Hey ya’ll! I promised I would go a little deeper into what happened with our Volkswagen bus Lola… and to be honest with a lot of it I don’t know what to say. We are still waiting for answers. It all happened so fast and we are still so shocked to be honest.
The Backstory. . .
If you don’t know, almost right at a year ago, Luke’s parents found someone locally who had a 1970 bus for sale. When he kept sending Luke pictures we didn’t read too much into it because this has been a discussion for the last seven years Luke and I have been together and really for most of his life. We didn’t want to get our hopes up.
About two weeks went by and all of a sudden Luke gets a message that she was ours! We couldn’t believe it. I mean, duh! I was excited, but if you saw how that boy lit up that day… He was over the moon!
Lola has been the center of all our conversations as a family for he last year (well, most). When we are at Luke’s parents we spend a lot of time just going over all the updates that have been done and dreaming (because we couldn’t actually take her out and drive her). Christmas was spent in the basement showing her off to the family. This has been the light for us in what has been a really hard year. The one thing that always lifted us up was that Lola was getting closer and closer to being finished. Closer to drives, closer to buying camping bags and roughing it in the mountains, and so much more.
Luke’s mom worked so hard putting all new panels and a headliner in (which she cut and placed herself.. she’s a boss!). Luke and his dad worked so hard to paint and sand to remove any rust that had developed and fill any spots that had come up to get it level for a wood bottom to be put in. We had debated paint colors for most of the last year… and she was finally ready to have her brand new seats (which we got the call on Monday that they were done… sigh) put in and a paint job and we were 99% done! It’s so crazy to even think about how close we were.
What Happened to Lola…
On Saturday April 6th around 7:30 pm, we got a phone call from Luke’s mom. That is really strange, because we rarely call each other. Luke talks with his parents all day via text, but phone calls out of the blue aren’t typical. He said when answering… “Mom is calling, that’s strange.” When he answered I felt sick to my stomach because I could hear her bawling on the other end. I was certain that they had been in a serious accident and that something bad had happened to Luke’s dad.
It took several minutes for him to get out what had actually happened. When we realized it was Lola, at first we were so relieved. I mean we are SO excited about having a bus and all the plans we had for her… but if we had lost Luke’s dad… I really don’t know what we would have done. We spent the night in shock. Shocked that it had even happened. It felt like a dream. It couldn’t be real. We both couldn’t sleep and any time we did we woke up thinking… did I just have a dream?
Luke’s mom drove his dad a town over to pick up Lola and was following him home. They were almost home when she noticed fumes and flames coming from the backend of the bus. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. She jumped out of the car and waved him down to get his attention and he coasted down to a safer area and jumped out.
There wasn’t a fire extinguisher inside which makes me sad because Luke’s dad had taken the time to go out and buy one for her specifically. I mean who goes out thinking oh I need that fire extinguisher today in case this thing catches fire… no one! They had to wait for someone to help and call the fire department. Even two fire extinguishers and a hose of water couldn’t take it down. Finally the fire dept got there and got it to subside.
We aren’t sure what caused the fire. The engine of a VW bus is in the rear, so it could be a number of things. Luke and I truly believe that there was something cracked in the fuel tank. Everything was new from the injectors and hoses down to the motor… and that all just recently happened so this is so upsetting.
Sunday was the gloomiest day for us. We felt like we were in a fog. His parents were distraught as well. We were all so grateful that everyone was okay, but at that point I think the realization that all that hard work and time had literally just gone up in flames.
Luke never got to drive her. We never got to take her on a trip with us. The memories we had dreamed of were now unlikely of actually happening. I never even got to see her out of the garage. Crazy, right?
Luke’s parents have been busting their butts on Lola and they are over an hour away from us. Until January she really wasn’t drive-able at all and actually taking her for a ride? She’s been to who we call the Dr and back home.
We aren’t sure what happens from here. Luke’s parents are figuring numbers and working with the insurance company to see what can be done. We don’t know if it financially will make sense to repair the damage, or just move forward in another route with another bus in the future.
What we do know? That we will have a bus in our future. That may be Lola, or it may a completely different bus. We don’t let things like this knock us down and we will get back up again.
Thank you to those who have poured out kindness and love to us. We appreciate that more than you know. We will continue to keep you updated as we have news.