the bread truck for sale by St. Ann's? It's not a bus. But it was for sale. Also, after you get the vehicle there's really nothing stopping you! Especially in the warm months when festivals are going on. I've always imagined that's how all vendors at the Feast live!

Ben Hatke said...

Ha! I am NOT converting a bread tuck! Does a bread truck even have windows? And I'm afraid a full sized bus intimidates me.

But yes, in the warm months, the sky would be the limit. You can see the dream, can't you Annie?

And Jeff! Rankin Bass Hobbit! I also often remember the part in the book where it reminds us that adventures are not always pony rides in May sunshine... ain't it the truth.

Arkonbey said...

You forgot the part about painting it in a totally awesome way!

If you're coming to Vermont, let me know ;)

Ben Hatke said...

Green and gold with scrollwork, baby. Vermont!

Kelly said...

In Eugene, OR, hippies do that very thing. I have many a memory of visiting my cousins in Eugene over the summer and playing "Hippie School Bus!", much like one would play "Slug-bug".

Clare said...

Did you see the short bus for sale at Eaton's at the end of our street? My neighbor is eyeing it, so you better act fast. Although, I think it has been there for quite a while. It would be quite the adventure! You better act soon before the kids turn into teenagers. It may not be as fun then. ;)

Ben Hatke said...

Oh I've looked at that one. It has a plant growing in it!

SAC said...

I remember the summer I spent travelling cross-country with my dad, four sisters, brother, two dogs, and my cello in the trailer the station wagon was pulling. That is actually one of my happiest summer memories-- I say, go for it, if you can.

Uncle Miltie said...

You'd have to drive to Arkansas to pick it up but you can pick up very affordable short and long school buses on eBay motors:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1989-Chevrolet-Van-30-School-Bus-Micro-Bluebird-Gas-/330571011055?pt=Buses&hash=item4cf79153ef

Ben Hatke said...

Uncle Miltie, that is EXACTLY the type of bus I am looking for.

Man oh man, this may require a trip to arkansas...

Ben Hatke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sdn said...

Ben -- My best friend's brother is pretty much living your dream (sans family). His blog is at: http://tourtoise.blogspot.com