I first suspected my husband of having a midlife crises last summer. I remember catching up with my girlfriends during a girls’ weekend in Napa, and mentioning this. They laughed it off, remembering Jason from our twenties as one of the most laid back guys they knew. He’s still laid back, but I knew he was itching for adventure and wanting to spend more time with me and our son.
My friends and I returned to our house in Alameda on a Sunday before they all flew home. There, I find that he has taken our son Bode to Santa Cruz, and purchased a ’71 Volkswagen camper van.
I can’t say I was totally surprised, and frankly, I was a little relieved. He could have bought an expensive sports car or taken a mistress. Jason has always been a Volkswagen guy, and has always wanted a van. His dad had one when he was a kid (and still had it when we began dating). Phew, I thought this was the end of it, a little project for him will cheer him up.
A little about the van. He got it for a steal, but I soon found out why. He bought it from two women who had lived in it with their dogs, yes dogs. They’d upgraded to a bigger van, and needed the cash. The van didn’t run, and was towed to our house that week. To say this van was a horrific mess is an understatement. Jason pulled everything out, including the tie-dye curtains and gave the entire inside a power wash. Clumps of dog hair streamed out and flowed down our street.
For a couple months, Jason worked on the van while Bode played in the pop up tent. A little electrical work here, reupholstering some seats there. Bode and I did puzzles on the table inside the van.
But, the restoration wasn’t enough. The van was just the beginning, just a taste of the possibilities. Soon he was talking about traveling around the world. Yes, of course I thought he was crazy at first. But, the more he talked, the more we came up with reasons why now might be the time.