I guess I'll start with the repairs. Marty the RV repair guy spent hours working (or fetching parts for) a bunch of odds and ends on the van today (replace shower head, tape up power wire, replace windshield wiper blades, replace water plug from leak yesterday [which was actually not anywhere near as bad as we thought, it's actually supposed to leak a tiny bit to indicate that the pressure is back - I just didn't understand that and left the lever turned for too long], turn on the propane tank so the fridge will stay cold when the van is off, trying to fix the cabinet door, etc.). Then tonight when I was driving around there was suddenly a scraping noise. This pipe used to be attached to the van. It makes a scraping noise when it's getting dragged under the van (smile)!
Marty is coming back tomorrow at 10 to take a look at it, Diane thinks it's the exhaust for the generator. It was jerry-rigged on both ends, one of them gave out!
I spent the morning hanging around while Marty came and went doing repairs, then much of the afternoon on conference calls for the 12 step group Literature Committee. I was pretty excited to get out there into Tupelo, but since it was late afternoon it looked like the only thing available was shopping. Wrong! Except for the chain stores that also exist in Orange and Milford, CT, the small shops I wanted to go to were closed! Bummer. I was on my way from one closed shop to another when the pipe broke loose. Good thing I'm in recovery! I would have lost my fucking mind before recovery if that had happened in the first week of a six week road trip! Now it's just something that happened and I don't take it personally. Shit happens.
I decided to go to the local mall to see if there were any cool shops there, and there were only 2 that seemed like they might be local, or at least local chains. What was very cool was this carousel. Isn't it gorgeous??
I decided to go for a walk outside around the mall after getting something to eat, and was rewarded by the beautiful sky over Tupelo.
Then there were two weird things I saw on my walk. The first was this floss thingy. There's a story to go with that, and why I took a pic...when I had rotator cuff surgery 2 1/2 years ago, I needed to use those things to floss since I couldn't use my left arm for a while. My friend Elaine brought me about 1,000 of them (she apparently had them lying around the house, but not like this - they were in sealed bags). I told her I'd never used them, and had, in fact, never seen them anywhere except for laying on the ground in parking lots. She thought I was crazy, so for the next year or so I proceeded to send her pics of them on the ground in the most random places to prove that I wasn't lying. She got a real kick out it. She moved to California and that was the main way we stayed connected, me sending her random pics of flossers in obscure places. I'm betting this will not be the only floss thingy that I'll see on this road trip! And you will probably start seeing them too, if you haven't already. What's up with that? Do people floss in their cars in parking lots and just toss them out the window all the time? Is there a "toss the floss" campaign going on that I don't know about??
And then there a\were the arrow slits on the Kohl's building. WTF???
Tomorrow I go to the Tupelo Automobile Museum. Yay! I hope it's not as disappointing as the Tupelo.net site has made me feel about this town, they brought my expectations way up high and it just hasn't lived up to it. Tomorrow is another day however, when I will have much more time for site seeing. I may hit some of the Elvis's birthplace stuff (there's a lot!) or go for a hike. It depends on how hot it is.
Tonight I had my first couple of moments of sadness/loneliness. They were two separate moments. One was when I entered an 12 step meeting where there were only 8 people (I guess there are normally tons, but there was some football game going - they joked about how that meeting comes before everything except your football team!). One person said hi after I said hi first, the rest didn't really even look at me. That has never been my experience at an that fellowship's meetings (not that I've been to a lot) and it was completely unexpected. The second moment was a little while ago and I was settled in the van, thinking about how this van is in really sad shape, and how I'd hate to have to go home before the trip ends if it gives out. If something happens to the van though, I will find another way!
And on a more pleasant note, as I was putting things back into one of the cabinets (which is what I spend a lot of time doing) earlier tonight and I thought, "Right at this moment, if I had the chance to travel in a camper van again I'd definitely do it!" Ask me again in 5 weeks.
The van in slot 19 at the Campground at Barnes Crossing :-)
Oh, and if you or anyone you know ever has a problem with sciatica from driving a lot (or any other reason) here is a great article with a bunch of yoga poses to help with that. I did them in the van, which was very cool to be able to do!
Barb Nangle is the founder of Higher Power Coaching and Consulting, an entrepreneur and an eternal optimist. She loves motivating others to become better and better versions of themselves, just as she has become better and better versions of herself.