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The Old Soul, The Inspector and me in the Great State of Texas

“Time in a bottle” by Jim Croce

“If I could save time in a bottle. The first thing I’d like to do is to save every day. till eternity passes away. Just to spend time with you….”

First, I must tell you that we are pet less again. As Uncle Mike said “Sunrise has gone to the sunset”.

We are in the big state of Texas right now. We have been here working, playing, meeting new friends and visiting relatives while in Texas. One thing Al and I discovered when we first met was that the boy from Michigan and girl from Oregon both had relatives around Lubbock, TX. Even though we are not in west Texas, we are visiting his family this weekend in Eastland, TX then going to the Denton, TX area to visit my relatives.

My Mother & Father lived in west Texas many years ago and my Father loved it there. As we have passed through towns big and small along our journey, there are names and places I remember my Dad talking about. I’ve discovered this week that “I should have listened closer to what he was telling me” and I really should have written it down.
“If I could save time in a bottle”.

In 2000, my family brought my Dad to west Texas, from Oregon, for a family reunion. That was the last time I was in Texas and even then, I was busy wanting to see sights and do things “My way”, again still not listening.

“If I could make days last forever, if words could make wishes come true, I’d save everyday like a treasure and then, Again, I would spend them with you.”

It becomes important as we get older to relive our past, to share with our children the things we’ve done and the places we’ve been. So, I have been sending postcards to the Grandchildren from every state we go too or a postcard about an important place or thing we saw along the journey. Hopefully they know that while we are not with them while we are on our journey, we are thinking of them.

Maybe when we are sitting in our retirement home, one of these grandchildren will show up with their postcards and ask us to relive that adventure with them.

So, while we have taken a break from Inspections this week to roam around this great state of Texas. We will always remain dedicated to helping people get their Adventure started.

On to our next Adventure,
Laura

The Old Soul, The Inspector and Me – San Antonio Volunteering

“Help!” – The Beatles

“Help me if you can I’m feeling down and I do appreciate you being round. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won’t you please, please help me?”

So, we are in San Antonio, Texas… It’s a beautiful place. The Alamo, The Riverwalk, The Mission Trail – there is so much to see and do but we didn’t come here for the San Antonio sites, we came here to help hurricane victims.

We signed up with “RV Disaster Corp.” which is a non-profit organization that works under FEMA supplying folks like us that have an RV to volunteer in disaster areas and they asked us to come here to San Antonio to help. We are working in a warehouse, sorting, boxing and labeling donations that people were so generous in giving. These donations came from all over America. The boxes must be gone through and separated into like items and then re-boxed and labeled.

Let me tell you, we are not the heroes of this story.

You need to meet some of the people giving of their time besides us. First there is Valerie and she is from Colorado. I know she would love to be there in Colorado watching airshows with her husband but she is working 7 days a week in the warehouse, supervising the operation in this section of the warehouse. Then there are the kids from AmeriCorps. There was about ten of them and they change out volunteers every week. The group we worked with this past week were very serious about their work and very cute when it was time to play during a break. As their team leader explained to me, they mentor “at risk children” in the community and in the case of a disaster they do what they can to help others.

There were a couple of other locals here as well, volunteering an hour or so here and there, which I know Valerie appreciates all the help she can get.

Then here we come, two old out of shape, RVers. We are used to sitting outside in the evening enjoying the day we spent driving down the road, looking at the trees and at rocks the water was running over. Our days are filled with lots of relaxing and not a lot of physical work.

Now this may be our volunteer time but it sure felt like work to me. We only lasted about 6 hours a day this week and I’m hurting. I have pains in pains and all kinds of new pains but somewhere in all my moaning it feels good, it gives us purpose. When we arrived in Texas we came through Bridge City, Port Arthur and on into Houston, then arrived in San Antonio. It almost made me cry to see the stuff on the curb of the houses we passed by. The things that people had to throw out because of the hurricane damage were not just little piles of stuff, some went all the way down the block. Piled as high as they could get it. I just can’t imagine seeing my stuff, my most important items of my life destroyed and left for the garbage man to pick up. I saw a crib on the curb, my God that baby now has no bed to sleep in.

These people need a lot of help that’s all I can say. I know there have been other storms,  other disasters and there will be more. While I’m here I must look at the here and now. I have no idea where these boxes are going that we are sorting and if they will help someone or not. I sure hope so because we are here for one more week of sorting, boxing and labeling and then on to see friends and family, who knows, we may be back as we were told it may be over a year before everyone around here gets back to a normal life….

Remember the Alamo, on to our next adventure….

Laura

The Old Soul, The Inspector and Me on Biloxi Beach

“Welcome Back” by John Sabastian

“Welcome back- Your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back- to that same old place that you laughed about.”

Hey, it’s been a rough couple of months but it seems like forever. I was staying with family in South GA, waiting on a new Great granddaughter while playing hide and seek with the Hurricane but now I’m back where I belong…..

Al and I left this past Monday on a 6-month RV journey. We had plans (that were written in pencil) and thank goodness because we are all up and down on this adventure now. Yesterday we were in Biloxi, MS, watching the sun come up. How amazing to think “this is all I have to do today” is spend time on this pier watching the world just going around us.

Al and I have always had a no pet policy in our Motorhome. We don’t want the responsibility and pressure of providing for another living thing but yesterday I picked up a shell on the beach in Biloxi and put it in a plastic bag when we got back to the Motorhome. It’s a pretty shell but a couple of hours later it started moving. Yes, we have a crab in a shell. Now remember I told you about our policy of no pets but I had taken this sea creature from its home, so I must make it right. I bought a plastic container at the dollar store, scooped up some sand in a parking lot, gave it some water and someone said give it lettuce. So off to bed we go.

Today I had the idea to go look for food for the crab and found a bottle of “Hermit Crab” sea water and some fish food flakes at Walmart. So, as we are standing there looking at this bottle of salt water in the store and it dawns on us, of course this creature needs salt water since he came from the ocean. We are truly idiots when it comes to this so please don’t call PETA on us. I am trying to correct my mistake. I must say though when I took him out of the plastic bag, he threw himself at the dish of tap water I had for him. The more I think of it I wonder if he knew how bad it was going to get and maybe he was trying to drown himself?

So, Al says “What’s his name? “and then he says we’ll call him BC for Biloxi Crab. Really? I mean it might be a girl type crap so we should name her “Sunrise”. That’s when I found her at sunrise right on the beach so I think I will call her Sunrise.

What a better pet for Full Time RV people. A pet that carries it ‘s home on its back. Yes, I think this was meant to be.

Well time to get back to the Adventure…

The Old Soul, The Inspector, Sunrise and Me.

RV Disaster Corps

Today is Sept 27th and we are in San Antonio, TX. We start our 1st day of volunteering with RVDC to help folks that were effected by hurricane Harvey.

Well, we got our “Go Kit” from RV Disaster Corps yesterday. We got bright yellow vest, work gloves, I.D. badges and lanyards. I think we are official volunteers. 

Looks like they need us to help out in a warehouse in San Antonio sorting and labeling all the donations they have collected.

Hope to know tomorrow our assignment dates.

 

The Hershey RV Show and The RV USA Show

I am here in Hershey, PA for the worlds largest RV show. NRVIA has a booth and I am working the booth on Wednesday and Thursday educating RV folks of the importance of getting an RV inspection before you purchase an RV. If you are in the area, please stop by our booth.

I am also going to be on “The RV Show USA Radio” show at 8:30est, live from Hershey, on Wednesday evening discussing RV Inspections and what to look for when buying an RV. Please join us on Facebook live. https://www.facebook.com/TheRVShowUSA/

Happy Trails

AL

 

The Old Soul, the Inspector and me – RV Hot Skin condition

“You’re the one that I want” by Olivia Newton-John

“I got chills they’re multiplying and I’m losing control cause the power you’re suppling it’s ELECTRIFYING.”

First, I must say “I have had enough of this foolishness”. Did you ever say that to one of your kids? One of the things I do every day while drinking my coffee is to check out Facebook groups that I am a member of. One of the groups I check out is a RV interior design group.

Three times this week someone has said something about attaching things to the wall of their RV and each time I have replied and explained about the “RV Hot Skin” condition. You know, when you put a hole in the wall of your RV using a nail or screw and hit a wire or metal and electrify your house. I say, “Don’t put holes in the walls”. ALWAYS use command strips, hangers or other adhesive hangers.

So here I am sitting outside waiting for the day to come alive, drinking my coffee and waiting for the sun to come up. By the way if you don’t know, this is the most amazing time of day. Watching the darkness and then it turns grey and then it will get cold and the sun will start to peek out.

Anyway, I’m scanning through Facebook posts and there it is again! Someone wants to know what to use to hang pictures with. So, I respond and explain the whole Hot Skin issue and I feel like I’m talking to my kids. I’m thinking “I have had enough”. Folks need to understand that a RV Hot Skin condition can Kill You.

So, let’s look at RVing. We are living in a Recreational vehicle and they are built to take you camping, to travel down the road, to give you something besides a tent to enjoy this country of ours. I have not found any magazines about RVing that include ‘RV Beautiful” or “RV Home & Gardens.” But there are several magazines about being on the road, traveling around, being at the beach or in the woods.

I use command strips and hangers to hang things on our motorhome walls. I buy them at Dollar Tree or Family Dollar as they are a little cheaper in price at these stores. And they do the job. My pictures have traveled through the mountains, down I-75 through Atlanta, on the rough roads in Michigan and they all stay right where I hung them.

The Facebook post that got to me today was when someone said, “don’t use command strips, they don’t work”. That’s why you are getting an earful today.

My RV will never be “Magazine Beautiful”. I don’t have all the cute “Camper “materials and Knick knacks. It is made to travel down the road and to see the country.

I have a standard kit and/or process. I use anti slip shelf liner on all my counter tops as they hold things in place and I have foam packing sleeves for the dishes. And I use command strips.

So please join me on my campaign to rid the RV world of “HOT SKIN” conditions before someone ends up being ELECTROFIED.

And thanks for listening to my rant.

As always on to our next adventure,

Laura

Do you have a RV Hot Skin condition?

How many RVer’s have heard of a RV Hot Skin condition? When I mention we will perform a “hot skin” test to a buyer that hires us to do a RV inspection, they say, “hot skin”, what is that?

When we do RV inspections, it is a mandatory that we must perform a “Hot Skin” test on all types of RVs we inspect. This is a life safety issue along with a propane leak test, detectors, etc.

This is me doing a Hot Skin test on this RV recently.

What do I mean by a RV “Hot Skin”? It occurs when the frame of the RV is no longer at the same voltage potential as the earth around it. This can be caused by an incorrectly wired electrical pedestal, a previous RV owner improperly re-wired his electrical cord that may have gotten damaged. It could happen by someone attaching an item to an RV using a screw and hit a wire behind the wall. These situations can cause stray 120V current to travel around various metal parts of an RV.

When this happens, someone can be shocked when say, grabbing the handle entering an RV, maybe it is stepping on the entry steps to an RV or maybe standing on wet grass and opening a cargo bay door. People may only receive a little tingle versus a shock, either way, it is an indication that there is 120V of current “free flowing” in the RV and this is very dangerous. How dangerous is it, so dangerous that people and pets have died due to having a “hot skin” condition in their RV.

What should people do if they experience a “hot skin” condition in their RV? Stop using the RV and have it looked at by a qualified RV Technician. An individual can attempt to determine the cause of the stray 120V and even repair it themselves. Bottom line is get it repaired as soon as possible and do not use the RV until it is repaired.

The Old Soul, the inspector and me. “You’re my World” by Tom Jones

“You’re my World” by Tom Jones

“You’re my world, you’re every breathe I take. You’re my world, every move I make. Other eyes see the stars up in the skies. But for me they shine in your eyes.”

I know it’s been awhile since I have written anything but life has a way of grabbing hold and twisting you around. We have had a lot of stress in our “No Stress Zone” here and yet here we are as we should be, the two of us in The Old Soul.

Al and I have been together in one place or another for 18 months now. So, you might be thinking what does this have to do with Rving? Well, when your place is 300 sq.ft. (how big is a jail cell?) and you are together night and day, you can still feel he is your world. You will understand that RVing is not just about the vehicle, it is about being able to adjust and compromise, to hold your tongue and hold on to each other when things get rough. There are times you will cry over a situation and times of laughter too.

Recently we did an inspection on a class A motorhome. The seller had bought this RV about a month ago and he is already selling it. He and his wife took one trip and she hated it. She couldn’t stand the grass and dirt of a campground and tracking that dirt into the motor home. So, they were selling the motorhome. We feel she didn’t give it enough time to make that decision.

I’ve also seen comments on a Facebook page of someone giving up Rving. It was too hard. No one had told them things are going to go wrong while Rving. No one told them that there are challenges to Rving. Al always says, “a bad day Rving is better than a good day at the office”.

We did a walk through with a young couple and went through how everything in the RV works. We did the inspection for them about a month ago and they wanted someone to show them how things work. We also spent time talking about our adventures and the things that have gone wrong. We told them they needed items like a EMS device (surge protector), water pressure regulator, etc. These folks are newbies on the road to adventure. I hope they find success.

Every time we do an inspection, Al will say I hope we don’t find nothing wrong with the RV we are inspecting but of course, we are going to find something wrong. It may be small, it may be a “lack of maintenance” issue like dirty AC filters, it might just be a battery needing to be replaced in a smoke detector. We will find it if it is there. Hopefully the folks buying the RV will be able to enjoy their adventures ahead by knowing what potential issues the RV has revealed to us during the inspection and can get those items squared away before hitting the road.

On to our next adventure

Laura

The Old Soul, the Inspector and me – I say a little prayer

I Say a Little Prayer by Dionne Warwick

“The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you, while combing my hair now, and wondering what dress to wear now. I say a little prayer for you”.

Some days you just must get down on your knees and pray. That’s how this week has been and I need some advice. How do you make life peaceful again when you have so much turmoil going on?

To many emotions all at once. Al has children and so do I. They must be dealt with separately as well as differently. The mother in me would like to spank some of them and put them to bed but they are grown and I’d have trouble getting any of them to “lay across my knee”.

Then we have this Old Soul (Motorhome), she is our child. We have changed her, fed her and listened to her temper tantrums but I love her. She has shown me adventures and places I have loved exploring with her.

But this week …

The Old Soul has really “showed out”. She wants new shoes (brakes) and everything thing that goes with them. Oh yeah, shocks too, she really is a Diva. The shame is that because she insists, we must give in and get them for her. Not a good move if I’m dealing with a spoiled child but since this child moves us from one adventure to the next, we will give in and spend a small fortune on her.

I must admit that we went looking at a replacement for the Old Soul. In the end, I will stick by her, give her the things she needs and baby her. I don’t think she has a clue how close she came to having a new home but I’m not willing to start over.

I think back to the day we found the Old Soul and decided that she was for us. How excited I was too be finally going “Full Time” in an RV and to have something that belonged to the two of us. Something that didn’t have memories, only the memories that we create along the way. This was our new beginning!

We had both been married before we became the two of us. We both lost our spouses and dared not to try again. We both have an idea what makes us happy, a chance to do things different. We both married right out of high school and lived our lives as it came about. There are the “habits” ways of doing things that we don’t always agree on but we keep going and working on them. That was my big deciding factor in purchasing the “Old Soul”. A place to live and explore and be “us” without any memories from past lives.

Now that Al has been through an RV Inspector training class (twice actually – a level two inspector), we travel around the countryside doing RV inspections.

I must admit we could have made a better decision in buying the Old Soul, only if we had known then what we do now. This week we did another inspection for a soon to be “Newbie”. As we go through and talk about the different things in the RV, you can see the “deer in the headlights” look on their faces. That moment when you realize that, along with the adventure of RV traveling, you must know something about this house on wheels and how they operate.

Of course, I had that look at one time, we all did. I remember that look the first-time Al tried to tell me about the “workings” of the motorhome. Suddenly it isn’t just an adventure. It’s not an escape from the past. It has so many working components and now that I know the workings of the Old Soul, I don’t want to trade her in for a newer model RV. I want to carry on with my adventure because this was my new beginning and I know it will cost money to keep the Old Soul going but I’m not ready for another new beginning.

“I say a little prayer for you, forever and ever you’ll stay in my heart and I will love you forever and ever, we never will part. Oh, how I’ll love you……”

On to the next adventure.

Laura