Friday, October 17, 2008

August??!! You gotta be kidding!

I'm not an obsessive blogger, but when I found my latest RV blog was August I realized that I lost about 6 weeks somewhere in my crazy life. Gosh, hadn't I written ANYTHING??? since then???

A trickle of a memory started to come back--yes, you dork, you started a blog post about the kids who washed your gross RV. Oh yeah, I remember....and finished it.

Besides being on overload prior to my IL departure on October 7, I have an excuse for such lapses. My Dad died a week ago today, on 10/10. He was 88 and had lived a full life. The cancer and dementia was too much to overcome. It's a relief for all of us.

Bill was a funny guy--humorous and unconventional. He bought a camper--I vaguely remember it--back in the 60s. Mom said he just decided that it could be a good portable showroom for his gift business and bingo, he drove up to Indiana to get it.

I didn't see any pix of it as family rummaged through old photos in preparation for the memorial service. That would have been priceless. I guess he didn't keep it long. It probably proved to be a tad unwieldy as he lugged it behind his snazzy Cadillac.

Dad would always let you know if he approved of your choices, even if you didn't want/need his approval. When I was shaping my plan for HEAR US, my unconventional nonprofit venture to call attention to homeless families, I decided the only way to really do this was to get an RV, thus Tillie was purchased.

I didn't ask his blessing--or advice for that matter. I did talk to Mom about it and although she thought perhaps this was a little extreme, she stood back to let me follow my game plan. My first visit to their Atlanta area home three years ago was part of my maiden voyage--a learning experience to learn how to drive this big bus and to figure out the ABCs of RV camping.

My first state park was in Alabama (pix is the same park--Wind Creek). I drove westward out of Atlanta, watching the sky darken
as I raced to get to the park. As I neared the park Mom called and said they figured I was heading right into a band of nasty weather and that tornado warnings had been issued. She said Dad told me to head for a hotel. Yeah, right.

I managed to land on the site, figured out (sort of) the plug-in system, try in vain to hook up the hose, and sure enough the tornado siren wailed. Now what? my naive self thought.

I stuck my head out the door and the people in the next site hollered over to follow them to the bath house, a slightly sturdier--concrete block--structure not too far away. Not grabbing anything except my cell phone I headed over.

About 8 of us huddled together. A wise traveler brought a weather radio. The counties where the warning was in effect were listed. I was clueless as to the name of the city, much less the county. Some wiser person knew our county, and yes, we were included. In fact, a tornado had been sighted in our general area.

Yikes! All I could picture was Tillie floating in the adjacent lake. I'd have to call family for help. NO!!! Can't do that!

After about an hour we figured the danger was over and meandered back to our campers. It was dark--power failure--so I didn't see the knee-deep puddles between me and Tillie. I trudged on, happy not to have to call home.

The moral of the story--pay some attention to weather and if you have to abandon ship, figure out what you should take with you. Let me suggest a flashlight. And pay attention to the name of the county you're staying in.

How did Dad know the storm was so close to where I was heading?! He didn't seem to be paying attention to my travel plans. I guess it's a Dad-thing. I'll miss those moments...and other endearing traits of his.

I will try to be more attentive to my blogs. Yeah, right!