Seems to be the word of the month….
I know it’s been awhile…. I have been recuperating….. regrouping….. and thinking….. a LOT.
Apparently after my last post, and even with my new found outlook on ‘home’-owning…. The universe felt we (namely * I * ) need another swift kick in the a$$.
After having the very kind soles in OH take extremely good care of us and being given another clean ‘bill of health’… I slapped a new rubber roof on our rig and felt very helpful for the adventures ahead. I was still nervous, mind you, of (a) what the oil gauge may do to us on our way to AZ and (b) whether my roof job would truly hold or not… but nonetheless, this was where we were and I was feeling really good. There was only one way to figure it all out, and that was to live it!
So off we traveled. Saying another fair well to our dear friends in OH and beginning our trek southwest. I was feeling quite at ease when a good two hours into the trek the oil seemed to be strong and steady. I was feeling good about the engine and knowing that if I held a sturdy 60mph then I’d be a-okay getting down to AZ. With the amount of time we had to get to AZ and the fact that the RV was holding strong, I figured I’d just keep on driving till I needed a sleep. After all, my crew mates could sleep as they needed and were quite comfortable, so I could get the miles behind us and keep on moving.
At that time, that seemed like the best laid plan until about 11p – 12a just on the outskirts of Indianapolis I started to hear something flapping. It was a strange noise…. One I had trouble identifying. At the beginning of it all I was pretty sure something up top the rig was flapping around and needed to be secured once more. I turned to K and said “oh no! I think something is flying off the rough!!!” He says the noise did not sound to him like it was up top. Then I began to panic. A huge massive semi passes us to the left, as they have been most of the day. The pull from the semi’s are quite grand on our rickety rig. This was what seemed to be the final straw, however. When this rig passed us to the left there was this huge explosive noise… a loud bang…. And then somewhat silenced. I freaked and immediately got off the highway. We seemed okay but still sort of clueless about what had just happened. Until, that is, we begin to accelerate again at the stop light. I knew then…. We had tire issues.
We pulled off to investigate. Searched on top and below. And finally came to see that it was one of our interior rear tires…. Not only a flat, but a complete and utter blow out. And it’s the middle of the night…. AND…. We are quite clearly in not the best part of Indianapolis.
I ask K to map us a Walmart. I just need to get us somewhere we can boondock, regroup and think things through. We hobbled our way to a Walmart and went in to get some water, food and use the facilities. The guard asked us if that was our rig over there and instructed us that this was not typically a spot for RV’s. He says, “we don’t usually allow overnights. We are not a 24hrs. spot and, well, this is not the best part of town you know.” Oh great…. You just had to say that in front my kids did ya?
We climb back in and hunker down for the night. I notice the Walmart tire and car repair garage and figure we ask them in the AM what they may be able to do for us.
Early AM I race outta the RV and into the car care area. I point through the window and let them know what had happened. They look at our rig and shake their heads saying…. “Oh man that’s a BIG RV…. I don’t think we can even fit that in here…. Let alone have the right tires for it.” The woman behind the desk is quite friendly and offering other information about spots in Indy that may be able to help. The gentleman goes out to the RV and checks out the tire ID and comes back saying he’s not seen that kind of tire in many many moons. My hope deflates quickly and I begin to worry again…. I can barely move on this tire and if I have to take it elsewhere I may loose my you-know-what.
The woman is quite kind and gives us a number to call. The RV spot is *very* hard to get a hold of. In the meantime, I call our AAA can they explain to me that I need to ‘up’ my membership to RV status and even IF I do that, it would not be valid for 72 hours. I finally reach the Indy RV spot who tells me that he does not do tires there, but refers me to a spot who may be able to help. At the very least, they offer on-site service. Phew…. Feeling a bit better.
That is… until I call them. They tell me they don’t have the tire. And that most places will not have the tire. That having that specific tire means we need to order it and won’t likely receive it till later that week, being that it was a Saturday and the tire could not be ordered till Monday. MONDAY?!?!? LATER THAT WEEK!?!?!? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I can’t sit in the not-best-part-of-town-Walmart with my kids for the WEEK!!!!!
I called a few other places and seem to be receiving the same information. So I opt for the 1st service to come on out and at the very least put our spare tire on. If the spare is on there, I can head back to Chicago and figure it out there. Perhaps someone in Chicago operates on a Saturday, but even, at the very least, we would have friends to stay with and figure it all out…. Verses sit in the Indy Walmart for a week or longer.
The service comes out and begins working. He mentions another spot that may be able to help and true to the other spots, they do nothing for people on a Saturday. World stops in Indy on a Saturday folks. Just keep that in mind should you be traveling through town. He puts the spare on for me and say, “Well… the spare is likely the next to blow, I feel I should warn you. It’s in bad shape as well. But it will carry you to a spot to get it fixed.” I am thinking…. “a spot to get it fixed?!?!” I had NO intentions of staying in Indianapolis at this point. I was burnt out. Fried. Crispy. WELL-over done. I was emotionally a wreck and totally spent on all we had been through with this rig to this point in time.
I ask him if he feels it’s ok driving up to 45-50mph. He seems to think it’s just fine. So that solidified my decision…. I was going to drive back roads at 45 mph all the way back to Chicago. Once I could feel safe and secure again, I could make next plans and figure out what to do.
A mere 6.5 hours later, we pull into a friend’s driveway. Nothing like open arms and feeling like you are safe again. I know I slept VERY well that night. Like a rock. But now the decision making had to happen. What to do? Replace the tires? Sell the RV? Still go to AZ and make it to Free to Be?
The decision is made at the very last second…. We opt to rent a car and make it to AZ for the conference. We rented a truly fabulous Ford Transit 350, which I have to say, was the BEST decision at that moment. I needed to be free of the rig to regroup. I need to cathartic trip to sooth the mind and sole. I need a *smooth* ride! I needed to visit Arizona. I needed the cathartic adventure to figure out where my mind and sole rested with this entire thing.
The conference was great. Arizona was fabulous! The time away even more so! After the conference we took some time to check out some local neighborhoods that I had been eyeing on Craigslist. It was good to narrow down options and ideas should the idea of settling somewhere become the main topic. What surprised me most, however, was how much I would fall in love with Albuquerque!!!
We opted to go for a night there as K wanted to create a self-tour of all of the Breaking Bad filming spots. I was excited about this too as I had watched the series along with him. It was going to be super fun to see the filming spots! What I did not realize though, was that we just happened to land there the week of the International Balloon Fiesta! So we then opted to stay two nights in order to see and check it all out. First day we see all of the Breaking Bad sites, check out some local neighborhoods (as I was already falling in love with the place!), and visited Old Town. It was such a great time! Next morning, before sunrise I drive us to a spot where we can see both sunrise and the balloon fest start. It was such a truly magical morning! We began our trek home from there…. But as we pulled out I felt very sad to leave. The spirit, the atmosphere, the nature, climate…. Just about everything we experienced felt wonderful. The one and only thing I did not check into was the unschooling community. (I did check the homeschool laws though 😉 I just did not reach out to the community just yet.)
Onward and upward, homeward bound. We pass by Amarillo to see Cadillac Ranch and leave our mark. Oh! Forgot to mention, just prior to Albuquerque we passed by the Zuni nation and nearly came home with a stray dog 😉 I wanted to visit because I had a friend who lived there for some time, long ago and I wanted to visit and see the reservation. While we were there the kids fell in love with a stray and even called SBJ to see if he’d be up for us bringing him home. When we went back for it, he seemed to sort of be hanging around a house so we were not sure he was completely stray to begin with. I told the kids they needed to ask to avoid the police chasing us out of town. But they were kinda chicken to go ask 😉 I will whole-heartedly admit I was a-okay with that cause I could not envision this journey with a new found friend! They were a wee annoyed with me, but at that point in time, I could not fathom the drastic change in family membership.
From there…. many other cool stops. We spent a night in St. Louis. We visited Lincoln’s home in Springfield, IL. After picking our rig back up we had some super fun nights in a local hotel with friends. And then it was time to get back to reality. K had an orthodontist appointment and we needed to figure out the ‘what’s next’ to our story here.
That’s where we seem to be at this moment…. The what’s next portion. We are good, locally, on our tires, but we need to replace them to take off again. We had been doing quite a bit of boondocking in the city but quite frankly…. It’s super stressful. Chicago is *not* (even in the slightest) a very RV-friendly spot. We also still need our generator connected, so that makes it a bit more challenging in that we are not totally contained/sufficient just yet. Once we have power and tires, we are in pretty good standing. We just are very (very) low on funds to do so with everything else we have had to put into it. So are here, regrouping and figuring it all out.
Through it all we celebrated a second birthday of our little C and a sixth birthday or our special M. M lost a first tooth in AZ! And we’ve been enjoying the Halloween season upon us!
OH…. Also…. Let’s throw this into the mix. As we thought we were preparing for the CampForce Amazong job in KY, we received word that SBJ did not get it due to some paperwork being missing (on time). Then…. Just as we are regrouping on that turn of events, I begin interviewing for a very fabulous online/virtual position that I would love to have, and he gets a “wait we still have space in KY for you” email from Amazon, AND he’s in negotiations regarding a promotion at current work position! So the other monkey wrench is whether he joins us or not. Does he forego promotion for the Amazon? OR take the promotion over Amazon? And then if he stays, where will he stay? Housing has been a huge issue since we began. And it was ok for the time being because he was joining us in a few short weeks. But at this point, if he stays for the promotion and more permanent solution needs to happen.
AND…. Then if he stays, do we travel short term and relocate back to Chicago? Do we eventually try to move to Albuquerque? AHHHHH!?!? The choices!!!
All the while, we left the city and have been staying at Illinois Beach State Park for a period. It’s been SOOOOOO much better than the city. Cathartic really. It’s been lovely. Chilly. But lovely. The current attempt is to (a) figure out what SBJ will do regarding work, (b) try to fix our generator and tires, and (c) plan to stay an extended period with friends on their farm in OH. That time will also likely be the most necessary and cathartic to figuring out the ‘what next’ from there.
Till then…. I’m off to enjoy this insanely warm October day (for Chicago that it is)… and the rest will hopefully reveal itself to us as the end of this month comes, and the new moon enters! We intend to enjoy a ghostly Halloween above all else! Our most favorite holiday will be the priority and the rest will come to us as it needs. Perhaps I will begin a “support Nakita Baby Nomads” campaign to help us acquire new tires 😉
Happy Halloween All!!!!