In the summer of 2002, we bought a 40 foot, 72 passenger yellow Bluebird school bus and decided to convert it. It was an impulsive decision and, it might seem obvious to some, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We named her Eliza Brownhome, parked her in East Vancouver, moved in, and started work on the conversion. Along the way we added a black lab named Scoobie and our son Rain, via home birth. We shared our corner of paradise with my sister and her four kids and stayed for 5 years. Somewhere in there we started to be known as the bus people.
Those years had a certain magic that doesn’t happen by accident. We learned a lot about community, about ourselves, about what we want, and about the journey of going after those things even if it isn’t the popular thing to do.
During a 4 year hiatus living in rental houses including a duplex, made of vinyl siding, in a cul-de-sac far from our East Van, Trout Lake, garden full of children and converted school bus life, I often wondered how we would define ourselves from there on out. Who were we if we were no longer the bus people? How does your home reflect who you are? Is it just shelter or something more? That time of my life, living in a duplex, pondering those questions, came to be known as Duplexity. Past and present identities juxtaposed. Complex. Duplicity. It was the birth place of the portion of this blog that reflects on home, shelter, and our love affair with Eliza.
Today, we are back home with Eliza. The view has changed, the dog has changed, we’ve added two kids and a 500 square foot cabin on the side, but everything that we loved and hated about Eliza is still the same. We’re so glad to be home.
Want to learn more about Eliza?
You can check out our Eliza FAQ page, browse the galleries of the conversion process, or read Eliza stories.