Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid.....At least my business partner thinks you should

I admit, it's been a rocky learning curve. To date, we have one MVA involving another vehicle, and four hit trees. To be fair,  our sticks and bricks driveway is narrow and tree-lined and definitely not designed for backing a 36" fifth wheel into. However, the last time, all we did was scrape some bark off an alder and put a tiny dent in the back fender of the truck.

Not quite the same damage done by the tow truck guy. Oh, yeah, the tow truck guy. But I digress.

We brought the as-yet unnamed RV home on Monday and discovered the back-camera and lights were not working (I think they disconnected something at the dealership when they were putting a new non-leaking roof on the thing.) Since backing up into the driveway was not in the cards at that point, we parked it crosswise to the driveway, left it hooked up to the truck, and went about our usual routine.

Part of my usual routine is this:

Yes, that is a cast. And it is on my right leg, my driving leg. Also my walking and balance leg. 

Why didn't they put a real cast on my leg to begin with some eleven weeks ago? Who knows. But they did put one on last week. Oh, the fourth metatarsal is all well. But the soft tissue damage is not. So I had a choice between a cortisone shot and a cast, or being off my feet entirely. How long? Who knows. Apparently people have had casts for soft tissue damage for six months or more. I, however, will not. I WILL NOT.

So, the truck and fiver are in the driveway, crosswise, and still mated. Around 2 am, I decide to go to bed. Since the cast is annoying as hell, and my foot is permanently at right angles to the rest of me, I'm finding sleep difficult. As a prophylactic, I pop a sleeping pill. I climb in bed, start to nod off, when Jenny wakes up and says, "The trailer."

Seems that she has to be court at 8 am the next morning, in the next county over. This is an hour's drive and she can't be late. So at 2 am we are outside, trying to unhook the fiver. My job is to hold the flashlight, which is actually my cell phone, and shiver for effect. Also to weave and bob and try to stay upright. Remember the sleeping pill? Her job is to climb the ladder to pull the pin and then climb into the truck to disconnect the trailer. (Yes, we are both short.) Sounds easy. But the pin won't budge. Finally, we give up and she decides to call someone to give her a ride to court.

The next day, she calls the guys at the RV dealership and they tell her she needs to put the truck in reverse, slowly let off the brake, and the pin will line up to come out. Why didn't they tell us that before? Like when they showed us how to put the RV on the hitch?

So, another crisis averted, minimal meltdown, and at last the truck is free. The trailer, of course, is still not IN the driveway unless you count crosswise across the entrance as in. We don't and I'm pretty sure the neighbors don't either.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

About This Truck

Okay, so we bought this truck. It's a 2005 Dodge Ram HD 2500 long bed super cab monster. I've never driven anything this big. Hell, I've never SEEN anything this big. My last truck was a 1962 Studebaker with tuck and roll upholstery. This is no Studebaker. Did I mention it's diesel?

After a month of driving the thing, this is the uneasy truce we've developed. I can now get in fairly easily. (I'm short and fat, it's big and tall. If we were a heterosexual couple, it might be a good match.) To get in, I have to put a foot on the running board thingy, grab the handle, and jump. But first I have to decide if I lead with my broken foot (still in a cast) or if I use that foot to jump with. (It's a flexible cast...more like a bootie with plastic and velcro and hot needles of fire jabbing into my foot.)

Depending on which foot I lead with, I may or may not make it all the way into the cab.  With certain feet, I sort of land backwards or sideways. Oh, and first I have to lift Good Dog Gwyneth into the truck because she's even shorter than I am and she has a torn ACL.

No, we are not mean dog parents. Yes, we could get it fixed. For six thousand dollars. And she's part Springer Spaniel which means that she jumps on her hind legs like a maniac whenever she sees us. Yes, it's her hind ACL. And if we fixed it, she'd immediately tear it again because she's a SPRINGER. As far as I can make out, the only REAL skill Springers have is springing. Oh, and eating the mice the cats haul in.

Back to the truck. I am now in it. If I am behind the wheel, I also have to remember that starting a diesel truck is a two-part operation. Not that I always do remember, but I try. First you turn the key part way, and then wait for a little coil thingy on the dashboard to go out. If I could see the coil thingy, this would be pretty easy, but this is a BIG truck and I am impeded by the steering wheel which blocks my view of the dashboard.

Driving is pretty much like driving anything else, except you take up the whole lane. And so far I am terrified to take it into the city. The lanes are narrower there, and there are other cars, and I might have to PARALLEL PARK this sucker. So far, I've either avoided or cancelled anything that has had the remotest possibility that I might have to parallel park the behemoth. You know those white lines you're supposed to park between? Impossible. This thing fills the white lines and then some.

Now, we're back in the driveway. I've avoided the tree (the one Jenny didn't avoid), and I'm ready to get out. It's long way down. Especially with a broken foot. Up until a couple of days ago, I just slid slowly down the seat, unsure that the ground was actually there for me. Now I have more faith and slide part way down then give a little self-assured drop.

So far, this new lifestyle is shaping up to be a real adventure.....

It's Becoming Real

So I've loved that old teddy bear with the stuffing coming out for all these past 20+ years and FINALLY she announced that she wants to be out of the house in three months. Maybe not out of town, and maybe not retired, but living full time in the fifth wheel even if we are stuck in Oregon for a few more months.

Now begins the flurry of sorting, packing, disposing, and getting ready to go! I spent Sunday trying to condense my yarn and fiber stores down into one large Rubbermaid container. Good luck with that.  But I do have about six times as many boxes in the sell/give away/relocate pile as in the keep pile so there's hope.

This week, I may tackle the books. I've already sold hundreds of books at Powells, but there are still way too many in the house. Problem is now that I've weeded out the easy sells, I have to actually think about this.

Wait, no. I don't. I have old eyes. I can't read anything that isn't exploded to at least 14 pts which means I read on an e-reader. But wait. What about the book I'm researching that requires all these tomes not available on e-reader? See, these are the choices I face. Blindness or knowledge.

Anybody looking for a huge floor loom? You can't keep it forever, but I'd rather have someone using it and enjoying it for the next few years that dismantle it and store it. Let me know.