Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gassing Up

Yesterday, Raymond and I took the dog and went for a brief drive in the RV, essentially to get gas. There is a gas station about three blocks from our house, but we avoided gassing up there because of the small area, which would require skills I barely have in the SUV, in regard to tight turns. So, we headed down Ohio River Blvd to a large gas station.

I made the turn off the blvd between the thrift store and the gas station, thinking to enter from the area above the station, thereby allowing us to be pointed head first toward the adjoining street for easy egress to the light and an relatively easy turn back onto the blvd. The thought was, easy in and easy out. Oops! Wrong again! There used to be access. Apparently the owners of the gas station felt the need to fence off that area.

I fear I allowed this to cause some major anxiety. I now had to enter traffic on Elizabeth St and then make a left turn into the gas station. Why is it these little glitches are the ones that mess with my head the most?

Providentially, the gas station was nearly empty.

I decided to access the pump closest to the main road, hoping for a way out that wouldn't involve trying to cut around the pumps to get back to Elizabeth Street and what I saw as easier access to Ohio River Blvd via the traffic light. I should have been focused on the moment, instead of worrying about how I'd get out.

As I turned off Elizabeth into the gas station, I forgot to think about pivot points and how the motorhome turns differently from the Mazda. "C ... R ... U ... N ... C ... H," is what I heard. I had scrunched into one of those brightly painted barriers they place alongside the pumps so that you don't hit the actual gas pump!

I backed up; made the appropriate adjustment and pulled alongside the pump. I was mortified! We haven't even made the first payment yet! At first, I wanted to take it as a sign that we are not meant to do this. That's how much I let this get to me. Thank goodness for my dear husband. We got out, looked at the crunch and he said, "That's no big deal! Besides, now we don't have to worry about the first scratch." I was still feeling embarrassed, but also blessed. How is it that R takes things so much in stride and with an eye to the bigger picture? After filling the tank, which surprisingly cost less than what we had anticipated, R assisted me in checking for traffic so that I could pull out of the gas station directly onto the Blvd, eliminating any need for tight turns back onto Elizabeth St. As we headed back the way we had come, R continued to be supportive and encouraging. Then, as we approached Marshall Avenue and the posted detours, I realized that we would have to make a left turn, followed quickly by moving into the right lane and taking a relatively hard right onto Superior Avenue, in order to get back home. R continued to offer support and even said that I should consider how much easier driving the open road would seem compared to navigating city streets. We made it back into the grocery store parking lot behind our house without further incident. Now, the tricky part where I have to back up through the gate to our yard with just several inches clearance on each side of the motorhome. Then, back the rest of the way in blind,depending on R to make sure of clearance, as the mirrors must be pulled all the way in, to fit through the gate.

We made it!

Seems the most important lessons I learned in that short little trip were: Be prepared; Stay present in the moment; Adjust; Trust R to assist; and Laugh at yourself.

The last one comes as a result of our neighbor who looked at the yellow paint along the bottom of the slide and said, "Hey! You need to sign it! That's what they do at Talladega!"

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