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Our Story

God's 

Gypsies

Our beautiful Olive

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THE STORY OF US

Mark Hutzler, Eschatologist 

Our story is not that uncommon. What may be uncommon is our willingness to go where He calls us, to give up all that many work so hard for... all that stuff. Now don't get me wrong... were not perfect. Not by far. God has just used the crazy circumstances in our life to get us to a place, where we realized none of the stuff we had surrounded ourselves with mattered. Like that song Johnny Cash wrote in his later years... Hurt... "and you could have it all my empire of dirt". 

The view from our old home in Nanaimo, BC.

There and Back Again - A VW Tale

 

Often humorous, sometimes tragic, these gypsies had sold everything to be obedient to the call. What lay ahead of them was a life changing experience that would redirect them financially, spiritually and emotionally.

 

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We had our corporate jobs, a 3000 sq ft home and a dining room table that'd seat 12. We worked crazy hours and gave our all to our jobs. Does this sound familiar. Well, for us anyhow, it was not making us happy. As we considered, shortly after the crash of the fall of 08, resigning, there was, as I look back on it no fear. No thoughts of "what on earth are we thinking!" It just felt like the right thing to do.

Little did we realize that God had bigger plans then we could have ever considered.

One morning Tracey woke up and God said quite clearly. "Start a publishing company."


Tracey said "Sure, what do you want to call it?" 


"Olive Tree Publishing" was His reply.


Tracey came out of the bedroom and told me this. Old enough in God, not to question things like this, I said, "Great, guess we'd better get a business license." So off we went and got our license. Then I recalled a friend of mine in Victoria who prints short run books. We went to see my friend. While we were having lunch with him, he related how he really needed some software.


"Well super, I said, I know a guy who owns a software company." I called Rob right there at the lunch table and he said, "Your timing is amazing. I just got off the plane from signing a deal for North America for an industry leading piece of software and I'd like to put you on contract to help me design the marketing materials for it as well as assist me in the launch."

So off we went on contract and meeting Rob's team. One of which was a world traveling executive named Will Taylor. We became fast friends and through his network we ended up doing some international work.

One word from God can change your life forever. That one word Tracey heard led us to more work, more diverse work, more lucrative work -- than we could have ever found on our own.

While many struggle to keep up with the Jones... we thought we'd just move away from them. Yes, that's a joke. But you have to wonder why we are so taken up with "stuff". 

We live in a society that for years has sold us on the quick fix for most anything. From fast food to fast credit. "Do you need that new car or a get-away vacation? No worries... you have equity in your home." Living beyond our means has led us to a world of hurt economically. From the smallest of families to our nations capital the fiscal mismanagement has cost us. All of us. 

Now we have to come face to face with the reckoning. How will we adjust our lives to what will become the new reality. Individually we can make the changes necessary much faster it seems than our leaders can. And therefore, my wife Tracey and I have started on our own journey of simplicity.

The Story of Olive

When God asked us to "Get mobile." We didn't hesitate.

 

Somewhere within the first few hours the idea of a VW bus popped into our heads. Within a couple of days we found her. A dark green 38 year old bus. Purchased in Germany and shipped over, she was lovingly cared for. We decided right away she was the bus for us. As we knew that many name their buses, we decided to name ours "Olive" after our publishing company. As God would have it... when we went to pick her up in Vancouver, there was a small curtain in the back window... and guess what was all over this curtain... pictures of olives and the word Olives written over and over. Weird or what? lol. Confirmation.

Carman wrote in one of his songs once... long ago... am I dating myself?  Anyhow he wrote "The desire is the confirmation that the destination is there." 

We found our "Olive" about 4 days after we decided we should start looking for a VW. Surprised to find she had only 85,000 km for a 1972 vehicle, we jumped on the ferry to check her out in Vancouver.

With her minimal mileage we were pleased to find 85% of the metal in original shape... clean from rust. The paint you see here is original army green, with the german letters for open and close still under the slider door handle. The unique Dormobile pop-top makes it easy to stand upright and walk about inside.

Stripping her down was the easy part. It was then, when we had her in the shop for the first time that we discovered, all that was metal - was not metal.

So after peeling, sanding, bodywork and hours of more sanding, she was ready for priming.

It was a lot of work and our hats went off to the crew at Ron's AutoBody, Nanaimo for doing a first class job. The only body work needed was down the drivers side, the back corners and along the sill by the slider door. Pretty typical stuff for this age a vehicle.

Sitting in the paint booth awaiting the first coat of our selected colour... "Spirited Green." We had the windshield replaced and while it was out we took the top of the dash off and painted it flat black.

We managed, with a significant help from our handy body man Ron, to get the top removed. We used TSP to clean it and than gave it a fresh coat of paint and new seals.

New windows and rubber seals applied. You can see we just painted the top white first. Green to come.

Weird that our upholstery guy was also a Ron. Here is our seats and door panels redone, in our Green and White vinyl.  What you don't see is that we also did our side wall panels.

New louvered windows installed. Roof on and ready for inside restoration.

Reupholstered seats. Same seats from nearly 40 years ago... just a new face lift. As good as new. From our Friends at Chase River Upholstery. 

Fantastic AC/DC fridge from Norcold is all we needed. This little unit is quite large enough for our needs and doesn't draw much juice from our 2 deep cycle 6 volt batteries. 

This SMEV unit was purchased online from England. We could not find any suppliers for this cool, clean hobs in North America. These Italian made units come complete. It really makes the kitchen.

Super insulation. I first used peel n stick Proform sound proofing sheets in all the walls and doors and a double layer over the floor metal. This is applied directly to the metal. Following that I used a roof sealant product that goes on like pudding. I applied this to the Proform sheets I stuck on the metal. A good coating over the walls and floor and then I crawled under the bus and spent a week of evenings giving her a bullet proof undercoating.

Finally the bubble/aluminum sheets get applied using a spray adhesive. These go everywhere.

After that you vapour seal the doors and wall before putting your door panels back on.

Plywood floor is cut to shape and placed and we sketch out the cabinets directly on the floor to be sure how things will fit and how much room we'll have.

Seat frame is set back in place and all measurements are triple checked.

Vinyl floor is installed.

LED lights for the interior roof and trim, along with custom curtains for complete wrap around inside gave us the look and feel of a cozy hotel room. All our cooking was done easily on the two burners and I hooked up an interior 1lb propane tank to the stove inside our cabinets. The louvered windows were always open when we had the gas on and we never noticed any problems at all. I built into the cabinets an area for a 5 gallon water jug, the kind you could find or refill at any Walmart. Then I had a small pump installed into the cabinets and presto, running water to our SMEV sink. Home sweet home.