The dream and the dream-maker home

Steve Whitford Mira, Carys and Jeremy Thompson enjoy living the good life in their school bus on Bay Lake. Courtesy photo

Mira Thompson always wanted to live in a small house.

After four years of work, she now has her wish. Thompson married her husband, Jeremy, approximately four years ago and they settled in a house on Bay Lake.

Initially, they purchased a 19-foot school bus and converted it into an R.V. in which they lived and traveled for two years, but even then Thompson had a vision of what she really wanted.

“Ive always wanted to live in a small house, but it would have to be comfy and cozy,” she said. Fortunately, her husband is a master auto mechanic and an excellent woodworker. In 2011 they purchased a 1989 International school bus. She supplied the ideas, he supplied the skills, and the transformation from bus to home began.

Building a house on a bus frame isnt easy, they said.

“Building it so it will hold together requires knowhow and special reinforcing,”  Jeremy Thompson said.

The Thompsons spent the next two years creating their dream home and they displayed it to the public on Oct. 4 at the Lakebay Marina.

The home is 37 feet of beauty, craftsmanship and utility. Most of its amenities are recycled and refurbished relics from the 1900s. The walls are cedar shingled on the outside, insulated on the inside. The flooring is made from reclaimed, vertically grained Douglas fir, and the ceiling came from an old house.

The bedroom is “hobbit-like,” with a Moroccan arch for its entrance, and it sports a loft above.

There are numerous nooks, drawers and cupboards. A unique feature are the drawers under the bed. They run the full length of the bed and provide huge amounts of room for storage.

The rear wheel wells are well utilized; one side has been converted into a love seat, while the other supports a cast iron stove that can heat the entire home.

There is also a kitchen sink complete with a propane hot-water heater.

“We had to use replica faucets because the original faucets leached lead into the water,” Thompson said.

The home also sports a small table, small stove and a very small refrigerator. The stove is an Amana that was specially ordered for the home; the refrigerator is a classic 1959 Frigidaire, both run on propane. Just past the kitchen is a split bathroom. Past that is the drivers compartment, which is much like it was when the bus was in service.

According to the couple, the majority of things that went into their home were garage-sale buys and gifts. They said there was no way to put a price tag on their work of art.

Future plans for the Thompsons now include their 1-year-old daughter Carys, whose name in Welsh means love.

They like RVing and enjoy going to the Burning Man celebration in Nevada. Jeremy Thompson said, he wants to build an “art car” for the next celebration that will move and look like a Stingray.

For information, contact the Thompsons at