They say that some things in life that just seem to always happen. Commonly cited examples include the seasons, glaciers, etc.
For us, I would say that family projects fall into that list.
We started the Vardo project about four years ago. Dad was puttering around Ebay and stumbled across an advertisement of an old wagon for sale out in the desert near Barstow. It had been used as a prop in a Pee-Wee Herman movie about twenty years ago. The pictures showed that it looked a little beat up.
A visit to the site confirmed that fact. It had sat in the sun for nearly two decades; the door had fallen off and part of the roof had caved in, exposing the interior to the elements. The cloth wallpaper was handing in shreds from the wall and the wood had been rotted by the sun. Gallons of desert dust had settled into the corners of the floor.
We bought the old movie "Big Top Pee Wee" that featured it. After fast-forwarding through the first segments (we do not particularly recommend watching the movie; but that's just our opinion), we came across the scene where our wagon appears. Indeed it was once beautiful; colorfully painted and exquisitely designed. However it was originally a movie prop; and we realized that none of the drawers opened; the cabinets were facades, and the bed was a hard plank of plywood.
The dilapidation didn't discourage us. We shoehorned the thing onto a trailer, placed a large "Oversize" banner across it, and hauled it from Barstow to Fallbrook.
Working mainly on the weekends, We cleaned it out, hosed it off, and removed all the rotten furniture, keeping the pieces as templates for later. With all the removable parts safely in storage on our front porch, Dad began the task of repainting the exterior while I began work on the stairs and the door.
We repaired the roof together and entirely rebuilt the cuppola. A few rainstorms that season allowed us to locate every leak and seal it. I rebuilt the bay windows while Dad began the arduous process of repainting the interior. We then started on the furniture. We found an old sofa with neat carved wood panels and converted it to a fainting couch. With Mom's help, we cut and attached the cloth wallpaper and Katie painted decorations onto the sink cabinet.
After laying the flooring and constructing the bed, the project was nearly finished. A few finishing touches later, we are pleased to see that it has become a beautiful, comfortable little guest house...on wheels!