Sunday, July 02, 2006

Camping, Real Men & Endorphins

We made it, finally, to the campground that is a mile from our house--after wrapping up the sink project and packing 'most everything we thought we'd need. (Only one trip back home so far....)

Upon arrival, we made the disheartening discovery (with a trip to Missouri looming) that the air-conditioning in our travel trailer was not working. After messing about with fuse boxes and electrical circuits, Papa Rooster enlisted the assistance of a fellow RV'er who looked experienced. A former trucker for Walmart, he complimented Papa R. right away on his fine job of backing our 32 ft. camper onto our site, and suggested in a gentle drawl a number of possible problems with our air conditioner. After eliminating them all, he apologized for not having been more helpful! and returned to his site.

Nothing was open on Saturday night, so after a trip home for electric fans and a few other items, Papa R. had the whole night to dwell on solutions to the problem--most of which entailed finding a place that was open to repair RV's on a Sunday or over the July 4th holiday. Our 4 oldest kids spent comfortable nights out in their tents, and it wasn’t too bad inside, with the fans.

On Sunday morning, over a quiet cup of coffee, I told Papa Rooster how grateful I was for the trailer and how much I love camping that way, but the care and responsibility for trailer is something I could never manage alone. We’ve run into many problems—no water, no hot water, no a/c, now—that he’s learning all about, but if I ever went camping with the kids, without him, I’d just take tents. The responsibility of the trailer would be a weight I wouldn’t want to bear alone—and most likely, couldn’t. I'm so grateful that he's willing.

After our own little church service at our campsite (during which we prayed for our a/c problem right along with the sick and suffering), Papa Rooster got on the phone trying to find a place to take it in to. No go, so he tried an HVAC servicing outfit. Louie, the technician who called back, wasn’t sure he could help, but he suggested that possibly the fan could be frozen from non-use and maybe if Papa Rooster climbed up on the roof and gave it a twirl….

Descending from the roof with a big grin and a jaunty swing of the leg, Papa Rooster was clearly a happy camper. After letting Everett know what the solution had been, he eased back in his zero-gravity lawn chair with the light spirit of a man who has just had a great weight removed from his shoulders. As he bantered with Blondechick 13, she finally asked, “What’s the matter with you? You’re so happy.”

He responded, “I’m a man who has solved a problem, and that’s what happens to men when they solve problems. Their brains get flooded with endorphins, and they feel good.”


Everett came over later to show us his favorite RV publications and talk sway controls and extendable mirrors. After he left, Papa Rooster and I commented once again on how many NICE people we've met while camping, who'll bend over backward or even lend you their amp reducer along with their experience and good advice. It's a thrown-together community of folks who look out for each other in such a warm and friendly way.

We can see ourselves someday joining the millions of retirees who tool around the country in their motorhomes, visiting their kids and grandkids. With six kids, what are the odds that ours will all settle down in one place? Even though we hope they do....

Lord, only You know what the future holds. But RVing might be a good way to end up!


Liquidoxology said...

I say, go for it!

HolyMama! said...

i love how eloquently PR explained it to BC13!