Saturday, July 30, 2016

To Camp

First of all, I just want to know if this stuff ever happens to other people? I mean, it seems like this kind of nonsense happens to us all the time. I even looked at Preston at one point and said, "Does this crap (I used a different word which will anger my mother if I type it here) happen to other people? For real. Or are we crap magnets?"

A big part of me thinks we must just be those people stuff happens to. A prime example would be about two years ago our rear windshield got SHOT OUT, of all things, on Hilton Head Island, of all places, and we had to drive home in pouring rain with cardboard and duct tape across our car, and it kept coming off because DUCT TAPE ISN'T WATERPROOF and an eight hour trip took forty-two days. When we were telling the story to our dumbfounded community group someone even commented, "Man! Ya'll always have the best stories." Best. Right.  

So is it just us who gets dealt the hand full of jokers?

I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Last post I believe we discussed buying an RV, which if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know we did. Technically, it's a travel trailer, which means we pull it with the truck. It is 28 feet long and the truck is 19 feet long so we are roughly the size of a cruise ship careening down the highway. 

It has been parked DIRECTLY in front of our house all summer. Like the good redneck family we are. 

We finally got a chance to camp in it last week when went to a state park close by. During literally the hottest week of the summer. Lillian goes, "I hope nobody gets breast stroke." Um, me, too, kid. Or heat stroke which is probably more likely.

The RV has AC and this particular park has some awesome natural grotto swimming holes with freezing water, so we knew we'd be fine even though we were camping on the surface of the sun.

Until Eva unintentionally almost caught a dadgum copperhead with her bare hands while she was trying to catch minnows in the aforementioned picturesque grotto. And then Preston had to reason with his four women that "the snake is more scared of us than we are of him." 


But we happened to be at a place where literally the only path out was to swim, so I gritted my teeth and fake agreed with him so everyone would get back in the water and we could escape the viper pit of death.

While hiking to a different grotto, the snake spotting girl almost stepped on another copperhead. Preston continued insisting the snakes are scared of us. More lies.

And while swimming in the different grotto, we saw six more copperheads. Six. They were not afraid of us. However I do think they were afraid of the Hispanic grandmother who was yelling at Lillian and me to "Vete! Vete! VETE!" out of the water because I know I was quick to obey her commands even though I wasn't totally sure what she was yelling. She had spotted two more, NOT swimming along the rocky edge, where Preston had tricked us into believing was their favorite spot. No, apparently these copperheads are the owners of that grotto because they were swimming right out in the middle beside my husband who had taken the older two girls to cliff jump. 



Into Copperhead Lake. 

At that point I said, and I quote, "I'm sure you are right that the venomous demon snakes are super scared because they sure seem to be, what with their hopping right up onto my raft and grabbing a sip of my coke, but I am done with this and so are these children I bore." (All characters exit grotto behind woman in sexy skirted bathing suit.)

We did have a really nice two days, played lots of PayDay, where we discovered one child regularly swipes $1000s from the bank when no one is looking, thus answering the question how she ended up with $2.7 million and the rest of us each had ten bucks, baking cakes inside hollowed out oranges, and including the girls, for the first time, in the discussion of what our family wants to be about this year. (We added a "Our family wants to be about no cheating at PayDay" clause.) The girls made friends with some other kids camping close by and rode scooters and bikes, and played on the playground and slapped mosquitoes. Summer stuff. It truly was bliss.

Guess the cheater. She looks so innocent.

First trip deemed successful. Good times had by all. Time to head out. Everything is packed and everyone is in bathing suits because we are headed straight to an awesome pool in the nearby town for a few hours before we head home.

Unplug everything. I'll get the water unhooked. Uh, hey, Preston? I think this tire is flat. Yup, sure is. Mutter bad words. He'll change it when he gets the truck hooked up. I'll go bring in the slide-out.

Uh, hey, Preston? I know I just told you about the tire, and you seem super excited about that so I'm thrilled to be able to tell you this information: the slide isn't working. I AM pushing the button. Yes, the right button. Fine, you push it. Maybe your finger is magic. (sarcasm is beginning to creep in) No magic fingers. More bad muttering. Sweat is dripping. It's 100 degrees with a heat index of 80 million. My sexy thick bathing suit/dress made for grandmas has become an item of torture. I have lost 50 pounds. Preston's shirt is soaked. 

Try to charge battery that appears to be dead. Not charging. Muttering has gone up a decibel or ten. Girls sent to play with new friends to prevent their ears from falling off.   

Hook truck up to reroute RV battery to truck battery through the rotogirders. Or something. Doesn't work. Cannot google problem because no cell service here in Copperhead Hollow. Walk to bathhouse where signal is the slightest bit stronger. Call manufacturer of travel trailer. Leave voice mail. 

Sweat. Death is imminent. Or breast stroke. 

I drive to the check in point to assure them we won't be checking out on time. I have a cell signal, thank you Jesus, so I google the problem and discover all slides can be cranked in manually.

Rush back to site to tell muttering husband. 

Search desperately for the slide motor. Eureka! Behind couch. And under it. Behind locks. Guarded by pit bulls. Never to be reached. 

Phone miraculously rings! The manufacturer is returning our call! And cannot help us in any way! 


Search for crank that is supposed to be with the trailer specifically designed to reach it. Previous owners must have it. Oldest child comments, "Maybe this is why they sold it to us so cheap." Parents are not amused. Child wisely returns to TV show she is watching.

But, Preston! He has packed tools! 

Rig up something. Rigged something will only work for a few inches, then slide motor will again be out of reach.

Encourage Preston to use the mallet to smash through the whole entire RV and campgound dinette. Things can always be replaced but you will have a hard time finding another wife to take on this mess. Takes his chances on a new wife. Asks neighbors for crank. They in turn ask more people. No one has this magic crank. Once again smashing is suggested only to be met with eye rolling. Apparently he does not value his life. 

Preston concedes he will need to saw. Asks around for saw. Finds one. I consider staying.  

Lie on back with sharp saw slipping around from all the sweat and begin to saw into the dinette. Saw slips. Major artery knicked. Slap on a bandaid and saw some more. Sweep up the sawdust. It's sticking to my sweaty neck and causing hives. I obediently sweep considering who what all I could possibly smash with a dustpan. Neighbor knocks. He has asked a ranger for help. Apparently rangers are helpful. This has not occurred to us. Rangers arrive with the elusive crank. Rangers also help change tire. Angels sing. In ten minutes we are on our way. Three hours after our original departure time.

The problem has since been fixed; it was in fact the battery. Had we driven into the town 20 minutes away and purchased a battery... 

Well, Martha, at least you got a blog post out of it.

I let him live.

Grace (for Preston),

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