Friday, June 28, 2013

Escape from Red Dirt.

Safe and sound in Santa Fe.  Now that the trip is over, I can talk about it. 

The Escape From Red Dirt was something else.  I don't know if I can really convey what that was like without you being there.  I started with this...

Before I could even start I had to remove a fence from in front of the RV, from behind the RV and then through the intended plan of travel in the left of the above picture.  And all with temperatures in the mid 90's.  Once the fences were down, we came upon the second problem. 

The rains accompanying the last rounds of tornadoes washed away large swathes of the gravel that made up the RV pad.  So the truck was tilted nose down. booty up.  So I used rocks the kids had dug out of the ground and some pavers to lift the front end of the truck.  I had to get out and move the pavers and rocks every time I had to adjust so that the hitch would line up.  Eventually, we got hooked up.  Time for a break.

After a snack and some water, I started backing down the steep dirt hill.  We almost bottomed out in two places, but some quick shovel work fixed it.  It was a slow process of move two feet, get out and look, move two feet, get out and look.  But we got down.  Then we had to go up and weave through a few obstacles.  Eventually we got to the gate.  Continuing the theme of making us work for it, the angle to get out of the gate was acute enough that we couldn't make the turn.  So we had to drive out heading the wrong way, back back into the driveway and then exit again later...after another break.  All told, the exiting portion of the adventure took probably 4-5 hours.  Then we had to drive to the other RV park, set up and then drive back to Miche's to fix the fence.

A pain in the butt, but all told it was less work for us than for Miche.  I still can't believe she was nice enough to build an RV pad on her land and let us use it.  I mean, I can believe it because she is nice, but...I'll just stop talking.  Thanks Miche.

That was just the exit.  The next day the drive started.  sheesh.  More tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Wow, what a crazy couple of days. 

We accepted a contract in Santa Fe, N.M.  Of course this wasn't as easy as it sounded.  I had to update certifications, physicals, medical records, employment examinations and, this was a first, get my own respirator fit test. 

Then we had to leave.  That sucked.  I was looking forward to spending the summer in Oklahoma with family.  I wanted to hang out with my sister and the various relatives that would tromp through.  But, I also needed a paycheck, so we left.  The things we do for money.

None of this even starts to describe what I am now calling, The Escape From Red Dirt.  The process of getting the RV out of Michelle's property could possibly find its way into a Jackie Chan movie.  It was some stunt work.   That will need its own blog post some day.  And then another about the 106 degree temperatures today driving through the Texas panhandle.  But it will have to wait.  I am tired and we are getting up early tomorrow to attempt to beat the worst of the heat. 

For now we are safe, dry and cooling off to a human temperature in Vega, TX. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013


It has been a while.  I think this is the longest stretch so far this year without a post.  I would say I have been taking it easy, and I have to some extent, but things are getting done.

I re-certified in TNCC (a trauma nursing course),took care of medical and dental checks, got a new phone for me, and may have found our next job.  We haven't signed, but have been offered Santa Fe, NM.  It would be great, but less than ideal.  We wanted to stay here in Oklahoma, but couldn't seem to get it done.  I expect one of the Oklahoma jobs will come through the day I sign the NM contract. 

Sigh.  Now I have to try to remember how to move this place around.

I want a word here on how awesome and generous and hospitable everyone has been lately.  It starts and ends with my sister Michelle who built this RV pad out on her property and watched our stuff while we were out to sea.  She even climbed on top of our RV during a tornado producing storm to cover a skylight that was broken by a hailstone.  She is gutsier than I.  She has been amazing. 

But everyone has been great.  Dad and Julia and Grandma and Papa have been brilliant as well.  They have opened their homes and arms when we came to visit.  Without their generosity not of this insanity could have been possible. 

Thank you guys. 

Sorry Miche, I really wanted this to work out so we could hang out this summer.  Maybe we can try again.  I did get my Oklahoma license, seems a shame never to use it.