Elmer came to the family via my grandmother’s bosses. The bosses had owned Elmer for an unknown (to me) amount of years and decided it was time to sell. My gma jumped at the opportunity, knowing how badly my mom, Roxy, wanted one. I have no idea where the bosses took Elmer, or if they even ever did. The bosses sold Elmer to Roxy, and reluctantly Geno (my dad) for a mere $2000. Elmer made the drive from Colorado to North Dakota and settled into Roxy’s and Geno’s backyard, where he didn’t move again for ten years. He spent the ten years in North Dakota as the best lawn ornament anyone could ask for. He became a storage shed for decorative items and good intentions.

Time passed with Elmer in the backyard, lots changed, and Roxy decided to sell the very backyard Elmer spent so much time. She sold the house and all the land and asked me if I’d like Elmer. Eric and I had hypothetically talked about it a few times and when it came time to decide if we were going to take Elmer or if Roxy was going to sell Elmer, we decided we’d take him. It is hard to turn down a 1975 Land Yacht Airstream. We said yes.

Last August, Eric found a one-way ticket to Bismarck for only $25. While Roxy, Gma, and I were in Santa Fe having a girl’s weekend, he flew to Bismarck and drove Elmer back with the assistance and vehicle from my brother. Elmer returned to Colorado, where’s he sat in our drive-way ever since. He has moved from one side of the driveway to the other (landscaping project) but has yet to see any on the road action. So far, all I’ve really managed to do is clean the counters and fridge and throw away all the bedding. Next steps are floor tiles, new curtains and to redo the layout of the bedroom. Oh…and figure out if/how the plumbing and electrical work.

Eric is frustrated with me because I haven’t put much effort into Elmer. I recently realized it is because we have no plan for Elmer once he’s fixed up. I have no sense of urgency because there is no end game. We have no truck to pull him and no land to set him upon – no truck to tow, no land to stow.

I’d like to take a year and see the country. I don’t want to wait until I’m retired to drive my RV around. My dad waited until he retired and look how that worked out for him. He got cancer instead. I could do some freelance writing, Eric can work from anywhere. Some people move into their Airstream with five children. Could we do it with three dogs? I don’t know, but I’d sure like to give it a go. I’ve already got my hashtag figured out: #48statesandanairsream. Good, right? On a recent camping trip, we talked about the idea of buying some land a bit south-west of Denver and parking Elmer there, first to be a place we stay while we build a house and then to become a guest house. Isn’t necessarily a concrete plan, but I’m going to use it for motivation anyway. Roxy is here, and we went to IKEA to look at curtain options for Elmer. My sister just got a job at a place where she can maybe get us a discount on linoleum flooring.

And so, it begins.