How do we have a big hol­i­day on a bus?

The Island Packet (Sunday) - - Real Estate & Homes - BY STEVE DAS­SATTI das­[email protected]

Ev­ery liv­ing sit­u­a­tion has its quirks.

Some houses have win­dows that you need to bump with your fist, like you’re Arthur Fon­zarelli, just to open them. Oth­ers have door­ways with lit­tle space for the door to swell, which makes en­ter­ing the room a chal­lenge one day and a breeze the next.

When you go tiny, you forgo some crea­ture com­forts, we knew that go­ing into this project. But one thing we didn’t think about is how to pull off hol­i­day meals.

QUIRK 1: COOK­ING HOL­I­DAY DIN­NER

I come from a fam­ily who goes all out for

Christ­mas and Thanks­giv­ing. Our ta­bles were filled with carbs of all shapes and sizes, a ham or turkey — and one year both.

One Thanks­giv­ing my par­ents con­vinced my grand­par­ents to go out to a restau­rant for din­ner so it would be a stress-free hol­i­day. Half­way through din­ner my grand­mother told us not to eat too much be­cause she had some things at home. When we got there, we found our­selves sit­ting around the din­ing room ta­ble as she served us a full Thanks­giv­ing feast. We should have worn stretchy pants that year. Need­less to say an un­der­stated hol­i­day is not in my blood.

Un­for­tu­nately, a hol­i­day meal like this won’t work in our skoolie. Our kitchen plans only al­low room for a two-burner propane stove top. No oven. So how do you have a big to-do with so lit­tle a kitchen?

That is what we set out to an­swer this Thanks­giv­ing. The first thing to go was the turkey. While we do en­joy a tasty bird, it’s a lot of work and money.

So this year we tried a hol­i­day meal of just side dishes. My wife, Jenn, and I asked our two kids what they would like to see at the ta­ble and here’s what we came up with: Home­made cran­berry sauce, Brus­sels sprouts, candied sweet pota­toes, honey car­rots, Pills­bury cres­cent roles, and a store-bought pump­kin pie.

It was a stress-free time in the kitchen. Sure, we’ll need to find new ways to cook some of th­ese old fa­vorites next year once we’re moved into the bus, but it’s a work in progress.

QUIRK 2: WEATHERPROOFING

It’s been a very wet fall here in Ge­or­gia and we re­cently found out that our bus is not as wa­ter re­sis­tant as we once thought. This poses a prob­lem for in­stalling in­su­la­tion so we needed to find a way too keep wa­ter off and out of the bus.

We started by putting tarps over the emer­gency ex­its on the roof. That helped some of the leaks but then we found wa­ter near the win­dows. So we went out and got a big­ger tarp — a 20-by-30 foot that was just enough to cover the top and side. The next step will be to in­stall rain gut­ters. Funny, I know. But it’s ac­tu­ally a com­mon so­lu­tion for skoolie own­ers.

The hol­i­day season has left lit­tle time for the bus. We con­tinue to make progress, but it’s still baby steps. We are plan­ning on big­ger strides in De­cem­ber. Maybe Santa will bring us a sack of money, but we prob­a­bly haven’t been that good this year.

Next time on Re­defin­ing the Amer­i­can Dream: How does Santa land his sleigh on a school bus? Where’s the tree go? Do we re­ally need the holly if we have the jolly? An­swer to th­ese ques­tions and more. Same bus time, same bus ar­ti­cle.

Steve Das­satti is a hus­band, fa­ther, film school grad­u­ate and now bus ren­o­va­tor. De­spite his best ef­forts he has not lost his mind, or an ap­pendage, yet. Fol­low his jour­ney on In­sta­gram @Those­mod­ern­hip­pies.

STEVE DAS­SATTI Sub­mit­ted

We found out the hard way that our bus isn’t wa­ter­proof.

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