After the seats were out, the next logical step was to tackle the floor.
Now, you know that bus smell that is standard across all school buses? It’s an aroma that is a mix of rubber and metal, the stench of sweat and maybe an incident or two that utilized the required-to-be-on-board bodily fluids kit, and a whiff of forgotten lunches baked in their boxes. I believe the bouquet is rounded out based on your own school bus experience…for me, after being bullied and picked on and eventually cornered during my first year of riding on the bus in high school, that smell was an instant gut twist. That feeling of dread breezed over me along with a flood of shit that I’d forgotten and didn’t necessarily want to remember again.
So, yeah. That was a smell that had to go and most of it resides not in the seats (surprisingly), but in the floor.
Floor removal was also a task that the boys and I could handle without Jake, which was perfect because he was working away from home for the next couple of weeks.
The first layer of the floor was a thick piece of rubber. After many trials that ended the lives of a few other scrapers, my tool of choice became a giant flat head screwdriver. It was just right to get underneath the rubber and a sharp tug would split it. Then the boys and I could peel it up. There were many shouts of, “look how big this piece is!” from all over the bus. Silas had a hard time staying on his feet while pulling, so he quickly became our piece picker upper. Eli would dump the buckets full of pieces, Quill was our official Bus Baby, and Mama kept on pulling…including a few late night sessions where I got to enjoy the silence.
It took about a week of pulling and scraping for an hour or two every day and another hour or so at night before the first layer was completely up. We were expecting (based on every other build we’d seen) to find plywood under our rubber layer.
But plywood was *not* what we found.
(To be continued…)
(Try not to let the suspense overwhelm you.)