Topped off

We have propane again. Ernie got his third wintertime fillup yesterday morning, and the ritual of unhooking and driving across the campground (and back) went smoothly. It was still a hassle, but there’s no way to completely replenish our gas without moving the bus.

For the record, our New Year’s Eve load of propane (20 gallons) lasted just over three weeks. On January 23rd we took on 25 gallons, which we stretched until yesterday, March 6th (six weeks). This fillup was 26 gallons, and that’ll see us through the rest of the cold weather.

The tank will hold 38 gallons but, to allow for expansion, can be filled only to 80% of its rated capacity, or just over 30 gallons. Since January we’ve used propane to power the furnaces and nothing else.

We were back on our campsite before 11am and had everything set up again well before noon. With the slides in I took the opportunity to look at the house batteries, which checked out fine. I topped off the electrolyte with distilled water and called it good.

That’s another system I shouldn’t have to think about for a while.

Our motivation for attending to LP sooner rather than later, by the way, other than the fact that Ernie’s gauge was on E, was that strong storms would roll in last night and sub-freezing temperatures loomed throughout the week. Fortunately, we had a sunny and pleasant Sunday to take care of business, and we beat the weather by hours.

It was a bumpy night, though. We were under a tornado watch ’til early this morning, and a warning popped up briefly in an area just northeast of where we’re camped. I’ve seen reports of storm damage in both Arkansas and Missouri, all of it east of here.

We’re unscathed, dry and warm.

Lately, in the context of current events, I’ve been thinking a lot about World War II. Particularly interesting, at least to me, is the story of U.S. involvement in a war that some historians say began as early as 1931. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935, Hitler took Poland in 1939 and France fell in 1940, but America didn’t join the fight until after Pearl Harbor in 1941.

I’ve always found studying history rewarding and useful, and I’ve never really understood why more people don’t. History is rich with lessons — not answers but parallels that can shine light on what we face today.

The tension between isolation and intervention isn’t new. Neither are belligerent madmen bent on expansion. This isn’t the first time we’ve confronted the possibility that a regional conflict could go global.

I encourage you to look back at the events and political dynamics that led up to the U.S. becoming actively involved in World War II. A good primer, even if you read nothing else, is “From Arsenal to Ally: The United States Enters the War,” published by The National WWII Museum.

Don’t look for answers and don’t draw conclusions — that’s not the purpose of history. Just notice the parallels and similarities, some of them downright eerie, and you’ll be able to consider current events armed with historical smarts.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB