In spite of the fact I can hardly wait to go places and have new experiences… it is often done with much gritting of teeth and stifled discomfort. Doesn’t make sense, does it?
I want to go, but I want to stay. I want to experience new, but I love the familiar. I want to see what’s around the bend, but at the end of the day I’d really like to relax in my comfy recliner.
During the planning of our cross-country trip, Doug and I considered staying in motels. But a different bed every night wasn’t appealing. That is how, after a long search, we ended up with a travel trailer.
The trailer isn’t the newest. But it was clean, in good working order and fit the budget. We filled it with our own “stuff” and made it a mini-home. Never mind we hadn’t traveled in this manner before, we were sure this was the best choice. It was going to be great! Totally awesome…oh, yea!
First week on the road… I was sure I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.
It didn’t help that we had two trailer tire blowouts within the first three days… or that the water system, which was fine at the start, suddenly seemed to have issues.
The first few mornings, I awoke to find I’d become Gulliver. Our lilliputian bed, toilet, sink and shower just didn’t cut it. I have a mark on my right forearm from whacking it repeatedly against the cupboard on my side of the bed and a permanent sore spot on my left elbow from banging it into the shower caddy over and over and over again.
Loving fresh air as I do, I opened windows and all the roof hatch covers one morning to enjoy the breeze. Unfortunately, I forgot to close the hatch in the bathroom. Then… we drove through a wind storm. Then… we ended up with permanent ventilation in the roof.
I can still hear our host, Mike, welcoming us to Sonora, Texas, … “it never rains here”, he says.
Just to be safe, Doug climbed up top and patched the hole as best he could. And, of course, that night was the craziest, wildest, WIND-THUNDER-LIGHTENING-RAIN storm ever.
I also discovered how much I missed my quiet morning routine. Because Doug doesn’t do quiet morning routine. So I got up earlier. That way I could at least get one cup of coffee in me and enjoy the peaceful, morning air for a few minutes. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Nobody is perfect.
And this may sound weird, but I was intimated by the toilet. I was kind of afraid to use it. Plus, being the detail oriented person I am, I was concerned about how full certain tanks might be, about the (hopefully remote) chance of overflow, and exactly how much fresh water did we have. You know, I just felt it was my duty to worry about those things. But the first time we (and by we I mean Doug) hooked up the sewer hose and watched those tanks empty out, well, I felt much better.
It’s one thing to know how things work in theory, but quite another to see them work in reality.
We rolled into San Antonio on our 8th day of travel and headed immediately to the nearest Camping World. We left with a newly installed hatch cover over the bathroom. They also patched together the water system. Apparently our first tire catastrophe had damaged the water lines and a valve, which worsened as the days went by causing our water dilemma.
When we pulled into our space at San Antonio’s KOA campground that evening, I knew I was home. And I would be home every night after that despite where we parked. The feeling of home had nothing to do with place and everything to do with accepting the total experience. To enjoy every single day.
Did we have more trials and tribulations along the way? Yes, we did. But the experiences and people we met made them insignificant. I’ll likely drone on for a week or two longer about some of those people and places. They are part of that big, beautiful, solid country I wrote about last week… that place that gave me so much hope.
Friday night Doug and I finished unloading the trailer. I told him I actually missed living in it. It’s kind of nice to go from place to place in a just right space with only the bare essentials.
It’s really only the essentials you need anyway. Right?
He said he missed it too.
Saturday we hooked up one more time and hauled her to the RV repair shop. Insurance will fix the body damage from the tire blowout. The water system will be checked over. It’ll be ready to roll another day.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the memories.
~~~~~ next week: some of my favorite characters