Well, I sit here tonight, with a fresh wad of cash in my hands after a midnight transaction on the sale of my Thomas bus. In one respect, it needed to go, especially since I now have what was a top of the line in it's day Safari motorhome that was to replace it. The new coach is super nice - everything that I wanted in a motorhome, and would have built in the Thomas had I the time to do it. Before it was officially sold, I thought of the elimination of one HUGE project, in favor of having the ready made machine ready to go, and available for the full time stretch that will be a part of my near future, and felt relief that this was one BIG iron out of my fire.
However, I'm also surprised at the feelings going through my mind. I loved that big old white monster that puked oil everywhere when I bought it, smoked like a chimney on fire, and needed more work than I possibly had the time to tackle. I think this is what embodies the skoolie crowd. My bus was not pretty. In fact, it was even uglier than me. Despite that, it still had TONS of character. I still envision the floorplan in my head. Skoolies don't have to be the prettiest machines in the park. They are a piece of the owner, and as I'm realizing tonight, a surprisingly large one at that. The thing that gets me is, of everything that has been sold so far, the Thomas was the only thing that was to be replaced. All of the other stuff, the brand new car, the motorcycle, the project cars, had no replacements beyond the necessary cheap used cars needed for transportation to and from work. Yet the bus bothers me the most. When I left the place where the new owner and I met, I craned around as long as I could to give the old beast one last look. That final drive couldn't and wouldn't last long enough to say goodbye to a piece of my soul.
When I look at the handfull of $100 bills, I cannot help but think that they don't even begin to cover the sentimental value of that old bus. Goodbye Ol' Smokey, I will miss you far more than I ever realized I would.