Once in a generation: Day Two

Our girl Scout slept on the bed with us last night, peacefully and warm. Dipstick took up his customary post on the floor at the foot of the bed, made more comfortable by a heated throw that Deb got for him.

We slept well, too, considering.

It was the bitterest of nights, the mercury crashing to the predicted -6°F and winds gusting as high as 47mph. The bus rocked hard but stayed planted.

I think it’s worth mentioning here that while our 19-year-old motorhome is equipped for cold-weather glamping — a so-called “winter package” — its engineers never meant for it to meet what we’re dealing with now (prolonged wind chills in the -40s). That’s why we’ve had to adapt to conditions and bring in supplemental heat. It’s still pretty chilly (60s) inside, but we’re doin’ fine.

After I posted to Ubi Libertas Blog yesterday we discovered that a hot-water supply line on the “warm” side of the coach (opposite the wind) had frozen. It took Deb five minutes to thaw it out with her hair dryer and restore flow. She was up a few times last night to make sure it stayed that way, and it did.

And how did our wet bay fare overnight? The temperature readout on the wall over the dinette this morning told the tale — that uninsulated space, taking a direct hit from hours of icy NW wind, was a balmy 78°F. I kept staring at the display, scarcely able to believe what I was seeing.

Those two cheap ceramic heaters from Walmart are doing their job. I turned one off after the sun was up today, and the bay stayed at a perfectly acceptable 68°F. We’re thrilled.

Of course, we’re not out of the woods just yet. The winds haven’t let up. We have a single-digit night coming, and tomorrow the high won’t break the freezing mark. Still, we feel like we’re in good shape.

(Knock wood.)

Our campsite around 11am today. Not much snow remains on the ground from yesterday’s storm, which dropped a few inches. When I took this photo the temp was 4°F, and the wind out of the west (behind me) was steady at 14mph, gusting to 35mph. That translates to a “feels like” temperature of -15°F to -24°F.

I have a feeling that if I let a day go by without saying something about southern hospitality, you’d probably wonder what was wrong. The reason it’s become a recurring theme on this blog is that it’s a real thing. (That and the fact that we’re not quite used to it yet.)

Shortly after 7:30pm yesterday, Deb and I had hunkered down for what we expected would be a tough night. My phone rang, its display announcing that “Amazon Delivery” was calling. I picked it up.

“Hi, hon’, I have a package for you,” drawled the unmistakably happy woman on the other end of the line. “You wanna meet me at the [campground] office, or should I bring it to you?”

I gave her directions to our site, threw on a coat and hat and shuffled through the snow as a minivan pulled up. (Amazon drivers around here often are local folks who use their personal vehicles to make deliveries.) At the wheel was a bearded good ol’ boy. A woman in the passenger seat rolled down her window and handed my parcel to me.

‘Y’all are nuts — y’know that, right?” I said. We had ourselves a good laugh, the three of us, and we exchanged “Merry Christmas” wishes before they drove off to make more deliveries in those brutal conditions.

“What was that about?” Deb asked when I got back inside. I showed her the package, sat down and told her what had just happened. We looked at each other and smiled.

Truth is, both of us got misty-eyed.

Nothing in my experience compares to this. People are universally genuine, they’re kind and they embrace their purpose — not because it’s Christmas and not because someone tells them to. They do it because that’s who they are, every day.

I hope I never get used to it.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB