I spent the better part of a summer and fall working on the design and construction of our teardrop camper trailer. It effectively captures the vision and dreams that fueled my drive to create. In many ways it is a thing of beauty – a work of art – mixing the need to maximize efficiency in every cubic inch of its precious real estate with the desire for clean lines and poetic beauty. The number of people curious enough to stop and chat as I went about my work struck me. On Halloween evening, two dads showed up at the door stating the kids were coming – they hurried ahead to give them time to take a peak at the teardrop. These kind of interactions were repeated throughout the construction.
Creating was also flush with mistakes, struggles, and do-overs. I debated tracking my time, but how would I account for the hours spent simply staring and pondering how to solve a mechanical or aesthetic problem? I battled the ballooning budget overrun of time and money. My sabbatical plans of traveling the state parks throughout the fall season came to a quick close with the onslaught of a winter storm. My travel was reduced to a place to stay during EAGALA training and an overnight with my wife in the back yard.
In light of all that, our teardrop deserves a name. A name personalizes an object, allowing it to transcend the collection of metal, wood, and hardware it is made of. A name builds connection, gains familiarity, and develops a personality. A name marks a uniqueness that, without, allows a slide into a generic abyss.
I sought something unique, yet something that carried meaning for both my wife and me. Pursuit of a name took us back to our ancestral Scandinavian roots. With the help of Google Translate, we searched names for shelter, cabin, cottage, trailer, mobile, etc. We wondered of merging with our own name. In the end we settled on Andestuga. Roughly translated, Andestuga means a cottage to feed the spirit. That works. Our teardrop becomes our home while we are on the road, a home with the quaint feel of cottage. The quiet connection to the natural world of the campgrounds serves to provide us space to breathe, to relax, to nurture our spirit. It is a fitting name – one that proudly marks our teardrop trailer. Andestuga.