Scary and Sad Beginnings
We pulled out around noon on Saturday Aug 19. After an hour on back roads through Dekalb we headed west on the 88. Within 5 minutes we had our first ‘incident’. As a semi flew past I let off the gas to slow down but the trailer began to ‘freewheel’ and push us rather than us pulling it. We found ourselves being tossed back and forth, bucked like riding a bull. The trailer fishtailed to the left then right then left… all over both lanes, bouncing, out of control. I thought I had a flat so didn’t hit the brakes. Wrong move for our situation I later learned.
The rest of the day and the next is white knuckle driving all the way to Kansas – scared to drive 60mph for fear of loosing control and fishtailing. Add to that, on the second day Kristy’s wedding-engagement ring are lost. We call where we stopped and left a message just incase it is found.
By the time we reach family in Wichita on Sunday evening we are both exhausted and discouraged. This is not how we had hoped to start our new life. We know there will be a learning curve, we know there will be hiccups along the way. But so soon? Do we need a bigger vehicle to pull the trailer? Where do we get money for that? We have to be able to tow our new home, and with a measure of confidence. This is not a hobby. It’s our new life.
People at Work who Care
On Monday we watch the eclipse with family. Pretty cool, 93-4% totality in Wichita. Then off to Flint Hills RV to have them look at our tow set up, hoping something can be done, no matter what it costs. Amazing folk. Jim works miracles. At least for now we have tow stability at 65mph. May have to change to ‘truck’ tires eventually, but for now we seem solid enough.
It’s odd. It feels like we are just on another family visit, only this time with a camper. BUT, we’re not. We have no place we have to be, at least until Oct 1. We have no ‘home’ to go back to. We simply ‘are’ where we are. The reality of this hits us occasionally, but what this reality is is still unclear.
But here’s what we have found to help us take heart. Jim at Flint Hills RV cared first and foremost about our safety. He wouldn’t even let us pay him for an hour+ working to figure out and fix our hitch problem. I tried to pay him but he said no. He was just glad he could help. “I just run my business hoping that what goes around comes around.” He said. “You are from out of town, just passing through. I just want to make sure you are safe. I used 3 washers…”
So which is ‘worth’ more to a business – a one time payment of $70 , or a direct recommendation to 52,000 fellow full-time RVers to go see Jim? It’s hard to say. I can tell you this, my full-time RVers Facebook group now know that if they are ever in Wichita and need an RV dealer or service they should go to Jim at Flint Hills RV.
By the way, Kristy called the rest area where she thinks she might have lost her rings. The woman on the other end talks to her for at least a half an hour, trying to comfort her and offer perspective, knowing how traumatic it is to lose a wedding ring. She didn’t have to do this for Kristy, but she cared about the pain of a person she has never met, but to whom she can relate, having a while back lost her ring as well.
We need others. We need friends and family, but we also people we don’t even know, who offer ‘services’, who just go to work. We were lucky enough to meet people in their work who cared, who simply met us in our humanity at our points of need.
The work we do, if we are to stay in business, is to meet some kind of need. This means it is actually a service. It is so much more than working to pay the bills. Our work, our business, is a primary way to care for and serve others beyond our small circle of family and friends. Volunteer work at church or in the community is great, important and necessary, but we spend most of our time ‘serving’ others at work. I wonder how today we might knowingly or unknowingly be serving, meeting needs? I wonder how we would experience our days at work differently if we had the same attitude and joy that we do when volunteering and serving in the community? Indeed we actually are doing so whether we realize it or not.