Okay, y’all. The past two days have been rough. There have definitely been patches of sunshine, but the overwhelming consensus of the situation has been rough. In one fell swoop of bad luck, we suddenly became stranded.
Running out of clothes.
Running out of money.
Back ordered parts.
It wasn’t pretty, folks.
Sure, we focused on the good. We had an amazing tow truck driver. We had an elderly couple that kept us company and even transported those of us that wouldn’t fit in the tow truck to the campground. There was a campground with availability close-ish by.
But the -less facts were hard to ignore. Especially the grocery one. My oldest son has to have certain types of food to dose his medication or we end up back in the ICU.
I went to bed last night determined to do something about that. I had googled the closest grocery store and it looked like there might be a small town / maybe service station style grocer just four miles down the road.
Four miles is nothing. I would grab a backpack and Abby’s bike and head out first thing before it got too hot. Wouldn’t do for my ginger self to spontaneously combust on the way home. I mean, I couldn’t carry a lot of groceries that way but we would make it work.
The thought actually made me sleep better.
I woke up to my Texas mechanic calling. He had already talked to the local shop and let me know what everyone agreed was necessary and what could wait until we were in a more stable situation. The day was looking up.
Until I went outside to get the bike off the back of the truck and realized…
We didn’t take the bikes off the back of the truck.
How did we not take the bikes off the back of the truck?
That’s when the phone rang again. This time it was the local shop letting me know that the back ordered part had been found. Apparently they tracked down the last Intercooler Hose on the west coast. It was on its way and should get to them by Friday. If it arrived in the morning, I could theoretically have Beast back by that afternoon as long as nothing else was wrong with it once the hose was replaced. If it arrived in the afternoon, it would be Monday.
Finally! A little knowing. I hate uncertainty. I can’t plan for it. I don’t know how to react to it. Attack me with zombies, whatever, I don’t care. As long as I know what I’m dealing with, I can deal with it.
And that’s exactly what I decided to do.
Except then my husband called. With awesome news. The railroad was paying him his week of vacation that he had scheduled before he got furloughed. An entire week of pay!
With a bounce in my step, I went to the camp office to pay through Friday and ask them if there was still availability because we might need an extension.
They had already booked us out for the rest of the month, without advance payment, just in case. They also took off the cost of the first night since it had been such a trying day for us.
If that was all they had done, I still would have said they went above and beyond anything that could have been expected. I mean, they had already given us one of the largest, nicest sites in the park. We’re close to the kids’ park. We’re close to the river trail. We’re close to the laundry room. But they actually went beyond that.
After I had paid, I asked if there were any annuals in the campground, and if she knew any of them well enough to ask them if they were willing to help a traveler go get some groceries. It was a long shot but campers are generally a helpful lot so I figured what the hell. It had to be worth asking.
She immediately picked up the phone and dialed a number.
Less than ten minutes later I was being driven to the grocery store.
I can’t, y’all. I am absolutely astounded on a regular basis by the good nature of people. Humanity wins. I know I keep saying it. It still surprises me some times.
The grocery store had absolutely everything we needed. It definitely wasn’t a service station grocery. It was just a little small town grocery but…the produce was beautiful. The meat was local. An overflowing cart later, the bill was even less than most big grocery stores.
I was in Momma heaven. I got some cash back at the register. They wouldn’t give me quarters because of this ridiculous coin shortage, but I figured having the cash was at least closer to having laundry money than not having it.
Did I mention that the guy who took me to the store was the campground manager?
He asked if I found everything I needed or if we needed to try somewhere else. He was seriously offering to drive me anywhere else I needed to go.
I thanked him again, and said no, I got all the groceries we could possibly need. I did mention the frustration with the quarters though and he said, “No problem. I can exchange them for you when we get back.”
Then he drove me back to the camper and helped unload the groceries.
Told me to come up to the office any time and he would exchange out the quarters for us. That if I needed any more rides to let the office know.
Like, for real?
In a single morning we went from:
Vehicle-less to having a time frame on getting Beast back and the offer of rides in the meantime.
Stable home-less to having a secure spot for as long as we need it.
Grocery-less to having more food than I know what to do with.
Running out of clothes to plenty of quarters and a very well appointed laundry room here at the campground.
Running out of money to having an extra week of pay handed to us. That is wiggle room.
Back ordered parts to parts on their way.
It’s amazing the difference a day makes.
We spent the evening eating corn on the cob and watermelon. We tossed a chicken in the crock pot for tomorrow.
We took a walk along the exercise trail.
We cooled our feet in the river.
We found a HUGE blackberry patch.
And then we watched the bats come out from under the bridge and start chasing bugs.
It was a good day.
Life is good. Even when it isn’t. Because there’s always tomorrow, and you never know the difference a single day can make.