Airstream painting is done! (at least for now)
When we purchased the Airstream, we asked the seller if he had any advice. His words to us were "Low and Slow." He was referring to the towing process. Use low gears and drive at a slow speed. We took that to heart and soon learned that it would be a good motto for more than just driving. After the first workday, we decided that we needed to actively carve out time in our schedule to work on the Airstream. The work is not hard, but there is a lot to be done. This was not something that could wait until warm weather in April. We must keep working.
The day Michael was due to arrive in Effingham, my mom called. She had noticed that one of the awnings was completely ripped off on one side. She tried to brave the wind, rain, dark, and cold to secure it, but the attempt was unsuccessful. She advised that we call Michael's dad to check it out. The next morning, he was able to remove it to prevent further damage until Michael could get to town that evening.
When Michael arrived in town, he was already exhausted. The previous week had been filled with the March for Life, jury duty, and Catholic Schools week. Each of those brought with them some unexpected complications that left him feeling a bit defeated. We decided that he should press on and work, even if just for a day or two.
His mom, Stacy, so graciously offered to help him. Over the years, I have learned that Stacy is a trooper when it comes to these things. She had painted many rooms, doors, floors, and pieces of furniture. No matter how cold, how late, how many coats of paint, or how ridiculous of a color - she rarely complains. Her default answer is "Yes!" said in a way that indicates despite the trials she may have to endure, she is ready. This was one of those moments: forty degrees in the first week of February, painting curved plastic that required cleaning, sanding, taping, priming, and painting. She was there to show her support for her son (although, she did clarify that she supports the Airstream idea for a summer, as a vacation - not as a lifestyle). They spent Saturday keeping the motto "low and slow" and they made good progress.
Michael's dad, Bob, came to look at the awning. We had previously noticed a water leak that would need to be identified. It was on the same side as the broken awning - maybe the leak had identified itself. The awning was supposed to be held by 15 rivets, but only 3 remained. The rest of them were broken off, leaving holes in the exterior for rain to enter in. Bob & Michael put some temporary patches over the holes.
Bob helped remove the existing dinette so that he could add access panels to give more storage. Stacy recommended painting the bathroom as well. Michael was cold and achy, but he decided as long as he had help he would stay. The paint fumes may have affected them for a while as they came up with rhyming mottoes for "low and slow," but they made great progress and the entire interior has the topcoat on it! There was even time for 2 days at home before he left for his next adventure.