BACK When It Rains, It Pours

Little did I know that Walter Ray not winning the title in Atlanta was going to be the least of my problems over the next few days. Let's just say that things went downhill quickly from there!

After a quick visit to see my grandparents in Chattanooga, TN for my grandmother's birthday we headed up the road on Monday morning. Walter Ray had agreed to do a "drop-in" appearance at a bowling center in South Carolina where our friend Chuck Gardener has his pro shop. So, we were about 150 miles from where we need to be and making good time when traffic comes to a screeching halt, and I do mean screeching! We weren't moving at all and it became obvious that there must be some sort of accident that had shut down the road. After a while people started getting out of their vehicles and standing around talking. Some people even decided to walk up the road and try to find out what was going on. The report that we heard was that there was a fertilizer truck turned over and it was going to be at least three hours. By now we had been sitting there for over an hour and Walter Ray had called Chuck to tell him that he probably wasn't going to make it to the appearance. People were going over to the other side of the freeway by crossing the median and heading the other way. Unfortunately there was no way the motorhome was going to make it through. I felt really badly that Walter Ray wasn't going to make his appearance so we decided that he would unhook the Jeep that we tow and try to make it to the center. That left me to wait for the freeway to open and then drive 150 miles to meet up with him. Oh goody! About 2 ˝ hours later the road was finally clear. By then there was only me and about a million semi-trucks left. Everyone else had escaped via the median to the other side. So, off I went!

I soon realized that the cruise control wasn't working on the motorhome. I would set it and it wouldn't hold the speed and just slow down. I was annoyed. I called Walter Ray on his cell phone. He asked me if I knew how to set it and then if I had taken the parking brake off. DUH! Ok, so he wasn't going to be any help. I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to drive without it. Not fun, but not impossible. I could do this! About thirty miles down the road I decided to stop and get some coffee (yes, I am a Starbucks addict). When walking away from the motorhome I noticed that the brake lights were on…hmmm that's not right. After purchasing my "fix" I got back in the motorhome and called Walter Ray again. He had no idea what was wrong with the brakes, but was pretty sure that was why the cruise control wasn't working. At the risk of repeating myself, DUH! I told him that I wasn't comfortable driving not knowing if the brakes were engaged or not and told him to call me back when he had some idea what I should do. My phone rang again shortly and it was a tech from the motorhome's manufacturer (good idea Walter Ray). My tech walked me through a procedure to determine if it was just the brake lights that were on or if the brakes were actually engaged. We decided that it was just the light and I would be able to continue. Oh goody…are we having fun yet? The rest of the trip was uneventful and I arrived at the center just fine. I walked up to Walter Ray and without saying a word, smacked him in the back of the head. I wasn't sure why it was his fault, but I was positive it was!

After a pleasant dinner with friends from the center we retired to the motorhome. We were just parked in their lot, but it's not a problem since we have a generator. Unfortunately, the generator ran but didn't produce AC power. Things just keep getting better. We had to move closer to the bowl and then they graciously allowed us to plug into their center so that our batteries wouldn't go dead overnight. The next morning we called all over Akron looking for a place to work on both our brakes and our generator for us when we got to town. We couldn't find one place for both, but we finally found someone that would look at the brakes on Wednesday morning and another shop for the generator in the afternoon. Hooray. Tuesday morning we set off for Akron and things were going fine.

In Statesville, NC we saw a sign for Camping World (a toy store for RV'ers). We decided to stop and pick up a few things we needed; and usually a bunch of stuff we don't! While talking to the guys in the service/parts department, one of the guys recognized Walter Ray. After talking to him about our problems he told us that he might be able to help us with the generator. He rearranged the schedules of a few his mechanics and managed to fit us in. We were extremely grateful. A pleasant side effect of our pit stop was getting to see our good friend Paul Stewart, who lives near there. It was sure nice to spend some time with him while we were waiting for them to finish working on the generator. The generator was fixed and we were happy! On to Akron!

Unfortunately, for me, the road in Virginia was quite crooked! Before too long I was feeling a little "green around the gills". As the long and winding road stretched out before me I got more and more sick. In short order I was busy "worshipping the porcelain god" so to speak. If I could have gotten out of the bathroom, I think I would have smacked Walter Ray on the back of the head again.

When we arrived in Akron we took the motorhome to the shop that was supposed to work on the brakes. In spite of our having an appointment they told us they couldn't even look at it until Friday. That wasn't going to work. So we left more than a little bit annoyed. However, the brakes seem to be working ok now, so Walter Ray decided that they probably wouldn't be able to figure it out anyway. Sometimes it's easier to figure out the problem when something is completely broken, rather than intermittently broken! At least that's Walter Ray's theory. So I guess we will get the brakes worked on later, when they are really broken…*smile*.

What else could go wrong? We were about to find out. Walter Ray is a television addict. He always has it on, no matter if he is watching it or not. Maybe it's because he comes from a large family and needs the noise, I don't know. But, when the satellite stopped working I thought he was going to have a hissy fit! It had been snowing in Akron for part of the week and was really cold. I couldn't believe that he was climbing up and down off the roof trying to fix something he had no idea about. It was bitterly cold and the chances of him fixing it were slim to none. Needless to say, it didn't happen and who knows when/if we will be able to get that fixed.

So, here we are going down the road to New Jersey and I have to say that I am holding my breath to see if we get there without incident. I guess it's true what they say about not tempting fate. I had just recently been telling someone how lucky we had been lately with the motorhome and our lack of problems. Maybe I should smack myself in the back of the head! DUH!

Strikes and Ringers,

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