While driving down our local road on my way to work one day, a few months after we became a bus family again, I noticed the distinctive bumper and tail-lights of a bus peeking out from under the partially raised garage door of a home uphill from the highway. I wondered why I had not noticed its presence before as I pass by this house at least twice a day during my commute or any other sojourn towards civilization, but I guess acquiring a bus activated my long dormant bus-radar. Since that time, I have peered up the hill to see if the bus moved or was in anyway put to use. The years passed and I never saw much of the bus beyond the occasional glimpse of its backside when the garage door was fully raised. Tempted as I was to knock on the door, introduce myself, and start asking questions, I refrained in fear they would recognize a nutcase when they saw one.
My curiosity peaked again when the bus appeared outside the garage last month, along with a bunch of boxes and what looked like assorted “garage junk”. A few days later, a large, gated truck (the kind commonly used by junk collectors around here) showed up and I began to get a little nervous that the bus was destined for the boneyard. Though still I refrained from knocking to inquire about a possible sale of the bus, I did keep a close eye on the auto section in the classified ads.
This past weekend, we decided to put Moby to use and drive into town for a relaxing day of window shopping and lunch. Sitting behind the wheel and cruising down the road caused a weakening in my worries of being chased off the bus owner’s property. Who could possibly blame an obvious fellow bus owner for stopping by to say hello and engage in a little bus talk? Of course, in the end my worries were unfounded as the owners took no issue with me and were very friendly (and patient). They told me another person stopped by with an offer to buy the bus a few weeks ago, but they turned him down – a story, I think, to head me off lest I do the same. After realizing I was not there to spend money, we had a great 15 minute conversation about buses, the bugs that were our first vehicles, and future plans concerning our VWs. It turns out the bus is not on the road due to an electrical issue with the ignition system; a problem which was intended to be fixed over the summer, but neglected after a basement remodeling project sucked away available time (boy do I know that feeling!). Hopefully, within the next year, we’ll see the bus out and about, driving down the road with the rest of us.