…And What’s Been Hid
Above: the fifth wheel in storage for the summer near Knoxville, Tn.
Did you miss me?
It’s been some time since I wrote a blog piece about my life and times, so, somewhat like the self-important Yearly Round-up that we sometimes receive in Christmas Cards about someone we barely know talking about people we’ve never heard of, here’s mine.
“The only thing constant… is change”, seems to be my raison d’etre, so, going back a while…
Once upon a time in a land far away called Georgia, a man dropped off a woman, who shall remain nameless except to mention that her initials were Sue Clement, at the Savannah/ Hilton Head Airport. To borrow from the Roy Clarke song, “Thank God and Greyhound, She’s Gone.” After three years of struggling, I had decided that it was best to part company as we simply didn’t get along well enough to continue.
The fifth wheel trailer was on order with a three-month build time. I embarked on my illustrious retail career, working in frozen foods at Bi-Lo grocery store. I enjoyed my time there immensely and met some wonderful people. It also helped to pay my considerable electric and propane bill as this was the coldest Coastal Georgia winter that I had encountered, living in a built-for-summer travel trailer with inch-thick, barely-insulated walls.
The time passed and eventually the fifth wheel got delivered to the dealer near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Why there? I had done considerable research on the internet prior to placing the order and Berryland Campers in Ponchatoula was the most reasonable price. I traveled the 650 interstate miles from Lake Harmony RV Park in Townsend, Georgia…
…then got a Saturday afternoon walk-through with the RV Tech, learning how the fifth wheel worked. I did not go in as a know-it-all but I thought that having RV-ed for a couple of years, some things would be basic.
Yeah, right. This is a whole nuther world.
Another Tech hitched me up and backed into an RV site on the Dealer’s lot. Then everyone locked the doors, closed the gate and went home until Monday. Let the trial by fire begin. For reasons that would glaze your eyes over, I couldn’t take the fifth wheel into Florida during my first six months of ownership, so it was secondary highways through Alabama and Georgia to get back to Lake Harmony. I camped two nights on the way back and, most surprisingly, no fifth wheel trailers were harmed in the process.
Many folks at Lake Harmony were very, very helpful and supportive. Larry and Shari Kosier, the owners, allowed me to park for two nights in an overnight site, then Larry used his tractor to put my 26′ trailer into the spot beside – backwards – so that the two doors faced each other.
I thought I had downsized quite well. By the time, with help, that all my worldly possessions had been transferred into the fifth wheel, I was convinced that I would qualify for an episode of “Hoarders”.
With a great deal of help, I managed to clean out, clean up then sell my 26′ trailer on Craigslist, in short order.
Time to hit the road.
After an overnight stay in Dothan, Alabama, where The Fleabag managed to wiggle-worm his way out of his harness and wander off in an unfamiliar, one-night RV Park.
Yes, he did eventually return – it was off to Gulf Shores, Alabama. I knew of Gulf Shores and the beach as a summer destination but I never considered that it would be a winter, Snowbird hot spot as well.
As was once said about Myrtle Beach, ‘there was more yankees than people’.
Next stop was Hattiesburg, Mississippi…
and despite drowning my sail foam, I enjoyed my week there.
A few hours away, Natchez, Mississippi for a week.
Next stop, New Iberia, Louisiana for a week, where that fleabag cat managed to power down the passenger winnder in heavy, stop-and-go traffic and I figured he would be a long-gone goner. An hour later after bouncing down some of the worst roads I have ever driven on… ever… never mind being a greenhorn at pulling a 40′ fifth wheel behind me, I arrived at KOC RV Park… “Kampground of Cajuns”.
After getting over my road rage and also reprimanding the cat, I decided that the roads would be just the same when leaving, and that tearing around the country for a week-or-so at a time – by myself – was nearly as exhausting as it was fun. I went back to the office at KOC and signed on for an additional month’s stay.
As the Hare-Brained Scheme evolved, it was not meant to evolve as a solitary venture. I was now settled for five weeks. I took my life in my hands and sent a gruff invitation to the wench in question last seen at Savannah/ Hilton Head Airport. The invitation included endearing niceties like, ‘This is not a retrial or restart. This is two friends spending a week together in a trailer with two bedrooms.” Also, “Delta does not want a passenger sobbing her way back to Toronto, so please understand fully before making your decision.”
A couple of weeks later, I picked up a woman at the Lafayette Louisiana Airport who bore a vague resemblance to the woman from five months earlier at the Savannah/ Hilton Head Airport. I give her a great deal of credit for sorting out a number of issues in her life and a huge attitude adjustment. A happier her made for a less-surly me, which made for an even happier her, which made for a very happy me. I had put off doing anything tourist-y until she arrived. We enjoyed our Louisiana visit immensely.
So, realizing that I am disappointing the many single ladies that probably number well into the nones, I am officially off the market.
Sue flew back down to help pack up the fifth wheel for the summer season then put it in storage…. definitely a two-person job, especially the first time.