It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times

March 18, 2016

Okay, so that’s a little dramatic. But my first weeks here were anything but wonderful. Thirty six hours after I arrived, I got a sore throat, which almost always indicates that I’m coming down with something. So I did what I always do – I crawled into bed and tried to head it off at the pass. I felt like crap, but my sore throat never materialized into a full blown cold. Four days later, however, my ears closed up. UH OH. Here I was sounding fine, but I couldn’t hear well. At all. I could hear my own heartbeat and breathing – kinda like when you’re watching a movie and someone’s running and you can hear the breathing in and the breathing out. It was kind of freaky. And I definitely didn’t want to talk to anyone because I sounded to myself as if I were inside my own head. It was very distracting and made conversing with people difficult.

So I stayed inside my rig, watched Fraiser reruns, read, and did Hardanger embroidery (my travel project). After 4 days, despite taking a decongestant and using nasal spray, nothing had changed, so I borrowed a car and drove to Urgent Care. The doctor said I had an ear infection (I have a history of those, although it’s been probably 15 years since my last one), but I found that an odd diagnosis because both of my ears were blocked up. If I had had my wits about me, I would have questioned her about that, but instead I dutifully picked up my prescription for antibiotics, and then stopped at a health food store to stock up on good stuff, including probiotic yogurt to keep my gut bacteria healthy.

Well, another week went by and my ears weren’t significantly better. Big UH OH. This was getting scary. So I went back to Urgent Care and saw a different doc who told me that my Eustacian tubes were blocked. That’s what I had figured, but I didn’t know what to do to unblock them. He prescribed steroids and nasal spray.

Well, it’s been another 2 weeks and my ears are still a little blocked, but not nearly as bad as they were. Miraculously, I was able to get work done in that time, including an entire audio book. I emailed the editor that I had had some hearing loss during recording, and I apologized if I had missed some ambient noise (I turned my headphones way up when recording so as now to miss any passing airplanes, trucks, or motorcycles. I may have turned them up too high…but maybe not….). Yesterday I received an email from the editor with one fix for that audiobook. One fix! There are almost always at least 4 or 5 fixes. And it had nothing to do with ambient sound (apparently I neglected to edit out the little ring my phone makes when I get a text). So, maybe turning my headphones up really loudly did work.

Then, a few days ago it got really hot here. Not just really hot, but really hot and humid, my two least favorite things. No problem in the van – I have AC. Or, at least I used to have AC. It wasn’t working. I called the RV repair guy and he was able to come right over, but the diagnosis wasn’t good. I was hoping it was something simply like a fuse, but the whole unit needs to be replaced. So, from time to time, I had to start up the engine and turn on the AC from that to cool down the van. It was in the mid 80s inside, and very uncomfortable. And every time I turned on the van, the cats would head for the hills. They hate motion, and will bury themselves under the blankets in hopes that it will stop soon.

Anyway, I had to move to another site today. That happens when you miss a year at a park and they don’t save your site for you. It’s only 2 sites away from the old one, but I still had to unplug my electric, disconnect the water and sewer hoses, disconnect my internet coax cable, stow everything inside, stow all the outside stuff (rug, table, 2 chairs) and drive to the new site. Then, use the leveling blocks to make sure the van is level (if not, the butter in your pan will all go to one side and the flame on the burner will be uneven). I was fortunate that a few of the guys I know here moved the trailer for me, so I didn’t have to worry about that part.

I connected the internet and waited. And waited. And didn’t have a signal. So I called Comcast. Who informed me that they didn’t have my new site in their system. Even after I had told them 3 times that I would be moving on March 18th. What is with that company? So the rep connected me with the billing office where a very nice woman named Cheryl took all of my information and changed my site number. Unfortunately, no one has ever connected the internet at this site before (not surprising, since most people here are retired or on vacation and don’t need or want fast internet. They’re perfectly happy bringing their laptop or iPad up to the office and using the park wifi). So a technician is going to come on Monday (!) and make sure the internet comes to my site. I have about 100 feet of coax cable, so there’s no problem getting it into the van. In the meantime, I can either access the internet on my phone or iPad, or bring my laptop to the office, which is how I’m updating this blog.

I’m halfway through my trip today. The weather has cooled down nicely, although it’s still very humid, and it’s supposed to cool down even more in the next few days. I’m hearing better, my site move is complete, and on Monday afternoon I should have high speed internet in the van. Life is good. For now.

Coming up, I’ll be writing about the difference between the Voxmobile and the Son of Voxmobile, as well as the difference between when I first hit the road in 2011 and traveling in 2016.