Thursday, February 12, 2015

Incognito and Out of Sorts

My fore-mothers were big on “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.”

Holding my tongue has, at times, served me well; and speaking my mind has regretfully not.  But truth be told, there have also been times when my silence has mistakenly supported some miscommunication, or bad behavior on the part of we humans, and I’ve deeply regretted not voicing myself.

But speaking my mind these days would find me mostly talking to myself.  I’ve felt so terribly incognito and out of sorts that I don’t look or feel myself:

I’ve traveled a bit these last few weeks to some lovely state parks:  South Llano River, Palmetto, Huntsville and places in between.  I’ve walked and birded and tried to turn my sights on Mother Nature, looking for the good:

And then I’d have more RV issues. And here comes my not-so-proud-of-myself admission:  I’m find solo travels in this RV to be so very difficult.

I’ve felt torn and tattered with fighting my RV’s unpredictable issues.

And then I’d experience the kindness of a stranger; someone camping that would note my predicament and offer help.  Or someone that would gladly offer aid when I’d knock on their RV door, or approach their campsite with an embarrassed or emotional voice, in need of help. 

Without the help of these others that I do not know, I’d have been stranded at Palmetto, unable to release a bound-up parking brake.  Thanks to Fifth-Wheel Man, who responded to my knock on his and his wife’s trailer door, a wee bit early one cold morning. 

Fifth-wheel Man listened to my plight; listened to my quaking voice as I read the less-than-useful information from the owner’s manual.  It was an uncomfortable situation for me, asking someone I did not know to sit in my driver’s seat.
I watched and listened and spoke as he attempted, with large-man strength, to exercise the lifeless parking brake handle.  He pushed in the button and raised and lowered, as exactly described by the manual.  The brake would not release; the handle would just “flop down” with no use.

Fifth-wheel Man and I reached the point of believing I would require a tow—and then one last extreme effort—and the brake released!  We both let out a loud YEA!—and I embarrassedly had a release of water from my eyes, knowing that this kind man had just freed me to again take flight.

Thanks to camper-strangers Mike and Terri for Mike’s crawling under the RV with me to gain me courage to study the LP tank plumbing.  We two strangers, with only lower legs and feet visible, crawled under the RV to find a likely valve, and to discuss the safety of a “lefty loosey” maneuver of it.  Lefty loosey we did, and I now have LP furnace capability!  (Special thanks to Terri for being on the ready if she heard a loud explosion!)

And thanks to Don for providing the hand-strength to disconnect my leaking “quick-connect” hose fittings.  My lack of hand strength is one of several items I’d like to address with Mother Nature regarding Her design of we women-folk. 

Everything that came so easy in the Airstream seems so difficult in the Winnebago.  Everything that I once loved about family and community, I now so hate, traveling my one life, solo.

And so I’ve returned to my stick house with some difficult decisions to make.  Much of the RV brokenness is repairable; but its body-jarring ride is not.  A local Mercedes dealership, specializing in the Sprinter chassis, confirmed that “constraint”. And as of eleven years ago, my body’s brokenness cannot function with such a harsh ride, without furthering serious damage.

And so I’m at a loss for what happens next.  Feeling out of sorts is an understatement for seeking a reinvention of my purpose and goals. 

But I give thanks to those unknown camper-folk whose actions made me not feel incognito.  They saw; they heard; they helped.  Actions speak so much louder than words.


  1. So sorry you are down in the dumps. Sometimes life gives us some unwanted punches.

    I wonder if those were my friends, Mike and Terri. Were they on their way to Florida to do some volunteering by any chance?

    Traveling solo can be daunting at times, by I try to get by with a little help from my friends. (actually, quite a bit of help from new and old friends)

    1. Thanks, Judy for your encouragement--reading your blog has been especially meaningful of late. I don't think Mike and Terri were headed to Florida but they were avid birders and we shared experiences from the RGV, Texas state parks, AZ and such. Its not just anyone that will help a solo gal with LP issues--they were great!

  2. Okay, little have had a rough time. Now that you are out of your water bath, fluff your feathers back into shape and keep on "trucking"! You are a very gifted person and deserve to travel, one way or another! Don't allow your difficulties to stop you, NO MATTER WHAT! Don't allow solo travel to stop you from will make family along the way.

    1. Thanks, as always Hazel, for your encouragement. I read your blog and it helps me to want to keep "trucking"--and I smile that you "get" my photos and my stories. It is difficult for me to write publicly about, but I had a major abdominal surgery 11 years ago that went terribly wrong. I missed 9 months of work, was close to death, and ended up with some major organ damage. AND specific medical instructions on future limitations including no jarring activities such as motor boats, 4-wheelers, rough rides etc. The "test" drive of a Winnebago View did NOT represent reality. I've taken a good deal of physical pain and complications just driving 2 hours behind the wheel and I can't continue to do that. When key organs of our body don't work, life is pretty awful and limiting. I'm not giving up on travel--but I've got a wrong rig, and I don't know the solution yet. I'm very grateful for your encouragement.


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