Girl Camper Story

Melanie KroonaKress

Oh my! How do I begin to tell my story about a dream come true when it’s all so much more than I ever dreamt?!? Ok – I’ll give it a try. I am now the very blessed owner of an awesome, little, vintage trailer named “Vintage Cowgirl.” She is a 1964, 13 ft., Airflow. I am 68 years old and a retired widow. After working almost 50 years, mostly in California, I moved to Texas in January 2007 to be closer to my aging parents and sister. I attended graduate school at TCU, and in the midst of that I had a stroke. Thanks to God it wasn’t totally debilitating. I did finally get my master’s degree, however, I ended up with a painful case of fibromyalgia which has ultimately prevented me from moving on to a final career as I had planned.
Oh my! How do I begin to tell my story about a dream come true when it’s all so much more than I ever dreamt?!? Ok – I’ll give it a try. I am now the very blessed owner of an awesome, little, vintage trailer named “Vintage Cowgirl.” She is a 1964, 13 ft., Airflow. I am 68 years old and a retired widow. After working almost 50 years, mostly in California, I moved to Texas in January 2007 to be closer to my aging parents and sister. I attended graduate school at TCU, and in the midst of that I had a stroke. Thanks to God it wasn’t totally debilitating. I did finally get my master’s degree, however, I ended up with a painful case of fibromyalgia which has ultimately prevented me from moving on to a final career as I had planned.
So eventually, I had to ask myself, “What will retirement look like for me now?” I had been nagging my sister, Michelle, for the past 10 years, about wanting a Casita, to use for a guest house, or going to visit family, or for just doing a little traveling. We finally start to look into it. We saw a few trailers that were smelly, moldy, and/or in very bad shape. One day we found an add on Craigslist that we really thought looked interesting. Because we were both total rookies at all this, we wanted something that had been constructionally renovated with not much work to do other than making the décor our own. On Labor Day weekend we drove up to Oklahoma and came back with our first vintage trailer! The sellers were so nice they even took a personal check!
Michelle and her husband and I were living in a small-town west of Ft Worth. We were deep into the country lifestyle, we had our own horses and were learning to ride. After much conversation we decided it was only right to call her “Vintage Cowgirl.” She had the original aqua stove, sink and icebox that were in perfect condition. The décor all started with a quilt that Michelle already owned. Then, we found fabric to match at JoAnn Fabric Store. Michelle made the curtains and a sling above the bed for storage baskets. We think every trailer needs a chandelier, so we hung one above the table for some cowgirl bling. I painted all the raw wood cabinets inside with a fresh coat of aqua paint for a big pop of color. The rest of the decorating was such fun. We found just the perfect items at our favorite stores, Hobby Lobby, Ebay and Amazon, just to name a few. “Vintage Cowgirl” has no bathroom so I learned how to get by with a portable bucket and I call it my “Portia.” The dinette makes into a small bed, so she can sleep two people. The drawback is that you can’t use the table when the bed is out, and you can’t use the bed when the table is out… so, our creative minds began to work once again. The rest of this story will continue in Michelle’s trailer story coming up next. So eventually, I had to ask myself, “What will retirement look like for me now?” I had been nagging my sister, Michelle, for the past 10 years, about wanting a Casita, to use for a guest house, or going to visit family, or for just doing a little traveling. We finally start to look into it. We saw a few trailers that were smelly, moldy, and/or in very bad shape. One day we found an add on Craigslist that we really thought looked interesting. Because we were both total rookies at all this, we wanted something that had been constructionally renovated with not much work to do other than making the décor our own. On Labor Day weekend we drove up to Oklahoma and came back with our first vintage trailer! The sellers were so nice they even took a personal check!

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