As one Brené Brown once said, vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. Greg Flint, a seventy-year-old retiree, can attest to this. His financial condition has played a significant role in directing his creativity to create a home for himself, one that earned him the name ‘Papa Smurf.’ The grandpa has transformed what would otherwise be an old rusty and worn-out bus to a compact, cozy and adorable fairy tale home that could very well pass for one of the houses in Disney animations.
When people start working, they live at the moment, barely thinking about their lives after retirement. When it approaches, they start celebrating the thought of freedom, the fact that they will not have to get up early and go to their eight-to-five jobs. When you retire, you have all the time to yourself, and you can do whatever you want with your life. What is hard to figure out is what exactly you will be doing with that free time, and with what resources will you be doing it. Nowadays, the pension is barely enough to pay for bills let alone but the mere necessities.
Papa Greg is a skilled artisan and is very good with woodwork, which makes him a kind of architect. When he retired, he knew that the money he had in his bank account would not last him very long. He could barely afford to live in his house and knew that he wouldn’t keep it for long. He knew that he had to come up with something real quick; a way to spend his newfound time, and a way to keep him kicking even when he could no longer afford to live in his apartment.
As he thought about it, Greg made friends with an adventurous couple that knew his expertise. They brought him an old bus named Buster and asked him whether he would renovate it for them. They wanted it to be transformed into some sort of RV that they could drive to Mexico. He did not hesitate.
Luckily (or unluckily – depending on how you look at it) the couple split up before he got to work. Greg could see that the trip had been abandoned and the bus was left sitting at its spot with no use. Suddenly, an idea came his way, and he decided that it was worth giving a try.
Greg salvaged as much as he can and bought the rest of the material that he needed to renovate the bus. This was going to be his new home, and he would remodel it to fit the image in his head. He worked tirelessly till the results began to show; he had found something to do with his time as well as a place to stay in.
When all the work was done, the Buster was breathtaking. He had transformed the place to a small but compact, cozy and beautiful home that anyone would want to live in. There is a modern-day kitchen complete with an oven, a cooker, a stove, and a dishwasher. The place has soft features and looks like it is made entirely out of wood logs. He also has a tiny library of books that were put in a style that would remind anyone of the Mad Hatter’s house from Alice in Wonderland. For all its worth, Papa Greg is the real-life Papa Smurf.