Once the floor was done, we began the thrilling job of further downsizing and packing the bus. I ran around finishing up all the little projects which needed doing before we could leave. A table went up in front of the raised seating area, an inverter was connected to the batteries and solar panels in the back, shelves went in the closet, and Kirstin began loading all the things necessary for modern life into the bus.
It was nerve racking to try to cram our lives into a small, portable home. What could we actually part with? What would we need? What would fit? I'm still really not sure, though I can say packing every book you own isn't really as necessary as it seems. "But what if I have to look-up..." Don't you own a computer? Seriously, why do I have all these books? Have I looked at more than a couple in the past month? Nope.
Fights broke out between Kirstin and I on the topic of what to pack, what to store and what to donate. She has a tendency to hang onto things, while at times I'll donate the shoes from my feet. After clearing out my old shop, I was leaning heavily on the donate side of everything (except for tools, I mean c'mon) especially those things which I had no sentimental attachment to: Kirstin's. She wasn't having any of it.
There's nothing more a waste of energy than two stubborn people arguing. So to break-up the tension and say a few goodbyes, we invited those who'd been asking to see the bus over.
To make matters more interesting, the wood stove was acting up. After messing around with the chimney cap and finally ordering and installing an expensive wind utilizing version I thought the stove was done. But it seemed to be kicking out less and less heat than it once had. By the time that a few of our friends came over to check the bus out, the stove wasn't producing much heat. Of course, as events tend to conspire wholly for or against, the temperature decided to move on down to -30C.
Sitting on the raised bench, leaning over the table, sipping a beer, I wasn't allowing myself to feel cold. Everyone was in jackets but me. I walked across the cold floor between speaking, trying everything to get the stove to kick out more heat. I was distracted and the bus I had worked so hard to insulate from being cold, was. Every attempt to open the adjustable register to full released ribbons of smoke into the air. I tried to engage myself in conversations, but felt incredibly self-conscious. I had spent all this time and money and sweat to fail? Shit.
Once everyone had gone, I went about closing the bus up for the night. The front steps had taken on a sheen of ice, and I almost fell down the stairs. The icy temperature hardened the door sweeps so much that the front door was suddenly near impossible to close all the way, and the back door was stuck shut.
It seemed like everything I did was wrong.
I was miserable.