Journal of a Living Lady #388
Nancy White Kelly
My bucket list has one more item with a line drawn through: buying a small RV and traveling at leisure. We have just returned from our first trip in our RV. We didn’t camp exactly. Our goal was to attend a coin show in Tampa and try out the RV on the road. We ended up returning a couple of days earlier than planned due to the anticipated snow and arrived home just seven hours before it started. It was just as well. Nothing went as planned.
A couple of days before we left, Buddy told me to drive around locally and get a feel for the RV. No problem. After all I have a CDL license. I jumped into the camper and proceeded out the drive only to notice a long black line following me. Little did I know that the camper was still connected and powered to the electrical socket in the garage. I meekly backed-up, put the vehicle in park, jumped out and wadded up the electrical line and stuffed it into its compartment. Also unbeknown to me, Buddy had connected our cable TV line to the RV which now was missing the end plug.
Buddy still doesn’t know about the electrical cord. I dared not tell him. But, I had to let him in on the fiasco that happened the next hour.
We have become friends with an elderly widow in a near-by nursing home. I wanted to take her a treat before leaving and pulled into the drive-through of the pizza parlor to place an order. Then came the crunch. Oops!
An awning extended above the drive-through window which punctured the top of the RV. Thankfully, it was repairable with some fiberglass and paint and did no permanent harm. Obviously the awning had been hit before, but that brought little relief to my diminishing driving confidence. Buddy wasn’t happy to have yet another job to do before leaving, but he did manage to laugh.
After a long first day on the road we parked at an all-night service station off the freeway. We were so tired, all we wanted was to bed down. The next day we realized the consequences of not planning for a definite place to stay. The convention center was packed with visitors and there was no parking anywhere, even for cars. We spent a two hours roaming around the one-way streets of downtown Tampa and finally settled on the parking lot of a church. It was then we discovered that we had no electricity, therefore no lights, heat or television. It should not have been a problem since we had an on-board generator. Buddy had tested it at home, but this night it wouldn’t start. Probably had something to do with the high altitude setting or perhaps a bad spark plug.
The next night we stayed at another downtown church which had an electrical outlet. We would gladly leave a donation for the electricity used.
Early in the morning we were surprised by a homeless, middle-aged lady standing outside the door. Buddy invited her inside the RV for coffee. Surprisingly she was clean, sober, intelligent and even witty. While I attended to business at the coin show, Buddy took the lady to lunch and probably made her day with conversation. He has never met a stranger.
It wasn’t a difficult decision to head home early. The RV is parked in the drive surrounded by ice which is where it is likely to stay. We had our fling and the conclusion is that there is no place like home.