This morning we had an appointment to get the motorhome PA safety inspected at Jeff Critchlow Auto Care on Babcock Blvd. We are now at home, with the RV tucked safely into its spot in the yard, with brand new PA State inspection stickers proudly displayed on our windshield. It means that when we have the money, our adventure can begin, legally.
Before I share a back story that I have been silent about, allow me to give a thank you to the mechanic who did the inspection, Darren. Great guy! He helped us with some glitches that we have had and shared with us from his accumulated knowledge as an RVer himself for many years.
The "back story" is one that brings me shame and embarrassment.
After our last venture out in the RV, as I was attempting to back through the 9' 3" opening in our fence with our 8' 6" motorhome, I had an accident. Since I must pull the side view mirrors in, in order to clear the opening, I must fully rely on Raymond to get me in without hitting anything. As we were attempting this particular feat, I answered incorrectly when Raymond asked if I needed him in front of me, in the grocery store parking lot, OR behind me, in our yard. Because I was stressed, hot and frustrated, I said that I didn't care where he was as long as he realized he was now my eyes, because I was backing up blind. He opted to stay in the parking lot, in front of the vehicle, probably because he was stressed, tired, hot and annoyed with my tone. Oops!
As I moved the beast backward, slowly, I heard a loud "C R U N C H". I immediately hit the brake, as my stomach fell below my knees and my anxiety level rose to new heights. To Raymond, I yelled, "What the hell did I hit?!" I sat in the cab of the vehicle, feeling sick, angry and incredibly stupid! Raymond reported that I had hit the tree, which according to him, "knocked out a taillight & bent the ladder". Now I am really a mess! So, I got out and went to survey the damage. Apparently, the nub that remained from a tree limb previously removed, had caught the top of the RV ladder, bending it and thereby causing the ladder to break one of the lights at the top of the vehicle, as well as cause a split to the corner of the vehicle's fiberglass. I felt seriously ill.
I also felt angry, mostly at Raymond. Realizing that this was completely irrational anger, I managed to tamp it down enough that I didn't become a screaming banshee. My rational mind, which, doesn't always get a lot of playtime, kept reminding me that I was the one who had failed to insist that Raymond guide from the yard, where this may have been avoided. Desperately wanting to cry, but unable to(that's a story for another time), we managed to get the RV into the yard without further damage, either to it or to our marriage.
So, when I called to make the inspection appointment, I failed to mention this occurrence. Seems I should have. This is where Darren comes in. As the inspection mechanic of a "new" vehicle, he couldn't allow the broken light atop the rear end, nor did he feel the broken piece of ladder at the top was stable enough to, say, NOT come loose and hit someone as we cruise down the highway. He took a few minutes and went to get a new light cover and he removed the broken section of the ladder. He then asked Raymond to come into the service bay, so that they could talk. He shared many RV pointers with my dear husband and asked if Raymond wanted him to remove the vestiges of yellow paint that remained from my BP gas fill up excursion, no charge. [I blogged about that already. Another humbling, embarrassing moment.] We also both spoke with him about the split caused by the ladder meeting the tree. He explained to us how to fix that ourselves. Darren, you are a good man.
So, now, the RV is inspected. It is safely ensconced in its place inside our fenced yard. Our relationship survived a bump. I learned to hold my tongue. We both learned that guiding the RV requires enormous patience. And, I learned that even when there is a huge screw up, it's NOT the end of the world!
Next step, heading out for several days at a local campground to get our feet wet, so to speak. All we need is for Raymond to have several days off work in a row. You would think that should be easy for a retired guy. Well, if my retired guy didn't also have a "retirement job" at Macy's, it probably would be!