Lighting up the Airstream for Winter

Last year at Christmas we were at the lovely Bonita Springs RV Resort near Naples, where the manatees moseyed up the river by our campsite and we enjoyed the community atmosphere of that friendly age 55+ “snowbird” resort. Too bad it was listed as the top place to spend winter in our fulltime RV newsletter—the secret is out!

This year, instead of a heated pool and palm trees, we have desert views and cacti, a different lovely. So we’re bringing even more light into the Airstream to warm up the chilly desert nights.

Tiny Tree

I’ve never been big into decorating for Christmas; we set off without a single holiday item. For our first Xmas, our neighbor in Bonita Springs made us this crafty tree, which we proudly displayed last year, but it hasn’t weathered well a year of storage under the bed.

I have a long story about a coveted, plastic palm tree lit with Christmas lights that’s waiting for me in West Virginia; until I can get my hands on that, I made this tiny tree for the trailer.

It’s about a foot tall, and I decorated it with leftover bits from my tiny houses. I doubt people hang lemon slices and watermelon wedges from their trees, but it’s all I had. Actually, I did have a teddy bear head ornament with my initials and date on the back from pre-school, so hey, this is authentic!

I have other tiny bits and bobs stashed around the trailer that I’ll add as December moves forward. My own little advent tree.

New Pendant Lamp

We’ve struggled with lighting above the kitchen table (in RVs they’re called “dinettes,”) since we started out. The three recessed lights directly above are too bright, so Tracy installed gel films over the bulbs, but that barely dimmed them.

When we have to be inside at night, we resort to playing cards and FaceTiming with my little battery-powered lamp propped on the pile of stuff in Tracy’s bowl of doodads. And, to work on my tiny houses in the middle of the night, I hang an ugly bulb lamp from the ceiling using string.

Finally we found a solution! We can’t wire this pendant directly into the recessed light that’s there over the table because turning that on at the wall would turn all three lights on. So Tracy rewired the lamp so it plugs into the outlet by the TV. Perfect! (We still have to secure it better to the ceiling and run the wire more streamlined against the ceiling and wall.)

It’s made of metal and plastic, so it’s lightweight, but look at that Airstream styling. 🙂 Plus we can lower it for direct light right on the table (nighttime board games), and raise it for diffused light.

The only hitch is that we have to be running the inverter to power it, which is not a problem most of the time because the energy our solar panels draw in is plenty. I’m actually looking forward to our next cold or windy night when we have to sit inside so we can use it!

GDTRFB Sticker!

This I love to bits. Finn gave it to me for my birthday, and I’ll have to provide an explanation.

For one thing, it’s designed to look like the emblem of a vehicle model name that appears on the back of your car, like Civic or Prius. But it’s really a code for coolness. Hee hee, not exactly. But it is a code for our appreciation of the Grateful Dead and for this blog. (Or it will be when I adhere it, which I didn’t get to today.)

Ya see, GDTRFB is how folks used to write the name of that song, Going Down the Road Feeling Bad, on Grateful Dead bootleg tapes (and maybe still do; I think some people still appreciate the nuances of fan-made tapes from shows). See in the lower-right corner of this cassette cover from our friend, John?

That means the Dead played the song Not Fade Away, which morphed without stopping into Lovelight, into Going Down the Road Feeling Bad, and into Not Fade Away again, as a kind of coda to end the show. (The encore was One More Saturday Night.)

You can see how cassette covers would get crowded with songs titles from Dead shows, so people write GDTRFB instead of the whole song title.

That’s one reason I love my GDTRFB new sticker.

The other is my jokey way of making fun of nomads who advertise their social media sites on their rigs, with huge stickers all over the back windows and even on their truck windows and doors. Some #vanlifers paint their YouTube channel all over their van. (To me it’s a sin to put stickers on Airstream’s beautiful polished aluminum skin. So you know I like this one if I’m willing to adhere it, which I will do, eventually!)

Seeing as how I don’t want strangers to find my blog, my subtle reference is a funny (to me) little smirk at those huge advertisements so many RVers have.

Plus, I love it for itself.

And if you haven’t ever heard the song GDTRFB, let me suggest Doc Watson’s version.

This is my final post before we head to Yuma, Arizona, for the rest of December. Wish us luck finding a good boondocking site!

2 thoughts to “Lighting up the Airstream for Winter”

  1. i listened after sending you the pic, lovelight comes to a complete end before GDTRFB, so that arrow was written in error

    1. Thanks for the fact check and the image! What show is this? In fact, if you ever get the hankering to send me a list of your favorites, I’ll look to see if they’re on Spotify.