Today actually began last night with an oh-shit moment — we haven’t used jack pads since we went glamping aboard the Bumper Bunker three years ago, and suddenly I realized that we didn’t have any. We’d need them for the fifth-wheel being delivered to us in the morning.
Walmart to the rescue. The Harrison store down the road had ’em, and I drove down shortly after 9pm to fetch ’em. I was the only customer in the curbside-pickup lot.
Twelve hours later we were bound for The Mountain, the bandaged-and-beconed (later bemuzzled) Smudge riding on Deb’s lap. We parked where our road meets the subdivision road and waited for our temporary Home to ’round the bend.
I’ve mentioned before that these roads don’t see a lot of traffic. This morning, for example, a neighbor pulled up next to us and we began chatting, catching up since we hadn’t seen each other lately. And there we sat, door-handle-to-door-handle, completely blocking the road, for 35 minutes. No one else drove by.
We think that’s pretty special.
Eventually I shuttled Deb and the puppy up to the homesite and returned to my post. When the delivery driver and his sidekick rolled up with our fifth-wheel, they hopped out of their truck and into mine. We scouted the route, agreeing on how the job would get done.
I dropped them off and returned to where Deb was sitting. Together we waited for this long-anticipated moment.
The driver and spotter executed the maneuver masterfully. They made what could’ve been complicated look easy, managing to park the rig on our pad in one smooth, very deliberate pass.
That’s when the real work began.
Thanks to our site contractor’s efforts to pitch for drainage, the site wasn’t quite level, so neither was the RV — and it needed to be level, both fore-and-aft and side-to-side. The former we could accomplish with the jacks, while the latter demanded some Country creativity.
They pulled the trailer forward, then backed it into place again with the left tandems on blocks of wood — better, but still off. The next move (after pulling away one more time) was to dig down into the gravel where the right wheels would sit. With one side raised and the other lowered slightly, it was as close to perfect as it’d get today.
The rig will settle naturally over the coming weeks. When it does, Deb and I will jack it up and add blocks under the left side. Pretty straightforward.
There was only one hiccup — repeatedly over the last month we’d asked the dealer to remove and dispose of the previous owners’ mattress and other bedding. The stuff was still there yesterday, and I got the sales manager’s assurance that it’d be gone before today’s delivery. It wasn’t.
Fortunately, the delivery guys were glad to take it out and haul it away.
And then it was done. Deb and I were Home alone. We deployed the awning, set up a couple of chairs and proceeded to love our American Life.
We were easing out the county road on our way back to Harrison when Deb asked me, “So how do you feel?” Such a simple question, yet I found myself struggling to form a coherent response.
The path that’s brought us to this moment has been long, and it’s twisted all over the damned place. We’re not done, not by any means, but for the first time in a long time it feels like we’re on track again.
It’s a thing called certainty.
And that’s how I feel right now — certain. We’re winning.
We got this.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.