Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beyond My Control--ARGH!

As those who’ve been following me on Facebook know, this past year with my new camper-van has been a tad vexing. With Tillie1, my Gulfstream Yellowstone motorhome that served as my home since Nov. 2005, I had minimal mechanical problems. Tillie2, my sleeker, upscale (MB Sprinter, for Pete’s sake!) van/home has presented a plethora of issues, most vexing the dismazingly ubiquitous CHECK ENGINE light.


Credit must be given to Tim, the Sprinter mechanic at Mercedes Benz in Kansas City. In May, my last stop here, he managed to actually fix this frequently reoccurring issue. We had a pleasant chat about what he did, an unusual occurrence to speak to the person doing the work at MB. 

Annoyed as I was to see the CE light pop up again this past Saturday, I was glad I was able to get into MBKC before I headed to North Carolina, my next destination. It’s become a regular stop for me; I’m more familiar with the MB parking lot than many of their customers are! Quiet place to sleep…but that’s another story.

Chris, the Sprinter Service Manager, squeezed me into the schedule. He brought me back to the service area and showed me the damage caused by the rats or mice that decided to chew on the wires. I had been parked at my friend Julia’s for the past 2 weeks, a place where I often spend time when I’m in KS. As I pulled out yesterday, she noticed the dead giveaway that I had unwanted visitors, discarded cocoa shells—from her landscaping next to T2’s parking spot—under the hood area.

I’m sure it could have been worse. But really, can’t vehicle manufacturers figure out a way to prevent varmints from gnawing on vehicles’ wiring and other parts? 

My only take-away from this unexpected delay can be summed up in one of my favorite quotes—I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing, otherwise I’d be somewhere else doing something else. (anon)

This delay allowed me to do an impromptu screening of my latest film, Worn Out Welcome Mat—Kansas, a look at doubled up homelessness, with staff at Kansas City KS School District 500. McKinney-Vento liaison Kerry Wrenick deftly assembled a small group in a conference room. I hooked up my computer and watched them watch this heartbreaking 20-min. video. (LINK to be posted when I get a strong signal for the upload)

I’m sitting in this well-appointed waiting room, big screen TV blaring the stuff I’m trying to ignore, as I work on my HEAR US homelessness work. Irony? Yup. But if my being here can cause at least 1 person with financial wherewithal to become aware of —and maybe do something to help— homelessness as experienced by families and youth, I’ll hire a team of gnawing rats!