First thing we did today was poke at the sub-floor. It has been consistently above freezing the past few days so today was our first opportunity to poke the floor and see if it was still solid or just frozen solid. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately the now thawed floors are quite soft.
Very soft. Soft and flaking up bits of rotted plywood.
To be honest I was relieved at the extent of the rotting. There is no fixing that floor, replacing is the only option. Sometimes it is tough to choose whether to salvage or to scrap, this is not one of those times. I am already watching sales flyers at the big home improvement stores for discounts on marine grade plywood. I am all about reusing when possible but in this case, out with the old and in with the new, water-resistant marine grade plywood.
While Tim poked around a bit I started vacuuming with my new toy. Goodbye mice poop. The bleached and now safe to dispose droppings didn’t stand a chance.
I then moved to the back of Alice as that was where the majority of vacuuming was needed.
When vacuming the bedroom area, I found a scrap of paper face down wedged into the corner. Just as I was about to let my new toy suck up the scrap, I looked closer and noticed it wasn’t garbage. It was treasure!
It was a photo! I squealed and Tim stopped drilling and was probably thinking I saw a dreaded dead mouse (I won’t even entertain thoughts of live mice still living in the walls) by the high-pitched “TIM!” that came from my mouth. I couldn’t help it. It is just too wonderful of a photo not to get excited about.
That is Airstream Al standing in front of Alice (in what I am going to assume, as well as fill in the story gaps with my best-case-fairytale-serendipitous-possibly-fictitious-but-might-be-true assumption) with the man he bought Alice from in the mid-nineties. That right there could be Alice’s original owner. I don’t know it to be true, but in my heart and from this moment on that is the way I will tell this story.
We spent the day cleaning up mouse poop and removing rivets. I can make up whatever story I want. So hence forth, from now until eternity, that photo will be known as the photo found tucked into the corner of the rotted out, mice poop covered sub-floor of Alice that captures the moment that Alice transferred ownership from original owner to Airstream Al.
That photo is not unlike the photo I took of just after Al handed over the title to Tim.
We are the third owners of Alice and to have found that photo today really was like finding treasure. You can bet that photo will be hung and have pride of place somewhere in Alice when we have finished renovations. It is moments like this, people… these are the moments that make this journey worth giving up our Saturday afternoons to don a mask and clean up mouse poop.