Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just Another Glamorous Day ......

Strange thing.  I've noticed that, after posting any references to the weather we experienced in Arizona this winter on my Facebook page, I typically received a number of very negative comments from folks back home.  You might even construe some of them as thinly veiled death threats ........  Weird. 

This post should make you feel a little bit better.  Here's how the last couple of days have gone for us .....

The day finally comes, and we have to go back to Canada.  We begin to experience the roller coaster of emotions associated with dealing with this.  And so begins the grieving process ...

Stage One:  Shock and Denial
How could the time fly so quickly!!  As we have been actively following the weather back home - both in Alberta and Vancouver Island - we are quite aghast that we have to tear ourselves away from the glorious weather that seems to be getting even better day-by-day here in Arizona, and make a trek back to what appears to be a continuous downpour, gloomy skies and a wardrobe of rubber boots and rain gear.  And that's on Vancouver Island!  We'd literally die if we had to travel back to the endless winter wonderland that Alberta has experienced!

And how the hell am I going to fit all of my stuff into that damn motorhome!???

Stage Two:  Pain and Guilt
The process of moving out of the house and into the motor home is extremely painful for me.  Terry, ever the martyr, is actually looking forward to it  Sick bastard.

We experience some guilt in feeling so sorry for ourselves - after all, we've had six months away from the horror of a Canadian winter, haven't we? We're not bad people for enjoying this lifestyle, are we?  We put in our time, didn't we?

Stage Three:  Anger and Bargaining
Anger - how can the U.S. government be so mean and force us from our home??  We're good people!  We're contributing to the local economy for God's sake!!

Stage Four:  Depression, Reflection
As we make what seems like 5 millions steps between the house and the motor home with our arms loaded to the point of straining, and as the packing up process takes three days instead of the two we had planned, I reflect on all of the things I wanted to do this winter that I didn't.  All those hikes I meant to take.  Those malls I wanted to check out.  The last trip to Mesa Market that I needed to do.  Sigh.

Stage Five:  Acceptance
The house is finally emptied of our belongings and cleaned.  We've reached the point of the inevitable - we're really going to leave here and start the drive home.

So hand in hand we turn the lock on the front door, walk away from the house, and enter the motorhome.  Then the real fun starts ...

PROBLEMS WITH THE MOTORHOME ......  Crap!

Problem #1 - during the pack up process, for no reason half of the interior lights in the motorhome quit working.  Great.  Terry spends hours and hours troubleshooting the problem.  And of course the wiring in a motorhome is a complete guessing game.  Without access to a wiring diagram it is nearly impossible to pinpoint the problem.

The Lord must have taken pity on us as, just as mysteriously as they quit working, the lights began working again.  Guess they'll save the next round of malfunctioning for another really inappropriate time.  The only good thing is that Terry did ultimately identify the problem, and assures me it can solve this problem should it arise again.

Problem #2 - The pop-out in the bedroom breaks down.  The pop-out is pulled in and out by two timing belts that operate by gears.  One of the timing belts break.  Luckily, Terry is able to manually assist the sole timing belt and pull the slide in.  This will require a few stops to locate a replacement belt and the time to install it.  Crap.

Problem #3 - Our Motosat satellite dish is having major issues.  As a result, we were forced to travel to the delightful town of Quartzite, AZ (where the dishes were installed two years ago) to have it checked out.  And of course, within 5 minutes they deliver the wonderful news that we will have to drive to Salt Lake City, Utah, to have the Motosat people work on it.  Nice.

Now that we are travelling under a deadline, it became imperative that we schedule an appointment with the Motosat technicians right away.  It's an 8-hour drive from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City.  Terry calls Motosat and they advise him that "it is supposed to rain on Wednesday, and due to safety concerns, they are unable to go up on the roof of our motorhome to take down the satellite dish".  To which Terry responded that he would be more than happy to take on that task himself if that would work!

In order to identify the dish model etc., Terry had to put the dish up.  Once up, it decided to give up the ghost and would not stow itself away.  This prompted (and sped up) the inevitable removal of the dish from the roof of the motorhome.

Now, what goes up must also come down .....  The damn satellite dish weighs about 100-150 lbs.  In order to get it down from the roof Terry had to fashion a harness of sorts using a nylon ratchet strap and slowly lower it to the ground via a ladder.  My role in this fiasco was to stabilize it and assist it to the ground while Terry held the bulk of the weight from the top of the motorhome.

I tried to help - I really did.  However, it ended up with a lot of screaming and yelling - something along the lines of being afraid of getting killed or crushed or something.  A park resident, hearing the commotion, came running over to assist - fully believing that I was indeed being killed by Terry.  Embarrassing.

With the satellite dish finely safely stowed in the back of the car, I turned my attention to the chore of getting ready to leave the park.

As you all know, we have three cats joining us on this magical journey.  All three are of the same mindset when it comes to the drive - they hate it, but no choice in the matter.  Molly, however, fares the worst of the bunch as she experiences motion sickness, and inevitably throws up within 20 minutes into the trip.  ALWAYS a treat for all of us.

After experiencing that special treat yet again yesterday, we vowed to stop at the first pharmacy in Las Vegas and purchase some Dramamine for her.  No more motion sickness for Molly!

Sounded so good .....

I split one of the pills in half, and went about the process of shoving that pill down her throat.  No sir.  She is fighting, I am losing the battle.  Terry joins in.  Molly bites Terry.  Still no pill.  Finally, it wasn't pretty, but we got it down her.

Next thing we know - we observe Molly drooling and foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog!  Foam was pouring out of her mouth!  I chase her around the motorhome, and spend the next 15 minutes wiping the never ending stream of drool and foam from her mouth.  Worse than the exorcist!

We left the park at 12:30 en route to Salt Lake City.  Pray for us.

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