It’s Tuesday, June 1st, 2021 — the 434th and final day of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Tomorrow, according to what we’ve read, The Great State of Ohio, which Deb and I left behind a month ago today, will lift its illegal and unconstitutional WuFlu decrees.
Honestly, that doesn’t matter a whit to us. We haven’t cared about it in a very long time, certainly not for the 32 days we’ve been rolling through Free America.
Our plans had us leaving this campground today for a Harvest Hosts spot in northwest Arkansas before continuing to Oklahoma and then Texas. Because of necessary repairs to our fridge we put that off by a day, turning a three-day run into two.
That isn’t happening, either.
Yesterday morning, as scheduled, the mobile RV tech returned to install the new cooling unit we’d hauled back from Little Rock on Friday. We had a good day, weather-wise, for the disruption, and the job went without a hitch.
When he left, the fridge was cooling smoothly and surprisingly quickly. He returned later to check on it, declared it good and cleared us to load it with food again — we were back in business.
Less than a half-hour later I was outside the bus, finishing a small fix-it job, when out of the corner of my eye I caught a flicker of orange between the louvers of the refrigerator’s access panel.
I pulled the panel off to find flames engulfing the wiring harness and control board. I shouted to Deb, who happened to be sitting inside an open window above where I was standing, to call the fire department and toss me a fire extinguisher. (We have five staged throughout the coach.)
It took me less than a minute to knock down the flames and put out the fire. The local fire department arrived shortly after that and confirmed it was cold.
Deb, the dogs and I are safe. Damage appears to be confined to the wiring and circuit board, with no obvious damage to the coach itself.
Say it with me: It could’ve been worse — so much worse.
To be candid with you, I’m having trouble today with lingering what-ifs. Deb and I are ok, Scout and Dipstick are ok and Ernie’s ok — but I mean, I was just three feet away when the fire broke out. I was facing in a direction that let me see it. Deb was right there at the window. A fire extinguisher was within her arm’s reach. And on and on.
What are the odds?
The cause of the electrical fire, specifically, is something we still don’t know. I have no basis to blame the tech at this point, and we’re focused on gathering the parts required to make repairs. Everything may be available as early as tomorrow, but we’ll see.
On the bright side, until Friday morning we’re “stuck” at a campground we dearly love. Our hosts cleared out the camp store’s ice-cream freezer and are storing our food until Ernie’s fridge is working again. Our fellow campers have shown the sort of concern and kindness that validates our choice to embrace this life. Friends and family have reached out from wherever they are to express love and support.
As a bonus, we didn’t have to tear down this morning in the pouring rain.
We’ll get past this. The adventure will continue.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.