I’ve said it a few times here, but just in case you’re new to the story… this is not a “How to RV Across the Country” blog. Please, don’t look to us for guidance or tips, unless you’re looking for wisdom on what NOT to do. That’s not humility. That’s truth. Anyone with any common sense would NEVER do what we did… unless the Holy Spirit was leading. It’s the ONLY way ANY of this makes sense.
At some point in February, when it became clear the road trip was going to take place, Jamie and I decided to join a Facebook Group for those looking to transition into the RV life. The first webinar, entitled “Five Thing NOT to Do When Purchasing a RV” seemed like a great first step… until we started watching. We already violated the first two steps! I remember looking at Jamie, while I closed the laptop, saying, “This isn’t going to be helpful.”
A few months later, we pulled our rented U-Haul into the RV dealership in Pennsylvania. We bought the RV without even driving it… or even seeing it in person. The kids were super excited at first. It was a new experience. It was a HUGE purchase. (From a fiscal responsibility perspective, it was a HORRIFIC acquisition. I’m pretty sure nothing depreciates like a RV… and I know nothing falls apart faster! Dave Ramsey would NEVER have approved, which probably made me want to buy it all the more!) But, about 90 minutes later, I was literally throwing things out of the RV and the most undignified, unrighteous things were coming out of my mouth… while we were STILL at the dealership.
Everything went pretty smoothly until the last twenty minutes. We purchased a tow dolly for our car and the guys working at the dealership were helping Jamie get it hitched to the RV. I decided to use my time wisely and start putting things away. It was going to be a long night, sleeping in a big box, at a camp ground with complete strangers only feet away. Honestly, I needed a distraction. For the first time, I was starting to freak out. Sharing a small space with five other people and a dog isn’t fun. (I’m saying that almost five months in. I love my family and I LOVE what we’re doing. But, we are six people with VERY strong personalities. The fact that we haven’t killed each other is PROOF that Jesus is real. Seriously.)
I began making my bed, which was no small feat. There’s no easy way to make a full-size bed in a RV. It took me approximately 20 minutes to maneuver the mattress enough to slip on the fitted sheet, top sheet, comforter and pillow cases. I worked up a sweat, mostly because it was pushing 80 degrees outside the RV oven. God only knows how hot it was inside. I threw the last pillow on the bed and began to walk outside, when Tenley, our puppy, ran past me. She jumped on the newly made bed and began releasing a stream of urination rivaling the elephants I saw on safari in Uganda. As I began screaming at her, she just peed faster. To this day, that dog has NEVER peed that much again. NEVER.
I honestly don’t remember much of what happened after that moment. I recall Tenley running out of the RV as Sydney rushed in with a horrified look on her face. Probably because she rushed in at the sound of my screams, expecting God knows what, and was met with a deluge of salty language. Brayden followed close behind, but his expression was completely different than his sisters. He looked confused. Bewildered.
I made both of them leave the RV. I remember Sydney closing the doors and telling Jamie not to go in. I stripped the bed as I sobbed uncontrollably. Our trip was NOT supposed to start this way. We only had one set of sheets, which were now stuffed in a garbage bag because they reeked. I finished the rest of my time at the dealership trying to scrub the dog urine off the mattress.
We eventually made it to the KOA in Hershey. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say much the whole ride there. No one did. I think everyone was afraid to say anything. You see, I’m the one who, when times are bad, ALWAYS has a positive attitude. Especially over the past two years. But here we were, not even one hour into the official RV trip and I was already defeated. I’m sure Jamie was beside himself. He was still in a daze from walking away from his job, questioning EVERYTHING! But trusting God… trusting MY trust in God. (Also something I will talk about a little later on.) I’ll end the story here: Thankfully, the KOA had a place to do laundry. Thankfully, my husband packed a bottle of wine for the trip. Thankfully, no one was in the laundry room that night while I sat there with my pee-stained sheets drinking a glass of wine by myself. I won’t lie. There was a moment where I sat back and said, “Sweet Jesus, what have we done?” It wouldn’t be the last time I asked myself that question. It also wouldn’t be the last time I drank wine while doing laundry. I’m actually sitting at the laundromat in Yellowstone at this very moment, with a glass of wine., making new friends… talking about Jesus.