February 11, 2018 (by Angela)
In Two Firsts and Two Rarities, we shared about our arrival at a campground SSE of Dallas, Texas. Our hopes for this past week met mixed results. Yes, I do feel better than last weekend, but I am no where near well. I’m on week three of this respiratory/sinus crud. We had a few warmer days, but lots of rain. Last night and today have been cold – colder than forecasted and colder than it is even in Middle Tennessee. Jim made his trip to Chicago, but he didn’t come home Friday night; he came back Thursday night because of an impending snow storm. This is the short version of our not-so-hoped-for week. The details are below.
Last Monday I did laundry almost all day long at the RV park, as that was just as fast as driving to a nearby town to get it done. At least I could rest in the RV between changing loads over. This had to be done because I had not felt up to doing laundry since we returned from Japan. If you do that math, it had been 2 weeks. The last laundry I’d washed was Thursday before packing to return to the U. S. With clean clothes, Jim was able to pack for his work trip and head to the airport that evening. The next day, I was worse again. I did nothing I didn’t have to do on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The weather made it easier to stay in and do nothing. It began raining about lunch on Tuesday and continued off and on (more on) the rest of the afternoon and overnight. We had experienced a really hard time finding an appropriate site for us in this older park (which needs quite a bit of TLC). The new park managers started the same day we arrived. We had no idea that the site in which we parked would prove to be the wet-weather pond of the RV park. Neither did they. I actually had to call the manager to help me figure out how to get our electrical cord up high enough to be clear of rising water. Jim and I had to take a site with 30 amp service, so a “dog bone” was required to connect our 50 amp cord to the 30 amp box. The electrical box was low to the ground anyway, so our “dog bone” connection was on the ground, save for a board. During our set up, my gut told me to put a board under the “dog bone,” raising it another inch off the ground. It is a good thing I called the manager and he helped. By the time the rain stopped in the wee hours of the morning, water was several inches high from one side to the other of our site. It was Friday morning before I could walk in and out of the camper without seeing water pool around my boots. The manager and I discussed the fact that we wanted to move as soon as Jim was home and it was dry enough to do so. A 50 amp lot on the opposite (and higher) side of the park was open that had not been open on Sunday. He agreed to hold that for us.
Wednesday morning after good daylight, I made these pictures. The rain had stopped 7 – 8 hours earlier. While too dark to photograph at the time, the water was continuous from one side to the other across the cement pad.
Thursday morning, Jim called to say his flight home on Friday night had been cancelled due to a big snow storm coming into the area. He asked that I find him a flight out that night. I booked him on a 7:00 p.m. flight. After three delays and waiting for the plane to be de-iced, he got out an hour before the airport began cancelling more flights and diverting arriving flights. Jim made it back to Dallas, but before he could get a good start on the drive to the RV, he had another issue: a wreck. Thankfully, it was not a bad one. The officer said that since both cars were driveable and no one was hurt to exchange insurance information and go on. Of course, when a big truck smacks a smaller vehicle, you know which one has the worse damage. Jim was in the truck and at fault. He was changing lanes, and the car was in his blind spot when he looked to see if clear, so . . . . It only delayed his arrival at home about half an hour though. No one was hurt, and he was back safe and sound, and that is all that mattered.
As it turned out, his coming home a day early allowed us to switch sites. Had he come back Friday night, we may not have gotten moved before the next round of rain. He and I had hoped to move about 5 p.m, after giving the ground another full day to dry and him a full day to work. Then, at lunch, the rain began to fall. It was light but steady. The forecast was for the rain to arrive after midnight, but it arrived earlier. He and I got the rig ready and moved it to the new site with no issues except working in the rain. Once settled in our new spot and despite the rain, it was nice and warm. He and I enjoyed an evening breeze blowing through the open window. It was so warm that we needed no heat overnight, and the amount of covers on the bed were too much. The real rain came in on Saturday. Late in the evening, the wind shifted and began blowing hard; it was brutally cold. About 8 p.m. Saturday night, our propane ran out. Luckily, we had a 15 lb back up tank. Once again, the forecast was wrong. It was not supposed to get below freezing, so we’d not plugged in our electric heater on the water hose. We woke to frozen water this morning. What?! We were at 29 degrees, and my brother in Middle Tennessee told me it was 61 there. How could that be? We came to Texas to be warmer. Geez!
This morning, after Jim and I dressed, he went out and plugged up the water hose hoping it would thaw the water. Then he strapped into the truck the empty tanks, and we went to Mabank to have breakfast and go to Tractor Supply for tank refills. We got lucky there was still propane at TSC. After filling our tanks, TSC’s propane was down to 16%. They were not going to be able to fill many more tanks today.
Back to the RV with propane for warmth, soon our water started flowing again. Jim and I weren’t out of the cold problems yet though. All during the middle of the day today, we had thunder storms with mixed precipitation – lots of sleet/ice. As the wind blows, we hear the ice cracking on the slide-out awnings. Yet, as I write this, looking out the window at the dark clouds that recently passed us, I see sunshine peeking in and out!. The forecast, which I no longer believe, is for it to be back in the 50s tomorrow, soon to be followed by 60s again.
My fingers are crossed, not just for warmer weather, but also that we’ll have a relatively uneventful week during which I can finally get rid of this crud. It has been a long time since I’ve been this sick. I’m ready for warmth. I’m ready to really clean the camper (there’s not much you can do when it’s raining and everyone tracks in mud and grass.). I’m ready to complete some needed projects best done in warm weather. I’m ready to get out and explore without it being really cold and/or wet. I’m ready to be well again! Come on new week. Be a good one. 🙂