My Airstream Style

The Airstream:

“Ms. Moxie”, a 23-foot 1979 Safari, “named for my favorite New England soda as well as for my prevailing attitude.”

The Airstreamer:

Millie O’Donnell, fulltimer

Millie-3

My Airstream style:

I was recently divorced after 25+ years with my spouse. He came home and announced he wanted out. I was shocked and upset, but shook it off and decided to sell the house and nearly all the contents. I then headed south from Detroit, in search of my new rolling home.

My daughter lives in Florida and had been keeping an eye out for me. I finally connected with a seller in the Tampa area. The Airstream I chose didn’t have the perfect floor plan, but she was in decent enough condition for me to renovate while I lived in her. I had some repairs completed—such as new wires, new propane lines, a new toilet—then I added new flooring and moved in.

I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer/Corrections Officer and have always loved crafting. I like to take old things and make them new. Furniture is fun. I also, knit, crochet, sew, and spin my own yarn.

Crafting

Travel partner:

I travel with my dog, a Treeing Walker Hound who’s also my very best friend. His name is Walker. I’ve had him since he was a young pup; he was found wandering the streets of Bisbee, Arizona. I adopted him from the shelter. He’ll be 13 in November. He’s adjusting to travel pretty well. Right now we’re in New England and he’s discovering the joy of chasing chipmunks. And he also seems to enjoy boat rides!

Camper or glamper?

A camper with a glampy edge. I’m in the process of decking Ms. Moxie out with some fabulous home-sewn curtains. Lots of flamingos and pink. This is my first camper so I am making her over in my own special style.

Millie

Must-have item:

There are a few things I can’t go without. My banjo is one. I got my first banjo at age 12. I’m sure my folks thought I was nuts when I begged for one. The one I play now is special, as it belonged to a musician—my husband’s brother, a very talented, sweet man—who is no longer with us but will always be special to me. My drop spindles and knitting needles are a must-have. Crafts on the road are great zen for me. And good glue! E6000 helps me fix anything.

The ideal Airstream day:

The best day in my Airstream is the second day after arriving at a campsite. I’m already unpacked, my decorations and solar lights are in place, and the dog has found his favorite napping spot in the sun. My awning shades me as I study a local map to find a good fishing spot. We get some play time in and relax after a good meal. One of the joys of retirement is I can stay as long as I want, and take a nap if I feel like it.

Millie by the lake - AirstreamI do love a quiet evening under the stars. Listening to the birds, and just being out of doors is heaven to me. I enjoy meeting new people and am not hesitant to strike up a conversation anywhere. But alone time has become very important to me as well. At 58, I’m finding out I like my own company more and more. My confidence has been building, and I like who I have become.

Millie O’Donnell founded “Millie’s Hats For Hope” in Detroit, a charity dedicated to making hats, socks, blankets, and other warm items to donate to the homeless. “The gals still meet every Monday evening and make lots of great things,” she said. “They are making a difference. In my travels I hope to find folks who will help with this effort both in Detroit and across the country.” Find the Michigan Chapter of Millie’s Hats for Hope on Facebook.