Thursday, November 15, 2007

Necessity Is A the Mother

Planning a life on the road takes a lot of planning and thinking and lists, but one thing you rarely allow for is the possibility of appliances and "things" breaking down while you are on the road. Often this means rushing to buy a replacement quickly simply because you may not be able to stay in one location long enough to have something shipped to you and often you'll find that your credit card company won't allow an item to be shipped to a location other than your billing address for fraud reasons. Which is great, unless your billing address isn't where you happen to be--ever!

Breakdown-wise, this has been a bad month for us. The modem went kaput on our satellite Internet system and this week my washer's computer board went belly up. The appliance repairman that came out was honest enough to tell us that the part and the accompanying labor charges would be well over what we paid for the washing machine. And of course, the warranty expired precisely two weeks ago. Now we have a problem. All washing machines that are installed in recreational vehicles are either apartment sized 110 volt appliances or ones that are specifically manufactured for use in RVs. Either way, you don't just pick them up at the local store, they have to be ordered. And while we're going to be here another ten days, Thanksgiving weekend falls smack-dab in the middle of that period so now the available time for shipping is cut down even more. This is the kind of thing you don't plan for when you think about hitting the road.

I made a quick call to Camping World, the toy store for RVers, where the parts manager told me that there were five washing machines in the central warehouse but that she didn't think she could get one in before we were due to leave. Shoot. Putting me on hold, that very accommodating lady checked their store and found a machine on the floor and told me we could have that one. Yay! So Denny and I hopped in the truck, drove to the place that gets a large percentage of our income and bought it. One of the employees helped Denny get it into the truck but then we had the problem of how to get it into the trailer. Hmm.

Denny sometimes has a problem communicating his ideas of how to work something, but he's pretty darned ingenious at figuring out how to do a work-around. Here we were, no furniture dolly, no young men around to help lug this several hundred pound piece of equipment up three narrow steps and through a narrow doorway into the trailer. So Denny had me fold in the entry steps and he backed the truck up to the doorway. Then he laid two of our 2x6s from the bed of the truck to the doorway and we wrassled (you wrestle, I wrassle) that bugger onto the boards and pushed/slid it through the doorway. Next, how to get it up two more interior stairs and another small doorway. This time I came up with the idea of using a throw rug on the steps and laying the washing machine on its side to allow it to slide more easily. Denny threw a rope around the bottom of the washing machine and hauled on the rope while I pushed from below. Dang, but we're too old for this stuff!

We got that puppy up there and now it sits waiting to be installed. But we need a little recuperation time before we do that. We figure that will be the easy part, but then again, we've learned never to make assumptions like that because they'll bite you in the rear.

I keep telling myself, at least we're at the beach. It's becoming my mantra, I think.

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