At last, the other shoe drops

It’s Day 396 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are fine.

You may recall my observation the other day that as we maintain, repair and otherwise tend to Ernie, everything we do seems to lead to something else. It’s as if it’s one endless task, each known thing revealing the next unknown thing.

As it turns out, that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s a dead end.

Outside the entry door is a grab handle, an acrylic tube held top and bottom by chrome-plated pieces. The tube is engraved with “BEAVER,” the brand of this coach.

According to what we’d read, there’s a light socket tucked inside the top bracket, and the tube illuminates with the porch light. Ours didn’t respond to the switch (although the porch light above it works just fine), so a while ago we ordered a replacement socket. We decided to swap the incandescent fixture for an LED.

I finally got around to installing it earlier this week. Grabbing a #4 Phillips, I backed out the six substantial screws securing the chromed pieces. I was careful not to drop the clear tube, lest I create a problem I didn’t have and didn’t need.

As I pulled the assembly away from the wall, I saw no light socket. There were no wires, not even a hole where wires might’ve been. Ernie wasn’t equipped with an illuminated grab handle after all.

Dead end. I laughed out loud.

I’m out only 12 bucks and ten minutes, and the amusement was worth at least that much. I’m sure I’ll find a home for that LED somewhere else.


For months now I’ve been teasing readers about “the real adventure,” dropping vague and cryptic hints but not revealing what Deb and I are up to. I simply couldn’t be specific until we put a few things in order.

Our recent “shakedown cruise” was great, of course — but as you might suspect, it was only the beginning. About a week from right now, we’ll once again board Ernie and roll out of Second Chance Ranch. This time will be different.

This time we’ll be gone for a while — a very long while. We have no destination, no planned route. There are people to see, places to go, food to eat, liquor to drink, music to hear and memories to make.

We’re going to look for America.

Obviously, this is one helluva big step and a dream come true. And we want to do it while we’re able — we’re not promised tomorrow.

We’re doing this now.

We’ll leave Second Chance Ranch in capable hands — a good thing, since we don’t know when we’ll be coming back again.

Deb and I extend heartfelt thanks to our friends for their love and steadfast support. Since we can’t take you with us, we hope you’ll follow along here.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath