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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Wheels on my House Go Round and Round...


Kathy, at Cedar Pond, asked for a post on my vintage canned ham, a 1968 Serro Scotty Sportsman Goucho; look here for the layout and  here for lots of photos of (clean) Scotty's of various types and colors. Membership in the National Serro Scotty Organization is nominal, a one time fee of $25.00 but, really, can a price be put on fun? This great group of people have camp outs, cruising, rallies, etc. I've not been on any of those, indeed, there's a story behind my Scotty and you'll read about it below...if you keep reading.


My little Scotty is 13 feet long and boasts a living room, three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, closet and a fair amount of storage. Amazing! you say? Yes, with a little imagination all that is accomplished in only thirteen feet. You will notice my Scotty is dirty, extremely dirty, and that's because it's been kept in the barn since November 19, 2011. I still haven't gone camping but am planning an inaugural trip next year, perhaps to the National Cornbread Festival which is sponsored by the 100+ year old Lodge cast iron cookware. Lodge is a favorite around Thistle Cove Farm and any Southern cook worth her, or his, salt knows about Lodge and has a skillet, or dozen, in her, or his, kitchen.  


The camper themes are patriotic, cottage and rooster with the central pillow stating my allegiance to the King of Kings. That little pillow says "The King Lives Here" and so He does. During the day, this area at the camper back is the living room and becomes bedroom at night. I still have much to do to get it ready for comfort but believe I've got a good start. The white cushion, underneath the red, is a five inch foam custom fit for that area. It needs a bed ruffle...I have one in mind that I need to take from the house...but it's Very Comfortable, both to sit upon and for sleeping. I do have a sweet little duvet for my feather comforter and a couple of nice bed pillows for sleeping. All in all, I believe I'll be quite comfortable especially after I figure out what I'm going to do for curtains at the three back windows.

oops...looks like I neglected to take a photo of the loft bed...it's above this "room" and you can see how the ceiling slants. That's because the loft bed is chained in an upright position to allow for more head room and is used solely for storage. It's supposed to hold around 90 pounds but I'm not comfortable sleeping, or even sitting below, and having that much weight as a potential/possible crash on top of me. Nope, storage it is and storage it'll remain.

John Serro came up with the idea of a "mini" camper and Scotty's were built from 1957 until 1997 in a plant in Ohio and in Georgia and my camper is original save for the refrigerator. I'm not crazy about the pink paint; actually, I despise pink but until I've put a lot more thought into it, pink it'll stay. At least the outside and stove are the original turquoise, which I do like. In 2007, a PA business man bought the Scotty name and began manufacturing new, vintage looking Scotty trailers. If you'd rather buy new, click here; the new ones are nicely laid out and a big advantage over the vintage is the floor...it's one flat piece. In my vintage Scotty, there are almost more levels than Carter's has liver pills (a Southern saying that's been around a coon's age). When I step up, into my Scotty that's one level; second level is a step down into the kitchen; third level is a step up into the dining room and the final level is a step up into the living room...that's a lot of levels to manuevar, especially at night when sleep is close should nature call.


My coffee table and night stand have two shelves, making it doubly useful. Most of the camper lights are electric but there is one propane gas light as you enter.


My clothes chest is a vintage Hartman leather suitcase and will hold all the clothes needed for a weekend or week and is stored on the loft bed.


The bathroom is behind a closed door and doubles as a storage closet when in transit. While it's true it won't flush, it's also true I won't have to traipse around an unfamiliar campground at 0'dark thirty...safety first, last and foremost! The 'I love Lucy' sign came with the camper; perhaps she looks shocked at being in the bathroom...eh?


In transit, the bathroom becomes storage space for the three directors chairs, American flag to be flown on site and a few other odds and ends to make life easier. Why three chairs? As Thoreau said, "one for solitude, two for companionship and three for company."


The dining room will make into a bedroom and sleep one comfortably, two cozily and four may dine, elbow to elbow. In all fairness, this little camper is designed to sleep and feed three people, max. (I forgot to put on the tablecloth or set the table with my Emma Jane dinner ware...sorry.) I never intend to have more than one other person or, should more be invited, a pop-up tent will be used outside.


When velvet curtains are drawn, the mood is sweetly romantic. There are solid red velvet curtains at either side of the table and all are a good block against the chill of the night. I do have an oil filled radiator heater that will be called into use when the nights turn from chilly to cold.

Above the stove and sink is the double cupboard holding necessities for cooking, baking and making beverages. So much of what is contained in this camper is vintage, both from my childhood and collected over the years. A teapot, variety of teas in sealed tins, aluminum pitcher and tumblers, aluminum ice bucket and even aluminum custard cup holders and glass cups, to be used for ice cream, and other things wait to be put back into loving use.


The four burner gas stove has an oven and the sink is just large enough to do a few dishes. I do have an enamel dish pan to be used for rinsing dishes or, along with a plastic dish pan, will be taken outside and put into use there. This area has a rooster and chicken theme...measuring cups, hot pads, storage containers, etc. all sport fowls. The tiny cookie jar says "In Thy presence is fullness of joy" and the two platters are used for transporting food and beverages from one spot to another. There are three lanterns, two shown here, that are hung on shepherd hooks, outside, with citronella candles for bug control and atmosphere. The camper has a stripped awning and I need to take a smallish, perhaps 5x7 rug, both for outdoor use.


Daddy gave me this Rayovac, "powering American since 1906" light and it fits perfectly with the vintage camper theme. Yes, I do have LED flash lights as backup but this is the go to light.

Sooooo, if you're still with me, here's my Scotty story...In October 2011 Dave asked me to take him to the beach; he was battling cancer, had gone through a lot of radiation and some chemo treatments and was so very weak. We rounded up a farm sitter...thanks, Melvin!...and off we went to Myrtle Beach, SC where, Sandra, or S2 as Dave called her, a friend of decades lives. Our plan was to stay for a couple of weeks, then go to Vicki's condo in Florida; that's Vicki of 2 Bags Full. Dave had been given his death sentence and it wasn't long; bless God's name, it turned out it wasn't as long as we'd been given but, like babes in the wood, we had no clue just how short it was going to be. All that to say, he wanted to go to the beach and I was going to take him.

While in SC, my sister called and said, "I've found your camper", then sent four e-photos. She was right; it was MY camper and Dave said, "If that's what you want, let's buy it." So we did, sight unseen and based solely on Stephanie and her husband's viewing and comments. We arranged for the money to be transferred and Steph and Walt, her husband, moved the camper from its old home to their home. Dave and I would retrieve when we were home from the beach but Dave told me, "This is your dream and I'm not going camping. The last time I camped, Uncle Sam paid me and it wasn't nearly enough then." It was similar to when he told me, "The farm is your dream; I'm not doing physical labor but will support you in your dream because I want to live there, too" and he did.

So, Dave and I left SC, went to FL and had a wonderful time...we didn't do much...ate at wonderful restaurants, sat on the balcony and watched the ocean, rested...it was what we needed and all we needed.

It was perfect.

We came home and two weeks later Dave asked me to tend to some business for him. It meant a few days away from home and he didn't feel well enough to travel. I left him on Tuesday afternoon, with my trip to finish Saturday at my parents' 60th wedding anniversary party and I'd return home the day after. On Friday night Dave and I spoke. He had plans to play nickel dime quarter poker with friends who came to the house and the last words we said to each other were..."I love you, be careful". The next morning he died of a massive heart attack, probably due to his heart being so weakened by radiation treatments and certainly due to God's timing.

Yes, I did host Mom and Daddy's 60th anniversary party; it was what Dave would have wanted. He didn't like histrionics or making a scene and I refused to disrupt my parents festive celebration by announcing Dave's death. But Daddy did. After I finished my opening comments, I asked someone to pray and as I walked away, Daddy stepped up to the podium. In a voice broken with emotion he announced Dave had died, only a few hours earlier.  It's been said, and is true, when two people marry, they are at least six people marrying...the husband, wife and both their parents. It's the same with death. When someone dies, there are so many people affected...family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers and the list goes on and on. People have to deal with a death in their own way and it might be offensive to some while others understand. Just be gentle with each other, be very forgiving and, eventually, you'll get through it. I wasn't offended when Daddy announced Dave's death and now, three years later, believe it was a good thing. I had the support of people who loved Mom and Daddy, who cared about them and, by extension, cared, and care, about me.

It was a blessing.

The next day, Sunday, Stephanie and I hitched up the Scotty trailer and came home, to Thistle Cove Farm. Dave never saw the camper except in photos taken by someone else.

The Scotty has been in storage since but I do believe next year I'll put it into use. I want to join Sisters on the Fly, here, knowing they'll be kindred souls who hold each other in esteem. They 'have more fun than anyone' and some sisters meet at the National Cornbread Festival; I plan to join them. After all...'no men, no kids, no pets, be nice' sound good as I, tentatively, dip a toe into the waters of life again.

Like I've said all along, "it takes as long as it takes". I believe it's time; what do you think?

Please, wish me well and keep me in your prayers.

Blessings ~ my Scotty Sportsman Goucho camper ~ the blessing of Dave ~ Vicki, a sister in Christ ~ my beloved sister, Stephanie and her husband ~ Lodge cookware ~ National Cornbread Festival ~ ~ the prayers of many ~ the grace, mercy and love of God ~

29 comments:

  1. I think you will have a grand time in the camper at the festival! But I'd take the dogs along.

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  2. I read every word and what a moving story about your hubby. The day my mother died my hubby was getting a huge award a prestigious ceremony and we went and I did not tell a soul....because it was the right thing to do.

    You know he said that camper was MEANT for YOU and the fact that he never actually saw it really makes his words resonate.

    Blessings to you and I will keep you in my prayers. I think the Sisters on the Fly would be marvelous for you. xo Diana

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  3. I think he'd love to see you put it to use. It's adorable, and full of future adventures for certain!

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  4. What a sweet project and so many happy-making details! Sandra, I think your travel ideas sound perfect!
    And you are bringing back happy memories of my 1969 Ford Econoline campervan, which is what I bought when I left Colorado with six cats, a parrot, an an Irish Wolfhound, in 1981, and lived in for several months. Very comfortably! I'm raising a glass of cider in your direction, and saying "Cheers!" to your coming adventures :)

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  5. I read every word and it was well worth the time. Dave was gem to be sure and so are you. :) I wish we had a Scotty or a small motorhome. I would so be out there if we did. In our earlier years, we spent many a happy day with our towable or tent. Hubby doesn't want to do any more camping though. His arthritis is just too bad to enjoy a 'working' vacation. So GO! Have fun. You always have my prayers. Be sure to post about the trip(s) and all the adventures. Camping people are usually the most friendly folk in the world.
    Luv ~:)

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  6. We kind of gave up on the camping thing some time ago, but I have some great memories. Go for it, girl!

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  7. Quite an inspirational story. I hope you enjoy your camper.
    Thank you for your visit and kind comments.

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  8. Don't go anywhere without dogs. They comfort & keep you safe anyway. This is one heck of a story, you continually amaze me with what you can accomplish, my lady. Dave would be so proud of you (as he always has been). xx's

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  9. I love this post, Sandra. I like reading about the camper (and looking at the camper) and I like the way you write about Dave.
    I think you are destined for the Cornbread Festival. I think I need some cornbread for dinner and I shall use my Lodge pan.
    xo

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  10. the hubby & i love camping. it is a great time and such a learning experience. so fun!! have a real ball! ( :

    can't wait to hear where you go...

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  11. Greetings from Dori an best wishes for your camping-idea!

    I still cannot believe,that Dave died.I am so sorry about this lost.

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  12. Dear God's Child,
    Wishing you well and keeping you in my prayers...

    It takes as long as it takes... One must choose in one's own timing when we are ready and willing to focus on the present good rather than past grief.
    It takes discipline and determination.

    it doesn't mean you ever stop loving someone / your memories of them.

    It means you are no longer committed to the "hurt / loneliness / loss" habit.

    What I mean is that when the person's face/name/memories come to mind, you immediately switch your thoughts to something else.
    Saying hello to God, nature's weather that day, your animals, cooking, ANYTHING, just as a way to switch to the positive.
    You may loop right back to your grief.
    But being conscious of the habit, once again you bring the other thing to the forefront of your mind.
    And keep doing that.

    Gradually you will find that your 'grief times' lessen because you switch to other things, making new memories, having new experiences.
    You know that you have the power over your mind.
    That you are choosing to heal, to enjoy the day in front of you with what it offers, to choose what brings you peace, distraction or optimism over what keeps your sadness present.

    It's about changing habit patterns, and it can be done, just as any habit can be changed, given the willingness, patience and commitment.

    ((cyber hugs)) and empathy.

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  13. Your Scotty is adorable. I'd love to have a camper like that some day. Not to live in all the time, but to do some leisurely travel. I don't do tents and bonfires. But a little camper to sleep cozy in? Yes :) have fun with it, and take that trip!

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  14. I enjoyed this post so much, marveling at how things work out, and how God provided for you to have this trailer at what seems to have been the right time. You might never have got back to that idea if you hadn't bought it before you became a widow, and now it seems that it is a wonderful gift that has just been waiting for this moment, when you are ready to enjoy it. It is just the cutest thing!! I get excited thinking about you going exploring in it.

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  15. I love your little Scotty and thank you very much for showing her to us. You & your little Scotty will fit in very well with 'Sisters On the Fly' and I think you will have a blast !

    I am glad you shared "the rest of the story" regarding your little vintage travel trailer. Thank-you Sandra, and you're in my prayers.

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  16. BTW, I forgot to ask...do the Sisters In The Fly really forbid pets at their gatherings ? My husband & I take 2 of our dogs on all campouts because we enjoy them, and also appreciate them for safety. There is a lot of good to be said about a faithful dog barking at intruders of the furry or human kind. Maybe I should check out the web site for the Sisters... still, their outings sound like so much fun.

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  17. What a GREAT post! I love your little Scotty and think this will be wonderful for you.

    You are BRAVE!

    You INSPIRE me to step out of my comfort zone.

    In this grief journey it takes time to get back into living with some joy and adventure in our lives. It's two years ago this morning since my dear husband went to his heavenly home and it has been quite an experience. I'm not the same person I was two years ago. God has been and continues to be my strength.

    I think you will have many good times with your little Scotty.

    May your holidays be filled with much love, joy and peace.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  18. Hi Sandra,
    I have loved seeing and reading about your tiny camper. I had a 1963 Shasta ( Daisy) that I had to sell but oh how we love them, don't we? Small but heavy was our problem as they were then madeo of heavy steel and materials. We took her to Texas for Antique week and a few other shorter trips! They are definitely made for two-lane highway driving which I love anyway!
    My idea for your curtains is what was in mine when I got her. They had used Round Rods for holding curtains just an inch or so from the wall and used cut to fit shower curtains. This way they already have the slit openings for a hook on the curtain rod. They move easily back to open and close at night. Mine had an air conditioned where your window is so I just surrounded it. Well, as I read on, it looks like that was used on your front curtains which are just beautiful!
    We did have a closed bathroom with a take-out toilet and it looked like a hobbit room in the back curve.
    I strung outdoor lights to see to get up at night and it kept the "DAISY" nicely lit to see to maneuver. It is amazing how much storage is in these older trailers. We could carry water too but I was afraid to wash dishes so I did them outside with bottled water. I was afraid of drinking from it with all those old lead pipes!
    Your story with Dave is so healing, as you do every day! Bless his soul and yours too!
    Thanks for sharing your lovely story and have fun next year. I will look for your camping stories!
    Blessings, Cyndi

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  19. That was a very touching post, Sandra...thank you for sharing your story. I hope you have a lot of good times with your camper!

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  20. You amaze me. What an adventurer you are.
    Wish I could go too. Life is short as we well know. So stop and smell the roses. Wishing you much laughter and happiness. yvonne

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  21. About a year before my husband's health began to fail we took a trip across country to visit my folks. I'm so glad we had that little vacation. We so enjoyed the beautiful country we drove through and he loved visiting with my parents. You never know how long you have to enjoy your loved ones here on earth. I'm so glad you're ready for a new adventure! I'd love one of those cute little campers!:)

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  22. Love your home on wheels!
    Thinking of you.
    Hugs,
    d

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  23. Hi Sandra
    What an amazing camper! I think you should take yourself away with Scotty as soon as the weather improves and warms up - you have made it a real "home" on wheels.
    Thanks for the comment on my cards. I would love to show you how but you know I make it look just so easy but remember that I have been collaging now for about 3 years and produce a lot. Practice makes perfect and I am still perfecting.
    Hugs,
    Suzy

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  24. Dear Sandra, I can't remember when I enjoyed a story so much. From the camper's coming into your life to the passing of your hubby, it all was in God's plan.
    It does take as long as it takes to work through the sadness in ones heart, but through God and his ever comfort, it does happen.
    It is never easy to announce the passing of a loved one, but when they are loved by so many, God shows us the way to break the news. I can only imagine how difficult it was during the anniversary party.
    Taking a trip in your camper is such a wonderful idea and meeting up with special friends will be a big plus. I believe Dave is smiling knowing your upcoming plans. True love is knowing the other is happy and that love stays with you forever.

    Thank you for sharing this touching post, the camper story and your creative ideas going forward.
    God continue to Bless you.

    Love to you
    xo

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  25. Dear Sandra, you amaze me. I just love you're camper...caravan we call it here. what fun you are going to have. Sometimes I feel so sad that I could not have shared some of Petals blessing with your Dave. Life can be so unfair at times. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. You keep going forward girl. You're in for many good things in the future. Many hugs Sue x

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  26. Happy Christmas Sandra and happy camping when you decide to go. I look forward to your camping stories next year.

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  27. I'm behind in my reading, but I'm glad I went back to read this post. I was confused about the canned ham at first, haha! I've heard of Sisters on the Fly; sounds like so much fun.
    Your story about Dave is really touching. I pray the Lord's blessings on you Sandra; I admire your courage and strength.

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  28. Sandra--- can I just say... This is amazing!! What a vintage treasure!! If that little jewel was mine-- I'd park it in the drive and go there for my morning coffee every day:)

    You've fixed her up beautifully---,don't ever let her go--- she'll only get better with age!!!

    I loved seeing these photos and reading your amazing story:)

    Love
    Vicki

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  29. I say 'why not?' Go... enjoy!

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