Saturday, February 29, 2020

Minor Setback

After a somewhat fitful night of sleep (new bed and all that), I discovered at breakfast this morning that my finger, despite having been wrapped tightly last night with bandages and duct tape, had managed to bleed through and was still apparently bleeding some twenty-four hours after our driveway mishap. This concerned me greatly and I decided to take off the bandages to see what was going on and well It didn’t look too good to me so I suggested that we go to the nearest urgent care facility where I was hoping they would be able to staunch the flow of blood by wrapping it properly.
It turned out that there was an immediate care facility not too far away (5 miles) and so we went and after an hour-and-a-half plus one x-ray (no fracture) they informed me that what I really needed to do was to see a hand specialist — today. So I left there with a fist full of phone numbers to local doctors none of whom could see me today at which point I started to get more than a little frustrated. All I wanted was to get some help for my hurt finger and it seemed an impossible task. I was ready to throw in the towel and — in some truly twisted thinking known only to couples who have been in a relationship for a long time — blame it all on my husband — but then then the very same took charge of the situation by bringing me to the local emergency room where I did, in fact, receive the treatment that I needed. Namely four stitches — two of which went through my finger and two of which went through both the finger and the nail to hold it in place. I also received a small hole drilled in the nail to allow the blood that had collected to drain (it’s graphic, I know, I’m sorry). Anyhow, the whole emergency room experience took two and a half hours and then we had to go to the drug store to get my antibiotic prescription and the pain med filled so we didn’t end up back at the RV until around four. Needless to say we made no progress toward a Florida today. Russell called the campgrounds and moved our dates back a day and it wasn’t a problem (thankfully). So we are hoping to take off tomorrow a.m. come hell or high water as they say.

A Better Day

Well, we made progress today — driving from Richmond, VA to Florence, SC. Russell was up bright and early and took the dogs to the campground’s pet area where Tigger was able to play with another dog — Dante — for a good long while. Then it was on the road. We encountered traffic right away but it was just rubber-necking at a pretty bad accident on the other side of the highway and for the rest of the day it was pretty much smooth sailing. We listened to The TED Radio Hour, How I Built This  , some classical, some ABBA, some disco and some “classical music playlist: sleeping” (which was heavy on the sleeping and light on the classical if you ask me).
Anyhow, we got in to our campground around three/three-thirty in the afternoon which is pretty much our preferred time of arrival. Early enough so we can chill before dinner. We’ve stayed at this campground before. It’s a former KOA with an artificial lake, some weird looking Muscovy ducks, a very small pool, palmetto palms, an A-frame office building and sandy sites. I’m sure it’s hot as heck most of the year but since I’ve only stayed here in the winter I associate it with cold, mostly unpleasant weather. Today was more of an exception to the rule as it was sunny this afternoon and in the upper fifties. Russell took the dogs and played ball with them while ai took a shower and shaved — something I was badly in need of. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve lathered yourself with a Glad bag on your hand in an RV shower! Nevertheless it felt good and I was definitely refreshed.
Funny thing happened after my shower though. Russell wanted to take a shower also so I went to empty the gray tank. Naturally, I pulled the gray lever (there was a black one and a gray one  which I assumed corresponded to the black and gray tanks). So I pulled the gray one and after five minutes Russell informs me that the gray tank is still reading full. To which I responded that I didn’t know what to tell him. I opened the gray tank and that I presumed he would have to wait for the tank to reset itself. More time goes by. More questions from Russell. More annoyance from Stephen. And a still full reading on the gray tank. So finally I return to the scene of the crime. Now, let me explain one thing that I neglected to mention. The sewer hook up for this site is about a quarter mile UPHILL from where it should be. So I’m thinking maybe all the water is backed up and not emtptying because it has to go uphill? So I decide to help it along by walking the hose toward the sewer intake. Well right away I can feel there isn’t much water in the line — which is suspicious— and then when I get to the see-through part of the Jose right before it disappears down the drain I can see that the water is yellow?! Yellow! That’s not gray water! That’s black water! So I go back to the RV and I close the gray valve and I open the black valve and lo and behold the gray water tank starts emptying with a tremendous whoosh, something that had been conspicuously absent when I initially opened the gray valve. So I go to tell Russell and before I can tell him he says, “Hey, the gray water tank is going down!” Ay carumba!
The evening was spent working on my ANG certification project. Do not even ask me why I am doing this but doing it I am. I’m too far deep now to turn back (or at least I sincerely hope I am!) This project is just the FIRST STEP in becoming a master needle pointer and I won’t even tell you how long it has taken me to complete something that I am sure your average person blows through in a couple of months. But me? Oh no, not me. I have to complicate everything and make it way harder than it has to be. So here I am agonizing over ever laid stitch and every compensated stitch — it’s maddening! And the thing is diabolically difficult because there are all these angles which requires loads of partial stitches and of course you want to compensate them each the same way each time and blah blah blah. Russell asked me if I was having fun stitching it. The best I could come up with was: “Well, I’m working on it which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time” But honestly now I’m wondering if that’s good enough? I suppose it’s going to have to be because this is one project I will be seeing through to the end. I’ve already made up my mind on that one. It’s kind of like the RV trip to Florida. Am I enjoying it? Well it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and I’m seeing it through to the end.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Big Day

So, today was departure day. But before I get to that a brief word about what we’ve been doing for the last few days. Mostly running around tying up loose ends. We experienced a slight setback when we hooked the car up to the motorhome. The passenger side brake light and turn signal were not operating. Fortunately we had a second cord to run between the two so we were quickly able to determine the problem wasn’t the cord because the second cord duplicated the results we obtained with the first cord. So it was off to “The Hitch Man” for us. This was the outfit that fitted out the car so that it could be towed on all four wheels. They quickly determined the problem and fixed it for us while we waited. Crisis averted because both of us had visions of having to bring both the RV and the tow vehicle to the RV dealership on the day of our departure to get the situation settled. But such was not necessary.
I spent a fair bit of time agonizing between which of the many, many books and needlepoint projects I was going to bring with me and which I would have to leave behind. I know this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you but to someone like me it’s cause for much gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, and wasting of time. It decide I did taking four (only) needlepoint projects with me (yeah me!) but like fifteen (yikes) books (not-so-good for me).
Once the books were packed and the needlepoint stowed, all that was left was to get anxious which I did to my usual high degree. The anxiety came as somewhat of a shock to me. I didn’t think I would get anxious about leaving and going in an RV again but I was concerned. 

So it was a relief this morning when the big day arrived. Beautiful morning. Cold and windy but sunny too. I had time to relax and enjoy breakfast but then it was nine and time to go. Russell pulled the RV out of the parking spot well only taking out a few crocuses that were in bloom but for the most part missing the garden. We hooked the car up with no issue and then I’m it was time for my “ceremony”. I had told Russell a couple of days earlier that I wanted to perform a departure ritual. I purchased a ritual-in-a-box from Amazon (smudge sticks, shell, herbs, etc.) earlier and my idea was that we would write our intentions for the trip down, make an offering of flowers/fruit/nuts, and observe a moment of silent meditation while we burned our intentions and smudge-d stick-ed around, and who the heck knows what I was thinking? I just wanted to have a little going away ritual but it didn’t really work out because it was windy and the paper wouldn’t stay lit and it was cold and we were anxious to get going and blah blah blah

And get going we did! After the requisite photo of the family in front of the new RV we headed down the driveway. I clicked the gate opener and problem one revealed itself: the gate to the trash container had blown open and was sticking out into the driveway. Both Russell and I later admitted to one another that we thought about getting out and closing it but neither of us did and instead I assured him that he had plenty of room on my side, tons in fact I think I said until whoops not only did we not have any room but we were now hard up against the gate access panel and so I got out in a panic to assess the situation and oh now now the gates were automatically closing only problem being that the tow car wasn’t completely through so I’m freaking out now because the gates are closing on the car and the RV is stuck on the access panel and ... believe it or not I am still recording   all this — and at about this time the dogs jump out and are now refusing to get back into the motorhome and I’ve managed to find the gate opener and relieved the pressure at least in regards to that problem and then Russell wrangles the dogs back into the RV and while I am pulling the gate panel away from the motor home he pulls forward and awwh shit he crushes my finger between the panel and the RV and I get a big cut and rip back my nail visciiusly and now I am bleeding profusely the RV — the brand new RV has a ten foot scratch along the side of it and we haven’t even left the driveway. So much for my bloody smudge stick!

Well, needless to say it took us awhile, and by us I mean me, to regroup from that departure especially since my finger hurt like the dickens! It still does, ensconced as it now in three layers of bandages plus duct tape to finally staunch the bleeding many hours later. The rest of today’s drive was fortunately far less eventful and who knows my smudge stick ceremony may have saved us from something far worse (don’t laugh, it’s possible). So you never know. The drive was stressful of course for Russell though as he had not driven one of these beasts for awhile and the northeast corridor isn’t necessarily the best place to re-learn. Plus it was quite the windy day and RVs plus wind are not a match made in heaven. Being giant boxes on wheels they get pushed around a lot by gusty winds and can become a challenge to keep under control.
But we arrived at our campground around two thirty to three o’clock which was pretty good considering we did encounter a couple of spots of traffic. We’ve stayed at this campground before. It’s fine for an overnight or perhaps a day or two but I wouldn’t want to stay much longer than that. It’s not that the campground isn’t perfectly adequate and they try hard it’s just that there isn’t much to do in the immediate area and I find the presence of the permanent or semi-permanent folks to be depressing .
Dinner was leftover Pizza Pie (literally a pie with pizza type fill inside — delicious) and an oatmeal raisin cookie. The dogs seem distressed about the lack of exercise but so far no opportunity has presented itself. I must try to keep my eye out for an opportunity for them tomorrow. They need it. Winnie got up in my lap while Russell was driving today and she stayed there for almost i would say forty minutes - something like that. Right now they are both in the bed with Russell and me, sprawled out acting advice if it’s the most normal thing in the world to have your two gay owners design their vacations around you and sleep in discomfort so that they may have their fears assuaged not to mention their comfort accommodated.

But they are adjusting. We are all adjusting. As nice as it is, and this RV is very nice, it’s still an RV and it’s still a tiny space to call home no matter the features. 

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Soon to be "On the Road Again"

So it's RV time again. How did that happen? Last time I RV'd I swore, "That's it. I'm done." And now, here we've gone and done it again. Your two most unlikely RVers are back on the road again (or soon will be). All I can say is: "Have you been to an RV dealership yet?" No, I didn't think you had because if you had you might not be so quick to pass judgement! Ha ha. Only kidding. But seriously, the mind is strong, but the flesh is weak (or is it the other way round?)

So, the new rig, to our great credit, isn't as big as it COULD have been. Which isn't to say that it isn't nice because you know I do have standards. But we did set out to buy something smaller than what we had in the past and we managed to accomplish that at least. It's a 37' Allegro Bus and I think that Russell will be very happy with the way it drives and I will be very happy with all the creature comforts that it has and we will both see how/whether RVing has changed in the last few years since we've been on the road (hopefully not much).

Our first trip is to sunny and warm (we hope) Florida where we will be visiting Russell's mom in North Palm Beach, some friends in beautiful LaBelle, FL, and attending the Spring Needlepoint Show in Orlando, FL. These activities only account for some of the time we are going to be away so there should be lots of time for us to get into ad-hoc adventures and mishaps that promise to be entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, both Tigger and Winnie will be along for the ride. I believe it will be Winnie's second RV trip (she went with us to Destination Dallas a couple of years ago) but Tigger's first RV adventure. I don't expect any problems with Tigger since he is a remarkably easygoing fellow and of course has his older sister to lean on for guidance.

I will sign off now since I can hardly expect you to read more but am likely to write one or two additional pre-trip entries to keep you up-to-date on our preparations.