WE DIDN'T EVEN GET OUT OF THE STARTING GATE!
We picked up the Rambler which just had a major overhaul of all working parts and a wash/wax in prep for hitting the road. We were filled with joy and excitement about starting our big trip. Unfortunately, Bob had a serious altercation with a bollard (aka bad-ass post) in the Camping World parking lot. The post won and it damaged a good portion of the sidewalk side (door entrance side) of the Rambler. In less than a few seconds, we went from being on Cloud 9 to being in stunned shock. Never again will I say this is our lucky day! Poor Bob – he was so mad at himself and is still beating himself up about it. In fairness to him though, he was trying to quickly get out of the way of a guy in a Class C motorhome who had come up just as we started hooking up. He had been waiting on us for about 10 minutes and could have backed up and gone another way around (like another gentleman did who was also in a Class C) but he didn’t. I was behind the Rambler spotting to make sure Bob cleared the trailers on each side of us and then as soon as Bob started pulling out, this guy rudely started moving too quickly trying to get by us before we were straight in the road and Bob instinctively tried to get out of his way to avoid him hitting our trailer. But Bob moved a bit too far over and there you have it – he ran right into that bad-ass, trailer hating post (the bollard showing evidence of several other mishaps). And the guy who helped make our day? He just smiled as he drove by and said “that didn’t sound good!”
Someday, I’m told, we’ll laugh about this. We’ve also been told that this was meant to be and is probably saving us from some worse disaster down the road. I tend to fall in this camp most of the time but Bob will not believe until he hears it directly from the Big Man himself. He tends to fall more often in the “Sh*t Happens” camp.
It’s hard not to keep replaying what we could have, should have, done differently. I could have been a better spotter. I should have quickly run to the other side to see the clearance there. But what’s done is done and there is no reset button so we have to be happy it’s not worse and move on. Tough lessons… Now we’re waiting to find out the timing damage to our schedule (have to have a new door built, along with replacing two sets of steps, our awning support, and a door support). We know the pocket book damage (thank goodness for insurance) but timing is everything right now as we’re on a mission to get to Louisville, Kentucky by April 8th and already getting a later start than we’d originally hoped. Still counting our Blessings though. We are on the trip of a lifetime!
THE STUFF OF LIFE
Whoever said we live in a material world was spot on. We finally, finally have all our stuff in one storage unit – this is down from four units that didn’t even include our furniture! The majority of our stuff is paper, paper and more paper. Bob being an engineer explains the bulk of it [there were years of professional magazines and reference materials that are now decades out of date! …BR] but for complete disclosure, I collect a good amount of paper myself in the form of photos, articles, etc. so between the two of us, we've killed a lot of trees. In preparation for our big trip, we sold our home and gave away or donated most of our furniture and household goods. We downsized our material world (other than what is traveling with us in the Rambler) to a very full but single storage unit and most of what is in there is sentimental, family related items we couldn’t part with. Oh, and a few cook books! Okay, more than a few…
We had 37+ years of collection (not to mention stuff from family members who've passed on) so going through all our stuff was a fascinating and nostalgic ride and we had to be careful not to get caught up in the reverie of it all. We laughed at a lot of stuff we've kept and moved all over the country the past few years, like our collection of Mother Earth News – we were such hippies in the 70s! There were many tough calls on what to keep, toss or give away and there were a few tears now and then but it’s a really good exercise in finding out what is most important to you and it turns out it’s not stuff. For me, it’s the people in my life now and the connection to those who are not forgotten and who I still have a great love for. My one regret is that I’ve not taken more photos of some of the people who’ve graced my life; that I’ve not taken in and written down more stories of their lives so that someday, in my old (older) age, I can look back and smile at how lucky I’ve been to know these people and even if I don’t remember them anymore (I am worried I’ll get Alzheimer’s), I can look at my scrapbooks and still be cheered to see such happy people.