My departure date in October is barreling toward me and I am frantic to fully prepare myself for this new adventure. I spend everyday attacking the projects I believe must be completed before I leave. The RV spends everyday trying to add another item to the list. Will I ever rise out of this maintenance quagmire?
Like cramming for final exams, I have all the RV manuals out to study. YouTube videos train me on how to drive, repair and maintain a big rig. I take practice mini road trips. My friends and family may soon stop answering my calls as I reach out to them for advice and/or assistance.
Training Road Trip - Phase 2
Dean and Terrie kindly arrange to meet me at my RV for hook-up lessons. No, they are not prematurely forcing me out into the dating scene. Dean is convinced that I can and should use the trailer to haul the Jeep. He has devised some tactics to help make this task easier for me.
I have a hitch mounted camera on order to help me attach vehicles by myself. I could sure use a volunteer to help me install some PVC markers on the rear of my trailer. Because the trailer is more narrow than the RV, Dean thinks I should add them so I can see the end of the trailer in my mirrors. I am not especially handy with U-Bolts so I will need help with this.
Loading the Trailer
Under the watchful eyes of Dean and Terrie, I practice loading and unloading the Jeep on the trailer. Using no ramps just like Storm, I am able to climb up onto the trailer. After skimming the skid plate on the way down, I understand why Storm was determined to install a lift kit on the Jeep. A couple of extra inches of clearance make loading less nerve-racking. Once loaded and tied down, Dean inspects my work and declares the trailer ready for the road. As my final test, Dean and I take the whole rig for a ride to a nearby LP gas filling station to top off my tank. We successfully return with all equipment still attached!
Consequences of Trying to be a Good Spouse
I have been sharing the following story with my recent visitors and helpers. Hope you enjoy the following marital tale.
I loved that once we went full time in our RV, I had Storm to myself so much more than before retirement. When we both worked, we saw very little of each other during the week and on Saturdays. Sunday we often spent enjoying our toys (motorcycles, planes, etc.) with groups of our friends. The extra alone time with Storm was a precious gift that I cherished.
I hoped to make our increased time together enjoyable for Storm also. After the first two years, I resolved to begin ridding myself of what I thought he might consider my most annoying little habits. The worst, I thought, was my total inability to walk away from our parked vehicle without asking him if he locked the door. He ALWAYS locked the doors, yet I asked him “did you lock the doors?” every time we parked. I never needed to ask at all. Even if he did not lock the Jeep (which he would have I assure you), we were hardly ever anywhere that it would have mattered.
About six months before Storm got sick, I was finally making headway on this self improvement project. Even though I often had to choke the question down sometimes leaving teeth marks in my tongue, I refused to ask him about the locks. Sadly, I’ll never know if he noticed my “self improvement” since our time together was so abruptly cut short.
So Is There a Moral to this Story?
Now that he is gone, I find myself suffering the unintended consequences of my efforts. Because Storm ALWAYS locked the doors and because I tried so hard to suppress my concern about them, I now find that I CANNOT remember to secure the Jeep when I park it. Several times I have abandoned the Jeep for hours in a parking lot without giving the locks a thought. If this story has a moral I guess it could be:
It’s never too soon to make yourself a better person (think of the lock inquiry free days Storm could have enjoyed if only I had begun to suppress this tic earlier).
Or maybe as Billy Joel sang: “Don’t go changing to try and please me.” Cause you might need that quirk if I’m gone.